Over the years there have been a number of studies regarding the use of Hypnotherapy to help Patients with Cancer & indeed it has now secured it’s place along with many other complimentary therapies in many hospitals throughout the UK Christies hospital in Manchester is one of them!
Many Hospices also employ Hypnotherapists
Why people with cancer use hypnotherapy
As with many types of complementary therapy, one of the main reasons people with cancer use hypnotherapy is to help them relax and cope better with symptoms and treatment. Hypnotherapy can help people to feel more comfortable and in control of their situation.
People with cancer most often use hypnotherapy for sickness or pain. There is some evidence that hypnotherapy helps with these symptoms. It can also help with depression, anxiety and stress.
Some doctors and dentists have training in hypnotherapy. They may use this alongside conventional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Research Into people with cancer
Some reports show that hypnosis can help people to reduce their blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and pain. Hypnosis can create relaxing brain wave patterns. Some clinical trials have looked at how well hypnotherapy works for people with cancer.
Research has looked at the following areas
Hypnosis and cancer pain
A report from the American National Institute for Health in 1996 stated that hypnosis can help to reduce some kinds of cancer pain. A large review in 2006 looked at using hypnotherapy to control distress and pain from medical procedures in children with cancer. The review found that hypnotherapy did seem to help to reduce the children’s pain and distress, but it recommended more research. You can loook at this research on the Research Council for Complementary medicine website.
In 2012, researchers in Spain again reviewed studies of children with cancer and found that hypnosis appeared to help reduce pain and distress from cancer or from medical procedures.
Hypnosis and sickness
A large review in 2006 looked at research into hypnotherapy for feeling or being sick from chemotherapy. Most of the studies in this area have been in children. Overall, the studies did show that hypnotherapy might be able to help with chemotherapy sickness in children. There has only been 1 study looking at hypnotherapy for sickness after chemotherapy in adults, so we need more research into this. You can look at this review on the Research Council for Complementary medicine website.
One study found that hypnosis can help to reduce anticipatory nausea and vomiting. Anticipatory nausea or vomiting happens when people have had nausea or vomiting due to cancer drugs and they then have nausea or vomiting just before their next dose.
Hypnosis and hot flushes
A clinical trial in America in 2008 found that women having breast cancer treatment who had hypnosis had fewer hot flushes and the flushes were less severe. The women also had less anxiety, depression, and interference with daily activities, and better sleep.
Hypnosis and cancer surgery breast
A study in 2007 in America gave hypnotherapy to a group of women before breast surgery. The researchers found that hypnotherapy lowered the amount of pain, sickness, tiredness and upset that the women had after surgery. Another American study in 2006 found that hypnotherapy helped to lower anxiety and pain during a biopsy for suspected breast cancer.
Hypnotherapy for symptom control in advanced cancer
In 2005 researchers carried out a review of studies into hypnotherapy for treating symptoms in people with advanced cancer. There were 27 studies but all were small or of poor quality. So it is not possible to tell whether hypnotherapy can help people with advanced cancer. We need research to find this out.
Hypnotherapy for stopping smoking
People commonly use hypnotherapy to help them give up smoking. In 1992 a review showed that hypnotherapy was the most effective way of giving up smoking. But in 1998 another review by the Cochrane Collaboration looked again at this. There were several trials of hypnotherapy but there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that it helps people to give up.
Is hypnotherapy safe?
Hypnotherapy is generally very safe. Most people say that they have a positive experience with it. But some people report negative side effects, such as increased anxiety. The important thing is to make sure your therapist is qualified. And you can read our information below on who shouldn’t use hypnotherapy. Ask your hypnotherapist about any possible side effects.
Who shouldn’t use hypnotherapy
You shouldn’t use hypnotherapy with some medical conditions, as it could make them worse. These are Psychosis (a type of mental illness where people have a distorted view of what’s real and may see or hear things)
A personality disorder Epilepsy
If you have other types of mental health problems, or a serious illness such as cancer, you should always see a hypnotherapist who has experience of treating your condition.
Children under the age of 7 should only be hypnotised by a therapist who is trained in working with this age group.