Hypnosis for You: Now and Later

“Rather than take a temporary pill, self-hypnosis provides a life-time skill.”

This reminds me of a wonderful article, The Long-Term Follow-Up of Self-Hypnosis Training for Recurrent Headaches: What the Children Say, by Daniel Kohen, MD.*

In this article, Dr. Kohen described a series of former patients of his who had seen him 3-4 for treatment of migraine headaches.  Eleven years later, they were sent questionnaires and 52 of them were completed and returned.

Eighty-five per cent said that self-hypnosis (SH, also known as visualization or mental imagery) continued to provide relief, and 35% felt that self-hypnosis worked better and faster than medication!

In addition, 50% said that self-hypnosis helped with life stresses, helping them to:

  • Relax when tense
  • Relax before exams
  • Fall asleep
  • Decrease worrying
  • Calm themselves before sports
  • Calm themselves before music performance

For an example of this, and to see one of my very first patients whom I treated for migraine headaches, click here and scroll down to the second video.

In my own practice, I’ve seen countless patients recount similar stories, regardless of what their initial problem was.  And, patients with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and functional abdominal pain do better with self-hypnosis than with medication.

I am currently working with a group of medical students to send out questionnaires to my first 37 patients whom I treated for tics and Tourette syndrome. The original retrospective series, “Nonpharmacological Treatment of Tics in Tourette Syndrome Adding Videotape Training to Self-Hypnosis,” was published in 2010, and the results were quite robust:

Forty-six per cent achieved tic control with SH after 2 sessions, and 96% after 3 visits.

* Kohen, D.P. (2010). Long-term follow-up of self-hypnosis training for recurrent headaches: What the children say. Int J Clin Exp Hypn, 58(4):417-32.

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