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Hypnotherapeutic management of alopecia areata.

11 Aug

Researchers from the Department of Dermatology at Academic Hospital/Free University in Brussels, investigated the influence of hypnotherapy on alopecia areata or AA (a condition of rapid hair loss). Hypnosis was used in 28 patients with extensive AA whose condition was resistant to earlier conventional treatments. The hypnotherapy was either added as a complementary treatment or used as the only treatment.

In all, 21 patients, 9 with total alopecia and 12 with extensive alopecia, were involved during a 5-year period. After treatment, all patients had a significantly lower score for anxiety and depression. Scalp hair growth of 75% to 100% was seen in 12 patients after 3 to 8 sessions of hypnotherapy. Total growth occurred in 9 of these 12 patients, including 4 patients with alopecia universalis and 2 with ophiasis. In 5 patients, a significant relapse occurred.

Although this is a preliminary study with a limited number of patients, and a larger randomized study is necessary, these results are very encouraging, demonstrating that hypnotherapy may improve clinical outcomes of people with alopecia.

Citation: Willemsen R, Vanderlinden J, Deconinck A, Roseeuw D. Hypnotherapeutic management of alopecia areata. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Aug;55(2):233-7. Epub 2006 Mar 20. 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