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Hypnosis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, everything you do, from getting out of bed, to keeping in touch with friends and family, grows harder and harder. Your body aches, your muscles throb with pain, and you can even suffer from flu-like symptoms that just never seem to go away.

As a result, your spirit plummets and feelings of despair and depression become your constant companions.

Fortunately, hypnosis can be a valuable ally if you suffer from CFS. It can give your immune system a boost. It can help to relieve the pain that comes from sore muscles and aching joints. It can help your body enter into a deeply healing state of rest. It can even increase your energy and motivation and help to give you back your zest for life.

Call Allan Clews at 416-556-6238 today to find out more.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Fact Sheet

CFS is characterized by a prolonged feeling of fatigue that lasts for more than 6 months and has no obvious physical or environmental cause.

it mainly affects adults between 20 and 40-years-old;

women are twice as likely to get it as men.


  • unknown (although pollution, viral infections and a weak immune system have all been proposed).


  • constantly tired;

  • unable to get a restful sleep;

  • often irritable, confused and unable to concentrate;

  • depression and feelings of hopelessness;

  • lack of interest in life;

  • sensitive to bright light;

  • frequent headaches and sore throats;

  • weakness and pain in the joints and muscles.

How Hypnosis Can Help You

If you have CFS, hypnosis is ideally suited to helping you deal with this condition because:

  • it can increase your feelings of self-control;

  • it can reduce your experience of pain and fatigue and lower the need for medication to manage these symptoms (thereby reducing their potential side-effects and saving you money);

  • it can alleviate harmful emotions such as stress, anxiety and depression that just make things worse;

  • it can make you feel more positive and joyful about life;

  • it can enhance your ability to resume everyday activities;

  • it can help to control the severity of the symptoms;

  • it can enhance other treatments;

  • it can enhance your innate capacity to heal yourself;

  • it can help to improve your immune system;

  • it can help by allowing you to dissociate yourself (focus your mind and attention elsewhere) from your circumstances so that it is not nearly as intolerable;

  • it can help you improve your diet and begin to exercise more;

  • it can help if there is a link between a specific emotional trauma and the onset of your CFS;

  • hypnosis may have played a role in the creation of this illness because those who suffer from CFS tend to be more suggestible (see the research below);

  • it can help if your CFS involves any subconscious and state-dependent processes.

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. Here is a summation of some of these studies...

Information Processing in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome A Preliminary Investigation of Suggestibility. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Vol. 51(5):679-686. DiClementi J.

This study attempted to determine if there were any substantial intellectual and cognitive differences between a group of healthy people and those suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The researchers found that while there was no difference between these two groups in terms of memory and general intellectual functioning, there was one significant difference, because those suffering from CFS group were found to be far more suggestible. Furthermore, it was found that among the CFS group, the more suggestible an individual was, the more severe their symptoms were.

Hypnosis in the Management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Journal Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Vol.12(4) 2005. Vallings R.

This paper discusses how, over the last 30 years, hypnosis is becoming more and more accepted by the medical community. So much so, that it has now been successfully incorporated into treatment of many different medical conditions. The author focuses on the fact that hypnosis has been proven to help control the severity of the symptoms, increase the expectation that there will be a positive outcome, and enhance the effectiveness of more conventional treatments. They then describe various hypnotic techniques (and even provide scripts) that can be used to help those suffering from CFS to better manage their condition.

The Use of Hypnosis in Boosting the Effect of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the Treatment of Chronic Fatigue. The European Journal of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 5 (3). Wailes J.

This study involved three groups: a control, one that only received Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and one that received hypnosis and CBT. And while those who were in the experimental groups reported a significant increase in their level of energy when compared to the control group, those who received hypnosis and CBT were only moderately better off then those who only received CBT. However, when assessing all of the data, the authors found that there is a possible link between CFS and stress. They then theorized that ongoing stress somehow depleted the physical resources of those suffering from CFS and how this in turn might lead to a dysfunction in the Hypothalamus, Pituitary and Adrenal Glands Axis (or HPA Axis). And since there are other researchers who theorize that one of the reasons hypnosis works is because it somehow affects the Limbic-Hypothalamic Pituitary System, this means that there is room for further research in this field.

Other Studies Relevant to CFS...

Hypnotic Treatment of Chronic Pain. J Behav Med. 2006 Jan 11;:1-30. Jensen M, Patterson DR.

This paper reviewed various controlled trials involving the use of hypnosis to control pain. It concluded that hypnosis can provide a significantly greater reduction in pain than physical therapy, education, or the management of medications. It even found that the hypnotic treatment did not even have to be called 'hypnosis' for it to be effective.

Evidence-Based Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Depression. Contemporary Hypnosis Vol. 26(4):245-262. Assen Alladin.

This article starts by noting that depression is one of the most common disorders treated by psychiatrists. Unfortunately, it is also a very complex problem because it affects thoughts, emotions, behaviours and bodily functions. The author describes the use of Cognitive Hypnotherapy in the treatment of depression and he goes into enough detail so that others can replicate this technique. He concludes by stating that Cognitive Hypnotherapy is now supported by sound clinical evidence in the treatment of depression and that this approach should now be used as a template to help with other similar disorders, especially since it can be used in conjunction with various other forms of treatment.

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