Hypnosis for hot flashes? Studies say yes

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 9.14.47 AMHypnosis is effective in significantly improving symptoms for menopausal hot flashes and fatigue, according to studies.  Experience here at ChangeWorks and reports of other prominent hypnotherapists we talk with in other parts of the country confirm this experience for clients in general.  While no one approach works the same way for everyone, hypnosis for hot flashes and fatigue associated with menopause and perimenopause has been shown effective in multiple studies, which have concluded hypnosis to provide “significant improvement” in the quality of sleep, reduction of the frequency and severity of hot flashes, and reduction of fatigue.

 

The abstract, or summary, of just one such study is printed below:

“The primary objective of this study was to observe the effect of hypnosis on hot flashes (HF) and overall quality of life in symptomatic patients. A secondary objective was to observe the effect of hypnosis on fatigue. Ten healthy volunteers and four breast cancer patients (total 14 patients) with symptoms of HF were treated with four, 1 h/wk sessions of hypnosis. The same physician, with the help of a nurse, conducted every session. All subjects recorded frequency, duration, and severity of HF in a HF diary. The QLQ-C30 and Brief Fatigue Inventory forms were used to assess the impact on quality of life and fatigue, respectively. The statistical evaluations were performed, including analysis of variance and nonparametric procedures. The frequency (p < 0.0001), duration (p < 0.0001), and severity (p < 0.0001) of HF were significantly reduced. The overall quality of life was also improved (p = 0.05). The subjects enjoyed better sleep and had less insomnia (p = 0.012).

There was a significant improvement on current fatigue level (p = 0.017), but we did not find a statistically significant reduction in the total fatigue level. We conclude that hypnosis appears to be a feasible and promising intervention for HF, with a potential to improve quality of life and insomnia.” Source: Mind control of menopause. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12732444 Womens Health Issues. 2003 Mar-Apr;13(2):74-8. Younus J, Simpson I, Collins A, Wang X. London Regional Cancer Centre, Ontario, Canada.

 

And another great thing about hypnosis–no side effects at all!  Hypnosis has been shown in numerous studies to improve sleep in general.  Hypnosis has been shown to reduce nightmares and night terrors; parasomnias such as bedwetting and sleep walking; and to improve the quality of sleep by increasing the slow brain wave portion of sleep, where you are sleeping deeply.  This part of sleep is critical, as this is when the body does its jobs of repairing, healing, and rebuilding.  It may be that the ability of hypnosis to increase the quality of deep sleep is what improves symptoms of fatigue, as well.

ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center has been asked to provide adjunct, referral based services for a number of sleep clinics in the Twin Cities area because of the positive, effective results our clients have had with hypnosis improving their sleep, improving their acceptance of CPAP masks, reduction of insomnia and more.  Below are just a couple of the testimonials we’ve received from clients presenting with sleep issues.

I find myself doing something right now that I probably would have bet hard-earned money that I WOULD NOT ever do. I am writing to tell you how hypnosis has CHANGED MY LIFE.

The reason I would have bet against this is that I never, ever in my life imagined I would see a hypnotist. I still am in disbelief, but the results seem to speak for themselves. For the past handful of years life has been just plain miserable. I work construction so I am up out of bed by 4 am and in the shop by 5 am and many days I work until 6 or 6:30 PM and usually at least 6 days a week. I was absolutely exhausted when I would get home from work. I would try to hit the sack by 8:30 but it always seems to work out to be closer to 9 or 9:30 PM. Even when I did get to bed, I never slept well. Several years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and I sleep using a CPAP mask. The CPAP mask was a huge improvement, but it added its own problems as well. Its uncomfortable an inconvenient to sleep with a CPAP mask on. And it seems no matter what I do, my mask leaks air throughout the night and that wakes me up several times a night. I was not getting anything near good sleep and nowhere near enough of it when I did sleep. I always felt run down, I never had any energy anymore which zapped my motivation and I was constantly tired and nodding off at inopportune times. My wife and kids said I became an unbearable grouch and no one wanted to be around me.

Fortunately my wife’s older sister knows EVERYTHING. Just ask her and she will tell you how and why she knows everything, when and where she learned it and from who. She harped and harped on my wife for weeks on end, how I should try hypnosis, she has friends at work and church who used hypnosis and on and on and on. So of course my wife took up the chorus… you should try hypnosis, what can it hurt. I promise I got so tired of hearing the two of them go on and on non-stop about hypnosis that I caved in and submitted to their harassment and told my wife to make me an appointment just to get the two of them to shut up. I figured I would have to give up half a day’s work and pay to make the appointment, but I was surprised you work on Saturdays which made it a lot more convenient.

So was I skeptical? Hell yes! What I had seen of hypnosis was on Saturday morning cartoons where the mad scientist swings a pocket watch or on old horror movies. I was actually a little disappointed that you didn’t have a pocket watch. On my first visit you told me you could help me and it would take six sessions and I would be back to sleeping like a baby. We just talked that entire first meeting. No trance, no chanting of “your eyes are getting heavy, you are getting very sleepy” my expectations from having seen this on TV were sadly shattered. That first session wasn’t so bad, and in fact it made me very curious to come back again to see what this is all about. You know this may sound like BS, but I actually started sleeping better THAT NIGHT. Like I told you in our second meeting, it was like someone flipped a switch and within a couple minutes of my head hitting the pillow I was asleep, and I slept through the night without waking up again and again. Normally I toss and turn in bed all night long, and when I wake up in the morning, my side of the bed is trashed.

