Not much is known about the causes of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), perhaps because people who have PD tend to lead progressively less social lives It’s an illness which is less understood by the general public; in fact many people don’t consider it to be a serious disease. As part of World Parkinson’s Day which was held on April 11th, Parkinson’s UK has launched a campaign to increase awareness of PD, seeking to educate people on the seriousness of this disease.
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disease which affects the nervous system. The main symptoms of PD are slow movement, stiff muscles and involuntary tremors in the body. A person with PD can also experience depression, memory loss and balance issues which lead to increased likelihood of falling.
Doctors and medical researchers are still not entirely sure why PD occurs, but they know that it happens when nerve cells in the brain die. This leads to specific chemicals on the brain being produced less (dopamine) which cause the tremors, confusion and muscle tightness. According to current statistics 1 in 37 people in the UK will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s at some point in their life, however that is expected in increase due to an increasingly aging population.
Research into the use of hypnotherapy to lessen the symptoms of PD is still relatively sparse, however medical bodies are showing an increasing interest in its ability to help sufferers to relieve their symptoms. The European Parkinson’s Disease Association states that hypnotherapy has been reported to improve certain Parkinson’s symptoms in some people – for example pain, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression. A small research studies reported significant improvements in self-reported levels of anxiety, depression, sleep quality, pain, stiffness, libido, and quality of life after 3 sessions of hypnotherapy along with a 94% reduction in tremors following treatment. In addition to this there are anecdotal reports of the benefits of hypnotherapy for PD that can be found on forums and in support groups for PD sufferers.
Working with a hypnotherapist may help you feel more confident and more at ease about things which have previously been challenging for you says the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH). A qualified clinical hypnotherapist can assist individuals in learning to better manage their PD, changing their relationship to their symptoms.