Nick Sharpe 2177 words
Choose a medical condition that interests you and research it. Write about the possible uses of hypnosis in the treatment of the condition as you see them.
I will be looking at the impact that chronic illnesses have on a person’s life with particular reference to the illness Myalgic encephalomyelitis’ (M.E.) sometimes known as ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ (C.F.S). I will explore the role that hypnotherapy can have in pain relief and stress reduction.
M.E. is an illness about which there is currently much disagreement among medical professionals ...view middle of the document...
There are scores of additional symptoms that may also exhibit, which further complicate diagnosis and treatment. Patients can suffer mild, moderate or severe symptoms depending on severity of symptoms. Mild sufferers can continue with life mostly unimpaired while severe sufferers are completely disabled.
Currently most medical authorities have M.E. being equated to or subsumed under C.F.S. generally. The distinction between the two is more than a semantic one; it may lead to patients being wrongly diagnosed and given counter productive treatment. The ‘National Institute for health and Care Excellence’ published results to this effect which was highly criticised for its flawed methodology and the involvement of no M.E. specialists in their research. The World Health Organisation however disagrees: “The term CFS covers many different conditions, which may or may not include ME. The use of the term CFS in the I.C.D. Index is merely colloquial and does not necessarily refer to M.E. It could be referring to any syndrome of chronic fatigue, not to M.E. at all. ”
If for instance, fatigue is viewed as a psychological symptom, it would be best treated - and often has been - with exercise. M.E. however is identified by its unique post-exertional fatigue, which, being quite different from ordinary fatigue causes severe depletion of energy after exercise for hours afterwards.
So, it is argued, it’s unsafe, unreliable and unrealistic to equate C.F.S with M.E. on a medical level yet, without ubiquitous consensus on if it’s mental or neurological nature, doctors can choose arbitrarily which diagnosis to make and what treatments to give.
The specific aetiology of CFS is not fully understood and it may have multiple causes. Suggestions include viral, environmental and psychological causes. Genetics has shown to predispose people to the illness although an external trigger event often accompanies its onset. Biochemical causes such as A.N.S. dysregulation and mitochondrial dysfunction (cells being unable to extract energy from food) have been suggested and my own meta-analysis convinced me the latter to be the most likely cause for M.E. Dr. Myhill (2009) outlines evidence for this in her paper (3) and shows how this explanation relates to symptoms, particularly poor stamina and delayed post-exertional fatigue.
Stress is a contributing cause. When it becomes a persistent negative factor it can cause a collapse in body’s defences lowering resistance to illness. In fact evidence shows CFS sufferers have a higher ‘Allostatic load’ than normal. (4) This represents the physiological consequences of exposure to heightened neural response that results from chronic stress or the ‘wear-and-tear’ that stress has on the body. So stress has more of an effect on CFS patients than normal and so will be a primary focus for therapy
The other main focus will be on pain relief. M.E. Patients suffer...