The Toronto Hypnotherapist

Hypnosis and Toronto Hypnotherapy with Allan Clews.

Hypnosis and Arthritis

If you suffer from arthritis, then you know all about pain and swelling. You also probably know more than you would like about sleepless nights, irritability, and feelings of loss and despair.

Fortunately there is hope, because studies have shown that hypnosis is the most effective natural way to reduce chronic pain. However, there is even more good news, because hypnosis has also been clinically proven to reduce inflammation and swelling. It has also been shown to have a positive effect on auto-immune disorders.

Hypnosis can help you to deal with the pain in a number of different ways. For instance, you may have noticed when you have nothing to do, the pain seems to grow more and more intolerable. Though when you are immersed in something that really captures your attention, such as a stimulating conversation, you forget all about it. This is called 'dissociation' and hypnosis can teach you how to magnify this effect and use it to push the pain away.

Hypnosis also has some sort of a magical effect on the brain (along with the rest of the body). Studies involving PET scans and fMRI's have shown that when your body experiences pain, it send signals to one part of your brain. These signals are then passed on to another part which is responsible for 'feeling' that pain. Unless of course, you are in a state of hypnosis and have been given the appropriate suggestions. In which case your brain will still receive these signals, it just won't pass them along to that other part of the brain.

Call 416-556-6238 today to find out more.

You can even book a free 30-minute telephone consultation with a qualified hypnotist who will be happy to answer all of your questions.

Arthritis Fact Sheet

There are over 100 different types of arthritis. They all involve some form of chronic inflammation to the joints. Some forms of arthritis are even the result of an auto-immune disorder where the body's immune system attacks some of its own cells.
an auto-immune imbalance (where the body's immune system attacks itself);

  • a chemical imbalance in the body;
  • age and activities that wear the cartilage down in the joints allowing the bones to rub together;
  • injury or trauma;
  • metabolic problems that cause crystal deposits in the joints (such as a build-up of uric acid).


Symptoms

There are different symptoms depending on the type of arthritis. However, these are the most common:


  • stiffness in joints after sleep or a long rest;
  • pain or discomfort when using a joint;
  • pain or discomfort in a joint when there are changes in the weather;
  • inflammation and swelling in a joint;
  • the loss of flexibility in a joint;
  • insomnia due to chronic pain.

Triggers That Can Cause Flare-Ups

  • stress and anxiety;
  • depression;
  • fatigue and tiredness;
  • obesity;
  • certain emotions (such as self-criticism);
  • a poor diet (particularly a lack of Vitamin C & D and a lack of calcium);
  • certain foods (particularly meat, dairy and citrus);
  • a lack of the proper type of exercise (joints tend to stiffen when they are not used);
  • certain activities (especially pushing yourself too hard);

certain medications.

How Hypnosis Can Help You

  • it can enhance your innate capacity to heal yourself;
  • it has an analgesic effect and can help to block pain and discomfort;
  • it can improve your ability to follow sound medical advice and work with your physicians;
  • it can help to reduce the amount of medication you require to manage your arthritis;
  • it can help you to deal with the emotional dimension of your illness;
  • it can reduce stress, anxiety and other problems that can make your arthritis worse;
  • it can help by allowing you to dissociate yourself (focus your attention elsewhere) from your pain so that it is not nearly as annoying and uncomfortable;
  • it can help if there is a link between a specific emotional trauma and the onset of your arthritis;
  • it can help if your arthritis involves any subconscious and state-dependent processes;
  • if your arthritis is caused by an auto-immune disorder, it can help to reverse this process through the mind/body connection.

Some Research That Proves These Claims...


The scientific research is conclusive. If you are capable of entering into a moderately deep state of hypnosis (something 70% of the population can achieve), then hypnosis can help you to reduce the pain and swelling associated with arthritis so you can live a healthier and more enjoyable life.


Controlling Pain


fMRI Study Of Hypnosis-Induced Analgesia. A paper presented to the 17th Meeting of the European Neurological Society, 2007. May TS.


This paper reports on a study involving 13 healthy subjects who underwent 'functional magnetic resonance imaging' (fMRI) of their brain while a painful laser beam was focused on their left hand. The researchers found there was a significant change in the way their brains responded to this while they were in a normal state, compared to when they were in hypnosis. In both the normal and the hypnotic state, the primary somasensory cortex (the area in the brain that first receives the pain signals) noticeably reacted to the pain. When the subjects were in a normal state, this had a cascading effect on other parts of the brain involved in the perception of, and reaction to, pain (such as "the anterior cingulated gyrus"). However, when they were in a state of hypnosis this cascading effect did not occur. This means that while in a state of hypnoanalgesia the brain registers the pain, however it does not pass these signals onto the other areas of the brain involved in perceiving, feeling and reacting to the pain.


