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Press articles / Hypnosis for smoking cessation sees strong results
« Last post by Paul Howard on 21 March, 2008, 08:34:29 AM »
Hypnosis for smoking cessation sees strong results

Cardiac patients more motivated to quit smoking than patients with respiratory disease

(Chicago, IL, October 22, 2007) ñ Hospitalized patients who smoke may be more likely to quit smoking through the use of hypnotherapy than patients using other smoking cessation methods. A new study presented at CHEST 2007, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), shows that smoking patients who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be nonsmokers at 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone or patients who quit ìcold turkeyî. The study also shows that patients admitted to the hospital with a cardiac diagnosis are three times more likely to quit smoking at 6 months than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis.

ìOur results showed that hypnotherapy resulted in higher quit rates compared with NRT alone,î said Faysal Hasan, MD, FCCP, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. ìHypnotherapy appears to be quite effective and a good modality to incorporate into a smoking cessation program after hospital discharge.î

Dr. Hasan and colleagues from North Shore Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital compared the quit rates of 67 smoking patients hospitalized with a cardiopulmonary diagnosis. All patients were approached about smoking cessation and all included in the study were patients who expressed a desire to quit smoking. At discharge, patients were divided into four groups based on their preferred method of smoking cessation treatment: hypnotherapy (n=14), NRT (n=19), NRT and hypnotherapy (n=18), and a group of controls who preferred to quit ìcold turkeyî (n=16). All patients received self-help brochures. The control group received brief counseling, but other groups received intensive counseling, free supply of NRT and/or a free hypnotherapy session within 7 days of discharge, as well as follow up telephone calls at 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 26 weeks after discharge. Patients receiving hypnotherapy also were taught to do self-hypnosis and were given tapes to play at the end of the session.

At 26 weeks after discharge, 50 percent of patients treated with hypnotherapy alone were nonsmokers, compared with 50 percent in the NRT/hypnotherapy group, 25 percent in the control group, and 15.78 percent in the NRT group. Patients admitted with a cardiac diagnosis were more likely to quit smoking at 26 weeks (45.5 percent) than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis (15.63 percent).

ìPatients admitted with coronary symptoms may have experienced ëfear and doom' and decided to alter a major health risk to their disease when approached about smoking cessation,î said Dr. Hasan. ìIn contrast, pulmonary patients admitted for another exacerbation may not have felt the same threat. They likely felt they can live for another day and continue the smoking habit.î

The researchers note that hospitalization is an important opportunity to intervene among patients who smoke.

ìDoctors and other health personnel should use this occasion to firmly recommend smoking cessation and emphasize the impact of smoking on their disease process and hospital admission,î said Dr. Hasan. ìPulmonologists, in particular, should make a stronger case and more passionate message to their patients, and efforts should be coordinated with counseling.î

ìAs physicians, we are constantly reviewing new approaches for smoking cessation and revisiting existing approaches to confirm their effectiveness,î said Alvin V. Thomas, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. ìThe results of this study and many others confirm that using a multimodality approach to smoking cessation is optimal for success.î


CHEST 2007 is the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 20-25 in Chicago, IL. ACCP represents 17,000 members who provide patient care in the areas of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine in the United States and throughout the world. The ACCP's mission is to promote the prevention and treatment of diseases of the chest through leadership, education, research, and communication. For more information about the ACCP, please visit the ACCP Web site at .
The research appears to refute the claims of some sceptics that hypnosis is merely an exaggerated form of social compliance.

Crucially the work ñ conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovot in Israel ñ also offers fresh insights into how memory functions
Professor Yadin Dudai
World-renowned neurobiologist Professor Yadin Dudai says brain scans of people taken after a hypnotic suggestion to forget have revealed how parts of the brain are affected.

The scans confirmed that hypnotic suggestions affected the neural circuitry of volunteers asked to forget and remember ñ akey to the memory suppression and recall process.

Professor Dudal and his team believe their insights into the memory suppression and recall process may yield insight into the mechanisms underlying amnesia.

