Hypnosis Controls Dyspnea: Study

Over 80% of children participating in a study of treating children suffering from Dyspnea by teaching them self-hypnosis remained symptom free at the conclusion of the study 9 months after their last hypnosis session. The remaining children reported that their symptoms had improved.

Dyspnea is a disease of the airway, lungs, or heart. It is characterized by difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and painful breathing. The disease is often diagnosed with a physical exam, but a doctor may need the help of chest radiographs or an ECG (electrocardiograph). A complete medical history should also be evaluated.

The study was reported in the journal Pediatrice. In the report researchers noted that 16 children each of whom had been diagnosed with chronic Dsypnea, participated in the study. All of the participants in the study had previously received medical intervention, but it had been unsuccessful. All patients had their lung function tested at rest and all received a normal rating. Participants ranged in age from 8 to 18 years.

All participants were taught self-hypnosis in one or two 15 to 45 minute sessions. Under hypnosis, they were told to imagine their lungs being healthy and being able to breath easily without pain. In addition to the sessions, patients were to use self hypnosis in their every day lives and to use the techniques they learned in the sessions.

The study concluded that one of the reasons why hypnotherapy was so successful in this study was that many of the participants had dyspnea due to anxiety disorders. Hypnosis and self-hypnosis helped these patients reduce their anxiety associated with dyspnea and thus reduced or eliminated their dyspnea symptoms. Of the seven patients who were on anti-inflammatory medication, two were able to discontinue use of the medication with success.

Hypnosis is a very helpful form of therapy in children diagnosed with chronic dyspnea.

Reference: Pediatrics. Vol. 107 No. 2 February 2001, p. e21.