A team of researchers at Basle University in Switzerland taught 66 hay fever sufferers self-hypnosis in a bid to discover whether it would help to alleviate symptoms such as a runny nose.
The study, which was conducted over a two year period covering two hay fever seasons involved half of the participants regularly practicing self-hypnosis alongside taking their usual allergy medication.
The remaining participants simply took their normal allergy medication and did not practise self hypnosis during the trial period.
After one year had passed it was found that the participants who had been practising self hypnosis had reported fewer hay fever symptoms than the other group.
In the second year of the trial the researchers went on to teach the non-hypnosis group self-hypnosis, and at the end of the second year they had also reported an improvement in their symptoms.
In addition to this many of the volunteers had also reduced their intake of hay fever medication after learning self-hypnosis.
Though experts are unsure of how the hypnotherapy works, Professor Wolf Langewitz has said this simple method of intervention is definitely worth further investigation.
“It is cheap and only takes a couple of hours to teach”. He said.
Though at this stage it is purely an educated guess, Langewitz believes hypnotherapy could work by altering the blood flow and alleviating the congestion which is caused by hay fever.
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View the original BBC News article.