Category: Blog

Hypnosis may help reduce fear of cancer treatment in children

Hypnosis may help reduce fear of cancer treatment in children

Hypnosis could help to reduce the fear of medical procedures in children and young people with cancer.

An article by science daily and the University Of Exeter


Hypnosis could help to reduce the fear of medical procedures in children and young people with cancer.

New research led by the University of Exeter found promising evidence that hypnosis can reduce the fear and worry associated with injections and other needle procedures, such as extracting bone marrow.

Previous research has shown that these procedures often provoke more anxiety in children and young people than cancer itself. Up to half of the children with cancer experience clinically significant emotional distress. This can cause additional anguish for the child and for their families and have a long-lasting impact on mental health.

The Exeter team worked with Devon Integrated Children’s Service to analyze all the available evidence on ways to reduce this anxiety without using drugs. The study is published in Psycho-Oncology and was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC).

Tamsin Ford, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “Getting a cancer diagnosis as a child is clearly extremely distressing for both the young person and their family. We must do all we can do to improve their mental health during this highly emotional time. Hypnosis is inexpensive to deliver, and our research found promise that it could help to reduce the fear and anxiety of multiple needle procedures. We now need high-quality trials to demonstrate whether hypnosis should be adopted in clinics .”

The team also looked at the evidence around listening to music, virtual reality, and cognitive behavioral therapy, however, the research was contradictory.

The paper, Effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions to reduce procedural anxiety in children and adolescents undergoing treatment for cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis, is published in Psycho-Oncology. Authors were Michael Nunns, Dominic Mayhew, Tamsin Ford, Morwenna Rogers, Christine Curle, Stuart Logan, and Darren Moore.

Studies have shown hypnotherapy is an effective medical solution

According to The Wall Street Journal, medical centers are increasingly using hypnosis to treat digestive conditions like acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.

Most professionals who conduct hypnotherapy treatments are psychologists. Shoba Krishnamurthy, a gastroenterologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine, got training and decided to incorporate it into her practice about three years ago.

“It’s mostly for patients who have had a work-up but we haven’t found anything abnormal in tests, so there is not a specific abnormality to treat,” she says.

Studies have shown hypnotherapy is effective in reducing symptoms associated with gastrointestinal disorders. Insurance companies usually cover the treatments. The body of evidence is strongest for IBS, but a 2013 study found hypnotherapy was effective at prolonging remission in colitis patients. And a 2016 pilot study found patients with functional heartburn reported fewer symptoms.

The treatment usually consists of about seven sessions over three months, with home practice in between. Studies have found the effects can last more than a year and work in more than half of patients.

Experts theorize that hypnotherapy works because many gastrointestinal disorders are affected by a faulty connection between the brain and the gut. The gut and brain are in constant communication. When something disrupts that communication, the brain misinterprets normal signals, which can cause the body to become hypersensitive to stimuli detected by nerves in the gut, causing pain. Experts believe hypnosis shifts the brain’s attention away from those stimuli by providing healthy suggestions about what’s going on in the gut.

You can read more from The Wall Street Journal

Hypnotherapy in PDX

Metropolitan Portland and her surrounding burbs have a surprisingly robust community of ‘alternative’ wellness providers.  Historically, Portland has been a national hub for chiropractic and alternative health education and is home to a number of nationally recognized teaching institutions.  This adds up to a rich community of healers and alternative providers to augment one of the nation’s leading networks of traditional medical providers as well as colleges.  What a town!

We love practicing here and look forward to expanding our services in conjunction with other healers, specifically in the area of chronic pain management and the anxiety and stress that most often underlies or exacerbates the pathology of suffering and pain.

There are so many people who suffer from lower back issues, migraine headaches, and other pathologies that have an uncertain causative diagnosis. Examples are fibromyalgia, lupus, Irritable Bowel Syndrome etc., all of whom seek help and relief.

A unique distinction of hypnotherapy in this kind of treatment is the ability to ‘return to cause’ in alleviating, or even eliminating, the pain syndrome.  This is possible primarily by ‘re-wiring’ the brain’s pain signals through a process of guided meditation in collaboration with the patient while in a hypnotic state. Their conscious or ‘critical’ mind has been distracted- allowing for a concentrated focus of attention on those elements in the subconscious mind that harbor the initial causes of the chronic pain.

Chronic pain is simply defined as pain that exists in the absence of any physical damage or pathology, like a pain in the knee when no problems can be found to account for that pain.

