Posts filed under hypnotherapy

Bringing Breathe Blogs Together

hypnotherapy rainbow

As Breathe Holistic Therapy has developed over the last 9 years I have introduced a number of specialised blogs with their own aim and focus including this hypnotherapy research blog.  This blog aims at reporting on  a wide spectrum of  hypnotherapy research.

Each of the blogs I've developed include information and interesting posts exploring subjects all relating to one thing: the work of Breathe Holistic Therapy and needs of the clients.  I have decided to consolidate all the blogs into one. I aim to make the posts more accessible and easier to find. All future posts sharing interesting pieces of hypnotherapy research will now be posted on the Breathe Therapy Blog.

All the previous posts will still remain published here and can be read or shared again, remaining available to you into the future.  I hope you find the single blog more accessible and continue to enjoy reading.

Posted on July 8, 2016 and filed under hypnotherapy, mindfulness.

Hypnobirthing Evidence summarised by Kidderminster Hypnotherapist Joanne Marie

Hypnobirthing training is available at Breathe Holistic Therapy. The full course is five hours training which is delivered on an individual (couple) basis. 

As a qualified nurse I always look for evidence to support the therapies I provide including hypnotherapy for childbirth. There are many studies available that explore the use of hypnotherapy in pregnancy and childbirth. I have summarised some below.

Increased movement of the baby in the uterus: Fuchs et al. (1987) evaluated the influence of maternal hypnosis, they noted a significant increase in foetal activity as a result. This, they believed was due to a reduction in maternal anxiety and improvement in placental blood perfusion.  Mothers who used hypnosis for anxiety and stress management had foetuses who moved in a much more active manner than a control group (Zimmer, Peretz, Eyal & Fuchs, 1988)

NICE guidelines: The National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidelines from April 2007, discussed the benefits of teaching relaxation and self help/coping strategies to pregnant women especially in reducing depression and anxiety for those who are vulnerable to suffering these mental health problems. 

Treatment of preterm labour: Hypnosis combined with conventional drug therapy can significantly prolong the duration of pregnancies threatened by premature labour. Omer (1987) found that adding hypnosis to the treatment regimen prolonged pregnancies an average of 18.8% longer than patients treated with medication alone. 

Hypnosis effects on turning foetuses from breech position:  One hundred pregnant women whose foetuses were in breech position at 37-40 weeks’ gestation used hypnosis; and a matched control group did not . 81% of breech babies were successfully turned  to a head down position in the hypnosis group compared with 48% in the control group. The success was thought to be down to psychophysiological factors which may influence the breech position. (Mehl, 1994)

Reduction in length of labour using hypnosis:  Jenkins and Pritchard (1993) found a reduction of 3 hours for first time mothers (from 9.3 hours to 6.4 hours) and 1 hour for women on second or subsequent labours (from 6.2 hours to 5.3 hours) for active labour (262 subjects and 600 controls). Pushing was statistically shorter for first time mothers (from 50 min to 37 min). These women were more satisfied with labour and reported other benefits of hypnosis such as reduced anxiety and help with getting to sleep.

Abramson and Heron (1950) & Gallagher (2001) found a shorter first stage of labour for 100 women trained with hypnosis (by 3.23 hours) compared to a control group of 88 women. 

Forty-five Hypnosis for Childbirth clients (first time mothers) had an average of 4.5 hours for the active labour, a significant reduction compared to the usual 9 hours. (Harmon, Hynan and Tyre, 1990)

Need for analgesia in child birth:  In a British study, 55% of 45 patients (first and second time mothers) required no medication for pain relief after training in hypnobirthing. In the other non-hypnosis groups, only 22% of 90 women required no medication. Two other research pieces reported on 1,000 consecutive births: 850 women used hypnotic analgesia resulting in 58 percent rate of no medication. Five other research pieces reported an incidence of 60 to 79 percent non-medicated births using hypnotherapy.     (Harmon, Hynan and Tyre, 1990)

An analysis using  data from 14 studies that included more than 1,400 women showed that hypnosis reduces the need for drug pain relief in labour, lessens the need for medications that augment labour and increases the number of spontaneous vaginal births (Smith et al., 2006)

Rates of Intervention: Thirty-eight out of forty-five Hypnosis for Childbirth mums, delivered spontaneously without the use of caesarean, forceps or venteuse. This rate of 84% is higher than the average rate of normal birth for the general population of first time mothers (Harmon, Hynan & Tyre, 1990)

Postnatal depression: McCarthy (1998) provided five 30-minute sessions of hypnosis to 600 women and found a virtual absence of postpartum depression, compared to the typical rates of 10 to 15 percent. Women with a history of postnatal depression did not develop this condition in the hypnosis group Harmon et al (1990) reported a reduced incidence of postnatal depression in women who had been taught hypnosis for child birth.

