Gut-directed group hypnotherapy improved quality of life in patients with IBS

Patients with refractory irritable bowel syndrome indicated better illness-related quality of life after undergoing gut-directed group hypnotherapy in addition to medical treatment in a recent study.

tumblr inline mmya2z2s5p1qz4rgp Gut directed group hypnotherapy improved quality of life in patients with IBS

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Researchers randomly assigned 100 adult patients with refractory IBS to receive either supportive talks with medical treatment (SMT, controls) or to undergo 10 weekly 45-minute sessions of gut-directed group hypnotherapy (GHT) within 12 weeks, in addition to SMT. Patients’ quality of life was measured via the 26-item IBS impact scale (IBS-IS) before and after intervention, and after 12 months of follow-up. General quality of life, psychological status and changes to individual IBS symptoms also were assessed.

article 2213293 0002EC6100000C1D 592 468x393 Gut directed group hypnotherapy improved quality of life in patients with IBS

Intervention was performed in 46 GHT cases and 44 controls. More than half (60.8%) of the GHT group experienced improved quality of life compared with 40.9% of SMT controls (P=.046). During 12 months of follow-up, 54.3% of the GHT group had sustained improvement compared with 25% of the SMT group (P=.004).

Severe IBS, as indicated by IBS-IS scores of 4 or lower, was observed in 76.1% of GHT patients and 75% of the SMT group at baseline. After 5 weeks, 71.7% of GHT patients scored greater than 4 (indicating mild-to-moderate IBS) compared with 40% of the SMT group. Changes to IBS-IS were statistically significant over time only for GHT recipients (P=.007). Binary regression analysis incorporating age, sex or IBS type and duration indicated that only GHT intervention was predictive of improvement within the treatment period (OR=2.5, 95% CI, 1.1-5.8).

ID 10076296 1 Gut directed group hypnotherapy improved quality of life in patients with IBS

Both groups experienced reductions in abdominal pain, flatulence and constipation. GHT patients indicated significantly better quality of life via Short Form (36) Health Survey (P=.006) and better physical well being (P=.023), psychological well being (P=.046) and life satisfaction (P=.049) upon treatment completion compared with SMT.

“GHT is highly effective, even in treatment-refractory IBS, and is superior to SMT alone,” the researchers concluded. “Given that IBS drug developments have been disappointing, GHT is a useful and harmless therapy option with no side effects. It can be learned and provided by specialized physicians, psychologists and psychotherapists, and can be made available for more patients with severe and/or refractory IBS in specialized centers.”

Happy appy: The new iPhone app that offers self-hypnosis to brighten your mood and even help you lose weight

Could popping pills for everything from lowering stress levels to curbing your appetite become a thing of the past?
Perhaps, thanks to a new generation of iPhone apps – or at least that’s what their makers claim.

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The developers of new app

Digipill (available from the iTunes store) claim it ‘uses psychoacoustics to unlock your 

subconscious and change your perception’.

In fact, it is a prettily packa

ged 2013 spin on an old technique: each of 13 ‘pills’ (from 69p to £4.99) are 15 to 30-minute self-hypnosis audio recordings.
There’s T-break, a 13-minute ‘prescription’ for relaxation; Slim To Thin, a track to boost motivation; and the 26-minute Closure for moving on from difficult emotional situations.

So far so gimmicky, but I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve my mood that don’t involve wine, chocolate or shopping, so I pay £2.49 and download the Man Magnet pill, which promises to make me feel irresistible.
I pop on my headphones, hit play and hear some pleasant tinkly music and the dulcet tones of self-help guru Brian Colbert, imploring me to ‘ready myself to ride the winds of change’.
Be warned: if you are allergic to anything New Age, a Digipill can have serious side-effects, such as a desire to smash your phone into the wall.
 Happy appy: The new iPhone app that offers self hypnosis to brighten your mood and even help you lose weight

Happy appy: The latest iPhone app called Digipill claims to brighten up your mood and help you feel more relaxed
Happy appy: The latest iPhone app called Digipill claims to brighten up your mood and help you feel more relaxed

However, if you approach it with an open mind, it’s a pleasant experience. I’m not sure I felt sexier after listening to this 20-minute track, but I did feel more relaxed and happier.
Even better, when I listened to Sleep Deeply before going to bed, I woke up eight hours later after my best night’s sleep in weeks.
Digipills certainly aren’t a threat to Boots or a saviour for the NHS, but they’re cheaper and more accessible than pricey sessions with a hypnotherapist.

