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Hypnotise yourself to a Healthier Heart










Despite the fact that there have been promising improvements to the prevention and treatment of heart diseases over the past 60 years, someone in Canada still dies from heart disease or stroke every 7 minutes. In fact, heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada (please see Heart and Stroke Foundation for more information and statistics).


Heart disease refers to a multitude of conditions affecting the heart. Some of the factors leading to heart disease can be genetic, disease based or physical in nature. Others can be caused by environmental factors or lifestyle. Although hypnosis cannot help fix the physical or genetic basis of heart conditions, it may be helpful in reaching or maintaining healthy lifestyle changes to maintain or improve heart health.


The Heart and Stroke Foundation names nine “heart-healthy steps” that one can make in their lifestyle to help maintain or improve their heart-health. This list includes: 1: Be smoke-free 2: Be physically active 3: Know and control your blood pressure 4: Eat a healthy diet that is lower in fat, especially saturated and trans fat 5: Achieve and maintain a healthy weight 6: Manage your diabetes 7: Limit alcohol use 8: Reduce stress and 9: Visit your doctor regularly and follow your doctor’s advice. The use of hypnosis may be helpful in each of them!


While it is not my intention to go through all nine of these steps, I will raise a few points demonstrating how hypnosis can be helpful.

The most obvious risk-factor to heart health is smoking. In fact, the Mayo Clinic notes that heart attacks are more common in smokers. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, smoking increases risks of blood clots, reduces oxygen in the blood system, increases blood pressure and will almost double a person’s chance of having a stroke. The risk of heart attack decreases within hours once a person stops smoking. There is an abundance of research demonstrating the effectiveness of hypnosis for smoking cessation. I have listed some of these articles on my website.


While many people associate hypnosis only with quitting smoking, it offers so much more in terms of potential in helping attain other lifestyle changes that can influence the persons’ overall well being. By using hypnosis, one can reach various other goals including increased physical activity, improved diet and decreased stress.


Very often, changing one aspect of the person’s well being can have a direct impact on other areas of health. For example, stress can impact sleep patterns (and the lack of sleep can have a direct impact on the person’s perceived stress level). We know that adequate sleep can help reduce weight-gain. In addition to helping reach a healthy weight and improved mood, better sleep may have other benefits. A recent article noted that insomniacs may have increased risk of hypertension. A search of the American Heart Association’s website reveals several articles discussing the importance of sleep. Several articles (see list below) have noted that hypnosis can be used to help reduce insomnia. By helping a person reduce stress and sleep better, the hypnotist can increase the odds of that person reaching a healthy weight. In terms of demonstrating how other lifestyle changes are interrelated, improving physical activity may have a direct impact on controlling diabetes, reaching a healthy weight and reducing hypertension. A hypnotist can enhance the chances of attaining any of these goals.


In addition to helping with lifestyle changes before problems occur, the hypnotist can also help a person adjust to lifestyle changes should they discover they have heart issues, regardless of the cause. Hypnosis has been helpful in reducing the duration of hospital stays and in decreasing medication use post-cardiac surgery. Many hypnotists, including myself, have been trained in pre- and post-surgery hypnosis. Much of the research on the pre- and post-surgery hypnosis has been done with cancer patients, but the results can be extrapolated to other types of surgery (please see below for sample articles). Based on their training, the hypnotist helps teach a person to use the power of their mind to reduce stress, to improve sleep patterns, to adjust to illness, and more to assist the person have the best outcome possible.


All said and done, Isn’t now a good time to take hypnosis to heart?


You must always consult with your health care provider before using hypnosis to help address any medical issue.


Related links:

Sample studies of hypnosis used for insomnia:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1437178/pdf/jrsocmed00280-0030.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2689375

http://www.sleepandhypnosis.org/pdf/1_1_12.pdf

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.1993.10403051


Sample studies of hypnosis used for surgery preparation:

http://www.aana.com/newsandjournal/Documents/effectsguided_0610_p181-188.pdf

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207140208410088#preview

http://journals.lww.com/anesthesiology/Citation/1986/09001/Preoperative_Instructions_for_Decreased_Bleeding.244.aspx

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12722936
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/2003/05.08/01-hypnosis.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10499384