By Ellen Crean/CBS News
- Pain. Hypnosis is very effective at alleviating the pain of children undergoing cancer treatments. What we do is help the child go somewhere else, away from the pain. By accessing the unconscious, the child creates images that forces them to focus on something other than the pain they are feeling.
For example, if you squeezed your hand very tightly to the point that it hurt and then someone asked you to focus on something else, you would not be as aware of the pain in your hand.
- Anxiety. A child who is anxious often breathes more quickly and has a higher heart rate. With hypnosis, we can teach them to breathe more slowly, lower their heart rate and take them away from whatever is making them anxious.
- Bed Wetting. Many doctors prescribe medicine for children who have a bed-wetting problem. But now more physicians are turning to hypnosis, which has very positive results. Part of the reason that it works so well is that kids play an active role in their treatment rather than just taking a pill.
- Asthma. When children with asthma feel their throats constricting, they begin to feel anxious and breathe more heavily. With hypnosis, you teach the child to calm down and bring them to another place.
How effective is hypnosis in children? In the right child, hypnotism can be very successful. Remember: There are some children who have a harder time letting go. But for those who can, the results can be very positive. Another plus of hypnosis is that unlike drugs, the risk of harm is low.
For more information, go to www.child.com/web_links
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Paul Gustafson, R.N., C.H. has been featured on WBZ radio, hosts TV show Healthy Hypnosis, is an Angie’s List ‘Super Service’ provider. Check out his in-office Gastric Band weight loss program. Also available as MP3 download.
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