Thursday, 12 February 2009

Treating Psoriasis with Hypnosis

What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition in which skin cells on certain parts of the body are produced much more rapidly than normal, up to ten times faster, causing a build up on the surface of ugly scaly patches, most commonly on the elbows or knees. These can be unsightly and painful. There may be itching, cracking and bleeding even keeping the sufferer awake with discomfort. It is known to be triggered by a number of factors, including trauma, infections, injury, drug reactions, smoking, alcohol and most notably emotional stress. Sufferers normally want to cover up their unsightly rashes during the summer months.

Psoriasis is non-contagious. Its most common form, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches or lesions covered with a silvery white build-up of dead skin cells, called scale. In 10- 30% of sufferers the psoriasis can also present as psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints. Severe bowel problems can also develop.

There are several different types of psoriasis, but discoid or “plaque” psoriasis is far and away the most common form. It is distinguished by patches of inflamed, scaly skin on the trunk and limbs, appearing particularly on the elbows, knees and scalp. Additionally, a sufferer’s nails may become pitted, thickened or separated from the nail beds. Gutate psoriasis is the form most frequently found in children: small patches appear rapidly over a wide area, often after the child has had a sore throat.

When psoriasis occurs the cycle of cell growth is accelerated. In healthy skin the cycle of cell creation to the cell being shed is about 1 month; in skin affected with psoriasis the cycle is reduced to 3-4 days. The skin becomes thickened and red due to an increased blood supply required to support the increased activity and the dead skin cells appear as a white flaky build up. It is believed that it is the immune system that is causing the effect by sending faulty signals.

A genetic link has been suggested. Around 2% of Europeans and Americans contract the disease and it is less common in black and Asian communities. Symptoms usually appear for the first time in those in the 10-30 year old age bracket.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. We have no conscious control over what happens in our skin. Embarrassment or exercise may make our skin become redder and fear or illness may make it go pale. Our unconscious mind controls our skin, as such, hypnosis is also effective for treating wide variety of skin complaints eg acne, eczema, warts, hives, rosacea, pruritis and embarrassing problems such as blushing and sweaty palms.

The Orthodox Treatment of Psoriasis
Orthodox treatment advises exposure to the sun or to an ultra-violet lamp (light therapy) but only in small doses. An emollient (moisturizing cream) can also help. If an attack worsens, it is usually treated with an ointment containing coal tar or dithranol. Other options include P.U.V.A. (a type of phototherapy), corticosteroids and other drugs such as methotrexate. Psoriasis sufferers who experience accompanying arthritis may be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (N.S.A.I.D.’s), anti-rheumatic drugs or methotrexate and tranquillizer or antidepressant medication in severe cases.

Other forms of treatment include nutrition, detoxification, trichology, homeopathy, Ayurveda, acupuncture, healing and stress management.

The power of hypnosis with Psoriasis
This may be explained by the science of Psychoneuroimmunology which explores the correlation between how good one feels mentally and the strength of the immune system.

The unconscious learnt how to respond to a trigger to cause excessive cell growth. By reprogramming the unconscious to deal with similar triggers in a different way, the symptoms of psoriasis should subside.

Many health conditions where emotional factors play a significant role may be relieved by hypnosis. Why is this? Our emotional states may appear to arise autonomously, in a way that is outside our control. However, while it is true that emotional response is not a conscious behaviour, it has been clearly demonstrated that the nature, intensity and duration of such responses can be modified with hypnosis. The skin has been called the "mirror of the mind" and may well be the external manifestation of an internal conflict. Possible emotions may be anger, aggression, frustration or guilt.

Just as blood pressure can be raised or lowered, healing can be speeded up, immune response can be strengthened and pain can be reduced or eliminated. Hypnosis is an extremely effective way to bring about such changes by reprogramming the so-called instinctive responses controlled by the unconscious mind.

In some cases, uncovering early memories and removing the association with the memory have lead to a significant improvement in the condition.

The National Psoriasis Foundation, the American charitable body, states that hypnotherapy can be useful in the treatment of psoriasis. They highlighted that hypnosis is a relaxation technique and stress is a well known as a trigger for psoriasis.

It is also believed that psoriasis may be caused by trapped emotion or an inappropriate release mechanism for emotion. The discovery of the emotional cause and development of an alternative method to release that emotion can control the psoriasis. The sufferer may not be aware of the cause. Even those who have suffered from birth can benefit from hypnosis.

A download hypnosis mp3 Psoriasis treatment allows you to attain a much greater level of control over your condition through the use of powerful metaphor and hypnotic visualization. You will soon find yourself not only feeling much calmer, but noticing increasing improvements in your skin and general health. A transformative metaphor is utilized to help the person activate their own unconscious healing processes and relieve the psoriasis.

A professional hypnotherapy script for treating psoriasis is also available for download.

Scientific Study on the Effect of Hypnosis on Psoriasis
One study, conducted by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., former professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts, which was published in the September/October 1999 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, examined the use of meditation-based relaxation tapes in psoriasis patients undergoing ultraviolet light (UV) treatments. Patients who listened to the tapes during the treatments cleared their skin more quickly (in some cases, twice as fast) than patients who had the light treatment alone.

Hypnotherapy can be of great help to psoriasis patients, according to a new report. Researchers at the Department of Dermatology, The John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA carried out a three month study into the use of hypnotherapy in adults suffering with stable, chronic, plaque-type psoriasis.

Five patients were given specific positive suggestions about their skin. Six were given neutral suggestions. All the patients showed some benefit, but those who were given hypnotic suggestions specifically directed at their psoriasis enjoyed much better healing. The researchers found that the highly hypnotisable patients received far greater benefit than those who were only moderately hypnotisable.

