BARCELONA — More patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) reported relief of pain and discomfort after hypnotherapy than after education and supportive care, interim results from a randomized controlled trial conducted at 13 centers indicate.
Most evidence supporting hypnotherapy for IBS in the literature involves highly specialized therapists at secondary and tertiary care centers delivering 10 sessions or more of therapy, said investigator Catharina Flik, MD, from University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands.
“I’m interested in demonstrating its effectiveness in a broader perspective — primary care, for example,” she said here at United European Gastroenterology Week 2017.
In their ongoing 1-year study, Dr Flik and her colleagues are assessing the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
Hypnotherapy imbues a sense of control and self-efficacy in patients, Dr Flik explained. It changes their cognitions, allowing them to be more open to suggestion from a therapist and increasing their control over autonomic body processes such as how they process pain in the brain and the spine.
The bidirectional pathway between the brain and gut and the evidence supporting the influence of hypnotherapy on gastrointestinal health were recently described in a Medscape Perspective interview with Laurie Keefer, PhD, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
Of the 354 patients who were referred by primary care doctors and hospital specialists, 150 attended six biweekly sessions of individual hypnotherapy, 150 attended six biweekly sessions of group hypnotherapy, and 54 received education and supportive care with an audio CD.
Patients were asked: In the past 7 days, have you had adequate relief of your IBS pain and discomfort? Those who answered yes at least 3 of every 4 weeks were considered responders.
At 3 months, adequate relief of pain and discomfort was reported by more patients who received individual hypnotherapy and group hypnotherapy than those who received education and supportive care (40% vs 34% vs 17%; P = .041).
Although the rates reported for the two hypnotherapy types were slightly different, group hypnotherapy was, in fact, noninferior to individual hypnotherapy.
Patients will be followed up for 9 months after the end of treatment.
Similar Study in Sweden
Similar conclusions were reached in a randomized controlled trial of 108 patients with IBS symptoms refractory to standard treatment conducted in Sweden, also presented at the meeting.
Patients were randomized to attend eight 1-hour sessions of hypnotherapy either individually (n = 51) or in groups of six to eight people (n = 57). All subtypes of IBS were represented in the study cohort, said investigator Jenny Lövdahl, RN, from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
At baseline, about two-thirds of participants reported severe IBS, assessed with the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Severity Scoring System (IBS-SSS). Responders were defined as people who experienced a reduction of at least 50 points in the IBS-SSS score.
After 12 weeks of gut-directed hypnotherapy, administered by Lövdahl, response rates in the individual sessions were not significantly different from those in the group sessions (69% vs 57%; P = .018), again suggesting noninferiority.
Pain intensity, pain frequency, bloating severity, bowel habit dissatisfaction, and daily life interference associated with IBS were all significantly better after treatment.
“There were clear improvements in IBS symptoms after 12 weeks of hypnotherapy,” Lövdahl reported. “And in a between-group comparison, we could not see any differences.”
In addition, on the Short Health Scale questionnaire — used to assess the subjective health of the participants — “we could see clear improvements, with no significant difference between groups,” she added.
“In the future, we want to look for predictors of response to find the most appropriate treatment for each patient,” she noted.
Group sessions might be an effective way to deliver IBS hypnotherapy to more patients at a lower cost, Lövdahl said.
The group approach appears feasible, even if some patients need convincing. “A lot of patients felt, beforehand, that they would not like hypnotherapy in a group,” said Dr Flik. However, acceptance improved with education, and “afterward, they were very glad to have been in the group.”
“Very Good, Rigorously Designed Trials”
“The studies are quite practical. The nice thing is that they were conducted in different settings but had almost the same research question,” said session comoderator Daniel Keszthelyi, MD, PhD, from Maastricht University in the Netherlands
“They are really very good, rigorously designed trials,” he told Medscape Medical News.
There are common misconceptions about hypnotherapy. “Some patients might think it’s Voodoo,” he explained, adding that the “same thing goes for physicians.”