As a follow up to hypnosis address, a most valuable tool for a pain sufferer is the array of self-hypnosis techniques that can be used by the sufferer to ‘dial down’ the pain, and to gradually learn to control the pain signals all on their own.

History of pain relief in hypnotherapy

Making pain “go away?” Really?


Find out what hundreds of former pain sufferers are discovering every day with Hypnotherapy

Do you think that hypnosis is just for quitting smoking, weight loss or stress reduction? Think again. Dealing with acute and chronic pain is one of the areas where hypnosis really shines. Every day Oregonians are walking away from the pain and discomfort they have been suffering from without surgery or addictive drugs. Modern hypnotherapy now offers clinical evidence that individual can be pain-free in an effortless and relaxed process.

Historically hypnosis is a very effective tool for managing chronic pain. James Esdaile, M.D., E.I.C.S, (1808–1859), a Scottish Army surgeon who served 20 years in India, performed more than 200 painless, surgical operations (including an 85-pound tumor resection) using only hypnosis, which, at that time was called “mesmeric anesthesia.” Dr. Esdaile took hours to put his patients into a state of trance so deep, there is thought to be no deeper level. Dave Elman, a noted figure in hypnotherapy, created a fast way of getting subjects to this profound state of hypnosis, in the 1960s. The “Esdaile State” allowed patients to reach a hypnotic state in 15 minutes or less. Because of Elman’s work, the once forgotten tool of hypnosis as an effective and drug-free pain management technique is available to patients today.

By the 19th century, hypnosis was being used in British hospitals for anesthesia. Yet, once chloroform was discovered, hypnotic anesthesia fell into oblivion, because it took more time to get certain patients into a pain-free condition than with the (then cheaper) use of chloroform. Thus, the positive effects of hypnotic anesthesia, such as less bleeding, faster wound healing and lower risk of infection, were also lost and forgotten. Lost to the convenience of drug-induced anesthesia.

Pain management through hypnosis in the 21st century

Today, thousands of practitioners are treating pain sufferers worldwide successfully, using hypnotherapy for managing, and sometimes even eliminating conditions including:

  • Lower back pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Complications presenting from lupus
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Allergies
  • And for speeding recovery time to earlier accidents or surgical interventions

Hypnosis, fast and cost-effective is growing in popularity. The incredible therapeutic value for pain management is just now becoming recognized as a noninvasive treatment for a variety of illnesses, especially pain and discomfort.

Hypnotherapy – a respite from the storm – the opioid addiction epidemic

 The National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA) reports that 115 Americans die every day from opioids. We are witnessing the terrible, devastating and unnecessary epidemic of opioid addiction. The drugs that were prescribed for the treatment of acute pain (like a broken wrist or surgery) are not effective for treating any pain lasting longer than the healing period. That is the difference between acute pain, and the lingering longer-term pain called chronic pain. Opioids do not help with chronic pain, and their continued use simply compounds the highly addictive nature of opioids. Hypnotherapy can help a sufferer learn to manage persistent pain and address the elements of the addiction itself.

Pain – it’s all in the brain!

 It is vitally important to understand that all pain is actually experienced inside your brain. That’s the reason hypnosis is so powerful for pain reduction and pain management. Thinking of pain as a helpful signal might seem strange at first, but pain actually serves an important purpose. Pain is an indicator that something, somewhere, is wrong. Yet, once the actual condition is healed, the pain often persists. That is chronic pain.

 Anticipation makes pain worse

Much of the pain we experience is through anticipation, and anticipation makes pain worse. The worse we think something will feel, the worse it will feel. Even using what are known as “painted” or descriptive words can make pain much worse- words like ‘excruciating’, ‘red hot’, ‘throbbing,’ ‘stabbing’ etc.

Pain and suffering are subjective

 Pain and suffering are not the same and they are entirely subjective. One person may have a crushed limb but thinks of it in such a way that suffering is not significant. Another person may feel like they’re dying from an ingrown toenail. It can be largely the ‘internal’ language we use with ourselves, and the anticipation of the effect.

There is a story of a man who got very drunk while out on a stag night with his friends. He awoke with a broken leg that was wrapped in a cast having broken his femur by stepping off the curb and having his leg run over by a motorcyclist who fled the scene. His pain was agonizing. Only later did he discover that his leg was entirely uninjured. His friends waited for him to pass out drunk, and a medical student applied the cast. His excruciating pain vanished the instant he realized there was nothing wrong with him! Pain is in the brain!

