Among post-menopausal women, who reported at least 50 hot flushes a week, five weekly hypnosis sessions cut their hot flushes by 74 percent, a 2013 study found. Meanwhile, women who did not receive hypnosis, but instead had weekly discussion sessions with a clinician, only experienced a 17 percent drop in hot flushes.
The study was conducted by researchers at Baylor University’s Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory and funded by the National Institutes of Health and proved that hypnosis is an effective treatment for menopause-related hot flushes and night sweats.
“Only hormone therapy is more effective for treating the most common symptoms of menopause,” said researcher Gary R. Elkins, PhD, but added that many women were worried about the consequences of such treatment.
“If you compare clinical hypnotherapy treatment with use of anti-depressants or other non-hormonal therapies, hypnotherapy works as well or better,” he said.
People suffering from hot flushes and night sweats are encouraged, while in a hypnotic state, to imagine stepping into a cool sea, or feeling a cool breeze on their skin, and then coached in self-hypnosis so that they can visualise the same body-cooling sensation when symptoms strike. The subconscious mind, and therefore the body, doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality, so the coolness becomes what a person experiences.
A panel of experts, commissioned by the North American Menopause Society concluded that there was solid evidence that clinical hypnotherapy was beneficial for sufferers of menopause symptoms, and far more than other products and therapies such as black cohosh, evening primrose oil, ginseng, yoga and acupuncture.
Dr Janet Carpenter, who led the expert panel for the North American Menopause Society, said: “Many women try one thing after another, and it is months before they stumble on an effective solution. This information will be critical in maximising the selection of clinical hypnotherapy as the most effective therapy.”
Menopause is a natural part of life but can provoke a variety of problem symptoms, including hot flushes and night sweats, vaginal dryness and infections, dizziness, mood swings, anxiety, depression, insomnia and headaches. Clinical hypnotherapy can improve quality of life by lessening all of these symptoms. To know more, please contact me.