“When I see patients with IBS, I discuss all drug options and psychological therapies at the same time,” so medication and hypnotherapy strategies are presented as equally effective, he added.
“Hypnotherapy, in general, is something that is really, really helping patients,” Dr Keszthelyi said.
He reported that he is planning to evaluate an online version of hypnotherapy for individuals and groups (conducted over Skype, for example). One goal is to compare the practicality of online and traditional hypnotherapy.
The presenters were both asked by members of the audience what was covered in each treatment session.
“We did only hypnotherapy,” Dr Flik said. “That’s one difference between our results and other studies with group hypnotherapy, because they also do some education and discussion in groups.”
“Our focus was hypnotherapy,” Lövdahl reported. “In some groups, there was a little time left and patients started discussing their symptoms among themselves. That might have helped patients in those groups, but it was not something we directed them to do.”
Session comoderator Philippe Van Hootegem, MD, from AZ Saint Lucas in Ghent, Belgium, asked Dr Flik how responsive the patients were.
“About 10% of the whole population was not hypnotizable, 80% were good enough for the exercises, and 10% were very good and able to concentrate and go to another level,” Dr Flik reported.
Dr Flik and Ms Lövdahl have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Hypnotherapy, in general, is something that is really, really helping patients.
United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Week 2017: Abstracts OP281 and OP282. Presented October 31, 2017.
Declassified documents from the 1970s have revealed the US government were certain the Soviet Union had mastered telepathy, hypnosis and dream infiltration, a la Hollywood blockbuster Inception.
A recently declassified Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report documents the numerous ways the US government believed the Soviet Union could attack or influence small groups of people via paranormal means.
Published in 1972, “Controlled Offensive Behavior” details apparent Soviet advances in telepathy, dream infiltration and hypnosis.
“There have been persistent reports of unusual flashing lights emanating from Soviet naval vessels and long-range aircraft. Such activities have coincided with US and NATO surveillance operations, conducted from interceptor aircraft and naval vessels. In some cases, personnel have been temporarily blinded and disorientated by various intensities of colors of continuous or intermittently flashing lights during nocturnal missions,” the report stated.
The authors go on to suggest such incidents indicate the Soviets “have not overlooked the possibility of utilizing bright, flashing lights as a means of altering behavior,” and it was “interesting to note” these reports coincide with an alleged period of active research into mind control in Soviet laboratories.
One such incident in 1968 involved a night watch officer aboard the HMS Valiant being temporarily blinded by a blue light shone from a Kotlin destroyer.
“When his vision recovered, he reported perceiving red lights, [which] appeared to be portable. Several pinpoint bursts of amber and amber-green light were noticed aft of the spotlight and shined in concert with it,” the report added.
The use of colorful, flashing lights to distract or disorient targets has a long-established history in warfare — strobe lights were commonly employed by Axis and Allied militaries alike to blind enemy pilots.Strange but True
However, the report connects the disorientation of targets to hypnosis and other forms of mind control, rather than conclude the events were basic surveillance disruption methods, in a subsection titled “Psycho-optics.”
“The Soviets have already experimented with the use of flashing lights for the purpose of eliciting behavioral change in human targets, [and the] interactions of sound, light, and olfactory stimuli in humans. It can now be assessed that in the next 15 years, [the Soviet Union] may develop a system that alters behavior by combining two or more systems to mask the use of the principal weapon, e.g. the administration of a pheromone or psychotropic compound,” the report alleged.
The authors note a 1957 symposium in the US concluded strobe lights and other flicker effects can create disruptions in humans, inducing “sleep, unconsciousness, hypnotic states, or other forms of interference with consciousness.” Other possible effects of flickering lights included eyeball and headaches, and inducement of “visual illusions” including color sensations, patterns of movement and development of odd shapes.”The report moreover suggested the Soviets’ primary interest was red light, a hue that would reportedly produce tension, irritability, and aggression — and presumably a greater affinity for communism.
