Think your skin beautiful!
Think your skin beautiful!
With so much emphasis on beautiful skin in the media, celebrity magazines, gossip columns and cosmetic companies it’s no wonder that if we have a skin problem then it affects our mood and how we feel about ourselves as the superficial society says “Clear skin is beautiful”.
The problem is the more we worry about our skin the more our skin is likely to reflect that, it’s a kind of self-defeating loop. You see the link between your emotional state and your skin is well documented. A growing field in medicine is Psychodermatology, which is a field that addresses the impact of an individual's emotion as it relates to the skin. Karen Mallin, a Doctor of Psychology and an instructor in the departments of psychiatry and behavioural sciences and dermatology and cutaneous surgery says:
“The mind and skin are connected on many different levels. A lot of nerve endings are connected to the skin, which wraps around the organs, so as emotions are played out neurologically, they can be expressed through the skin just as stress can be expressed through gastrointestinal symptoms, increased anxiety, or hypertension."
According to clinical psychologist and psychodermatology expert Dr. Ted A. Grossbart, people who visit clinicians for a skin condition often have a related psychological problem that can affect the way they respond to medical treatment.
Skin problems don’t just affect our personal life though, Work-related skin diseases account for approximately 50 percent of occupational illnesses and are responsible for an estimated 25 percent of all lost workdays. These dermatoses are often underreported because their association with the workplace is not recognized.
With the now highly studied and widely accepted understanding that your mind is linked to your skin - is medical treatment enough to help partially or completely reduce the symptoms of skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, itching, rashes, urticaria, dermatitis, warts, alopecia, trichotillomania to name but a few? All the evidence says no, it’s not. Partial repression of symptoms may be obtained but without dealing with the underlying cause then the symptoms will return when triggered.
An example would be Darren, 29 years old, suffering with terrible eczema since his mid-teens which is when his parents split up. He has been treating himself daily with emollients and also has been prescribed steroid cream which isn’t suitable for long term use. He has also tried PUVA which is treating the skin with UV light but doses have to be carefully managed due to UV light being carcinogenic (a substance or agent that tends to produce cancer). After 15 years Darren still hadn’t found an effective treatment and was borderline depressed. We discovered that Darren was so upset at the time of his parents splitting up and that he partially blamed himself for it, this wasn’t dealt with properly so this strong emotion was trapped inside and we discovered this was the cause of his eczema. Darren’s skin is now clear.
In small studies, hypnosis has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety; reduce pain and inflammation; control sweating and itching; speed healing; and limit behaviours such as scratching, picking, or hair pulling Belgian researchers reported in the August 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology that 67% of patients with significant hair loss (alopecia) who underwent hypnosis (including self-hypnosis) had total or partial hair regrowth during treatment. In some studies, hypnotherapy, especially combined with behavioural and relaxation techniques, has helped reduce itching and scratching in people with atopic dermatitis.
Hypnosis has been studied extensively for treating warts. In one controlled trial, which compared hypnosis to no treatment at all, 53% of the hypnotized patients — but none of the unhypnotized patients — lost at least some of their warts. Another trial compared hypnotic suggestion (of the warts healing and shrinking) to salicylic acid (the standard treatment for warts), placebo salicylic acid, and no treatment. The hypnotized participants lost significantly more warts than subjects in the other three groups.
Day to day stress at our place of work, in the home or stress that we place upon ourselves creates a build-up of a stress hormone called Cortisol. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels interfere with learning and memory, triggers skin problems, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease... the list goes on and on. Hypnotherapists can teach people how to cope with stress so there body can return to normal functions and they can be happier with their lifestyle.
So, you can think your skin beautiful, you just need to speak to an expert in the workings of the subconscious mind and also one who is experienced at finding the cause to unwanted emotions and stress management. Hypnosis meets all these requirements.
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