Self-Hypnosis Helpful in Children With Chronic Dyspnea

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Feb 16 – Self-hypnosis appears to be a quick and effective approach to the management of chronic dyspnea in pediatric patients, according to findings published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

Dr. Ran D. Anbar, of the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, notes that hypnotherapy can be helpful in the management of anxiety and other conditions that can contribute to dyspnea.

To investigate the efficacy of self-hypnosis in this regard, Dr. Anbar, a pulmonologist, conducted a retrospective study of a total of 17 of his patients (mean age 13.4 years) who had had recurrent difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath for at least 1 month.

The patients had normal pulmonary function at rest and 12 had been diagnosed with other conditions, including five with asthma, five with allergies, and two with gastroesophageal reflux. In addition, 15 also had symptoms including apparent anxiety, chest tightness, cough, wheeze and difficulty with inspiration.

The circumstances were such, Dr. Anbar told Reuters Health, that “many patients were unlikely to achieve rapid improvement in their symptoms without the use of hypnotherapy.”

Accordingly, 16 of the patients underwent one or two individual 15- to 45-minute sessions in which hypnotic self-induction techniques were taught. Patients were encouraged to imagine their lungs changing from a dyspneic to a healthy state, and to practice and use the techniques when needed.

Although the average duration of dyspnea before learning self-hypnosis was 2 years, 13 of the patients “reported their dyspnea and any associated symptoms had resolved within 1 month of their final hypnosis instruction session.”

Dr. Anbar added that “it would be very difficult for me to practice medicine without use of hypnosis, because for some of my patients self-hypnosis is more likely to work than medications.”

Tanna Hoagland is a certified Hypnotherapist.

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Dr. Gnap

Dr. Gnap is a family practice physician and behavioral medicine specialist in suburban Chicago.  Dr. Gnap developed the Inner Control™ Program in 1970 and has worked with thousands of people to improve and correct medical, emotional, behavioral and learning problems including performance.  He started the Inner Control program because so many patients asked, “what more can be done along with traditional treatment methods?”

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