Perhaps most notably, a separate excerpt outlines the DIA’s fears of Soviet psychic abilities — in particular “telepathic hypnosis,” which allegedly allowed the USSR to telepathically induce sleep in individuals and then rouse them from over 1,000 miles away. “K.O. Kotkov” — allegedly a star Soviet psychologist — was particularly intimidating to US authorities, given his apparently ability to “telepathically obliterate an experimental subject’s consciousness.”
Parapsychologists in Leningrad and Moscow were said to be involved in the telepathic manipulation of consciousness, and the authors ask what individuals might experience in their Soviet-induced sleep — would they “simply dream their own private dreams,” or “does someone else hold sway?””The Soviets have not divulged details of their manipulation of consciousness. Doctor Stefan Manczarski feels telepathy can be amplified like radio waves. Telepathy could then become a subtle new modus for the ‘influencers’ of the world. What about telepathy someday becoming a tool for influencing people?
“This new field of telepathy will open up new avenues for spreading propaganda, and one could telepathically hypnotize an individual [to] steal classified documents or detonate important military equipment. The mission is accomplished and individual does not even know they have done anything,” the report speculated.
Source : sputnik news
According to a new study published in Environmental Science and Technology, researchers found evidence of fluorinated compounds in fast food packaging materials, including hamburger and sandwich wrappers, pastry bags, beverage cups and French fry containers.
The compounds, called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), were found in 56-percent of dessert and bread wrappers, 38-percent of sandwich and burger wrappers and 20-percent of paperboard (the same kind used for sandwich, taco and French fry boxes). These same chemicals are found in stain-resistant products, firefighter materials and nonstick cookware.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are highly persistent synthetic chemicals, some of which have been associated with cancer, developmental toxicity, immunotoxicity, and other health effects. PFASs in grease-resistant food packaging can leach into food and increase dietary exposure. Researchers collected ∼400 samples of food contact papers, paperboard containers, and beverage containers from fast food restaurants throughout the United States and measured total fluorine using particle-induced γ-ray emission (PIGE) spectroscopy. PIGE can rapidly and inexpensively measure total fluorine in solid-phase samples. Researchers found that 46% of food contact papers and 20% of paperboard samples contained detectable fluorine (>16 nmol/cm2). Liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry analysis of a subset of 20 samples found perfluorocarboxylates, perfluorosulfonates, and other known PFASs and/or unidentified polyfluorinated compounds (based on nontargeted analysis). The total peak area for PFASs was higher in 70% of samples (10 of 14) with a total fluorine level of >200 nmol/cm2 compared to six samples with a total fluorine level of <16 nmol/cm2. Samples with high total fluorine levels but low levels of measured PFASs may contain volatile PFASs, PFAS polymers, newer replacement PFASs, or other fluorinated compounds. The prevalence of fluorinated chemicals in fast food packaging demonstrates their potentially significant contribution to dietary PFAS exposure and environmental contamination during production and disposal. (via Fluorinated Compounds in U.S. Fast Food Packaging, Environmental Science & Technology Letters)
According to a news release from Science Daily, previous studies have shown that these PFASs can contaminate the food and when consumed, accumulating in the body.
“This is a really persistent chemical,” said Graham Peaslee, a professor of experimental nuclear physics in the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame, who tested 407 samples of packaging material.
Total F concentrations (in nanomoles of F per square centimeter) based on PIGE analyses of fast food packaging samples. Only samples with concentrations of total F above the LOD (16 nmol of F/cm2) are plotted. Concentrations between the LOD and LOQ (50 nmol of F/cm2) are considered estimated. (via Fluorinated Compounds in U.S. Fast Food Packaging, Environmental Science & Technology Letters)
“It gets in the bloodstream, it stays there and accumulates. There are diseases that correlate to it, so we really don’t want this class of chemicals out there.”
Science Daily says PFASs have been previously linked to kidney and testicular cancers, thyroid disease, low birth weight and immunotoxicity in children, among other health issues. The chemicals take many years before just 50 percent of the intake leaves the human body.
