This is an expert review of the experimental literature on the use of self-hypnosis in the treatment of anxiety and stress-related disorders, including anxiety associated with cancer, surgery, burns and medical/dental procedures. An overview of research is also provided with regard to self-hypnotic treatment of anxiety-related disorders, such as tension headaches, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome. The tremendous volume of research provides compelling evidence that hypnosis is an efficacious treatment for state anxiety (e.g., prior to tests, surgery and medical procedures) and anxiety-related disorders, such as headaches and irritable bowel syndrome.
D Corydon Hammond (2010) Hypnosis in the treatment of anxiety- and stress-related disorders, Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 10:2, 263-273
The Deep Relaxation Response, easily induced with self-hypnosis, induces genomic changes that can improve health and slow down aging.
In this study researchers provide compelling evidence that the deep relaxation response leads to specific gene expression changes for both short-term and long term practitioners. Psycho-social stress has been shown to lead to system-wide changes of cellular processes including the promotion of a pro-inflammatory milieu. Given this, the study is of interest for a range of health issues, including the slowing down of the aging process at the cellular level.
The deep relaxation response is easily induced with self-hypnosis.
Genomic Counter-Stress Changes Induced by the Relaxation Response
Dusek JA, Otu HH, Wohlhueter AL, Bhasin M, Zerbini LF, Joseph MG, et al. (2017) Correction: Genomic Counter-Stress Changes Induced by the Relaxation Response. PLoS ONE 12(2): e0172845. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172845
Published: February 21, 2017
Hypnosis, Stress and Immune System
Conclusion: The results provide encouraging evidence that hypnosis- relaxation can reduce detrimental immune function changes associated with acute stress .
"Ohio State University College of Medicine analyzed the effects of hypnotic-relaxation training on cellular immune function during a stressful event. Control subjects showed stress-related decreases in immune cell proliferative responses to two mitogens and percentages of CD3+ and CD4+ T-lymphocytes and interleukin-1 production by peripheral blood leukocytes. Subjects who underwent hypnosis-relaxation were, on average, protected from these immunological changes . More frequent hypnotic-relaxation practice resulted in higher percentages of CD3+ and CD4+ T-lymphocytes."
Kiecolt-Glaser JK et al. Hypnosis as a modulator of cellular immune dysregulation during acute stress. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 69 (4): 674-82. Aug 2001.
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