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Hypnotherapy for Alzheimer Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. In most people with the disease – those with the late-onset type- symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Younger-onset (also known as early-onset) Alzheimer's affects people younger than age 65. Up to 5 percent of the more than million with Alzheimer’s have younger-onset.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease wherein its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late–stage Alzheimer’s individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.

On average, a person with Alzheimer’s lives four to eight years after diagnosis but can live as long as 20 years, depending on other factors.

What does Alzheimer’s disease look like?

Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s, though initials symptoms may vary from person to person. People with Alzheimer’s disease have trouble everyday things like driving a car, cooking meals, or paying bills. They may ask the same question constantly, can lose easily, they can lose things or put them in odd places, and find even simple things confusing. As the disease progresses, some people become worried, angry, and violent.

There is hope!

Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments such as hypnotherapy for Alzheimer’s, are available and research continues. Although treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

Were you aware that hypnotherapy can help with Alzheimer’s?

When a person has Alzheimer’s, they can become anxious and depressed, which further depletes their mental ability. First, hypnosis reduces the worry and sadness of life, which makes the persons life easier. Second, hypnosis helps to expand the use of the part of the brain that is active, by tapping into the subconscious mind.

A dementia study was published in the journal Alzheimer's Care Today in 2007 called: Alternative Approaches to Supporting Individuals with Dementia. The study illustrates the positive effects that hypnosis has on the quality of life of patients with dementia. The study is the work of Senior Dementia Specialist, Dr Daniel Nightingale and clinical and forensic psychologist Dr Simon Duff (University of Nottingham).

In the study three groups: a "Discussion Group", a "Treatment as Usual group", and a "Hypnosis group" - all Alzheimer's patients showed improvements overall in their quality of life and seven other areas:

  • Concentration
  • Relaxation
  • Motivation
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Immediate Memory
  • Memory for Significant Life Events and Socialization

Each session lasted approximately 1 hour. Thus, over the 9-month period, each participant received a total of 36 hours of hypnosis in 36 sessions. Participants were introduced to the process of progressive muscle relaxation. Participants were induced into hypnosis in 3 phases: 

  • Eye closure
  • Progressive muscle relaxation (starting at the scalp and moving progressively down toward the feet)
  • A permissive induction (Permissive inductions “ask” each participant to allow oneself to become more relaxed. After deepening, the participants were given direct suggestions relating to the 7 items described earlier, along with additional “CRC” suggestions (Calmness, Relaxation, and Confidence).

The groups had one session per week for 9 months, then nothing for the next year. And they showed amazing results!

Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing. We are hoping that science may soon find the ability to cure this disease. However, knowing that hypnosis can improve the quality of life is a small victory.

Rhondda Stewart
Rhondda Stewart landscape
Rhondda has a long and distinguished career spanning decades, including winning the Educator of the Year Award 2004 from the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (USA). To find out more about Rhondda and her achievements, please click bellow.
About Rhondda
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Mon - Thur 10:00 - 18:00
02 9550 9673
136 Moore St Leichhardt, NSW, 2040
ABN: 33051775556
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