“These chemicals don’t biodegrade. They don’t naturally degrade. They persist in the environment for a very long time,” Peaslee said.
The results are considerably concerning when taking in account the role fast food plays the average American diet. The National Center for Health Statistics reported one-third of U.S. children consume fast food daily.
Samples were collected from a total of 27 fast food restaurant chains including McDonald’s, Burger King, Chipotle, Starbucks, Jimmy Johns, Panera and Chick-Fil-A, in and around Grand Rapids, as well as Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C. The study did not include takeout containers, such as Chinese food boxes or pizza boxes.
Researchers reached out each of the fast food chains that had been included in the study to see if they were aware of the chemicals used in the production of the packaging. Only two responded, both stating they believed their packaging was free of PFASs — one going as far as to say that it had received verification from it’s supplier, although test results show both had tested positive for a “substantial amount” of chemicals.
“This is a wake-up call for those companies and the consumers,” Peaslee said.
Those involved in the study are hopeful the results will encourage fast food restaurants to choose nontoxic alternatives such as plastic coatings, aluminum foil or wax paper.
For many years, I thought of myself as someone who is NOT a public speaker. Sitting at the introvert end of the scale, I often found myself quaking in my boots at the thought of merely introducing myself in a work meeting, let alone standing up in front of a room full of people to give a presentation.
‘It’s totally fine’ – I thought, I believed, I basically convinced myself.
‘I’m not really a high-achiever anyway, I don’t WANT to have that kind of job where I have to stand up and talk’.
And so, I kept my head down in meetings, not brave enough to share my opinion. I ducked out of big events in case I’d have to speak. I even went as far as to turn down an interview for a dream job opportunity because I’d have to do a presentation as part of the selection process.
‘It’s fine,’ I said. ‘I don’t want that kind of job anyway’.
It may sound ridiculous, but it was pretty effective.
I’ve had this habit of messing with my pores that I haven’t quite been able to shake since I started doing it at the age of 15. It wasn’t to the point that I was pulling actual chunks of skin off my face (apologies for the visual), but if there were something, anything, trapped inside a pore, you better believe I would not ease up until I freed it. I would analyze and zero in on each specific spot, only to end up stepping away from the mirror defeated, red-faced, and with certain half moon-shaped nail marks indented into my skin. The habit got better year by year, but it was still present, and so freaking embarrassing at that.
Whispers around the internet claimed that hypnotherapy could help deal with the issue—people swore it helped them quit smoking, pulling out their hair, picking at their nails, and more, so with that, I decided to hit up hypnotherapist and stress relief expert Grace Smith. It certainly couldn’t hurt.
Perhaps due to the magic shows you see on cruise ships, people assume hypnotherapy will prompt them to make animal noises until some Gob Bluth a la Arrested Development type snaps his fingers, and you return to the real world. Smith assured me that the real deal was nothing like that.
“Hypnotherapy is more along the lines of meditation with a goal, and the way it works is that I help people relax into a state where they feel safe,” Smith explains. “Most people try to make change when they’re really stressed out, angry, and fed up, but when you’re coming from that state, your subconscious isn’t going to make a lasting change because you’re in panic survival mode, whereas when you’re relaxed, you become open to suggestion.”
For the longest time, I just thought I had terrible skin—constantly breaking out and in belief that I was still going through puberty, so I felt compelled to pick at it, or punish it for being bad, if you will. Whether it’s hair-pulling, or picking at either your cuticles or skin, Grace assure me that it was all driven by anxiety, which made total sense. On the nights I happened to be freaking out about something, I’d spend the most time in the magnifying mirror. In hypnotherapy, she would change the habit from the subconscious level, and your logical mind would follow accordingly.
