Hypnotherapy could help ease gastric acid reflux
Apr 22, 2006 - 5:51:37 PM

Hypnotherapy, a therapy based on or using hypnosis, could provide significant relief from chest pain that is not caused by a heart condition, says a study.

About a third of people who have chest pain have no identifiable cause for the reason. Researchers believe that acid reflux or psychological problems could be to blame - and young women seem to be more prone to getting the pain.

Researchers led by Peter Whorwell at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester studied 28 patients and found that 15 people given hypnotherapy reported "significant" relief from pain.

Of people treated with another type of "supportive therapy" and given a placebo, three of 13 people reported relief.

Hypnotherapy also significantly improved the sense of overall well being and reduced the use of painkillers and other drugs needed to control the condition.

Hypnotherapy has also been shown to cut the levels of gastric acid produced by the stomach, the study says.

Previous research by the group has shown that hypnotherapy benefits those with irritable bowel syndrome, with most patients remaining well in the long-term, requiring far less medication and making fewer visits to the doctor.

Brain scans of patients treated with hypnotherapy for other conditions have also shown that it directly affects a region of the brain that processes the emotional reaction to a painful stimulus.

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