Now I lay on my back and fall asleep and wake up in the morning in the same position and I can just pull the covers up and it doesn’t look like the bed was slept in. I don’t know how you did it. I have no idea what you did. It really felt like we were just sitting there shooting the breeze. It must be magic or you must add something to the water. All I know is it worked. I sleep great now! When I wake up I have my energy back, and I am not constantly dragging anymore. I know it has made a major difference, I live it and I feel it every day and I KNOW I owe it all to you. I’ll admit, heading into this I was totally a skeptic. I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. But let me tell you this, I now know that hypnosis works. I don’t know how it works, but then again I don’t know how a fax machine works – it just does. I will never know it all like my sister-in-law, but I know I will happily recommend hypnosis to anyone who will listen to me carry on and on about it. In fact I recommended one of my superintendents use hypnosis to quit smoking, you and I discussed that he has already been in contact with you. Thanks Jody, for what you have done for me, my family and my life. You gave it back to me, and for that I will forever be in your debt. I have never written one of these letters before, and I probably rambled on and on too much (maybe I should check with my sister-in-law, she;d know) but for what you have done for me, this is the very least I can do for you.

Please give my best to Cindy as well!

Best regards, Shawn Carlsson

P.S. It was really cool to hear you two talk about me on your radio show!

Jen, a client in the summer of 2012, came to us with Idiopathic Hypersomnia, a situation where she needed far more sleep than the average person. At 25 years old, it was ruining her ability to run her business, be happy in her marriage, and have the life she wanted, as she felt tired and sleepy all the time.  Listen to her story of how hypnosis found and eliminated the issue in her subconscious mind in her third session with Cindy:

 

And this testimonial is from another happy, well-rested client:

Struggles with extreme sleepiness during the day (dozing in meetings, whenever I sat down in the afternoon, and once, while driving) led me to a sleep clinic. After testing, I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea. This meant that I was stopping breathing up to 80 times an hour, and my oxygen levels were dipping dangerously low many times each night.

In the short term, this causes sleepiness during the day, which makes life difficult in many ways. In the long term it leads to a host of serious health problems. The treatment was a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, which blows air through a tube into a mask and down one’s airway all night, in order to keep the airway open. It’s a highly effective treatment, if used every time you sleep. However, my sleep doctor told me that only 50% of the patients who need it are able to tolerate it. I was sent home with the CPAP machine and its accoutrements, a few instructions on how to use it, and told I would need to use it for the rest of my life. In addition, I was told that a modem at the back of the machine would be reporting my daily usage to the sleep clinic, and if I didn’t use the machine at least four hours per night, my insurance would not pay for it.

Using a machine each night to help with breathing is a lifestyle change, and unfortunately I was one of the 50% for whom it did not happen easily. I struggled with feelings of claustrophobia, feeling like the machine was suffocating me and I was going to be unable to breathe. Five days into my attempts to use the machine, my dear dad passed away suddenly. Then my sorrow and disorientation over his death seemed to get intermingled with my feelings about the machine. I went back to the sleep clinic and tried a different mask. But I still struggled. I dreaded bedtime every night, and each night was a battle between the machine and me. I would try it for a while, then panic and rip the mask off. I looked into other possible alternatives to treat my sleep apnea, but none of them work very well for apnea as severe as mine. I had to find a way to use the CPAP machine comfortably, and the sleep clinic didn’t have anything else to offer me. I could tell that the feelings that I had about the machine were huge, and were not coming from my rational conscious mind. I decided to seek hypnosis, to see if, by working directly with my unconscious mind, I could learn to be more comfortable with the machine.

An online search led me to ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center, and to Jody Kimmel, my hypnotherapist. Jody was extremely sympathetic to my plight, and also confident that he could help me. He is absolutely passionate about helping people through hypnosis. He spent a lot of time with me, explaining how the unconscious mind works, and how hypnosis can help. I signed up for six sessions. Jody explained everything very thoroughly, so I was only a little bit nervous at my first hypnosis session. I found it to be a soothing, relaxing and interesting experience.

After the first hypnosis session, I was able to put the machine on and use it for a few hours at night. There were a few fits and starts over the next weeks, but by my third session, I was able to put the machine on with less distress, and use it every night. I am now at 25 consecutive nights, I no longer dread bedtime, and I am averaging 7 hours a night using the machine. I am far more comfortable with the machine and everything related to it, and I am feeling well rested for the first time in years. Jody has encouraged me to believe that this change will lead to other positive life changes, and I look forward to those with great anticipation!

I would recommend ChangeWorks for anyone who is struggling with CPAP use, or with any challenging lifestyle change. Six easy, comforting hypnosis sessions, and I am now able to easily do what I need to do for my long-term health and wellness.

Susan Kesselring pple Valley, MN

 

If your quality of sleep (or lack thereof) is creating problems in your life, and if you –like almost all of our clients– have tried “everything else” to solve the problem, call us.  Hypnosis works to improve sleep and is 100% side-effect free!  Why not make an appointment today for a free consultation? Call 953/356-0010.

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