Thanks to the ground-breaking work of James Esdaile and the discovery of fast-acting hypnotic anesthesia, we can use hypnosis to effectively reduce or even completely eliminate the feeling of pain and related anxiety. And, the best part is that there are no negative side effects.

Because pain is generated by the human the brain, using hypnotic methods to change the way we think and react to pain has powerful effects.

We can use hypnotic techniques to slow or prevent the release of substance P* – the chemical that causes us to experience localized pain. We can use hypnosis to cause profound relaxation, which automatically lessens any feelings of discomfort.

*Substance P is a compound thought to be involved in the synaptic transmission of pain and other nerve impulses. It is a polypeptide with 11 amino-acid residues.

About the authors

Jon Roylance and George Bare have a cumulative 40-year history of treating pain (physical and emotional). The partners are certified Hypnotherapists by the National Guild of Hypnotists Free initial consultations can be booked on their website, nwhypnotherapy.org.  For questions or more information please call 503-703-7336, For out of town inquiries, consultations available via Skype or Facetime

What Hypnosis Is and Isn’t

What Hypnosis is and Isn’t

By George Bare

A short article on the what hypnosis is used for in medicine

Hypnotherapy is now being widely recognized as a valid health care modality. 20th century proponents of hypnotherapy included Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, who considered it a main tool in the treatment of their patients. Given hypnotherapy’s historically long use in the healing arts, it is actually considered a traditional  treatment.  Hypnosis is a focused, highly relaxed state in which a person’s conscious and subconscious mind are receptive to positive suggestion and imagery.

Almost everyone has experienced an altered state of awareness at some time in his or her life. Think of those times when you were driving to work and you arrived, not remembering passing streets or buildings, totally unaware of what you were doing until you pulled into the parking lot. Or when you were so engrossed in a TV program that you were unaware that someone else had entered the room. These are simple examples of a hypnotic state. NO mind control, No giving away of secrets, Not sleep, just a safe and relaxed experience that is pleasant, refreshing, and beneficial.

Hypnosis is an effective tool to change behaviors, and to alleviate stress, anxiety, and pain. Hypnosis works by replacing the negative messages that often underlie pain, anxiety and problem behaviors with positive values and outcomes YOU WANT  to experience. This means that you can change how you react to just about anything, – a painful condition, a stressful relationship (past or present), phobias, cravings – manage stress, and lessen anxiety.  For it to be effective, all that needs to be present is the individual’s desire and determination to get better.

Our practitioners follow YOUR LEAD, and utilize YOUR WORDS AND VALUES to help you achieve greater freedom, enjoyment, and self-control.


Published Research on Hypnosis

Published Research about the studies on hypnosis is supported by renowned institutions such as the National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Clinic  

Numerous studies — from weight reduction and smoking cessation to pain control and stress management — conclude that hypnotherapy is more effective and longer lasting than other methods of behavioral change and stress management.

We have provided links to some studies here for your review and will update our website as new research findings become available.

Studies on Hypnosis for Pain Management

  • Researchers from the University of Washington and Texas A & M University compared outcomes of 13 studies on hypnosis in treating chronic pain to either baseline data or a control condition. They found that hypnotic interventions consistently produced significant decreases in pain associated with a variety of chronic pain problems. Also, hypnosis was found to be more effective in reducing pain than physical therapy, and patient education.
  • Research on hypno-analgesia found significant reductions in reported pain scores, the need for analgesics or sedation, nausea and vomiting, and length of stay in hospitals when hypnosis is used to reduce sensitivity to pain.

Studies on Hypnosis for Weight Reduction

  • A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology concluded that a weight management program that included hypnosis was over 30 times more effective than a weight management program without hypnosis. The study evaluated 60 patients for two years and found that those who received hypnosis continued to lose weight, others experienced little change.
  • Another study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that adding hypnosis to a weight reduction program more than doubled its effectiveness and that the benefits of hypnosis increased substantially over time.

Studies on Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation

  • A University of Iowa analysis reviewing the findings of more than 600 studies involving 72,000 patients in the United States and Europe found that hypnosis was three times more effective than the nicotine patch, and 15 times more effective than willpower alone to quit smoking.
  • The University of Washington School of Medicine reported a 90.6% success rate for smoking cessation for 6 months to three years after hypnosis.
  • A study published in the Journal of Nursing Science found that smokers who had undergone hypnosis were more than twice as likely to remain smoke-free after two years.