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Cancer : Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy can help cancer patients if only to improve quality of life during the course of treatment.  Used alongside the conventional cancer treatments, benefits can be gained including sense of control. 

Having worked at the Fountain Centre, Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford, Eve has a good working experience with cancer patients.  If you would like to learn more, please call her on

01737 842 683 .

 

Relaxation

It is generally accepted that stress can reduce the effectiveness of the body's immune system - so reducing the body's ability to deal with the cancer cells.  Finding out and living with cancer can be stressful.  By changing your responses in how you are going to react to cancer can help improve the immune system.

Hypnotherapy is a very effective way to experience relaxation - and having experienced a relaxed mind and body, you can yourself use the techniques to strengthen and control your relaxation and reduce your overall stress levels.

Reducing or eliminating side effects

There are a number of side effects to cancer treatment which can be uncomfortable or distressing.  These can include sleeping difficulties, nausea, pain, fear, anxiety.  It can be possible to reduce or eliminate these using hypnosis.

Cancer Surgery

There is now medical evidence available that using hypnosis prior to surgery can help reduce pain, nausea, fatigue and discomfort after surgery.  To learn more.  Someone going into an operation relaxed is expected to recover quicker and achieve a better progress than a patient who goes in feeling anxious or distressed. 

In addition to relaxation, hypnotherapy can be used to prepare the patient for various procedures that take place pre-surgery, during surgery and post-surgery to increase calmness and control.

Mind and Body connection

The study of psychoneuroimmunology shows there is a relationship between the mind and the body.    By focusing on the immune system and using guided imagery and positive statements can have a beneficial effect.  Participants are encouraged to think about their  immune system, together with their radio or chemotherapy treatment, as being strong and powerful in comparison with the cancer cells.  Dr Carl Simonton, a radiation oncologist, has published some of his psychoneuroimmunology findings in "Getting Well Again". 

Sense of control

Generally when someone is told that they have cancer there can be a natural tendency at first for the cancer to dominate their thoughts and feeling a loss of control of their lives.

By using solution focused therapy and hypnosis, positive thought

 

Recommendations

Getting Well Again - publication by O. Carl Simonton, M.D., Stephanie Matthews-Simonton, James L Creighton

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More Information - The Mind and the Immune System

The Immune System

The immune system protects us from anything that does not naturally belong to us:

  • cancerous cells
  • bacteria
  • viruses
  • fungi
  • parasites
  • toxins

Immune system failure

Illness will result from failure of the immune system to protect the body.  This can occur if the immune system is weakened through physical and/or psychological factors or where opposition is too strong or overwhelming.

In many cases the immune system can recover and rive off the invaders, for example, when we have a cold or flu, or food poisoning.

If the strength of the opposition get too great the immune system begins to weaken, resulting in long-term illness.

Cancer

Abnormal cells develop in the body all the time.  The immune system generally removes these without our knowing.  However, if the immune system fails to recognise them, or is overwhelmed by the number growing, then this will result in the development of cancer.

The mind and the immune system

Traditionally the immune system has been regarded as autonomous to the mind.  Research has now shown that this view is wrong.

The central nervous system (CNS) and the immune system are all part of an internal regulatory system that helps ensure survival.

Information flows both ways between the CNS and the immune system.  This means that the brain can effect the immune system and that the immune system can affect the brain.

The CNS and the immune system are connected via rich supply of nerves.  The organs involved in immune function are all connected to the CNS in different ways.

Neurotransmitters, hormones and other chemical messengers that were once thought to be restricted to the brain are now known to be active within the immune system.

Likewise, the immunotransmitters and other chemical messengers thought to be only active in the immune system are now known to be active in the CNS.

Stress and the immune system

There can be physical stress - injury, disease, surgery, undernourishment - and / or psychological stress - the state that arises when an individual perceives that the demands placed on them exceed, or threaten to exceed, their capacity to cope. 

The purpose of the stress response if to allow us to cope swiftly and effectively in response to life threatening situations.  The sympathetic nervous system becomes activated within 20-30 seconds of a stressor which will then subside within about 1 hour of the stressor going away.  The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis is also activated but is much slower - it can take minutes to hours to respond and it can last for days or weeks - and it is responsible for releasing the stress hormone, cortisol.

Cortisol will

  • alter the distribution and movement of white blood cells throughout the body
  • block the production of new lymphocytes** in the thymus (white blood cell type)
  • cause the destruction of other lymphocytes** (white blood cell type)
  • suppress the production of cytokines ( a product of cells of the immune system that may stimulate immunity and cause the regression of some cancers)

Hypnosis and Psychoneuroimmunology - the trance state and the immune system

The sympathetic nervous system only controls our stress response.  When we enter a trance state our system shifts from sympathetic nervous system control to parasympathetic nervous system control.  This shift will turn off the stress response.  In doing so it inhibits the detrimental effects stress has on the immune system. 

In the trance state we can help

  • create strategies to cope more efficiently with stress
  • change belief systems
  • improve the immune system

In addition we can help

  • overcome side effects
  • prepare psychologically for surgery
  • move towards a positive mood and behaviour

all of which have beneficial effects on the immune system

 

**Lymphocytes are "white cells" - a broad term referring to the white cell population of the blood, including B cells, T cells, monocytes

 


 

Eve Kelsey | Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist | To help you through your cancer treatment | Surrey Hypnosis Clinic | 01737 842 683| Tadworth | Surrey | Bordering Sussex and Kent | Member of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis and Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council | The Surrey Hypnosis Clinic is based on the boundaries of Surrey, Sussex and Kent. Based in Tadworth, Surrey, the clinic is easily accessible from the GU, KT, SM postcodes and areas including: Ashtead Banstead Bookham Burgh Heath Caterham Claygate Cobham Coulsdon Crawley Dorking Epsom Ewell Fetcham Guildford Kingston Leatherhead Merstham Reigate Redhill Sutton | All rights reserved

 

 

 

  

 

 
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