Hypnosis has long been used for pain relief and pain management, and now researchers have gathered some insight into how it may actually work. German researchers teamed up with scientists at the University of Iowa and used a heating device on the skin of 12 healthy subjects, determining a pain threshold for each person. Afterward the painful heat was applied two times, once when the person was in a normal state and once when hypnotized. Both times, researchers measured brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Addiction experts say smoking is a habit more formidable than cocaine or heroin. Of the 46 million American adults who indulge, close to three-quarters of them say they want to quit, and nearly half of those hooked make at least one annual attempt to curb the habit. Yet even when their addiction confines them to tiny, dark rooms or takes them outside in sub-zero temperatures, dedicated smokers can’t seem to restrain their impulse to light up.
Hypnotherapy can relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for at least five years, according to findings published in the November issue of Gut. While several studies in recent years have proven hypnotherapy provides short-term relief from IBS, which affects nearly 12 percent of the U.S. population, the new study proves long-term benefits — great news for those who experience the diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, lethargy, and bloating associated with the condition.
Researchers from the University of Mississippi Medical Center found some alternative therapies can assuage sufferers of migraine headaches. Of the remedies tested (biofeedback training, hypnosis, stress-management therapy and relaxation training), the most effective proved to be an integration of behavioral treatments with drug therapies. These therapies consist of both clinic-based and home-based interventions. The latter approach teaches patients how to develop self-help skills at home.