The word “arthritis” is taken from the Greek words arthron, joint, and itis, inflammation. In other words, arthritis literally means “joint inflammation.”
Studies show that more than 75% of people with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, and other chronic inflammatory related diseases, experience significant pain relief when using hypnosis.
As well as symptom relief, hypnosis has also been found to reduce swelling and stiffness. Since the subconscious mind controls all of the circulatory, muscular, chemical, and hormonal actions, a person in hypnosis can be directed to produce chondrocytes, which increase the growth of healthy new cartilage. The more protection in the joints, the more comfort and mobility is created.
One extensive study focussed on the depression that is often connected with arthritis due to loss of physical ability. The study found that depression is significantly reduced for those who utilize hypnotherapy to deal with the pain and other symptoms of arthritis.
Clinical hypnotherapy helps people with arthritis via a number of methods, including visualisation and direct suggestion to reduce pain and inflammation, and to diminish the onset of the disease.
The power of suggestion and mental imagery is a tool all too often overlooked by physicians; yet it can be of immense help to sufferers of degenerative diseases such as Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. One sufferer claimed he eradicated his arthritis all together by visualising himself, every day, hoovering up ‘arthritic dust’ from between his joints. He said all symptoms of arthritis vanished in a month!
Another dramatic case was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. A 10 year-old girl had been diagnosed as having juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which had responded minimally to large doses of aspirin and physical therapy over a period of 7 weeks. The doctors decided to try hypnotherapy, and four hours after her second session, the girl was able to ride her bicycle and was free from pain. Two further reinforcing sessions were given and the girl remained well for the three years to the time of the report.
In another study [Biochemical Correlates of Hypnoanalgesia in Arthritic Pain Patients. Domangue BB; Margolis CG; Lieberman D; Kaji H – J Clin Psychiatry Jun 1985, 46 (6) p235-8,], levels of pain, anxiety, and depression, and plasma levels of beta-endorphin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, were measured in 19 arthritic pain patients, before and after hypnosis. Following hypnotherapy there were clinically and statistically-significant decreases in pain, anxiety, and depression, as well as increases in beta-endorphin-like immuno-reactive material. This confirms that hypnotherapy can play an important role in conquering the painful symptoms associated with arthritis.