Hypnosis Reduces Headaches in Children
When we read and learn about stress management, we are often focused on how adults can better manage stress- whether it be personal, on-the-job, or due to a failing relationship. Sometimes, though, with all this focus on adults, we forget that children can feel stressed too.
One of the biggest reasons children feel stress is because of changes in their environment. They feel out of control when things change, and might not be able to have any control over where they live or go to school (such as when their parents separate or divorce) and they may also be subjected to stress at school, such as by being bullied or ridiculed.
Sometimes, it's tough being a kid. One of the ways that children demonstrate stress is through complaints of headaches. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis examined the impact of hypnosis for headaches in children.
The study made a distinction between fixed and variable stressors. Fixed stressors were defined as events over which the child had no control, while variable stressors are those in which the child might be able to change his behavior and modify the outcome.
In this study, 37% of children reported fixed stressors, and 63% reported variable stressors.
In the study, 96% of children reported improvement in their headaches after using hypnosis- improvement, in this case, meant that they had fewer headaches or the headaches weren't as painful than before. This effect was greater for children who were experiencing variable stressors.
For these children, it means that hypnosis, plus a greater understanding of the role they were playing in their own stress, was highly effective at reducing headaches.
This is a positive sign, because it means that, perhaps, children who are under stress can learn how to relax and gain control, instead of relying on medication to control their stress and headaches.