WHAT IS HYPNOTHERAPY?
Hypnotherapy involves deliberately inducing a daydream-like state of consciousness for therapeutic purposes. The hypnotic state may facilitate faster and more profound psychological effects than counselling or psychotherapy while the patient is in a state of normal waking consciousness.
Our purpose is to be a global facilitator of health and wellness through access, education and advancement of Traditional & Complementary Medicine (T&CM). The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that lifestyle-related diseases (or non-communicable diseases) are responsible for more than 70% of deaths worldwide each year.
Knowledge represents empowerment. By sharing this evidence-based, peer-reviewed research, we aim to support everyday people to take ownership of their wellness, by making informed decisions and choices in conjunction with their health professional.
How This Study Could Help You Manage Your Asthma
The WHO estimates that some 339 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, and it is believed to be the most common chronic disease among children. This study explored whether hypnotherapy could help improve lung function in people with asthma, and is titled:
EFFECT OF HYPNOSIS ON PULMONARY FUNCTION AND SEVERITY OF THE DISEASE IN ASTHMATIC PATIENTS: A RANDOMIZED CLINICAL TRIAL.
You can read the full study here: http://jccs.yums. ac.ir/article-1-64-en.pdf
Why Is This Study Important?
Asthma is a chronic disease associated with the airways leading into the lungs becoming swollen and constricted, causing difficulty in breathing. Asthma is described as a “multi-agent disease”, meaning many factors are believed to play a role in why it can develop, and how symptoms can be triggered. It is associated with a family history of related types of allergies, exposure to pollutants such as mould or tobacco smoke, and premature birth.
A cure for asthma has not yet been found, and while drugs such as bronchodilators are generally reliable for short-term relief, chronic use of these medications is associated with a variety of challenges. The side effects or adverse reactions some people experience may make them reluctant to use their medication, and over time, the body may build up a tolerance which makes the medicine less effective.
While pharmaceutical medication remains a mainstay of asthma management, interest in complementary treatments including self-care strategies and mind/body approaches is reported to be increasing. This reflects the growing evidence base supporting the effectiveness of such therapies.
What Does This Mean For My Wellness?
The hypnotherapeutic intervention used in this study involved a variety of expert techniques. In addition to simpler ‘suggestive’ methods intended to manage symptoms, more advanced regression therapy was used to resolve long-held emotional traumas that might have been affecting wellness at a subconscious level.
The influence of mental health and nervous system function on physical health were not directly intended to be the focus of this study. However, the results imply that, as other researchers have speculated, neurological changes brought about by hypnosis may have a significant effect on the severity of asthma symptoms.
Stress and anxiety are generally agreed to be risk factors for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, and are reported to make diseases such as diabetes worse.
The findings of this study are consistent with the idea that healing the mind can help heal the body, possibly through pathways that connect a person’s emotional health with the regulation of inflammatory response in the lungs.
How Does This Relate to Hypnotherapy?
First described in 1936, the concept of psycho- neuro-immuno-endocrinology (PNEI) is becoming a field of emerging interest. As more research is done into interactions between the mind, hormones and immune system, some of the ways in which emotional health affects physical health are becoming apparent.
Although there is evidence to suggest hypnotherapy may support the management of asthma, the mechanisms at work are not yet fully understood. The authors of this study hypothesised that hypnotic suggestions related to breathing more easily, feeling relaxed and so on, might help people reduce their stress response during an asthma attack. This in turn might help relieve stress-related symptoms.
Additionally, it was speculated that long-term effects of greater emotional and psychological stability as a result of the hypnotherapy might affect the PNEI pathway. This might inhibit the inflammatory response, and reduce excessive sensitivity of the airways associated with asthma.
In this study, published in 2020, researchers affiliated with the Shiraz and Yasuj Universities of Medical Sciences in Iran examined the possible benefits of hypnotherapy on physical measures of asthma management. They noted that previous studies had explored the connection between hypnotherapy and asthma from angles such as how long people spent in hospital and whether they were using less medication. However, the possible benefits of hypnotherapy on lung function and clinically assessed asthma severity had not yet been extensively studied.
Participants in the trial were randomly assigned to a control group receiving standard care plus short information sessions, and an intervention group who underwent a 90-minute hypnotherapy session as well as standard care. The lung function and symptom severity of all participants was measured before the trial, and one month after the hypnotherapy.
Key Findings About the Benefits of Hypnotherapy for Supporting Asthma Treatment
- It was reported that one month after the intervention, the lung function of participants (as measured using a spirometry test) who had received hypnotherapy, had improved significantly. The control group did not show an improvement in lung function.
- The severity of asthma symptoms, as assessed by hospital staff using a global- standard classification system, had decreased in the participants who had undergone hypnotherapy a month earlier. There was no significant change noted in the asthma severity of the control group.
Journal of Clinical Care and Skills (JCCS) is a peer-reviewed journal dealing with novel topics and articles which accepts submissions of original research, meta analysis, systematic review, commentaries, and letters to the editor on a variety of clinical care and skills topics within the area of Paramedical, Nursing and Midwifery.
Quoted from journal description
Asthma | World Health Organization
Effect of Hypnosis on Pulmonary Function and Severity of the Disease in Asthmatic Patients | Journal of Clinical Care and Skills
What causes asthma? | healthdirect.gov.au
Hypnotherapy | souladvisor.com
Psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology: clinical implications | World Allergy
Organization JournalAbout | Journal of Clinical Care and Skills