E-ISSN: 2458-9101
Evaluation of the Effect of Hypnotherapy on the Headache
Amir Moghadam Ahmadi, Mina Jafari, Laaya Sabzevari, Atena FallahTafti, Reza Bidaki
Sleep and Hypnosis: A Journal of Clinical Neuroscience and Psychopathology 2018;20(2):114-119
Introduction: Given the high prevalence of headache that may result in lowering the quality of life and some side effects of drug treatments that may reduce the tendency of patients to medication and complete the course of treatment, and sometimes resistance of some headaches to medications, we decided to evaluate the effectiveness of hypnotherapy as a nonpharmacologic method in patients with two of the most common types of headaches (tension and migraine headaches).

Methods: In this study, totally 36 patients were studied. From each type of headaches, 18 patients were randomly selected for the study and patients of both treatment groups of tension and migraine headache were divided into three categories (6 people). The first group was only subjected to the same standard drug treatment, the second group was subjected to the same drug treatment associated with hypnotherapy and the third group underwent only hypnotherapy. Considered checklists were first completed providing a full description by the patient monitored by the researcher. Hypnotherapy was conducted in five sessions spaced two weeks. Also, in categories one and two of each group, the same standard drug treatment was continued. Then checklists were completed again by patients and obtained results were analyzed.

Findings: Before starting the treatment for the group treated with standard drugs associated with hypnotherapy, 69.2% of patients had severe headache and 30.8% had moderate headaches; however, after the end of treatment, only 7.7% had severe headache and 61.5% had a mild headache. In the drug treatment group, the proportion of patients was reduced from 58.3% of patients with severe headache and 41.7% of patients with moderate headache, to 50% moderate headache and 50 % mild headache, respectively. In the hypnotherapy group, 63.6% severe headache and 36.4% moderate headache were declined to 45.5% moderate and 54.5% mild headache, respectively. Comparing both types of headaches indicated that hypnosis had a significant effect on reducing the number of attacks and the work disability amount, that in the meantime, it had a significant decline in the group subjected to the standard drug therapy with hypnosis.

Conclusion: This study showed that hypnotherapy can be appropriately effective as drug therapy.
Keywords: tension headache, migraine headache, hypnosis