A hypnotic suggestion can generate true and automatic hallucinations

A multidisciplinary group of researchers from Finland (University of Turku and University of Helsinki) and Sweden (University of Skövde) has now found evidence that hypnotic suggestion can modify processing of a targeted stimulus before it reaches consciousness. The experiments show that it is possible to hypnotically modulate even highly automatic features of perception, such as color experience. The results are presented in two articles published in PLoS ONE and International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. The nature of hypnotically suggested changes in perception has been one of the main topics of controversy during the history of hypnosis. The major current theories of hypnosis hold that we always actively use our own imagination to bring about the effects of a suggestion. For example the occurrence of visual hallucinations always requires active use of goal directed imagery and can be experienced both with and without hypnosis.

consciousness2 A hypnotic suggestion can generate true and automatic hallucinations

The study published in PLoS ONE was done with two very highly hypnotizable participants who can be hypnotized and dehypnotized by just using a one-word cue. The researchers measured brains oscillatory activity from the EEG in response to briefly displayed series of red or blue shapes (squares, triangles or circles). The participants were hypnotized and given a suggestion that certain shapes always have a certain color (e.g. all squares are always red). Participant TS-H reported constantly experiencing a change in color immediately when a suggested shape appeared on the screen (e.g. seeing a red square when the real color was blue). The researchers found that this experience was accompanied with enhanced high-frequency brain activity already 1/10 second after the stimulus appeared and it was only seen in response to the shapes mentioned in the suggestion. The second participant did not experience the color change or the enhanced activity. However, she reported a peculiar feeling when a suggestion-relevant shape was presented: “sometimes I saw a shape that was red but my brain told me it had a different color.”

This enhanced oscillatory brain activity is proposed to reflect automatic comparison of input to memory representations. In this case the hypnotic suggestion “all squares are red” led to a memory trace that was automatically activated when a square was presented. Furthermore, for the participant TS-H the effect was strong enough to override the real color of the square. The matching must have occurred preconsciously because of the early timing of the effect and the immediacy of the color change. Also, both participants reported having performed under posthypnotic amnesia without conscious memory of the suggestions.

In the article published in International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis TS-H was tested in a similar type of setting, however, only behavioral data, including accuracy and response times in color recognition, were collected. These results further support that a hypnotic suggestion affects her color perception of targeted objects before she becomes conscious of them. Furthermore, TS-H was not capable of changing her experience of visually presented stable images without the use of hypnotic suggestions i.e. by using mere mental imagery.

let A hypnotic suggestion can generate true and automatic hallucinations

Importantly, both of these experiments were done by using a posthypnotic suggestion. The effect was suggested during hypnosis but the experience was suggested to occur after hypnosis. Thus all the experiments were carried out while participants were in their normal state of consciousness.

This result indicates that all hypnotic responding can no longer be regarded merely as goal directed mental imagery. It shows that in hypnosis it is possible to create a memory trace that influences early and preconscious stages of visual processing already about 1/10 second after the appearance of a visual target. This result has important implications in psychology and cognitive neuroscience especially when studying visual perception, memory and consciousness.

The Finnish part of the research is funded by the Academy of Finland.

Hyp hyp Holloway! Palace in a trance as boss calls in hypnotherapist ahead of big Premier League kick-off

After eight years away from the Premier League, Crystal Palace shouldn’t need much motivation ahead of their season opener with Tottenham on Sunday week.
But manager Ian Holloway – taking no chances – has had his players hypnotised before the big match to ensure they’re psychologically sharp.
Former world boxing champ Glenn Catley, now a qualified hypnotherapist, has been visiting the club regularly since the players returned for pre-season training last month.

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Hyphyp Holloway: Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has called in hypnotherapist and former boxing champ Glenn Catley (below) to ensure his side are psychologically ready for their return to the Premier League.

