Hypnosis and Diabetes (Type II)
Diabetes is now reaching epidemic proportions in our society. And while there is no cure, if you suffer from diabetes then hypnosis can help you lead a richer, more fulfilling life.
It has been estimated that only 7% of adult diabetics will make all of the changes their physicians recommend.
The main reason for this is that many of these changes (such as the need to stop eating foods high in sugar and fat, the need to lose weight and exercise properly, the need to stop smoking and drinking, and even the need to reduce stress) require an unusual amount of willpower. And if you are like most people, then this is something you have in short supply.
Fortunately, hypnosis can help you, because when you harness the incredible power of your subconscious you don't really need to rely on willpower.
Another reason it is hard to make all of these changes, is that if you are like most diabetics then you also suffer from depression. And rather than seeing diabetes as merely something you need to control, you magnify it all out of proportion and feel as if all of the "sweetness" (both literally and metaphorically) has been taken out of your life. So why bother.
Fortunately, hypnosis has also been proven to be an effective treatment for depression.
There is even a growing body of evidence that hypnosis can actually lower your blood sugar levels and increase the flow of blood to your hands and feet because of its ability to harness the dynamic mind-body connection.
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Diabetes (Type II) Fact Sheet
This is characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood. Here the pancreas still produces insulin (unlike Type I) but the insulin either fails to bind to the receptors located on various cells (such as those found in the muscles), or these cells fail to respond, so they do not open and absorb the glucose in the blood.
- there a genetic link because it runs in families and minority groups (African-Americans and Hispanics have rates nearly three times those of whites);
- stress, anxiety and depression;
- emotional despondency;
- lack of exercise;
- diets high in sugar, fat and refined carbohydrates;
- excessive thirst leading to frequent urination (this is how the body tries to flush the excess glucose out);
- increased hunger;
- reduced resistance to certain types of infections such as urinary-tract and yeast infections;
- high blood-pressure;
- impaired vision;
- kidney problems;
- poor circulation to the extremities (hands and feet);
- confusion and possibly a coma (if the diabetic becomes hypoglycemic).
How Hypnosis Can Help You
If you have Type II Diabetes, then hypnosis is ideally suited to helping you deal with this condition because:
- it can increase your feelings of self-control;
- it can help you lose weight, stop drinking and stop smoking;
- it can reduce your cravings for foods that are high in sugar, fat and refined carbohydrates;
- it can improve your ability to follow sound medical advice and work with your physician;
- it can reduce the drugs you need to manage your condition (thereby reducing their potential side-effects and saving you money);
- it can help you reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression;
- it can make you feel more positive and joyful about life;
- it can enhance your ability to resume everyday activities;
- it can enhance your innate capacity to heal yourself;
- it can lower your blood sugar levels;
- it can help you develop and maintain a sound exercise program;
- it can improve the circulation in your hands and feet;
- it can help if there is a link between a specific trauma and the onset of your diabetes;
- it can help if your depression 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...
Hypnosis as An Adjunct Therapy in the Management of Diabetes. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2008 Jan;56(1):63-72. Xu Y, Cardena E.
This paper notes that the conventional medical treatment of diabetes all too often fails to take psychological factors into account. This is why the authors concluded that hypnosis should be considered as a part of a multi-modal treatment program for diabetes. The authors also examined the literature on the use of hypnosis to support the medical treatment of diabetes. Among the benefits of including hypnosis in a comprehensive treatment program are a better regulation of blood sugar levels, an increased compliance with diet and exercise requirements, as well as the ability to improve blood circulation in peripheral regions of the body.
Hypnosis and Diabetes: Applications for Children, Adolescents, and Adults. Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, 2006, 27(1), 19-27. Kihslinger D, & Sapp M.
This paper describes a number of ways that hypnosis is being used to help diabetics. The authors note that using Cognitive Behavioural techniques during hypnosis to challenge diabetic's "core cognitive distortions" regarding their diabetes can be beneficial. Particularly for young diabetics who often develop a distorted view of themselves and the nature of diabetes. The authors go on to describe how hypnosis has been used to help adolescent diabetics improve their feelings of self-esteem and develop healthy relationships. The authors also discuss the accumulating evidence that proves hypnosis can influence the functioning of various systems in our brain and body. They even note that there is a direct relationship between stress and glucose levels, and how studies have demonstrated that when stress is reduced, blood glucose levels also drop.
