So after yesterdays blog posting and my subsequent disapproval of BBC’s coverage of hypnotherapy… I had an article pointed out to me at the BBC again, which I really rather liked, though for reasons which seem to be undisclosed, let me explain…

This hypnosis article at the BBC website states that children can be taught to use their imagination to deal with pain; stomach pain in particular. This is wonderful news.

You have to love the way that they refer to “A relaxation-type CD, asking children to imagine themselves in scenarios like floating on a cloud” and only really allude to hypnosis when referring to other studies.

The BBC seem to be delighted to let hypnosis be portrayed as something sinister that people mis-use and is free from regulation (as per yesterdays blog entry) – yet when there are some obvious benefits from a self-hypnosis process, they refer to relaxation and imagination skills. maybe I am being an overly sensitive pedant today?

I mean, the article even states:

The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, follows on from studies showing hypnosis is an effective treatment for a range of conditions known as functional abdominal pain, which includes things like irritable bowel syndrome.

In this study, the children had 20 minute sessions of “guided imagery” – a technique which prompts the subject to imagine things which will reduce their discomfort.

One example is letting a special shiny object melt into their hand and then placing their hand on their belly, spreading warmth and light from the hand inside the tummy to make a protective barrier inside that prevents anything from irritating the belly

The results offered up are fabulous though:

In all 30 children aged between six and 15 years took part in the study – half of whom used the CDs daily for eight weeks and the rest of whom got normal treatment.

Among those who had used the CDs, 73.3% reported that their abdominal pain was reduced by half or more by the end of the treatment course compared with 26.7% in the standard care group.

In two-thirds of children the improvements were still apparent six months later.

Child Smile
Smiles all round then, eh?

Which I think is really wonderful and I hope that whatever they call it, or however they describe it, that this leads to more teaching of children to use their minds for greater and greater effect.