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Fighting Endometriosis with Chinese Medicine and Hypnosis

30 Jan

Investigators from the Institute of Medical Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians-University and Technical University in Munich, Germany, used a retrospective study to assess the effectiveness of a combined therapy of traditional Chinese medicine and hypnotherapy (systemic autoregulation therapy or SART) as a novel treatment for endometriosis-associated symptoms, especially for the 15% of patients with severe endometriosis who suffer from pain in spite of pharmacological and surgical treatment.
 
Forty-seven patients with severe endometriosis, treated with the SART protocol, were followed up through standardized telephone interviews.  Follow-up data were compared to baseline assessments.

The median follow-up time was 5 years. The median intensity of endometriosis-associated pain had decreased on average from 8 to 3 points on a 0-10 point visual analogue scale (p < 0.001).

Eighteen patients (38%) were free of pain, and the number of patients using pain medication had decreased from 38 to 19 (from 81% to 40%).
 
Seventeen out of the 31 women trying for a pregnancy (55%) produced a total of 21 births at follow-up.  Exploratory analyses revealed that larger decreases in pain scores correlated significantly with longer treatment durations, suggesting a dose-response relationship.

The researchers summarize that treatment of endometriosis with a holistic approach of Chinese medicine and hypnotherapy may result in a substantial reduction of pain as well as increased birth rates in patients with therapy-refractory endometriosis. They conclude that randomized controlled studies to further investigate the effectiveness of SART are highly warranted.

Citation:  Meissner K, Böhling B, Schweizer-Arau A.  Long-term effects of traditional Chinese medicine and hypnotherapy in patients with severe endometriosis - a retrospective evaluation. Forschende Komplementarmedizin. (Research in Complementary Medicine) 2010;17(6):314-20. Epub 2010 Dec 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