Hypnosis for the Pediatric Respiratory Care Toolbox


To cite this article:
Ran D. Anbar. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. June 2010, 16(3): 145-150. doi:10.1089/act.2010.16303.
Published in Volume: 16 Issue 3: June 18, 2010


Utilization of hypnosis as part of the care of children with respiratory disorders helps these patients achieve symptomatic relief, improves the clinician’s ability to diagnose and treat patients with complicated clinical presentations, and saves some patients from undergoing costly investigations or receiving nonessential treatments. Hypnosis can be defined as a state of inward attention during which the mind is focused on ideas of therapeutic value that can potentiate physiologic change.


There are few published randomized trials demonstrating the effectiveness of hypnosis in the management of asthma. Published case-series suggest hypnosis is of benefit for children with cystic fibrosis, dyspnea, habit cough, insomnia, or vocal-cord dysfunction. Hypnosis helps patients control their response to discomfort, which may allow reduction in the amount of pharmacologic analgesia during medical procedures such as phlebotomy or bronchoscopy.

Once children decide to learn self-hypnosis, initial instruction time can require 5–30 minutes with older children and even less time with younger children. This training can be incorporated within regular medical-office appointments. Clinical hypnosis for use by various staff members at a pediatric pulmonary 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.

Conclusion: Clinical hypnosis is an efficient and effective tool for addressing the mind–body connection for children with respiratory disorders.



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