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Self-hypnosis training for headaches in children and adolescents.

06 Jul

Researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, in a retrospective study of clinical records, found that self-hypnosis significantly improved symptoms of recurrent headache in children and adolescents.

Researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota did a retrospective review of 178 consecutive outpatient clinical records (referred to the Behavioral Pediatrics Program from 1988-2001) to see if self-hypnosis helped children and youths with symptoms of recurrent headaches.

All the patients were taught self-hypnosis for self-regulation. Measures were taken for intensity, frequency, and duration of headaches before, during, and after treatment. Outcomes included number and frequency of visits, types of medication, and the nature of self-hypnosis practice.

Data were available for 144 patients in this patient self-selected and uncontrolled observation. Compared with self-reports before learning self-hypnosis, children and youths who learned self-hypnosis for recurrent headaches reported a dramatic reduction in frequency of headache from an average of 4.5 per week to 1.4 per week (P < .01); reduction in intensity (on a self-rating scale of 0 to 12) from an average of 10.3 to 4.7, P < .01; and a reduction in average duration from 23.6 hours to 3.0 hours, (P < .01). There were no adverse side effects of self-hypnosis.

The investigators conclude that training in self-hypnosis is associated with significant improvement of chronic recurrent headaches in children and adolescents.

Citation: Kohen DP, Zajac R. Self-hypnosis training for headaches in children and adolescents. Journal of Pediatrics. 2007 Jun;150 (6): pages 635-9. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award