During the study, two groups of volunteers ñ people susceptible to hypnotic suggestions, and individuals who were not ñ were shown a documentary depicting a day in the life of a young woman.

After a week, the participants were placed in a brain scanner. They were then induced into a hypnotic state, and given a posthypnotic suggestion to forget the movie, along with a reversibility cue that would restore the memory.

The researchers tested the subjects for their recall after they had come out of the hypnotic state. They then gave the participants the reversibility cue, and tested their recall again.

As compared to the hypnosis-non-susceptible group, the hypnosis-susceptible group showed reduced recall of the movie.

When the researchers analysed brain scans of the subjects, they found distinctive differences in specific brain areas ñ namely, occipital, temporal, and prefrontal areas - among participants in the two groups.

Professor Dudai, who currently holds the Sela Chair in Neurobiology and heads the Department of Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute, commented: "The surprise for us was that activity was raised during memory suppression in one specific region in the frontal cortex,." 

In effect, he added, it probably told the other brain regions "to don't even think about retrieving that memory".

"The one thing we can say for sure is that hypnotism worked under the conditions we used," said Prof Dudai, adding that the findings were different from those seen in people who attempted to deceive.

"We are therefore highly confident that this is not an artifact," he added.

The researchers believe that their insights into memory suppression and recall may help understand the mechanisms underlying some forms of amnesia, besides explaining how people suppress distressing memories or things.

The studyís co-author Avi Mendelsohn  insisted however that further studies were  needed to determine whether the new findings gave insights into how the brain stores memory.
American medical researchers have successfully used hypnosis as a diagnostic tool for investigating epilepsy in children.

Doctors at the Lucile Packard Childrenís Hospital at Stanford in California had a problem when treating children showing the symptoms of epilepsy, such as uncontrollable seizures and foaming at the mouth.
 Lucile Packard Childrenís Hospital,
Stanford, California
They needed to know whether suspicions of epilepsy were correct by monitoring brain activity during a seizure; for if wrong they would be unnecessarily committing young patients to lifetimes of anti-seizure medication.

For many children who appear to be suffering from epileptic seizures are actually having involuntary physical reactions to psychological stress in their lives, requiring very different treatment to that needed for true epileptic seizures.

The only way to pinpoint the true cause of an attack was to monitor brain activity during an event.

However the doctors had the problem of ensuring such a patient was wired up to the monitoring equipment at the very time when an attack occurred.

Connecting a panel of electrodes to a childís scalp is relatively easy and painless Ö but conducting a ìseizure watchî of indefinite length is far trickier.

But the problem was overcome through the clinical use of hypnosis. Child psychiatrist Richard Shaw explained:  ìChildren are highly suggestible and they have great imaginations.
 ìWeíve found that if we suggest they are going to have one of their events while they are in a hypnotic trance, they will usually have one.î

Which meant that instead of trying to prevent a seizure the Lucile Packard team set out to bring one about in order to discover which parts of the brain were causing the incidents ñ and then be able to treat their patients effectively.
Dr Richard Shaw
Packard Childrenís chief of paediatric neurology Donald Olson said: ìItís very difficult for parents to spend three or four days in the hospital hoping their child has a seizure. It puts them in a very uncomfortable place emotionally.î

In addition some children, simply by being in hospital, are removed from the very stressors which may cause the events, and so do not have a seizure.
Dr Donald Olson
The physicians needed to know whether these were true epileptic events, which are best treated by medication, or non-epileptic events caused by psychological stress or other neurological problems.

Both Dr Shaw and Dr Olson found hypnosis could significantly speed-up the diagnostic process. Together with former medical student Neva Howard, they tested nine children aged between eight and 16 whose seizure like events included twitching, loss of consciousness, shaking, jerking and falling.

Their results were published online in January 2008 in Epilepsy & Behavior and the clinicians say that although hypnosis may not work for every child, the technique is an important tool, which can speed proper diagnosis and treatment for children suffering from seizure like events.

To hypnotise the subjects, Dr Shaw, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences and of paediatrics at the Stanford School of Medicine, first used a combination of deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation to induce a state of relaxation and deep focused attention in the subjects.

