Tim Brunson DCH

Welcome to The International Hypnosis Research Institute Web site. Our intention is to support and promote the further worldwide integration of comprehensive evidence-based research and clinical hypnotherapy with mainstream mental health, medicine, and coaching. We do so by disseminating, supporting, and conducting research, providing professional level education, advocating increased level of practitioner competency, and supporting the viability and success of clinical practitioners. Although currently over 80% of our membership is comprised of mental health practitioners, we fully recognize the role, support, involvement, and needs of those in the medical and coaching fields. This site is not intended as a source of medical or psychological advice. Tim Brunson, PhD

A hypnotherapy intervention for the treatment of anxiety in patients with cancer...

Full title: A hypnotherapy intervention for the treatment of anxiety in patients with cancer receiving palliative care.

This pilot study aimed to assess the benefits of hypnotherapy in the management of anxiety and other symptoms, including depression and sleep disturbance, in palliative care patients with cancer. Eleven hospice patients received four sessions of hypnotherapy and completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System, and the Verran and Snyder-Halpern Scale at set time points. Wrist actigraphy also provided an objective assessment of sleep quality. After the second hypnotherapy session there was a statistically significant reduction in mean anxiety and symptom severity, but not in depression or sleep disturbance. After the fourth session there was a statistically significant reduction in all four patient-reported measures but not in actigraphy. These results offer evidence that hypnotherapy can reduce anxiety in palliative care patients, as well as improving sleep and the severity of psychological and physical symptoms. Further studies are needed to explore whether the observed benefits were a direct result of the hypnotherapy and how the intervention could most benefit this patient population.

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2012 Feb;18(2):69-75. Plaskota M, Lucas C, Evans R, Cook K, Pizzoferro K, Saini T. Princess Alice Hospice, Esher, Surrey, UK. marekplaskota@pah.org.uk


Hypnotherapy: fact or fiction: a review in palliative care and opinions of health professionals.

CONTEXT: Complementary medicine like hypnotherapy is often used for pain and palliative care. Health professionals vary in views about hypnotherapy, its utility, value, and attitudes. AIMS: To understand the opinions of health professionals on hypnotherapy. SETTINGS AND DESIGN: A semi-qualitative method to survey opinions of the health professionals from various disciplines attending a programme on hypnotherapy was conducted. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The survey form consisted of 32 statements about hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Participants were asked to indicate whether they agreed, disagreed, or were not sure about each statement. A qualitative feedback form was used to obtain further views about hypnotherapy. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED: Percentage, frequency distribution. RESULTS: The sample consisted of 21 participants from various disciplines. Two-thirds of the participants gave correct responses to statements on dangerousness of hypnosis (90%), weak mind and hypnosis (86%), and hypnosis as therapy (81%). The participants gave incorrect responses about losing control in hypnosis (57%), hypnosis being in sleep (62%), and becoming dependent on hypnotist (62%). Participants were not sure if one could not hear the hypnotist one is not hypnotized (43%) about the responses on gender and hypnosis (38%), hypnosis leading to revealing secrets (23%). CONCLUSIONS: Despite patients using complementary medicine services, often health professionals are unaware of the issues associated with these services. These myths may interfere in using hypnotherapy as therapeutic tool in palliative care. It is important for health professionals to have an appropriate and evidence-based understanding about the complementary therapies including hypnotherapy.

Indian J Palliat Care. 2011 May;17(2):146-9. Desai G, Chaturvedi SK, Ramachandra S. Department of Psychiatry, Nimhans, Bengaluru, India.

Meta-analysis of free-response studies, 1992-2008.

Full Title: Meta-analysis of free-response studies, 1992-2008: assessing the noise reduction model in parapsychology.

We report the results of meta-analyses on 3 types of free-response study: (a) ganzfeld (a technique that enhances a communication anomaly referred to as "psi"); (b) nonganzfeld noise reduction using alleged psi-enhancing techniques such as dream psi, meditation, relaxation, or hypnosis; and (c) standard free response (nonganzfeld, no noise reduction). For the period 1997-2008, a homogeneous data set of 29 ganzfeld studies yielded a mean effect size of 0.142 (Stouffer Z = 5.48, p = 2.13 x 10(-8)). A homogeneous nonganzfeld noise reduction data set of 16 studies yielded a mean effect size of 0.110 (Stouffer Z = 3.35, p = 2.08 x 10(-4)), and a homogeneous data set of 14 standard free-response studies produced a weak negative mean effect size of -0.029 (Stouffer Z = -2.29, p = .989). The mean effect size value of the ganzfeld database were significantly higher than the mean effect size of the nonganzfeld noise reduction and the standard free-response databases. We also found that selected participants (believers in the paranormal, meditators, etc.) had a performance advantage over unselected participants, but only if they were in the ganzfeld condition.

Psychol Bull. 2010 Jul;136(4):471-85. Storm L, Tressoldi PE, Di Risio L. School of Psychology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia. lance.storm@adelaide.edu.au

Complementary medicine in palliative care and cancer symptom management.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among cancer patients varies according to geographical area, gender, and disease diagnosis. The prevalence of CAM use among cancer patients in the United States has been estimated to be between 7% and 54%. Most cancer patients use CAM with the hope of boosting the immune system, relieving pain, and controlling side effects related to disease or treatment. Only a minority of patients include CAM in the treatment plan with curative intent. This review article focuses on practices belonging to the CAM domains of mind-body medicine, CAM botanicals, manipulative practices, and energy medicine, because they are widely used as complementary approaches to palliative cancer care and cancer symptom management. In the area of cancer symptom management, auricular acupuncture, therapeutic touch, and hypnosis may help to manage cancer pain. Music therapy, massage, and hypnosis may have an effect on anxiety, and both acupuncture and massage may have a therapeutic role in cancer fatigue. Acupuncture and selected botanicals may reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and emesis, and hypnosis and guided imagery may be beneficial in anticipatory nausea and vomiting. Transcendental meditation and the mindfulness-based stress reduction can play a role in the management of depressed mood and anxiety. Black cohosh and phytoestrogen-rich foods may reduce vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women. Most CAM approaches to the treatment of cancer are safe when used by a CAM practitioner experienced in the treatment of cancer patients. The potential for many commonly used botanical to interact with prescription drugs continues to be a concern. Botanicals should be used with caution by cancer patients and only under the guidance of an oncologist knowledgeable in their use.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. manskyp@mail.nih.gov

Aromatherapy Massage in Palliative Care

A group of London researchers at Marie Curie Cancer Care conducted randomized, controlled, clinical trials to compare the effects of massage alone to massage with essential oils (aromatherapy) on cancer patients in palliative care.


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