Lactation:  There are many studies documenting how hypnosis can be used to promote and to suppress lactation (August, 1961; Cheek & LeCron, 1968; Kroger 1977)           

If you would like any more information please do contact me


Posted on October 13, 2015 and filed under hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy and Pain Management Research

The use of hypnosis for pain relief has been explored in many research studies.

One area of study is the use of hypnosis for pain control during child birth. A study in 2002 (Bobart and Brown) found that over 60% of the women who received hypnotic training required no  anaesthetic medication compared to only 2.7 % of the women who had no hypnosis training. Also, only 5.5% of the hypnosis group required pain medication whereas 75% of the non hypnosis women needed anlagesia.  

An analysis of over 14 hypnobirthing studies, that included over 1400 women, concluded that hypnosis reduced the need for pain relief medication in labour whilst also increasing the number of spontaneous vaginal deliveries.   Women taught hypnosis had decreased requirements for analgesia including epidurals and they felt more satisfied with their pain management. 

A study published in 2004 (Jeffrey B. Feldman) looked at hypnosis and pain more generally. The conclusions suggest hypnosis should be considered as a powerful tool for many aspects of pain management:

   "Hypnosis therefore appears to be a potentially more potent clinical tool for pain management than approaches that do not use it (i.e. relaxation, cognitive-behavioral)."

A review in 2007  (Elkins etal) looked at a number of studies focusing on hypnosis for chronic pain. The research included conditions such as low back pain, arthritis and fibromyalgia.  After considering the studies they concluded that hypnosis had a significant role to play in the management of chronic pain:

"The current review indicates that hypnotic interventions for chronic pain results in significant reductions in perceived pain that, in some cases, may be maintained for several months. Further, in a few studies, hypnotic treatment was found to be more effective, on average, than some other treatments, such as physical therapy or education, for some types of chronic pain."

The American Psychological Association also reviewed a number of research studies looking at the use of hypnosis for pain management, also called hypno-analgesia.  They concluded:

"A meta-analysis (a study of studies) in 2000 of 18 published studies by psychologists Guy Montgomery, PhD, Katherine DuHamel, PhD, and William Redd, PhD, showed that 75% of clinical and experimental participants with different types of pain obtained substantial pain relief from hypnotic techniques. Thus, hypnosis is likely to be effective for most people suffering from diverse forms of pain, with the possible exception of a minority of patients who are resistant to hypnotic interventions"

In 2009 (Donald Roberston) the evidence for the use of hypnosis for pain relief was explored. They concluded that there were effective empirically supported evidence for the use of hypnosis for pain including pain in surgery and cancer treatment. 

There are very many more  studies exploring the use of hypnotherapy for chronic and short term pain. Pain is both physical and psychological and consequently, as research supports, can be influenced by therapies such as hypnotherapy. The video below shows hypnosis for pain management in action. The video shows a women having throat surgery without anaesthetic  to allow her to sing to preserve her vocal chords. 

Posted on October 7, 2015 and filed under hypnotherapy.

Hypnosis and the Menopause


Hypnosis can help beat some of the misery of menopause according to a recent evidence from the NAMS.

A report published this week concluded that hypnotherapy was more effective at managing the symptoms of the menopause than many commonly used therapies. Hypnosis came out as a complementary therapy that actually reduced symptoms such as hot flushes. A study cited showed that women having regular hypnosis experienced a dramatic reduction in hot flushes.

 Having reviewed the results of many rigorous studies the North American Menopause Society concluded that hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy had be proven to be effective. The report found that herbal remedies gave no noticeable positive results. 

Dr Janet Carpenter, an expert for the North American Menopause Society, said:

Many women try one thing after another, and it is months before they stumble on something that truly works. This information will be critical in maximising the selection of the most effective therapies.”  “The menopause is not an illness, it’s a transition,” she said. “It’s not like you can just take a pill for it because it is as much about your emotional and spiritual well being, especially your self confidence as you age and your changing role when the kids are leaving home."

From 50 to 80 percent of women in North America approaching menopause try non-hormonal therapies for hot flushes. Many don't really work according the NAMS, and sticking with those therapies can just prolong the misery. With little guidance on what does work, many women just experiment with products or suffer. The new research conclusions give women a better informed choice about what treatments to try.

