(NaturalNews) Breast cancer is a very serious disease that will affect one in eight women who live to the age of 85. Currently, there are 2.4 million women in the United States who have been diagnosed with breast cancer (Breast Cancer: Network of Strength). These staggering numbers show the importance of finding treatments to not only cure breast cancer, but to help with the many symptoms of cancer. An alternative form of therapy, hypnosis, is being used to help women with breast cancer control their pain.
The most recent breast cancer data available is from 2005; during this year, 186,467 women in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer. And 41,116 women died of breast cancer in 2005. Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer behind skin cancer. For Hispanics, breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Breast cancer treatments cause stress, anxiety, and pain. The Mayo Clinic recommends alternative forms of treatment to help with these symptoms.
Spiegel and Bloom (1983) evaluated the use of hypnosis and its role on reducing pain and improving mood in metastatic breast carcinoma patients. The study involved 54 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The participants were randomly selected into three groups. One group received group therapy and was taught self-hypnosis. Another experimental group received group therapy only. The third group was the control group and received no form of therapy or treatment. The two experimental groups received therapy on a weekly basis for one year. They were evaluated on perceived level of pain and levels of stress related to coping with cancer.
Results showed significant improvement in the reduction of pain in the two experimental groups receiving group therapy and a combination of therapy and self-hypnosis. They reported their level of pain at lower levels compared to the control group. The two experimental groups also reported less suffering in relation to their cancer compared to the control group.
When comparing the hypnosis and therapy group to the therapy-only group, the researchers found that those who learned hypnosis reported greater ability in controlling their pain. The researchers pointed that there was a strong correlation between the ability to control pain and the patients' mood based on anxiety, depression, and fatigue. This means that those in the experimental groups who saw an improvement in their ability to improve their pain levels, also saw an improvement in their mood and a reduction of anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
This study shows the potential impact hypnosis plays in helping women in pain from breast cancer. Not only can hypnosis improve the level of control breast cancer patients have over their pain, but hypnosis can also improve the overall mood of the patient.
Spiegel, D. & Bloom, J.R. (1983). Group therapy and hypnosis reduce metastatic breast carcinomapain. Psychosomatic Medicine, 45(4), 333-339.
About the author
Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980s. He is the author of 22 books on Hypnotherapy. Steve is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, president of the American Alliance of Hypnotists, on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association, and director of the Steve G. Jones School of Clinical Hypnotherapy. Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. is a board certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Florida (1994), a master's degree in education from Armstrong Atlantic State University (2007), and is currently working on a doctorate in education, Ed.D., at Georgia Southern University. Learn more at: http://www.betterlivingwithhypnosis.com/