Hyp hyp Holloway: Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has called in hypnotherapist and former boxing champ Glenn Catley (below) to ensure his side are psychologically ready for their return to the Premier League
Hyp hyp hooray: Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has called in hypnotherapist and former boxing champ Glenn Catley (below) to ensure his side are psychologically ready for their

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 return to the Premier League
Catley, 41, held the WBC super-middleweight title 13 years ago, bumped into old friend Holloway while out walking the dog and was given the responsibility of preparing Palace for their first season back in the top flight.
He told The Independent: ‘I underwent hypnotherapy for 10 years in my boxing career. When I retired eight years ago, I took a course in clinical psychotherapy, hypnosis and sports psychology in Bristol.
‘Two months ago I was out walking the dog and bumped into Ian, a good friend from way back in the west country where we both live.

Entranced: The Palace squad have been undergoing the hypnotherapy sessions since returning to pre-season training last month
Entranced: The Palace squad have been undergoing the hypnotherapy sessions since

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returning to pre-season training last month
‘After talking to him about what I did, he invited me to meet with his players. He told me they have all the talent but psychologically they were letting a few demons creep in.’
Catley added: ‘Now I see them for a few days every week, including the first team squad. We work on a one-to-one basis and part of the therapy is to hypnotise them, putting them in a trance.
‘I think it helps to eliminate many psychological problems.’

The Science of Hypnosis

Hypnosis has been around for centuries. It’s been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and pain. Yet the practice is still struggling for mainstream public acceptance. New research from Stanford University is applying the latest medical imaging tools to figure out the science behind hypnosis, and what makes it work. Youth Radio’s Chantell Williams wanted to know what hypnosis can do for stressed out teens.

First, here’s what hypnosis isn’t: it’s not brainwashing or magic like in the cartoons. Hypnosis is a trance-like state of heightened concentration and it’s more common than you might think. Katie Duchscherer, a psychology major at Stanford University, says, “If you’ve ever really gotten into reading a book or watching a television show and the rest of the world around you has sort-of gone away. Hypnosis is very similar to that.”

HypnosisResize The Science of Hypnosis

Katie uses self hypnosis to control her anxiety in stressful situations. During a test she takes a few deep breaths, goes to a different place mentally and tells herself, “I’m going to use this adrenaline in my system to feel focused for the test.”

Katie learned to hypnotize herself from Dr. David Spiegel, the Associate Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. He defines hypnosis as being to consciousness what a telephoto lens is to a camera.

Dr. Spiegel says what Katie’s doing is different from meditation or other self-soothing techniques. She’s easing muscle tension, relaxing non essential parts of her mind, and zooming in on the problem in front of her, leaving only her and the test. Katie has apparently mastered the art hypnosis. But not everyone has the ability to be hypnotized. Dr. Spiegel is using brain scans to research why that is.

A team of researchers, including Dr. Spiegel, used fMRI to show the different “brain signatures” of high and low hypnotizable people. They found a higher connectivity between different brain regions in highly hypnotizable people. (Hoeft et al., Functional Brain Basis of Hypnotizability, 2012)
A team of researchers, including Dr. Spiegel, used fMRI to show the different “brain signatures” of high and low hypnotizable people. They found a higher connectivity between different brain regions in highly hypnotizable people. (Hoeft et al., Functional Brain Basis of Hypnotizability, 2012)

Picture 4 The Science of Hypnosis

Dr. Spiegel says hypnotizability is partly due to childhood experiences. “Children whose parents are physically abusive tend to be more hypnotizable, and we think that’s because they use their brains in an escape,” Spiegel explains.

Positive childhood experiences also contribute to hypnotizabiltiy. Spiegel says, children who have parents who tell stories and use their imaginations a lot tend to like to keep doing that.

I was a pretty imaginative kid, so I couldn’t help but wonder, could hypnosis work on me? I found a free video by Googling “self hypnosis.” It told me to close my eyes and think about being twice as physically and mentally relaxed. But I couldn’t stop thinking, twice as relaxed? What does it mean to be twice as relaxed?

I really thought hypnosis would work for me. Maybe, with a little training from Dr. Spiegel. He says, “hypnosis is literally the oldest western conception of a psycho-therapy. It’s been around for close to 300 years but we still keep viewing it as weird.”

Weird or not, if I could use hypnosis to help me through my finals, count me in.