Dementia is the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century: around 50 million people worldwide have dementia and this number is predicted to triple by 2050.
Recent findings from the University of Liverpool in England and the Mayo Clinic in the United States have found that Clinical Hypnotherapy may slow down the impacts of dementia and improve quality of life for Alzheimer patients. My own research and patient participation have concluded that techniques such as visualisation have helped in seven main areas:
1. Concentration on daily tasks thus retaining valued independence.
2. Relaxation thereby reducing anxiety which is a common feature.
3. Motivation, which helps to avoid depressive states.
4. Undertaking daily activities and keeping active.
5. Short term memory retention.
6. Memory for significant life events.
7. Socialization, thereby avoiding the tendency for self-isolation and depression.
This research has found that people living with dementia who had received hypnotherapy showed an improvement in concentration, memory and socialization compared to the other treatment groups. Relaxation, motivation and daily living activities also improved with the use of hypnotherapy.
It is my understanding that the sub cortical brain has no language and can’t think so if the work is directed towards emotional and sensory experiences, you may have a better chance of improvement in functioning. It is better not to work within the frame of Alzheimer’s but to work within the frame the patient offers and with the response given. This framework constructed out of the answers they give.
Participants who are aware of the onset of dementia may become depressed and anxious at their gradual loss of cognitive ability and so hypnotherapy, which is a tool for relaxation, can really help the mind concentrate on positive activity like socialization.
My belief is that medication alone is not the only answer to a better quality of life in patients. Treating the mind similar to the way we treat heart conditions by way of exercise and motivational strategies, empowers and brings to the patients a greater degree of wellbeing and socialisation.
At Art of Well-Being Hypnosis, I believe in providing an affordable service for clients and aim to ensure that finances do not prevent someone from being able to access help and support when needed.
Have an amazing day,
Brian William Smith.