“There’s some part of us that feels good when we squeeze that whitehead out, it’s weird. The conscious, logical mind knows it’s not good for us, but the subconscious doesn’t, so that’w why these behaviors continue,” she tells me. “Logic means nothing to the subconscious mind. It’s all about emotion and habit. We have to tell the subconscious that no matter how good the emotional release may be, it’s actually bad for us, but we can only have that conversation when we’re feeling safe.”
It had worked for Smith’s clients in the past—she told me of a young girl she previously worked with, who had problems with pulling out her eyelashes, and was able to stop after one session (and she has the adorable new school pictures to prove it). Of course, you have to want to make the change in order for the session to work.
“If someone wants to quit, they’ll be able to do it in a few sessions, whereas if a woman is bringing her teenage son to me and asking me to make him stop smoking because he doesn’t want to quit, it can take almost 50 sessions,” she says. “The efficacy of hypnosis is based on how much you want the result.”
Suffice it to say that I really wanted it.
Grace and I had our session over FaceTime, so after I commandeered one of the focus rooms at the office, we settled in. She told me that if I did have external thoughts that didn’t completely have to do with the session, that was fine, and just to go with it. She began talking me down, and getting me to a calmer, more meditative state. Despite the noise and activities happening outside of my little pod, I was able to relax and listen to her, guiding me to visualize a safe space.
My skin was my friend, she told me. We were going to have a better relationship, I would leave it alone, and I promised to behave. It may sound ridiculous, but it was pretty effective.
In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.
Hypnosis is a much maligned and misunderstood aspect of mind “tinkering.” Many people think of hypnosis as a person clucking around like a chicken on stage after having a pocket watch dangled in front of his eyes. There’s more to this field of study.
An 11-year-old boy in south China’ s Guangdong Province recently touched many hearts by choosing to donate his organs during the last moments of his life. Liang Yaoyi, whose life was ended by a brain tumor last Friday, gave new life to others by electing to donate his kidneys, liver and corneas.
DEAR DOCTOR K: I am in near-constant pain because of arthritis. My doctor suggested that I try hypnotherapy. My first reaction was that it sounds like hokum, but now I’m wondering if it could help. What do you think?
DEAR READER: Hypnotherapy may in fact help with pain management. These days it is used to treat many mental and physical health problems. I spoke to my colleague Dr. Max Shapiro, a psychologist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. He
explained that hypnotherapy is most effective in treating problems that require stronger control over the body’s responses. Pain is a good example; insomnia is another.
Hypnotherapy turns your attention inward. A hypnotherapist helps you enter a trancelike state. In that state, your attention is highly focused, so you’re more responsive to suggestions. With the guidance of a hypnotherapist, you can start to control or alter your thoughts, feelings and physical state. A hypnotic trance empowers you to activate neural circuits that are otherwise inactive. When activated, this circuitry can reduce pain, among other things.
Let’s consider insomnia. Hypnosis can be very effective in blocking out the distracting chatter that interferes with sleep. A hypnotherapist will first teach a patient how to go into a trance. Once in a trance, the patient will focus on his or her own past experience of falling asleep easily, effortlessly and comfortably. The patient will then be taught to practice going into a trance at bedtime and re-creating those feelings.
About half of people who use hypnotherapy for insomnia see improvement after a few sessions. Others require several more sessions. Only about one in 10 people won’t find it useful.
The success rate for hypnotherapy in treating pain is much more complicated. That may be because the source and nature of pain can vary so widely. Some people experience quick and long-lasting relief; others find it more challenging.
Hypnotherapy may be much more effective for some people than for others. In part, a successful outcome depends on how committed you are. In order for hypnotherapy to work, you will need to put the lessons learned at each session into practice at home. If you need an outside voice to help you focus inward, recordings may help to get you into a trance state.
Hypnotherapy is typically a complementary therapy. That means it should be part of a broader treatment plan that may include more traditional pain relief techniques and medications, if needed.
