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Positive Thinking Skills MP3 Downloads

has shown that 68 out of 88 people (77%) who used self-hypnosis - positive thinking skills techniques had clinically significant improvement.

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PMT Research

Last modified 2014-04-25 16:33

Text of a paper published in Proceedings of the British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis 1991 Vol 7 No 5 pp25-6. Research performed by Dr Mike Matthews

Hypnosis in Premenstrual Syndrome: A clinical trial


Stung by speakers at various meetings and writers in Journals, this study serves two major objectives:-

  1. To prove that it is possible singlehanded with little time, a population of general practice patients and a less than elementary knowledge of statistics (augmented by a small textbook on the subject) to produce experimental results of a pilot nature worth investigating at a more formal depth with much bigger cohorts.
  2. To show that therapy in hypnosis is able to significantly improve the symptoms of PMS.

I hope it succeeds.

A review of my bookshelf shows PMS or PMT to be absent from the indices of many of the books regarded as basic hypnosis texts, and yet the GP sees many ladies who suffer this polymorphous group of symptoms. It would be nice to be able to offer them something non-pharmacological at least as effective as pills.


Venue: Research carried out at the practice premises.


12 consecutive ladies aged 20 - 46 who presented with a self diagnosis of 'Premenstrual Tension' were entered into the study. One dropped out after one session of hypnotherapy and was lost to follow up. One got worse and was put on hormonal therapy after two months. The remaining l0 continued and were included in the final assessment.

All were ladies well known to me and there was sufficient comfort in our preceding therapeutic relationship to nullify any placebo effect of my producing a new and wonderful treatment for them.

7 were on no treatment and 3 were on treatment, which had been the same for at least six months and was not changed throughout the trial period. The only therapeutic intervention therefore was the therapy within hypnosis. There was no assessment of hypnotisability.


The ladies completed the same questionnaire before the trial started; at six months; and six months after that. It asked them to score their symptoms out of a list of 24 including a catch all (Any Other). They were asked to score each from 0 to 10; 10 being 'as bad as possible', 5 being 'just bearable', 0 being 'I don't get this symptom'. They were asked to say how many days after the start of the last period they began to feel the effects of their PMT. The symptom scores were added and multiplied by the proportion of time per cycle that they occurred to make up a total score. The change in this after six months and one year was then taken as the numerical basis for the assessment.


The following "psychotheology" was explained, out of hypnosis.

'In order to follow the monthly cycle you have two sorts of chemical substances in your body called hormones which vary together over the month. So that you can control these, you need in your mind three things.

  1. A set of instructions about what levels of hormones you need to produce each day throughout each month.
  2. A means of measuring them so that you know where you are within the month and
  3. A memory of what they were yesterday, last month, last year, so that you know where in your monthly cycle you are and where you have to go.

You will have had experience of adjusting the controls I have just mentioned at times of stress. For instance, a period coming late if you worried you were pregnant or coming early under stress of exams or family problems. You will also have heard of ladies having false pregnancies producing all the changes of pregnancy because they wanted desperately to be so. If you can do things like this when you don't want to surely you will be able to do so when you do'. This preamble led into:-

Hypnosis Technique

Induction was by Elmans eye roll and deepened by the Glasgow dental school technique of three deep breaths and sustained by being in a favourite place.

Ideomotor finger signals were set up for yes and no, and the psychotheology respected in trance. The lady was asked to access that part of her mind dealing with hormones and its permission was obtained for the intervention. It was asked to look at/feel/hear the level of hormones it used today and then do the same for some time before the problem started and note any difference (there always was). It was then asked if it could use the satisfactory balance today, bearing in mind that it might not be suitable for a lady of 40 to have the balance of a lady of 20. If this was followed by a no answer then that part of the mind was asked if it could go along the way to some extent (this was always suitable), Finally, some assessment of the time the improvement could be expected was elicited. This was deliberately left nebulous but was always within six months. The agreement of all other parts of the mind was determined and trance was terminated by a reverse count. The whole process rarely took longer than 15 minutes.

The ladies were seen for follow-up at 12 weeks and the routine was repeated. Although I carried this out for the purposes of the trial, my feeling is that it is largely redundant and since completing this trial I have dropped it, without any apparent diminution in the technique's effectiveness.


Rough Scores

Patient12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Pretest37.5060.57 17.50 64.35 16.75 25.71 71.42 27 45.5 81.85
6 months8.7527.93 13.00 45.00 16.75 8.75 14.42 9.75 39.0 56.57
1 year18.5727.00 15.25 32.50 10.00 40.71 8.75 10.74 22.0 65.24


It is striking that it is often found that placebo is as effective as active drug in controlled trials in PMS (references 2/3 Dennerstein et al Sampson et al) and although placebo and hypnosis are not the same (reference 4) they share certain similarities. I hope that I have excluded as much as possible the placebo effect of myself. The repetition of the 'psychotheology' both conversationally and in hypnosis is intended to utilise both dominant and non-dominant parts of the mind in the process and the technique borrows heavily from the ideas of Cheek and Rossi (reference 5) in respect of the efficacy of recursiveness.

It seems that the reaching back to before the problem, followed by a review of the state today then to the problem's start and forward in a continued cycle (the essence of recursiveness as I understand it) is a most effective means of entrapping elusive subconscious resources for cure.

The music of Bach with its fugues, the writing of Lewis Carroll, and the etchings of M.C. Escher all possess this and therein contain immense hypnotic appeal.

Perhaps we could learn vital lessons from these less obvious sources and so improve techniques in our lines of communication.

Doubtless there are many design faults in the trial but I hope that someone more qualified in trials than I will take up the torch to elucidate the differences between placebo, hypnosis and drug therapy in PMS.

Perhaps clinicians at the grass root level could helpfully point the way to their more academic colleagues and help heal the unfortunate rift apparent between clinicians and experimenters.


  1. Experimental Statistics and Design in Psychology an introduction Second Edition Colin Robson Pelican 1983
  2. Dennerstein et al Treatment of PMS - a double-blind trial of Dydrogesterone J.Affective Disease 1990
  3. Samson, Heathcote et al PMS A Double-blind cross-over study of treatment Wllh Dydrogesterone and Placebo Br J Psychiat, 1985 183, 232-235.
  4. Gibson H B, Is Hypnotherapy a Placebo Proceedings of BSMDH 1988. 6:9-12
  5. Rossi, E I & Cheek D B, Mind-Body Therapy,1988 273: 3 -47 et seq.
  6. Douglas R Hofstadter, Godel, Escher, Bach Penguin. 1979


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