Although only a small scale study, it suggests that hypnotherapy may be a useful therapeutic treatment for th(1) Tausk F, Whitmore SE: 'A Pilot Study of Hypnosis in the Treatment of Patients with Psoriasis.' Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics 1999;68:221-225 (DOI: 10.1159/000012336)

Further information:
Book: Hartland's Medical & Dental Hypnosis" by David Waxman

Tausk & Whitemore study of Hypnosis on Psoriasis
Three Hypnosis for Psoriasis case study summaries with photos. The treatment included Hypno-analysis, Self-hypnosis, suggestion therapy and NLP techniques.
Interesting case study using hypno-analysis:
"A Success with Psoriasis" by Tom Connelly D.Hyp, FBSCH & Steve Luzern D.Hyp
Various forms of treatment
Psoriasis Association

Download Hypnosis Mp3 for Psoriasis

Download a professional hypnotherapy script for Psoriasis

Hypnosis Scripts Hypnotic World individual scripts
Hypnotic World 600+ Hypnosis Scripts Subscription Highly recommended for professional hypnotherapists.

Antonia Harrison is the leading English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Queen Fabiola of Belgium Used Hypnosis During Surgery

Belgium's Queen Fabiola was sedated using hypnosis during her recent surgery.

The 80-year-old royal had surgery - believed to be on her thyroid - at the University Hospital of Liege on Thursday (08.01.09) but elected not to have a general anesthetic.

Fabiola - the widow of King Baudouin, who died in 1993 after 42 years as sovereign - underwent a technique called hypnosedation, which the hospital is famed for.

The method is usually used on older patients because general anaesthetics can have serious side-effects and can be dangerous for older people.

The medical centre in Liege has carried out more than 4,000 operations using the technique, and the queen is believed to have elected to have her operation there for that reason.

Fabiola's surgery went well and she was allowed home on Sunday (12.01.09).

Details of the royal's surgery are yet to be released, although a French television network has reported the operation was to fix a thyroid problem. A royal spokesman said: "Queen Fabiola underwent a planned benign operation."

Copyright Bang Media 13 January 2009

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Hypnosis for Children

By Louise Watts

One day, a little boy living in Germany in the eighteenth century had to undergo a serious operation to remove a tumour that was growing on his head. In the absence of any anaesthesia, the procedure would be a risky one. Before and during the operation, the little boy’s mother held his hand tightly and told him a story so vivid and so fantastic that the little boy was completely engrossed. The surgery was a success and throughout the operation the little boy had felt no great discomfort whatsoever, as his mind had been so completely focused on his mother’s amazing story. That little boy was Jacob Grimm, and the story was Snow White.

Using hypnosis with children is not a new phenomenon – there are references in both the Old and New Testaments describing children responding to treatments using suggestion and faith. It is simply that knowledge regarding this powerful therapy is fairly limited amongst the general public and many medical professionals alike.

Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions that children hold about hypnosis – some of these come from the parents, but in the majority of cases, television is responsible. An example can be found in the Disney film, Aladdin, which depicts an evil sorcerer using hypnosis to “magically” make his victims obey his commands. However, more often than not, children are drawn to the “mysticism” of hypnosis, and any fears and misconceptions can be corrected before the start of each session.

It is fairly well known amongst hypnotherapists that children are excellent hypnotic subjects. As adults, we lose much of our ability to fantasise and daydream – something children are experts at. Up until around 10 years old, children have little distinction between fantasy and reality, and can usually create imaginative stories and tales with ease. Their imaginative capabilities are, therefore, incredibly useful when it comes to using hypnosis to help a wide range of problems.

Our minds are made up of the conscious mind (logical, rational) and subconscious mind (emotion, behaviour), which are separated by a kind of gatekeeper called the Conscious Critical Faculty (CCF). The CCF filters out anything unwanted that it perceives might harm us (although sometimes it also gets it wrong and filters out the good things!). However, children don’t develop the CCF until between 10 and 12 years. As a result, up to this age they accept everything at face value and their belief systems are very susceptible to suggestion.

Think of the situation whereby a child has fallen over and hurt their knee - the mother calms them by giving them a “healing kiss” and, as if by magic, the child’s knee automatically begins to feel better. This is an example of waking hypnosis being used by a mother, whether she consciously realises it or not.

In children over 12 years old, behavioural change can still take place, as the beauty of hypnotherapy as a treatment method is that it bypasses the CCF and communicates directly with the subconscious, that is, the part of the mind responsible for the behaviour or symptom in the first place.

As a rule, hypnosis will generally not be effective with children under the age of five. This is due to the inability to build the necessary rapport, as well as the fact that children of this age prefer not to close their eyes or sit still for long periods of time.

When we consider that many emotional problems we suffer from as adults have their root in childhood experiences and environment, it makes sense to ensure our children’s issues are dealt with as and when they arise. As a child’s mind is not fully developed, they believe that anything bad that happens is somehow their fault in one way or another: the father who leaves home, the mother who pays them no attention, the child who does badly in their school grades.

Some examples of the way hypnosis can help children and adolescents are:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Lack of self-esteem
Learning difficulties, including dyslexia
Destructive behaviour
Fears and phobias, particularly injections or visiting the dentist
Habits, including bedwetting and thumb sucking
Chronic pain
Weight control
Relationship problems, perhaps with a step-parent or sibling

The benefits of hypnotherapy don’t just end at when the child begins feeling better. Self-hypnosis techniques can be taught to both parents and children alike and children can be taught to express themselves, either verbally, or through creative methods, such as drawing or writing. Hypnosis works by empowering the child, rather than taking any control away from them, by allowing them to develop the necessarily skills to deal with any difficulties they may face in the future.

Antonia Harrison is the English Hypnotherapist in Belgium with wide experience in helping children through hypnotherapy.