Upstate News

April 8, 2010
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Hypnosis can be effective tool for relief of symptoms for respiratory disorders in kids

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Hypnosis, used by clinicians in the care of children with respiratory disorders such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, habit cough, or vocal cord dysfunction, helps children to achieve symptomatic relief, notes pediatric pulmonologist Ran Anbar, M.D., of Upstate Medical University and the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in the journal Pediatric Asthma, Allergy & Immunology.

Anbar also states that the use of hypnosis improves the clinicians’ ability to diagnose and treat patients with complicated clinical presentations and saves some patients from undergoing costly medical tests or receiving nonessential treatments.

“Clinical hypnosis has been demonstrated to be an efficient and effective tool for addressing the mind/body connection for children with respiratory disorders,” said Anbar, professor of pediatrics and medicine in the Department of Pediatrics.

In his paper, published in the journal’s February edition, Anbar says that hypnosis helps patients control their anxiety or other response to discomfort, which may reduce the amount of medications used during medical procedures such as phlebotomy or bronchoscopy.

“Patients can be taught hypnosis techniques by a trained clinician in less than 30 minutes during a regular medical office appointment,” he said. “Childrens’ symptoms sometimes can resolve after one or two sessions. Use of hypnosis by the patient can eliminate the need for a time-consuming, expensive workup that often fails to identify a physical cause of their discomfort, such as hyperventilation, chest pain or a feeling that something is stuck in their throat.”

Anbar says that clinical hypnosis for use by various staff members at a respiratory specialty center is learned best through active participation in 20-hour experiential hypnosis workshops endorsed by medical hypnosis organizations.

“While acquiring the skills required for incorporating hypnosis into clinical practice may take relatively few hours, it is the clinician’s years of professional training that permits its appropriate use,” he said.

Anbar cautions that hypnosis should not be attempted or considered for use by someone who is not a healthcare provider and has not received appropriate training in the technique.

Anbar has organized a Pediatric Hypnosis Workshop for professionals who work in the pediatric field, to be held May 6 through 8 at the Craftsman Inn in Fayetteville, N.Y.

Clinicians will learn the technique through a combination of lecture, demonstration and experiential training. The workshop focuses on how to help children and adolescents help themselves to diminish pain and anxiety, control maladaptive habits and cope with the stresses of chronic disease.

For more information, e-mail Anbar at anbarr@upstate.edu or contact Jean Szkotak at 315-464-7568.

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