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Hypnosis could help children with emotional breathing problems

Hypnosis could help children with emotional  respiratory symptoms.
Hypnosis could help children with emotional respiratory symptoms.

Children with breathing problems such as asthma and cystic fibrosis could benefit from hypnosis that can alleviate discomfort during procedures, and calm symptoms that have emotional components associated with respiratory disease. Hypnosis, combined with regular medical treatment could help children with habitual cough that may experience feelings of shortness of breath or other uncomfortable sensations that could be emotional in origin.

In a paper published in Pediatric Asthma, Allergy & Immunology, Ran D. Anbar, MD, Professor of Pediatrics at SUNY Upstate Medical University, in Syracuse, NY suggests that hypnosis should be considered for children whose respiratory symptoms are brought about as the result of a mind-body component. Children with asthma who hyperventilate, breathe noisily, cough disruptively, or otherwise have emotionally triggered respiratory symptoms could be calmed with hypnosis.

Coughing out of habit or vocal cord dysfunction that produces a high pitched noise with breathing but can have psychological roots, found to be absent during sleep might be indicative that hypnosis can relieve symptoms of asthma of breathing difficulty triggered by emotions.

"Dr. Anbar has added hypnosis to our therapeutic toolbox. When breathing problems have a large mind-body component, resolution with hypnosis can dramatically reduce the need for expensive testing and medications," says Harold Farber, MD, MSPH, Editor of Pediatric Asthma, Allergy Immunology, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Pulmonology, at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.

Hypnosis for children with asthma or other breathing disorders should always be performed by a medical professional warns Anbar. Only individuals with special training in hypnosis therapy should be considered to help alleviate respiratory symptoms of asthma in children triggered by emotions.

Hypnosis could produce physiologic that alleviate symptoms related to asthma and respiratory problems that include chest pain, or feelings that something is “stuck” in the throat, and hperventilation. The author suggests that hypnosis could be used before expensive testing for otherwise unexplained feelings of difficulty breathing in children by helping teach breathing techniques that could alleviate symptoms and produce physiologic changes related to emotional distress associated with asthma or cystic fibrosis.

Pediatric Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology
DOI: 10.1089/pai.2009.0025


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