Research results from scientific studies
Research in behavioural medicine discusses the interconnectedness between the mind and body - that it exists and acts as a unified system, and how the mind and body interaction influences health. This is referred to as the mind body connection.
Experience suggests that mind body interventions enhance the success of other medical treatments when appropriately and professionally provided. It is not a case of either / or; rather as a complementary modality and a valid part of an integrated approach. Many clients explore these options because they have tried other modalities to address symptoms and yet symptoms remain (partially or fully).
Increased conception rates
Studies have indicated that 'infertile' women utilising mind body techniques have a 42-55% conception rate compared to 20% not following this protocol (Alice Domar PhD, 1999 Journal of the American Medical Women's Association).
Double the success rate of IVF
A recent Israeli study showed that the success rate of IVF treatments doubled in the test group from 14% to 28%, when the subjects underwent hypnosis during implantation. Professor Eliahu Levitas conducted this study with 185 women. Findings were presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology Conference in Berlin, July 2004.
"Fertility can be restored in women by the use of behavioural therapy, thus avoiding recourse to expensive medicines and complex procedures." This was cited by Professor Sarah L. Berga (Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA). Berga reported her latest research in an address to the 22nd Annual Conference of the European Society of Reproduction and Embryology, June 20, 2006.
Facts for men
Psychological and emotional stress is connected with the measured levels of hormones including testosterone. Testosterone triggers sperm production and is governed by the hypothalamus-pituitary control centre, which is highly sensitive to emotional tension. Studies link high anxiety with low sperm count (see Dr. Philip Werthman M.D., Director, Center for Male Reproductive Medicine, LA, California, USA, www.malereproduction.com).
Clear statistical evidence from the USA
The 28% IVF success rate is based on the findings of the 2004 Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a USA government agency which tracks this information. In this report, 94,242 women underwent the IVF procedures with fresh donor eggs, and 28% of those women were able to conceive and give birth. Almost half of those women were under the age of thirty five. For women over thirty five, the take-home baby rate was 21% and for women over forty, the success rates dropped to single digits. It is important to note that the success rates for these medical procedures can depend on variables that range from the age of the women to medications administered and adjunct procedures used. This CDCP study attempts to record all IVF procedures that were performed in the U.S. over an entire year.
(See 'The Mind-Body Fertility Connection', James Schwartz, 2008, page 23).
Chronic viral illness
Six weeks of regular self-hypnosis sessions almost halved the recurrence of herpes (a 48% reduction in recurrence). There was also an increase of specific functional NK cell activity (specific to the herpes virus). Benefits were also found with an increase in non-specific NK cells as well. Additionally, anxiety and depression were reduced by self-hypnosis irrespective of clinical outcome.
Fox et al (1999) Int J STD & AIDS; Gruzelier, et al (2001) Contemporary Hypnosis.
There is a plethora of research suggesting that combining cognitive-behavioural therapy with hypnosis is effective for a variety of psychological, behavioural and medical disorders. Results suggest that the efficacy of sleep therapy (cognitive behavioural) is enhanced by combining it with hypnotherapy.
Graci G.M., Hardie J.C., Int J Clin Hypn, 2007 Jul.
Clinical studies using hypnosis with cancer patients showed those under hypnosis experienced less pain than the control group.
New Scientist, 10 September 2004.