Treating Psoriasis With Hypnosis

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition in which skin cells on certain parts of the body are produced much more rapidly than normal, up to ten times faster, causing a build up on the surface of ugly scaly patches, most commonly on the elbows or knees. These can be unsightly and painful. There may be itching, cracking and bleeding even keeping the sufferer awake with discomfort. It is known to be triggered by a number of factors, including trauma, infections, injury, drug reactions, smoking, alcohol and most notably emotional stress. Sufferers normally want to cover up their unsightly rashes during the summer months.

Psoriasis is non-contagious. Its most common form, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches or lesions covered with a silvery white build-up of dead skin cells, called scale. In 10- 30% of sufferers the psoriasis can also present as psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints. Severe bowel problems can also develop.

There are several different types of psoriasis, but discoid or “plaque” psoriasis is far and away the most common form. It is distinguished by patches of inflamed, scaly skin on the trunk and limbs, appearing particularly on the elbows, knees and scalp. Additionally, a sufferer’s nails may become pitted, thickened or separated from the nail beds. Gutate psoriasis is the form most frequently found in children: small patches appear rapidly over a wide area, often after the child has had a sore throat.

When psoriasis occurs the cycle of cell growth is accelerated. In healthy skin the cycle of cell creation to the cell being shed is about 1 month; in skin affected with psoriasis the cycle is reduced to 3-4 days. The skin becomes thickened and red due to an increased blood supply required to support the increased activity and the dead skin cells appear as a white flaky build up. It is believed that it is the immune system that is causing the effect by sending faulty signals.

A genetic link has been suggested. Around 2% of Europeans and Americans contract the disease and it is less common in black and Asian communities. Symptoms usually appear for the first time in those in the 10-30 year old age bracket.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. We have no conscious control over what happens in our skin. Embarrassment or exercise may make our skin become redder and fear or illness may make it go pale. Our unconscious mind controls our skin, as such, hypnosis is also effective for treating wide variety of skin complaints eg acne, eczema, warts, hives, rosacea, pruritis and embarrassing problems such as blushing and sweaty palms.

The Orthodox Treatment of Psoriasis

Orthodox treatment advises exposure to the sun or to an ultra-violet lamp (light therapy) but only in small doses. An emollient (moisturizing cream) can also help. If an attack worsens, it is usually treated with an ointment containing coal tar or dithranol. Other options include P.U.V.A. (a type of phototherapy), corticosteroids and other drugs such as methotrexate. Psoriasis sufferers who experience accompanying arthritis may be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (N.S.A.I.D.’s), anti-rheumatic drugs or methotrexate and tranquillizer or antidepressant medication in severe cases.

Other forms of treatment include nutrition, detoxification, trichology, homeopathy, Ayurveda, acupuncture, healing and stress management.

The power of hypnosis with Psoriasis

This may be explained by the science of Psychoneuroimmunology which explores the correlation between how good one feels mentally and the strength of the immune system.

The unconscious learnt how to respond to a trigger to cause excessive cell growth. By reprogramming the unconscious to deal with similar triggers in a different way, the symptoms of psoriasis should subside.

Many health conditions where emotional factors play a significant role may be relieved by hypnosis. Why is this? Our emotional states may appear to arise autonomously, in a way that is outside our control. However, while it is true that emotional response is not a conscious behavior, it has been clearly demonstrated that the nature, intensity and duration of such responses can be modified with hypnosis. The skin has been called the “mirror of the mind” and may well be the external manifestation of an internal conflict. Possible emotions may be anger, aggression, frustration or guilt.

Just as blood pressure can be raised or lowered, healing can be sped up, immune response can be strengthened and pain can be reduced or eliminated. Hypnosis is an extremely effective way to bring about such changes by reprogramming the so-called instinctive responses controlled by the unconscious mind.

In some cases, uncovering early memories and removing the association with the memory have lead to a significant improvement in the condition.

The National Psoriasis Foundation, the American charitable body, states that hypnotherapy can be useful in the treatment of psoriasis. They highlighted that hypnosis is a relaxation technique and stress is a well known as a trigger for psoriasis.

It is also believed that psoriasis may be caused by trapped emotion or an inappropriate release mechanism for emotion. The discovery of the emotional cause and development of an alternative method to release that emotion can control the psoriasis. The sufferer may not be aware of the cause. Even those who have suffered from birth can benefit from hypnosis.

A download hypnosis mp3 Psoriasis treatment allows you to attain a much greater level of control over your condition through the use of powerful metaphor and hypnotic visualization. You will soon find yourself not only feeling much calmer, but noticing increasing improvements in your skin and general health. A transformative metaphor is utilized to help the person activate their own unconscious healing processes and relieve the psoriasis.

Scientific Study on the Effect of Hypnosis on Psoriasis

One study, conducted by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., former professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts, which was published in the September/October 1999 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, examined the use of meditation-based relaxation tapes in psoriasis patients undergoing ultraviolet light (UV) treatments. Patients who listened to the tapes during the treatments cleared their skin more quickly (in some cases, twice as fast) than patients who had the light treatment alone.

Hypnotherapy can be of great help to psoriasis patients, according to a new report. Researchers at the Department of Dermatology, The John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA carried out a three month study into the use of hypnotherapy in adults suffering with stable, chronic, plaque-type psoriasis.

Five patients were given specific positive suggestions about their skin. Six were given neutral suggestions. All the patients showed some benefit, but those who were given hypnotic suggestions specifically directed at their psoriasis enjoyed much better healing. The researchers found that the highly hypnotizable patients received far greater benefit than those who were only moderately hypnotizable.

Although only a small scale study, it suggests that hypnotherapy may be a useful therapeutic treatment for psoriasis Tausk F, Whitmore SE: ‘A Pilot Study of Hypnosis in the Treatment of Patients with Psoriasis.’ Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics 1999;68:221-225 (DOI: 10.1159/000012336)

Further information:

Book: Hartland’s Medical & Dental Hypnosis” by David Waxman