Like most doctors, I was skeptical that hypnosis really could work to help relieve suffering. It seemed like magic, and I don’t believe in magic. But now we know that the brain experiences symptoms — like pain — and that the brain has its own natural ways of relieving those symptoms. However, those “natural” ways often lie dormant and need to be activated. Hypnosis is a way of activating the brain’s ability to quiet bothersome symptoms.
A physician colleague of mine tried hypnosis after no traditional treatments were able to adequately relieve his pain. The treatment was so successful that he now uses hypnosis in his practice. There’s nothing like getting your own suffering relieved to make a believer out of you.
ABU DHABI // The capital’s main government hospital is using hypnotherapy to treat everything from smoking and obesity to stress and sleeping disorders.
Staff at the behavioural sciences pavilion (BSP) at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) used the alternative form of therapy in recent months, often with faster and more effective results than conventional treatments.
“The research [on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy] exists in medical journals and it has been validated as a technique since around the 1950s,” said Nasser Al Reyami, the BSP’s resident psychologist and hypnotist.
“It is reviving right now as complimentary therapy that is extremely effective.”
The Emirati sees 10 people at his outpatient clinic every week. With some suffering from phobias, he said the therapy showed results within 20 minutes.
“The idea is hypnosis is like any other form of talk therapy. We just have a different starting point and measurement points to what and how it changes a client’s life.”
People undergoing hypnotherapy are referred to as clients, not patients.
Most are sceptical and scared at first, said Mr Al Reyami, mostly because of an incorrect perception of hypnotherapy gleaned from television.
“That is not hypnosis. Hypnosis is a talk therapy. It is simple. It is a lot less exciting than the movies.”
Hypnotherapy has helped hundreds of Mr Al Reyami’s clients stop smoking, lose weight, overcome drug addictions, depression and behavioural problems.
“When they leave my office they are given homework and assignments – things to do and write about and think about.”
When clients return for their next session, the first thing they are asked is to name three things that have gotten better in their life.
“Sometimes they say nothing and I tell them it’s okay, but try harder and give me any three things. The following week I’ll ask for five things and the harder they have to think about it, the harder they have to go back and find positivity in their life. The philosophy is every day and in every way, it gets better and better.”
Hypnosis, Mr Al Reyami said, is a therapy which is “content free”. He does not need to know any personal information, dates, names. This is particularly useful “in cases where there are abuses happening in the family or has happened and the client does not want to reveal their dirty laundry,” he said.
Kasey Conrad, managing director of Change Works Human Resource consultancy firm and a personal and professional development coach, said “hypnosis is a little faster than psychiatry and psychology in specific things”.
“Quitting smoking is the fastest and requires three or four session at the most. Weight control and stress relief as well.”
Ms Conrad, who uses hypnosis to help hundreds of people every year, agreed with Mr Al Reyami on the misconceptions people have.
“Hypnosis is basically self hypnosis, the hypnotist is the facilitator. It is focused concentration.”
She explained: “Have you even been driving home and you’ve taken that same route 100 times and then driving home one day you suddenly find yourself at the destination without even realising it? That’s hypnosis. It’s when your conscious mind goes away and your subconscious mind is taking you where you need to go.”
On the popular misconception that a hypnotist can control a person and make them do things, she said: “Hypnosis is a state of relaxation and focused concentration. You are always aware of what is going around you. A hypnotist can not, no matter what you see, make someone do something that is completely against their morals or ethical code.”
Another myth Mrs Conrad was happy to disprove was that if a hypnotist falls dead in the middle of a session, a subject will remain hypnotised for the rest of their life.
“This is completely not true.”
Hypnosis can be viewed as supplementary to other types of therapy.
“We never diagnose or ever suggest that anyone stop seeing their therapist or stop taking medication or whether its right or not right to take medication, people will ask us and we tell them, that its not up to us, we don’t have the knowledge or qualification to address that,” she said.
In the UAE, hypnotherapy is a relatively new option.
“People don’t understand what it is and what it can do for them. Complimentary therapies are very popular across the world, here they are just beginning,” she said.
Interesting linksHere are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)
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