Hypnotherapy and pain relief
Researchers at the Department of Anaesthesiology, Hospital Cantonal Universitaire of Geneva, Switzerland investigated and compared the analgesic effect of hypnotherapy with acupuncture.
Before each session the amount of pain they could feel was assessed, then pain was induced by the use of a cold pressor on a number of volunteers. A placebo and naloxone – a chemical analgesic were used as well as acupuncture and hypnosis to get a full cross comparison of results.
The results showed that pain intensity was significantly lower with hypnotherapy as compared with acupuncture, and the pain scores did not differ significantly when naloxone or placebo was administered.
Conclusions by the medical team were that Hypnosis was most effective, followed by acupuncture and little difference between naloxone and placebo.
Moret V; Forster A; Laverriere MC; Lambert H; Gaillard RC; Bourgeois P; Haynal A; Gemperle M; Buchser E . Mechanism of analgesia induced by hypnosis and acupuncture: is there a difference? Pain (NETHERLANDS) May 1991,45 (2) p135-40
Weight and obesity
The connection between dopamine and weight.
A 2010 study into the connection between the motivational neurotransmitter dopamine and obesity was carried out on a group of obese women. The study looked at whether overeating leads to reduced pleasure in eating palatable food and hypothesised that low sensitivity of the reward circuitry increases risk of overeating. In the same way that drug doses effect the needs of a drug taker, the more they take the less they work, so that eating more means they need to eat more to get the same gratification.
Their findings show that women who gained weight over a 6 month period showed a reduction in reward brain activity in response to palatable food consumption relative to those who did not gain any weight.
This showed the researchers that it was the weight gained that drove the mechanism forward, the larger the gain the more they wanted to eat more.
Graham Finlayson & Michelle Dalton 2012 Hedonics of Food Consumption: Are Food ‘Liking’ and ‘Wanting’ Viable Targets for Appetite Control in the Obese? Current obesity reports 10.1007/s13679-011-0007-2
Weight gain and sleep connection
It was thought amongst the scientific communities that it was low blood sugar levels that drove the desire to eat whatever was to hand, without being mindful of what you’re putting into your body.
However recent research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Jan 18 2012 show a direct link between sleep deprivation and obesity.
The aim of the research was to examine brain activation after either sleep or total sleep deprivation in response to images of food.
12 men were examined:- Hunger ratings and glucose levels were taken before the scan, and hunger ratings in response to the food images, after the an fMRI scan.
The scans showed an increased activation in the right anterior cingulate cortex in response to food images, independent of calorie content and prescan hunger ratings in those who had been deprived of sleep. There was no change in glucose levels after the scan. The results show evidence that acute sleep loss increases the chances of making unhelpful decisions about which food to consume - independent of glucose levels.
This shows that sleep deprivation, whether it’s sleep apnea, or staying up working, studying or playing for just one night can disrupt the brain’s ability to take the appropriate course of action.
For further information read: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22259064
High Blood pressure
NICE guidelines for high blood pressure - http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG127/Guidance/pdf/English
The use of hypnosis and biofeedback procedures for essential hypertension - http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207147708415989
A US study into the effects of hypnosis on hypertension was carried out over a period of time.
Self-hypnosis was taught to one group of hospitalised patients; a second group received equal attention and time to relax without the specified procedure; and a third group was monitored with no intervention.
The results suggested the value of adding self-hypnosis to the standard medical treatment for hypertension
Hypnotherapy and IBS
NICE recommend hypnotherapy for IBS, and one of the founding fathers of research into the area is Dr Peter Whorwell of Manchester University. The list of publications he has contributed to can be found - the rise and fall of paxmedica
Sleephow sleep falls into 2 periods.
Last updated March 2013