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The use of hypnosis to treat the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation has been extensively studied for more than thirty years. While modern oncology has made valiant strides in the successful treatment of cancer, it often results in great discomfort for the patient. The list of side effects of chemotherapy is long and arduous. Many patients experience nausea and vomiting, pain and discomfort, hot flashes, dry mouth, hair loss, sleep disturbances, and fatigue. There are emotional side effects as well: anxiety, depression, and anger. Patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation know all too well how grueling it can be.
In study after study, the powerful healing effects of hypnotherapy have been well established. In fact, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the nation’s leading research center in oncology, recently concluded an in-depth study of hypnosis and cancer. Its conclusions were stunning. For cancer patients who received a single pre-surgery hypnosis treatment:
23% less lidocaine
35% less propofel
44% less unpleasantness
46% less fatigue
47% less discomfort
55% less pain
68% decrease in hot flashes
75% less nausea
85% increase in over-all quality of life
Doctor Sewell is one of the few specialist in Florida who practices Medical Hypnosis. He was the first Staff Specialist in Medical Hypnosis at the Rubin Center for Healthy Aging in their 35 year history.
Dr. Sewell A.P. says:
“ Most people don’t realize just how much hypnosis can help you. The research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for a variety of medical conditions is extensive. My patients see great results, especially my cancer patients. Because they face unique challenges, cancer patients really feel and recognize the benefits of hypnotherapy. It makes then more comfortable. They sleep better at night and their appetites improve. They see how it improves their lives and speeds their recovery. And best of all, the results are sustained. It’s the most emotionally rewarding work I do.”
To learn more about how hypnotherapy can help you or a loved one please contact our office at Sarasota Clinical Hypnosis at 941-321-9267.
To Learn More About The Remarkable Benefits Of Medical Hypnosis For Cancer Patients Please Reads These Peer-Reviewed Scientific Citations:
1. The Use Of Hypnosis With Cancer Patients.
Hypnosis has proven to be extremely valuable in the treatment of cancer patients. Specific applications include: establishing rapport between the patient and members of the medical health team; control of pain with self-regulation of pain perception through the use of glove anesthesia, time distortion, amnesia, transference of pain to a different body part, or dissociation of the painful part from the rest of the body; controlling symptoms, such as, nausea, anticipatory emesis, learned food aversions, etc.; psychotherapy for anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, hostility, frustration, isolation, and a diminished sense of self-esteem; visualization for health improvement; and, dealing with death anxiety and other related issues. Hypnosis has unique advantages for patients including improvement of self-esteem, involvement in self-care, return of locus of control, lack of unpleasant side effects, and continued efficacy despite continued use.
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
2. Randomized Controlled Trial Of A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Plus Hypnosis Intervention To Control Fatigue In Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy For Breast Cancer.
The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy plus hypnosis (CBTH) to control fatigue in patients with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy. We hypothesized that patients in the CBTH group receiving radiotherapy would have lower levels of fatigue than patients in an attention control group.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
Patients (n = 200) were randomly assigned to either the CBTH (n = 100; mean age, 55.59 years) or attention control (n = 100; mean age, 55.97 years) group. Fatigue was measured at four time points (baseline, end of radiotherapy, 4 weeks, and 6 months after radiotherapy). Fatigue was measured using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT) -Fatigue subscale and Visual Analog Scales (VASs; Fatigue and Muscle Weakness).
The CBTH group had significantly lower levels of fatigue (FACIT) at the end of radiotherapy (z, 6.73; P < .001), 4-week follow-up (z, 6.98; P < .001), and 6-month follow-up (z, 7.99; P < .001) assessments. Fatigue VAS scores were significantly lower in the CBTH group at the end of treatment (z, 5.81; P < .001) and at the 6-month follow-up (z, 4.56; P < .001), but not at the 4-week follow-up (P < .07). Muscle Weakness VAS scores were significantly lower in the CBTH group at the end of treatment (z, 9.30; P < .001) and at the 6-month follow-up (z, 3.10; P < .02), but not at the 4-week follow-up (P < .13).
The results support CBTH as an evidence-based intervention to control fatigue in patients undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer. CBTH is noninvasive, has no adverse effects, and its beneficial effects persist long after the last intervention session. CBTH seems to be a candidate for future dissemination and implementation.
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
3. Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy For Treatment Of Hot Flashes Following Prostate Cancer Surgery: A Case Study.
