Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness working together to help deal with stress and anxiety.
A new study on treatment for stress combining mindfulness with hypnotherapy has shown positive results in a Baylor University pilot study.
What is "mindful hypnotherapy." ?
This latest study was conducted at Baylor University. Researcher Gary Elkins, Ph.D., director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory at Baylor University said: "Hypnosis involves focusing attention.. it includes mental imagery, relaxation and suggestions for symptom reduction. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that involves focusing attention on present moment awareness. It can help people cope with stress, but can require months of practice and training,"
The study is published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.
Working as a practitioner who already uses a combination of techniques, including mindfulness, hypnosis and meditation I already explain to my clients how this combination can help people achieve results faster and easier for them.
The study's basic premise is that using hypnosis to deliver mindfulness goals could have many advantages, Elkins said.
"Combining mindfulness and hypnotherapy in a single session is a novel intervention that may be equal to or better than existing treatments, with the advantage of being more time-effective, less daunting and easier to use. This could be a valuable option for treating anxiety and stress reduction."
Elkins noted that while mindfulness by itself can be an effective treatment for stress and anxiety for some people, it typically is provided in eight weekly sessions that last two hours or more each week and include an all-day retreat of eight or more hours. That amount of time -- more than 24 therapy hours -- may be a burden in cost and time for some people. Also, research has not shown that mindfulness-based treatments are consistently superior to standard cognitive behavioural therapy, he said.
What happened in the study on Mindfulness and Hypnotherapy working together?
For the study of mindfulness and hypnotherapy, the Baylor research team recruited 42 individuals with self-reported high stress. Half took part in an intervention of one-hour weekly individual sessions that included hypnosis inductions and suggestions for greater mindfulness. Participants also were given self-hypnosis audio recordings lasting about 20 minutes, each with suggestions for a hypnotic induction, relaxation and greater mindfulness. The second group did not take part in the intervention.
At study's end, the intervention group reported a large decrease in stress and a significant increase in mindfulness. Most were highly satisfied with the number of sessions, the ease of home practice and the clarity of content, Elkins said. The average participant practiced almost every day, and overall satisfaction with the intervention was 8.9 on a scale of 10.
In comparison, those who did not participate in the intervention reported no significant difference between pre- and post-study stress level.
A limitation of the study was its small sample size, Elkins said. Future studies of a larger number of people could be of value, as well as testing mindful hypnotherapy for such concerns as anxiety, depression or chronic pain, he said.
The good news from this study is that it is helping show that it doesn’t take a huge amount of work to help start to change the way that we think and feel.
I often talk to people about how well these interventions work and when I do this, one of the most important points is about how much people want there to be a change. If you really want to change something then there is really no reason why you should not be able to do that.
You can try a short mindfulness meditation and hypnosis for yourself right here: