Hypnosis has shown promise in supporting healthy behaviors that may significantly reduce the risk of cancer. This includes help avoiding tobacco, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet (Montgomery, Schnur, & Kravits, 2013). Hypnosis also shown promise in reducing anxiety associated with undergoing regular cancer screenings. Montgomery et al. (2013) suggest that it may be an effective tool for reducing the discomfort of colonoscopies and thereby indirectly increase adherence to regular screenings.
However, it has also been consistently shown to improve the outcome associated with cancer diagnostic procedures (Montgomery et al., 2013). A study with breast biopsy patients showed that patients who received hypnosis had significantly less post-procedural pain than the patients who received standard care (Montgomery, Weltz, Seltz, & Bovbjerg, 2002). Also, research done by Schnur et al. (2008) has shown the efficacy of hypnosis for controlling distress prior to excisional breast biopsies. In another study, patients who underwent hypnosis while undergoing large core image-guided breast biopsies had lower levels of anxiety and pain during the procedure than those did not (Lang et al., 2006).
However, it is important to note that hypnosis in conjunction with group therapy seem to possess the greatest potential. In a study with metastatic breast cancer patients, weekly group therapy along with hypnosis was associated less pain sensation, less suffering, and improved mood (Butler et al., 2009). Another study (Spiegel & Bloom, 1983) found that survival times were significantly longer in the group randomly assigned to supportive group therapy and hypnosis. Hypnosis in combination with group therapy ameliorates pain and emotional distress associated with breast cancer. Although the results concerning patient longevity remain controversial (Spiegel, Bloom, Kraemer, & Gottheil, 1989), the present research suggests that even if the intervention had no benefit in regard to the quantity of life, it still improved the their quality of life (Montgomery et al., 2013).
I am located in Ojai Ventura County and I see hypnotherapy clients from the area including Camarillo, Santa Paula, Fillmore, and Santa Barbara. I am also available for hypnotherapy/hypnosis phone sessions and remote hypnotherapy/hypnosis remote sessions. As a cancer survivor, I have personally practiced hypnosis and mindfulness to get through this difficult period in my life. Please feel free to call me at (805) 637-4263 or email for more information.
Butler, L., Koopman, C., Neri, E., Giese-Davis, J., Palesh, O., Thorne-Yocam, K., … Spiegel, D. (2009). Effects of supportive-expressive group therapy on pain in women with metastatic breast cancer. Health Pyschology, 28(5), 579–87. http://doi.org/10.1037/a0016124
Lang, E., Berbaum, K., Faintuch, S., Hatsiopoulou, O., Halsey, N., Li, X., … Baum, J. (2006). Adjunctive self-hypnotic relaxation for outpatient medical procedures: A prospective randomized trial with women undergoing large core breast biopsy. Pain, 126(1-3), 155–164. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2006.06.035
Montgomery, G., Schnur, J., & Kravits, K. (2013). Hypnosis for cancer care: Over 200 years young. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 63(1), 31–44. http://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21165
Montgomery, G., Weltz, C., Seltz, M., & Bovbjerg, D. (2002). Brief presurgery hypnosis reduces distress and pain in excisional breast biopsy patients. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 50(1), 17–32. http://doi.org/10.1080/00207140208410088
Schnur, J., Bovbjerg, D., David, D., Tatrow, K., Goldfarb, A., Silverstein, J., … Montgomery, G. (2008). Hypnosis decreases presurgical distress in excisional breast biopsy patients. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 106(2), 440–4. http://doi.org/10.1213/ane.0b013e31815edb13
Spiegel, D., Bloom, H., Kraemer, J., & Gottheil, E. (1989). Effect of psychosocial treatment on survival of patients with metastatic breast cancer. The Lancet, Oct. 14, 888–901.
Spiegel, D., & Bloom, J. (1983). Group therapy and hypnosis reduce metastatic breast carcinoma pain. Psychosomatic Medicine, 45, 333–339.