Other Relevant Studies
A Meta-Analysis of Hypnosis in the Treatment of Depressive Symptoms: A
Brief Communication. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 57(4) October 2009; 431 – 442. Shih M, Yang Y-H, Koo M.
The authors of this paper statistically analyzed the results of six research studies involving the use of hypnosis to treat depression. They concluded that not only has hypnosis been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of depression, but it also provides a viable alternative to medication.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy For Depression: An Empirical Investigation. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2007 Apr;55(2):147-66 Alibhai A.
This study compared the results of Cognitive Hypnotherapy with Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (a well-established form of treatment for depression) in the treatment of depression. Eighty-four people suffering from depression were randomly assigned to a 16-week program that involved one of these two treatments. When it was over the researchers found that there were significant improvements to both groups. However, those who were assigned Cognitive Hypnotherapy improved more than the other group and had a 6% greater reduction in depression, a 5% greater reduction in anxiety and an 8% greater reduction in feelings of hopelessness. These increases continued to be maintained one year later. This study concluded that Cognitive Hypnotherapy met the American Psychological Association's evidence-based criteria for it to be accepted as a legitimate treatment of depression.
Acne Excoriee (excoriations are the scars that are formed when acne is picked): Here hypnosis was successfully used in 1959 to help two people stop picking their acne by giving the subjects post-hypnotic suggestions to say the word "scar" whenever they felt the urge to pick.
Alopecia Areata (hair loss): Researcher found that those who suffer from this condition usually react very badly to stress and suffer from underlying depression. Hypnosis has been used to treat these underlying problems which has led to an improvement in this condition.
Dyshidrotic Dermatitis (small blisters on the hand and feet): Two cases have been reported. One involved the use hypnosis to treat the condition itself and one that used hypnosis to work on the underlying emotional issues. Both reduced the severity of this condition.
Herpes Simplex (cold and genital sores): Hypnosis has been used to reduce the frequency of outbreaks of herpes. Hypnosis has also been found to help treat the emotional triggers that often lead to outbreaks.
Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating):Hypnosis has been reported to help alleviate this condition.
Lichen Planus (a rash that often forms on the wrists and ankles and around the mouth that looks like lichen):Hypnosis has been used to reduce the lesions caused by this disease.
Neurodermatitis (a form of eczema):There have been reports of the use of hypnosis to heal this condition. Follow-ups four years later showed that it had not returned.
Nummular Dermatitis (round or oval-shaped itchy lesions): One early researcher (1960) reported that hypnosis was used to reduce pruritus and heal the lesions.
Postherpetic Neuralgia (the pain that follows the outbreak of herpes zoster): Hypnosis has been successfully used to heal the pain that accompanies acute herpes zoster.
Pruritus (an itch or a sensation that makes someone want to scratch): Hypnosis has been successfully used to modify and improve this condition.
Rosacea (a condition that causes facial redness):Hypnosis has been able to reduce the vascular blush that accompanies this condition.
Some Other Relevant Studies...
Reducing Skin Reactions
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.
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.
The Effect of Hypnotically Induced Analgesia on Flare Reaction of the Cutaneous Histamine Prick Test. Archives of Dermatological Research, Vol 282(8) Dec. 1990: 539-43. Zachariae R, Bjerring P.
Ten highly hypnotizable subjects were recruited for this study. They were given a histamine prick test (which will cause a painful red welt to form on the skin) before, during and after a single hypnosis session (where they were given the hypnotic suggestion to experience analgesia in their arm). The subjects rated their feeling of pain on a visual analogue scale and reported a 71.7% reduction in the pain during hypnosis. The researchers also noted that there was a significant reduction in the histamine flare area when the subject was hypnotized (as compared to the size of the histamine flare area that occurred in the pre and post hypnosis tests)
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