Recent research suggests that hypnosis has a role to play as a front line treatment to prevent heart attacks. Doctors have known for a long time that stress is associated with increased risk of heart attack. However there was only a correlation, and no direct proof that stress caused heart attacks. It was just as likely that the factors that lead to heart attacks also lead to stress.
Two new studies show that stress actually has a direct effect on the brain. The brain responds as if to a threat. It orders the body to produce new white cells. The increased blood cells then cause inflammation in the walls of the blood vessels. And this leads to narrowing of the arteries and a higher chance of being blocked by blood clots. Blockages lead to heart attacks, angina and strokes. According to the study, this is the first time that a direct link between stress and cardiovascular disease has been proved.
Using hypnosis to prevent heart attacks
What the study shows is that stress is just as important as diet and smoking. Hypnotherapists have an excellent record on stopping people smoking, and also help people to lose weight. These two outcomes both reduce the risk of heart problems. It seems that we can now play another role in keeping people healthy.
Hypnosis and relaxation therapy are very good ways of reducing stress. It now appears that teaching our clients how to relax, or how to go into self hypnosis, can have direct effects on their cardiovascular health.
This is something that hypnotherapists should develop. Perhaps we should emphasis stress reduction in advertising and when talking to clients. Perhaps one day we will have clients coming to hypnosis as the treatment of choice to deal with their general feelings of stress.
Tawakol, A., et al. (2017) Relation between resting amygdalar activity and cardiovascular events: a longitudinal and cohort study. The Lancet