How Hypnosis Can Help Ease Raynaud's disease
Many physical processes can be altered with hypnosis, including bloodflow
WIth Raynaud’s disease not only do you get the physical symptoms such as numbness and pain in the fingers and toes (and even sometimes the ears and nose) but you also have to suffer the emotional fallout of terrifying changes in sensation and skin color brought on by Raynaud’s disease.
What causes Raynaud’s disease?
Raynaud’s can be brought on by cold air or touching a cold object. Stress and anxiety may also being about a Raynaud’s episode. Which is why hypnotic relaxation can help.
Occasionally Raynaud’s disease may be classified as ‘Secondary Raynaud’s’ which means that it may be a symptom of some other disorder so you need to be medically checked out just to be sure.
How will hypnosis help?
Raynaud’s disease is a circulatory disorder. During a Raynaud’s ‘attack’, blood vessels narrow (constrict) reducing blood supply to the affected areas-usually the fingers and toes.
Color changes also typically occur. So the area may become pale as blood supply reduces, followed by blue as oxygen supply is cut off eventually followed by bright red as the blood returns to the area.
Of course someone can have a Raynaud’s episode without all or any of these obvious skin color changes but Raynaud’s can be very disturbing; even terrifying for some.
Hypnosis has been shown to be highly effective in changing, increasing and decreasing blood flow in Raynaud’s disease (1) Hypnosis is famed for it’s ability to cure warts (2) and this seems to be partly achieved by diverting blood from ‘feeding’ the wart so that it eventually drops off.
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(1) In a careful single case controlled study of a patient with Raynaud’s disease. Conne (1984) showed a rapid and dramatic vasodilation in response to hypnotic suggestion.
Biofeedback, cognitive-behavioral methods, and hypnosis in dermatology: is it all in your mind?
Shenefelt PD. Dermatol Ther. 2003;16(2):114-22.
The behavioral treatment of Raynaud’s disease: a review. Rose GD, Carlson JG. Biofeedback Self Regul. 1987 Dec;12(4):257-72.
(2) The hypnotic control of blood flow and pain: the cure of warts and the potential for the use of hypnosis in the treatment of cancer. 1975 Am J Clin Hypn 17;3:160-9, Clawson, T. A. Jr and Swade, R. H.