Anxiety Reduction Among Breast Cancer Survivors Receiving Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy for Hot Flashes

Anxiety is common among breast cancer survivors. This analysis examined the effect of a hypnotic relaxation therapy, developed to reduce hot flashes, on anxiety levels of female breast cancer survivors. Anxiety was assessed using a numeric analog scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Anxiety subscale. Significant reductions in anxiety were found from pre- to postintervention for each weekly session and were predictive of overall reductions in anxiety from baseline to after the last intervention. In this analysis, hypnotizability did not significantly predict for anxiety reductions measured before and after each session or from baseline to exit. These data provide initial support for the use of hypnotic relaxation therapy to reduce anxiety among breast cancer survivors.

Self-Hypnosis and Local Anesthesia for Dental Pain Relief-Alternative or Adjunct Therapy? A Randomized, Clinical Crossover Study

This prospective randomized clinical crossover trial was designed to compare self-hypnosis and local anesthesia for experimental dental pain relief. Pain thresholds of the dental pulp were determined. A targeted standardized pain stimulus was applied and rated on the Visual Analogue Scale (0-10). The pain threshold was lower under self-hypnosis (58.3 ±17.3)(p < .001), maximal (80.0) under local anesthesia. The pain stimulus was scored higher under self-hypnosis (3.9 ±3.8) than with local anesthesia (0.0)(p < .001). Local anesthesia was superior to self-hypnosis and is a safe and effective method for pain relief in dentistry. Self-hypnosis seems to produce similar effects observed under sedation. It can be used in addition to local anesthesia and in individual cases as an alternative for pain control in dentistry.

Effects of Positive Suggestions on the Need for Red Blood Cell Transfusion in Orthopedic Surgeries

This study examined whether positive suggestions applied without a hypnotic induction in the perioperative period reduces the need for red blood cell transfusions in patients who underwent total hip or knee arthroplasties with spinal anesthesia. No hypnotic assessment was performed. Ninety-five patients were randomly assigned to the suggestion group (n = 45) and to the control group (n = 50). Patients in the suggestion group received verbal suggestions before and audiotaped suggestions during the surgery for reducing blood loss, anxiety, postoperative pain, and fast recovery. Our study showed that using positive suggestions in the perioperative period significantly decreases the necessity for transfusion.

Pilot Investigation of a Virtual Gastric Band Hypnotherapy Intervention

This 24-week long pilot investigation of 30 men and women with a BMI > 27kg/m2 aimed to determine whether virtual gastric band (VGB) hypnotherapy has an effect on weight loss in overweight adults, compared to relaxation hypnotherapy and a self-directed diet. Levels of weight loss and gain ranged from -17kg to +4.7kg in the VGB hypnotherapy group and -9.3kg to +7.8kg in the relaxation group. There was no significant difference between VGB hypnotherapy as a main effect on weight loss (Chi2 = 0.67, p = .41, df = 1) and there was no evidence of differential weight loss over time (Chi2 = 4.2, p = .64, df = 6). Therefore, the authors conclude that there was no significant difference between VGB hypnotherapy and the relaxation hypnotherapy.

Effects of a Hypnotic Induction and an Unpleasantness-Focused Analgesia Suggestion on Pain Catastrophizing to an Experimental Heat Stimulus: A Preliminary Study

Pain catastrophizing is associated with greater levels of pain. While many studies support the efficacy of hypnosis for pain, the effect on pain catastrophizing remains unclear. The present study evaluated the effect of hypnosis on pain catastrophizing using experimental heat stimulation. Twenty-two pain patients engaged in 3 conditions: baseline (no suggestion), hypnotic induction, and hypnotic induction plus analgesia suggestion. Participants with higher baseline pain showed a significant reduction in rumination following hypnotic induction plus analgesia suggestion and significant reductions in pain due to both the hypnotic induction alone and the hypnotic induction plus analgesia suggestion. The findings suggest that unpleasantness-focused hypnotic analgesia reduces pain via its effect on the rumination component of pain catastrophizing.

Breast Biopsy: The Effects of Hypnosis and Music

The authors evaluated the efficacies of audio-recorded hypnosis with background music and music without hypnosis in the reduction of emotional and physical disturbances in patients scheduled for breast biopsy in comparison with a control group. A total of 75 patients were randomly assigned to 3 different groups and evaluated at baseline and before and after breast biopsy using visual analog scales of stress, pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, optimism, and general well-being. The results showed that before breast biopsy, the music group presented less stress and anxiety, whereas the hypnosis with music group presented reduced stress, anxiety, and depression and increased optimism and general well-being. After the biopsy, the music group presented less anxiety and pain, whereas the hypnosis group showed less anxiety and increased optimism.

A Short Profile of Hypnotherapy Licensure in Israel

In Israel, only physicians, dentists, and psychologists who complete an accredited licensing process may practice hypnosis. This study examines the characteristics of hypnotherapists compared to nonhypnotherapists in the same discipline. All hypnotherapists in Israel were compared to nonhypnotherapist health professionals. There are more subspecialists among hypnotists, and the most common specialties were psychiatry, pediatric dentistry, and clinical psychology. These findings imply self-sorting of hypnotists, as a result of the regulation in Israel. Licensure of hypnotherapists could be useful in other countries, by comprehensive follow-up of all licensed hypnotists, and by improving public and health professional perceptions of the field and its relevance to clinical practice