He then used a combination of imagery and suggestion to induce one of their typical seizure like events.

Children typically visualise being at one of their favourite places ó for one teen, it was on a beach in the Bahamas.

After a hypnotic trance was established, Dr Shaw would then direct the child to recall the feelings or events that usually precede a typical seizure. Electrodes on the childís scalp recorded their brain activity during the session.

In eight out of nine cases, Dr Shaw was able to successfully trigger a seizure like event with this procedure. After an appropriate monitoring interval, he then directed the hypnotised child to ìreturnî to his or her favourite place and the episode would stop.

Using this technique, the physicians found that all eight of the subjects were experiencing non-epileptic events.

Dr Olson added: ìWe had a number of clues that these particular children might not have epilepsy but hypnosis helped us confirm our suspicions.î
Physicians begin to suspect causes other than epilepsy if an individual has a variety of episodes, if the personís cognition is unaffected despite frequent seizures or if the person has a pre-existing psychiatric diagnosis.

Dr Shaw often couples psychotherapy with self-hypnosis lessons to teach children how to avoid the events.

ìWhen theyíre feeling out of control, this is a tool they can use. They know that they were able to ëturn offí an event during the initial hypnosis, and that gives them confidence to try it themselves,î he said.
Press articles / Strongman breaks blocks using Hypnotherapy
« Last post by Paul Howard on 21 March, 2008, 08:21:23 AM »
World record smashed

A Cornish strongman has set a new world record by breaking 55 concrete blocks with his bare hands in less than five seconds.

Karate expert Ed Byrne, 40, chopped through the granite and concrete edging stones in 4.86 seconds, reports the Daily Telegraph. The ninth dan black belt shattered the previous record of 17.49 seconds. He said: ìI used to break things when I was a kid for fun with my friends and I would break things easily whereas my friends wouldnít.

ìPeople think itís a lot easier to break blocks than it actually is - I make it look easy. I have hypnotherapy and picture breaking the slabs. I also feed off the energy of the crowd.î Mr Byrne is now aiming to beat the existing record for breaking the most blocks in one stack which currently stands at 31. ananova
Press articles / Re: Must see TV BBC2 9pm
« Last post by Paul Howard on 15 March, 2008, 07:49:31 AM »
Peter Whorwell is the top guy on IBS in the UK. He gave a talk at the NCH conference last year.
Press articles / Must see TV BBC2 9pm
« Last post by Paul Howard on 15 March, 2008, 07:42:24 AM »
Science Behind The Trance
Mar 15 2008 Dave Mark

Documentary Of The Week Alternative Therapies: Hypnotherapy Monday, Bbc2,9pm

There's something altogether objectionable about a virtual stranger numbing your face then drilling into your back teeth while asking you where you're going on holiday.

Well, imagine having a cavity drilled and filled or a molar wrenched out while under no anaesthetic whatsoever.

The only thing numbing the pain is the soothing voice in your ear telling you to imagine blue skies, not to concentrate on the torture in your mouth.

Welcome to the extraordinary world of hypnotherapy.

Half a million people in Britain use hypnotherapy every year. It's claimed it can help with smoking, obesity, tinnitus, weight loss, phobias, allergies, anxiety and even breast enlargement.

But what do we know about hypnotherapy and hypnosis?

And how are scientists trying to discover its effectiveness?

In the first in a new series, professor Kathy Sykes from Bristol University embarks on a journey to explore the three popular alternative therapies - hypnotherapy, reflexology and meditation. Travelling across the UK, Europe and Canada, she follows patients pinning their hopes on hypnotherapy.

Richard, a policeman, wants to quit smoking, Nicola wants to eat less chocolate, and Mandy wants teeth implants without anaesthetic. Kathy has a go at being hypnotised as she tries to understand more about the science behind the hypnotic "trance".

And she slso talks to Peter Whorwell who is pioneering hypnotherapy for people with irritable bowel syndrome.

This series is a must-see for anyone interested in learning about alternative therapies.

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