This case study reports on a 69-year-old African American male who presented with hot flashes following a diagnosis of prostate cancer and subsequent prostatectomy. Measures include both self-reported and physiologically measured hot flash frequency and sleep quality. The intervention involved 7 weekly sessions of hypnotic relaxation therapy directed toward alleviation of hot flashes. Posttreatment self-reported hot flashes decreased 94%; physiologically measured hot flashes decreased 100%; and sleep quality improved 87.5%. At week 12, both self-reported and physiologically measured hot flashes decreased 95% and sleep quality improved 37.5% over baseline, suggesting hypnotic relaxation therapy may be an effective intervention for men with hot flashes following treatment for prostate cancer.
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
4. The effects of hypnotherapy during transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate needle biopsy for pain and anxiety.
Several studies evaluating the tolerance of transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided needle biopsies showed that moderate-to-severe pain was associated with the procedure. Additionally, prebiopsy anxiety or rebiopsy as a result of a prior biopsy procedure is mentioned as factors predisposing to higher pain intensity. Thus, in this study, we investigated the effects of hypnotherapy during transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate needle biopsy for pain and anxiety.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Sixty-four patients presenting for TRUS-guided prostate needle biopsy were randomly assigned to receive either 10-min presurgery hypnosis session (n = 32, mean age 63.5 ± 6.1, p = 0.289) or a presurgery control session (n = 32, mean age 61.8 ± 6.8, p = 0.289). The hypnosis session involved suggestions for increased relaxation and decreased anxiety. Presurgery pain and anxiety were measured using visual analog scales (VAS), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAS), respectively. In our statistics, p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Postintervention, and before surgery, patients in the hypnosis group had significantly lower mean values for presurgery VAS [mean 1 (0-8); p = 0.011], BAI (6.0 vs 2.0; p < 0.001), and HAS (11.0 vs 6.0; p < 0.001).
The study results indicate that a brief presurgery hypnosis intervention can be an effective means of controlling presurgical anxiety, and therefore pain, in patients awaiting diagnostic prostate cancer surgery.
5. Control Of Respiratory Motion By Hypnosis Intervention During Radiotherapy Of Lung Cancer I.
The uncertain position of lung tumor during radiotherapy compromises the treatment effect. To effectively control respiratory motion during radiotherapy of lung cancer without any side effects, a novel control scheme, hypnosis, has been introduced in lung cancer treatment. In order to verify the suggested method, six volunteers were selected with a wide range of distribution of age, weight, and chest circumference. A set of experiments have been conducted for each volunteer, under the guidance of the professional hypnotist. All the experiments were repeated in the same environmental condition. The amplitude of respiration has been recorded under the normal state and hypnosis, respectively. Experimental results show that the respiration motion of volunteers in hypnosis has smaller and more stable amplitudes than in normal state. That implies that the hypnosis intervention can be an alternative way for respiratory control, which can effectively reduce the respiratory amplitude and increase the stability of respiratory cycle. The proposed method will find useful application in image-guided radiotherapy.
6. Hypnosis As Sole Anaesthesia For Skin Tumour Removal In A Patient With Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.
A female patient with multiple chemical sensitivity and previous anaphylactoid reactions to local anaesthetics was admitted for removal of a thigh skin tumour under hypnosis as sole anaesthesia. The hypnotic protocol included hypnotic focused analgesia and a pre-operative pain threshold test. After inducing hypnosis, a wide excision was performed, preserving the deep fascia, and the tumour was removed; the patient’s heart rate and blood pressure did not increase during the procedure. When the patient was de-hypnotised, she reported no pain and was discharged immediately. Our case confirms the efficacy of hypnosis and demonstrates that it may be valuable as a sole anaesthetic method in selected cases. Hypnosis can prevent pain perception and surgical stress as a whole, comparing well with anaesthetic drugs.
© 2013 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.
7. Hypnosis Reduces Distress And Duration Of An Invasive Medical Procedure For Children.
Voiding cystourethrography (VCUG) is a commonly performed radiologic procedure in children that can be both painful and frightening. Given the distress that some children experience during the VCUG and the need for children to be alert and cooperative during the procedure, finding a psychological intervention that helps children to manage anxiety, distress, and pain is clearly desirable. This study was designed to examine whether relaxation and analgesia facilitated with hypnosis could reduce distress and procedure time for children who undergo this procedure.