If you would like to know more about hypnotherapy please do not hesitate to contact me



Posted on September 28, 2015 and filed under hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy and ME / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


ME explored by Kidderminster hypnotherapist Joanne Marie

The NHS use the term Chronic fatigue Syndrome for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) causes many symptoms including persistent fatigue (exhaustion) that affects everyday life and does not go away with sleep or rest. Myalgia means muscle pain and encephalomyelitis means inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Both CFS and ME are commonly used terms.  

Most cases of CFS are mild or moderate, but up to one in four people with CFS have severe symptoms. Those severely affected are able to carry out minimal daily tasks, such as brushing teeth, but have significantly reduced mobility; and may also have difficulty concentrating.  Many experiencing CFS often talk about their brain feeling as if it is in a whirl of fog, with dizziness also being a feature.

Unfortunately there is currently no accepted cure and no universally effective treatment. Those treatments which have helped reduce particular symptoms in some people have unfortunately proved ineffective or even counterproductive in others (M.E. Association website accessed Jan 2015).  

The NHS recommends a number of treatments to help with the condition . These include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help people to accept the diagnosis, challenge thoughts that could prevent symptoms improving and to try to increase a sense of control over symptoms. 

Hypnotherapy has been explored as a complementary therapy to assist with managing the symptoms of ME. A study in 1997 found self hypnosis successful for some subjects with CFS .but others did find it difficult to practice self hypnosis even with the help of an audiotape. This small study did, however, find generally positive results when using hypnotherapy to manage symptoms of CFS. The author concluded:    
 “The striking point about the cases reported here is the degree of control facilitated by hypnosis over the feelings of fatigue and myalgia that characterize CFS. There is a need for a randomized controlled study on the effectiveness of hypnotic intervention in CFS, as has recently been conducted with relaxation. Possibly, however, hypnosis will be most effective as an adjunct to other interventions, such as cognitive behaviour therapy, as it has been with other complaints.”
(‘Hypnosis and the chronic fatigue syndrome: a case study’. Vernon H Gregg and David Jones. Contemporary Hypnosis (1995), Vol. 12, No. 2, p.p.87-91.

In "Coping with Chronic fatigue Syndrome" Dr Friedberg suggests the use of hypnotherapy in relation to a number of symptoms such as low self esteem, stress, anxiety and loss of self confidence.  He recognises that treatment is largely in the realms of traditional medical care but advises that hypnosis and meditation can be a welcome addition to the welfare of any individual with ME. 

If you would like more information please so contact me.

Posted on August 19, 2015 and filed under hypnotherapy.

Mindfulness Research


Mindfulness has been researched extensively and there are many quality studies available showing it's variety of benefits. 

Evidence shows that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy can, on average, reduce the risk of relapse for people who experience recurrent depression by 43%. Research also suggests that it’s particularly effective for vulnerable groups who are more likely to relapse (J Williams et al, “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Preventing Relapse in Recurrent Depression: A Randomized Dismantling Trial”, 2013.).  The evidence is so robust that the National Institute for Clinical and Health Excellence (NICE) recommends it for all people who have had two or more depressive episodes.

Research into individuals with “problematic” levels of stress found significant improvement in perceived levels of stress over the course of a mindfulness stress reduction program. The findings of this research were consistent with other studies. (RA Baer et al, “Weekly change in mindfulness and perceived stress in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program”, 2012).

 A limited amount of research into mindfulness during pregnancy has shown encouraging results on the positive impact of mindfulness, finding ‘significantly’ reduced anxiety (C Vieten, “Effects of a mindfulness-based intervention during pregnancy on prenatal stress and mood: results of a pilot study”, 2007).

There is evidence that mindfulness can help individuals with insomnia. A subject in the study described changes thus; “Maria discovered ....... the principles and practices of mindfulness meditation allow for sleep to unfold rather than increasing efforts to clear the mind or try harder to make sleep happen.”  (J Ong et al  “ A mindfulness –based approach to the treatment of insomnia” , 2010).

Mindfulness has been researched as an intervention for pain management. A randomised control study concluded “Mind-body therapies such as the MBSR program are a promising non-pharmacologic adjunct to current pain treatment for older adults. However, larger more rigorous trials must be undertaken to convincingly demonstrate their effectiveness.”  (N. Morone et al “Mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic low back pain in older adults: A randomized controlled pilot study”, 2008).

My experiences of mindfulness are of course anecdotal but you can read a little about my use of mindfulness in our therapy blog.

Posted on June 8, 2015 and filed under hypnotherapy, mindfulness.