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News

Hypnosis improves inflammation in ulcerative colitis

The latest American Journal of Gastroenterology examines the effect of hypnosis on systemic and rectal mucosal measures of inflammation in ulcerative colitis.

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Hypnotherapy is effective in several diseases with a psychosomatic component.

Dr David Rampton and colleagues from the United Kingdom studied the effects of one session of hypnosis on the systemic and rectal mucosal inflammatory responses in patients with active ulcerative colitis.

In total, 17 patients with active ulcerative colitis underwent a 50-minute session of gut-focused hypnotherapy.

Hypnosis reduced the median serum interleukin-6 concentration by 53%
American Journal of Gastroenterology

Before and after each procedure, the systemic inflammatory response was assessed by serum interleukin-6 and interleukin-13 concentrations.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin -6 production by lipopolysaccharide-stimulated whole blood, and leukocyte count were also measured.

In addition, the team assessed natural killer cell number, platelet activation, and platelet-leukocyte aggregate formation.

The team evaluated rectal inflammation by mucosal release of substance P, histamine, interleukin-13 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

Rectal inflammation was also evaluated by reactive oxygen metabolite production, and mucosal blood flow.

The team identified 8 patients with active ulcerative colitis who underwent a control procedure.

The researchers found that hypnosis decreased pulse by a median 7 beats per minute.

It also reduced the median serum interleukin-6 concentration by 53%, but had no effect on the other systemic variables assessed.

Hypnosis reduced rectal mucosal release of substance P by a median 81%, histamine by 35%, and interleukin-13 by 53%.

The researchers observed that hypnosis improved blood flow by 18%.

The control protocol had no effect on any of the variables assessed.

Dr Rampton's team concluded, "Hypnosis reduced several components of the systemic and mucosal inflammatory response in active ulcerative colitis toward levels found previously in the inactive disease."

"Some of these effects may contribute to the anecdotally reported benefits of hypnotherapy, and provide a rationale for controlled trials of hypnotherapy in ulcerative colitis."

Am J Gastroenterol 2008: 103(6): 1460-9
16 June 2008

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