Science Behind Hypnotherapy for Chronic Illness
The science behind hypnotherapy for chronic illness is based on the research that connects the interaction of genes and environmental triggers to the onset and exacerbation of disease.
“Genes probably account for one third of the risk, but something in the environment accounts for the rest”, says Noel R. Rose. MD, phD. Director of the John Hopkins Center for Autoimmune Disease Research.
These environment risk factors are not only toxins, poor nutrition, and pollutants, what are known as the biological factors, there are also psychological and social factors. These lesser known factors can be addressed with mind-based therapies such as hypnotherapy and neurolinguistic programming (NLP). These modalities help to address these psycho-social factors such as emotions, limiting beliefs, relationship styles, and our general perception of our lives. Psycho-social factors have as much of a critical influence on the immune system, nervous system, and all cells in the body as the biological factors mentioned above.
What Science Studies These Factors?
Epigenetics is a new field of biology that describes how each cell of our bodies is constantly communicating and assessing its environment through the outer membrane of each cell. Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., a renowned cell biologist, describes the precise molecular pathways through which the cells in our bodies are affected by the psychological factor – our thoughts. He marks the importance of perception (how we interpret what is happening in our lives) and cell health.
How you are perceiving life through your tinted lens of the world is being transmitted to each cell of our body. – Bruce Lipton, cell biologist
Hypnotherapy is recommended in Epigenetics as a means to influence bodily functions and cell health through altering how we think, what we believe, and what we perceive.
Candace Pert, a former neuroscientist whose research helped create the new field of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNL), studied the influence of our emotions on our cells. Dr. Pert described how our neuropeptides communicate our thoughts, feelings, and self-talk to each one of our cells.
Dr. Pert called this new science mind-body medicine.
Both Lipton and Pert have come to the conclusion that what we think, believe, and feel in each moment influences our cells, including our immune system and nervous system cells.
“Both personality (or a person’s behavioral characteristics) and stress have been found to be influential in MS genesis and progression.” Dr. Fulcher, MS Society Senior Clinical Psychologist and Dr. Pearce, MS Society Medical Doctor, In Touch Magazine, Australia
PNI studies the interrelationship between the mind, the immune system, and the nervous system. Dr. Alexandra Concorde, in her article “Clinical Psychoneuroimmunology – Mind-Body Integrated Health,” explains how PNI provides a platform to understand:
- How the exposure to stress and stressors may be relevant to the onset and progression of clinical diseases.
- How we perceive and our personal experiences, unresolved negative emotions, psychological states, internal conflicts, personality traits, emotional and coping behavior may be linked to disease predispositions and prognosis.
- How many complementary approaches may work and how to make them even more effective, predictable, and reproducible.
Barry Evan’s from the University of Melbourne in “An Introduction to Psychoneuroimmunology, Mind-Body Healing, and Hypnosis” stresses the use of “hypnosis and other psycho-social interventions to improve suppression and competence of the immune system in autoimmune diseases.”
Science Behind Hypnotherapy Concludes that Our Thoughts Effect Our Bodies
In summary, these new fields of science are pointing to:
How we think, feel, believe, value and behave has a direct effect on our immune and nervous system.
Transforming these psycho-social factors through hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and as well as other mind-based therapies that address and modify the underlying beliefs, emotions, and perceptions of life could effectively alter the progression of chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis and many otehrs.