Naloxone Fails To Reverse Hypnotic Alleviation Of Chronic Pain. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1983;81(2):140-3. Spiegel D, Albert LH.


Some had believed the reason hypnosis helps to reduce chronic pain was that it caused the body to produce endorphins, a natural pain killer. To find test this, 6 patients suffering from chronic pain caused by peripheral nerve irritation were taught self-hypnosis to reduce the their pain. They were then randomly given either a saline solution (a placebo) or naloxone (a drug that is known to counter the effects of endorphins). They were then tested for pain at 5 minute intervals for the next hour. If the analgesic effect of hypnosis was somehow caused by the internal production of endorphins, then naloxone would have caused the pain to return. However, the results of this study proved that naloxone had no significant effect on the power of hypnosis to reduce pain. This means that endorphins are not involved in hypnotic pain control.


Functional Anatomy Of Hypnotic Analgesia: A Pet Study Of Patients With Fibromyalgia. Sweden Eur J Pain. 1999 Mar;3(1):7-12. Wik G, Fischer H, Bragee B, Finer B, Fredrikson M.


This study involved patients suffering from the painful condition, fibromyalgia. They were then either hypnotized and given suggestions for pain relief, or simply allowed to enter into a state of resting wakefulness. A PET (positron emission tomography ) scan was then taken of the flow of blood in their brain. There were noticeable differences in the blood flow patterns when the subjects were hypnotized as compared to when they were merely in a state of resting wakefulness. The researchers found that when the subjects were in a state of hypnosis," the cerebral blood-flow was bilaterally increased in the orbitofrontal and subcallosial cingulate cortices, the right thalamus, and the left inferior parietal cortex, and was decreased bilaterally in the cingulate cortex." This proved that hypnosis causes real changes to occur in the brain on both a cortical and subcortical level. These changes can alter an experience of pain.

Decreasing Inflammation


Modulation Of Type I Immediate And Type IV Delayed Immunoreactivity Using Direct Suggestion And Guided Imagery During Hypnosis. Allergy Volume 44(8): 537 – 542. Zachariae R, Bjerring P, Arendt-Nielsen L.


Eight highly hypnotizable volunteers were recruited for this study where it was found that when these subjects were given suggestions while in hypnosis to decrease their reaction to a histamine prick test, there was a significant reduction in the inflammation of the skin when compared to a control group. This study confirmed numerous anecdotal reports that hypnotic suggestions can decrease inflammation and other allergic skin reactions.

Helping With Auto-Immune Diseases


Mind-Body Hypnotic Imagery in the Treatment of Auto-Immune Disorders.The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 2007, vol. 50, no2, pp.157-170. Torem MS.


This paper discusses the old belief that the body's immune system worked independently from the central nervous system. Then it highlights the advances that have been made in the last 50 years that prove that these systems not only interact, but actively influence each other. The author then shows how this interaction provides a doorway that allows hypnosis and imagery to influence the immune system. The author then provides five cases where hypnosis was successfully used to help people suffering from auto-immune disorders.


Decreasing Inflammation


Modulation Of Type I Immediate And Type IV Delayed Immunoreactivity Using Direct Suggestion And Guided Imagery During Hypnosis. Allergy Volume 44(8): 537 – 542. Zachariae R, Bjerring P, Arendt-Nielsen L.


Eight highly hypnotizable volunteers were recruited for this study where it was found that when these subjects were given suggestions while in hypnosis to decrease their reaction to a histamine prick test, there was a significant reduction in the inflammation of the skin when compared to a control group. This study confirmed numerous anecdotal reports that hypnotic suggestions can decrease inflammation and other allergic skin reactions.


Helping With Auto-Immune Diseases


Mind-Body Hypnotic Imagery in the Treatment of Auto-Immune Disorders.The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 2007, vol. 50, no2, pp.157-170. Torem MS.


This paper discusses the old belief that the body's immune system worked independently from the central nervous system. Then it highlights the advances that have been made in the last 50 years that prove that these systems not only interact, but actively influence each other. The author then shows how this interaction provides a doorway that allows hypnosis and imagery to influence the immune system. The author then provides five cases where hypnosis was successfully used to help people suffering from auto-immune disorders.