Forty-four children who were scheduled for an upcoming VCUG were randomized to receive hypnosis (n = 21) or routine care (n = 23) while undergoing the procedure. The sample consisted of 29 (66%) girls and 15 (34%) boys with a mean age of 7.6 years (SD: 2.5; range: 4-15 years). Ethnic/racial backgrounds were 72.7% white, 18.2% Asian, 4.5% Latino, 2.3% black, and 2.3% Filipino. The mean number of previous VCUGs was 2.95 (SD: 2.51; mode: 2; range: 1-15). Potential participants were identified through computerized hospital records of upcoming VCUGs. Parents were contacted by telephone and invited to participate if their child was eligible. To be eligible for the study, the child must have undergone at least 1 previous VCUG, been at least 4 years of age at that time, and experienced distress during that procedure, and both the child and the participating parent had to be English speaking. Each eligible child and parent met with the research assistant (RA) before the day of the scheduled procedure for an initial assessment. Children were queried regarding the degree of crying, fear, and pain that they had experienced during their most recent VCUG. Parents completed a series of parallel questions. Immediately after this assessment, those who were randomized to the hypnosis condition were given a 1-hour training session in self-hypnotic visual imagery by a trained therapist. Parents and children were instructed to practice using the imaginative self-hypnosis procedure several times a day in preparation for the upcoming procedure. The therapist was also present during the procedure to conduct similar exercises with the child. The majority (83%) of those who were randomized to the routine care control group chose to participate in a hospital-provided recreation therapy program (offered as part of routine care). The program includes demonstration of the procedure with dolls, relaxation and breath work training, and assistance during the procedure. On the day of the VCUG, the RA met the family at the clinic before the procedure, and both the child and the parent rated the child’s present level of fearfulness. During the procedure, the RA recorded observational ratings of the child’s emotional tone and behavior and timed the overall procedure and its phases. Immediately after the VCUG, the child was asked how much crying, fear, and pain he or she had experienced during the procedure; the parent rated the child’s experience on the same dimensions and also how traumatic the procedure had been (both generally and compared with their previous one), and the medical staff rated the degree of procedural difficulty. Outcomes included child reports of distress during the procedure, parent reports of how traumatic the present VCUG was compared with the previous one, observer ratings of distress during the procedure, medical staff reports of the difficulty of the procedure overall, and total procedural time.
Results indicate significant benefits for the hypnosis group compared with the routine care group in the following 4 areas: (1) parents of children in the hypnosis group compared with those in the routine care group reported that the procedure was significantly less traumatic for their children compared with their previous VCUG procedure; (2) observational ratings of typical distress levels during the procedure were significantly lower for children in the hypnosis condition compared with those in the routine care condition; (3) medical staff reported a significant difference between groups in the overall difficulty of conducting the procedure, with less difficulty reported for the hypnosis group; and (4) total procedural time was significantly shorter-by almost 14 minutes-for the hypnosis group compared with the routine care group. Moderate to large effect sizes were obtained on each of these 4 outcomes.
Hypnotic relaxation may provide a systematic method for improving the overall medical care of children with urinary tract abnormalities and may be beneficial for children who undergo other invasive medical procedures. Because the VCUG is an essential part of the evaluation of urinary tract infections and vesicoureteral reflux in children, lower distress during the procedure may improve patient and family compliance with initial as well as follow-up evaluations. These findings augment the accumulating literature demonstrating the benefits of using hypnosis to reduce distress in the pediatric setting. The present findings are noteworthy in that this study was a controlled, randomized trial conducted in a naturalistic medical setting. In this context, we achieved a convergence of subjective and objective outcomes with moderate to large effect sizes, including those that may have an impact on patient care and procedure cost, that were consistently supportive of the beneficial effects of hypnosis-a noninvasive intervention with minimal risk. The findings, therefore, have immediate implications for pediatric care. Limitations of this study include the lack of participant and staff blindness to the child’s condition assignment, which could have introduced bias into reports. However, the objective procedural time differences between groups were consistent with the other, more subjective outcome findings. The sample was also small and primarily white in ethnic/racial makeup, which may have restricted our ability to detect some differences and may limit the generalizability of findings to more representative samples. In addition, the sample comprised children who had already undergone at least 1 VCUG during which they had had difficulty. Consequently, additional research is needed to determine whether hypnosis would be helpful to those who are undergoing their first VCUG. Additional limitations, clinical observations, and directions for future research are also discussed.
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]