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Guided Imagery Delivers Significant Improvement for Hot Flashes

17 Mar

Researchers from the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Baylor University, Waco, TX developed a study to evaluate the feasibility of a guided self-hypnosis intervention for hot flashes.

Thirteen postmenopausal women received 5 sessions of guided self-hypnosis (guided imagery) in which all the hypnotic inductions were audio recordings.

Subjects were provided with guidance regarding symptom monitoring, individualizing the mental imagery and practicing the technique.

Hot flashes were measured through diaries. Results indicated that the average frequency of hot flashes decreased by 72% (p < .001) and hot-flash intensity decreased by 76% (p < .001) on average.

Although the measures were subjective and the number of subjects only 13 in this pilot study, the investigators concluded that the recorded guided self-hypnosis reduced the perceived hot flashes in the postmenopausal women,  supporting the possible feasibility and potential benefit of the intervention.

Citation: Elkins G1, Johnson A, Fisher W, Sliwinski J, Keith T. A pilot investigation of guided self-hypnosis in the treatment of hot flashes among postmenopausal women. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. 2013; 61 (3): pages 342-50. 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