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Is hypnotherapy credible?

  1. Mar 29, 2008 #1
    I'm vaguely familiar with hypnotherapy and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming).

    Are there any papers published in prestigious journals on this subject? Or is this crackpot stuff.

    I've heard that a potential cause of allergy may be anchoring allergic reaction to pollen when experiencing trauma. That way, a person's allergic reaction will be triggered when being exposed to pollen.

    Furthermore hypnotherapy claims, since allergy is all in your head it may be cured with NLP.

    Is this for real?
     
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  3. Mar 29, 2008 #2

    Danger

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    I don't know about allergies or other chronic problems.
    What I can say is that I've used self-hypnosis on a regular basis, and it works great. It doesn't cure the problem, but does let one cope with it better. My main example is when I had to play a baseball tournament with a broken finger. I just sat in the stands (oxymoron?) for a few minutes before each game and convinced myself that any pain stimulus would be interpreted as heat. Every time that I caught a ball or made contact as a batter, it felt as if I'd dipped my hand into hot water.
    (I wear my mitt on my left hand, because it's quicker than my right, and it was a finger on the right that was broken, but I alway try to catch with 2 hands, which is why I noticed the impact of a caught ball.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2008
  4. Mar 29, 2008 #3

    Moonbear

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    Can you provide any credible support for the premise that allergy is psychosomatic? Allergy is a dysfunction of the immune system. I don't know if there's any credibility to hypnotherapy for some things (perhaps better coping with the symptoms of allergy), but it's not going to fix your immune system.
     
  5. Mar 30, 2008 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    I do find published papers by doing a Google Scholar search. For example,

    http://gut.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/28/4/423
     
  6. Mar 30, 2008 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2133.1995.tb00726.x
     
  7. Mar 30, 2008 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&uid=1152761&cmd=showdetailview&indexed=google
     
  8. Mar 30, 2008 #7

    Moonbear

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    That first one on IBS is the most surprising outcome of the three references you posted. I would have expected the group with known psychopathology to be the one that responded best to hypnotherapy rather than the group with more classic symptoms. It makes you wonder how much of a psychopathology exists but hasn't been properly identified in that group for something like hypnotherapy to work.

    The last one on asthma is more of what I would have anticipated, that it would alleviate the psychological (psychosomatic) components of illnesses.

    The question that I don't know about is HOW does it work. Is it a placebo effect? Are other coping skills introduced during the sessions? Is there really a hypnotic state that can be induced and has some beneficial outcomes, or makes people more receptive to learning coping skills?
     
  9. Mar 30, 2008 #8
    I'm not sure if this is credible, but interesting if so

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0ISW/is_274/ai_n16359703
     
  10. Mar 30, 2008 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    I also wonder what exactly constitutes "hynotherapy". Have there been controlls where hypnosis is used but not targeted towards a specific goal? Could this simply be a matter of stress reduction?
     
  11. Mar 30, 2008 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    That would be a pretty impressive placebo! The age dependence is interesting though.

     
  12. Mar 30, 2008 #11

    lisab

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    Danger, I've done this same exact thing! Only I try to feel pain as cold. It works really well for me on sharp, acute pain. It didn't work at all during childbirth, though :eek: .

    It also depends on how stressed or fearful I am at the time. Too much stress or fear, and I can't "switch" the pain to cold.
     
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