For this essay I have chosen to look at the condition of psoriasis and the benefits of using Hypnotherapy as a treatment for that disease. I have chosen this condition as I have the history of it in my family and one of my close relatives, D has suffered that for several years. Consequently investigating the subject may be of direct relevance to me and of benefit to my well-being.
In this essay I will describe what psoriasis is, the ways modern medicine sees possible causes of psoriasis and its physical representations, enlist the known types of the disease and the treatments available to the patients. Obviously I will explore the possibilities and ways suggested by professionals how to treat psoriasis using hypnotherapy. The relevant screeds will be attached to the essay.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin and sometimes joints disorder considered by medical professionals as autoimmune disease. The fact that it is chronic doesn’t have to mean that one has visible symptoms all the time as the disease may have flares and moments of regression when it may disappear completely for some periods of time. Unfortunately American Academy of Dermatology state clearly that no one knows the cure for this disease yet and contemporary medicine can only offer the patient the treatments that can improve symptoms and appearance of the affected skin (AAD).
There are five most common types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, erythrodermic and psoriasis arthritis. However there are many less frequent types and the patient can suffer more than one type of it at the same time (NHS). It is also possible that one form of disease may change into another one and then into another again.
Each of the types looks a bit different however the general rule is that psoriasis causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin that are dry and may be covered in silverfish scale. In some cases the patches are itchy or even sore. The type D suffers, plaque psoriasis is the most common one. More than 1,6 million people in the UK suffer that form of it. It usually tends to affect young to middle-aged people disregarding their sex and in D’s case it started when he was about 30. The plaques usually appear on joint areas like elbows, knees and finger joints.
Researchers have not proven the precise cause of the disease however the professionals believe it develops due to combination of immune, genetic and environmental factors (Feldman). They believe that for unknown reasons certain immune cells become overactive and act as if they were fighting an infection or healing a wound, that doesn’t exist, which leads to the rapid growth of skin cells (they multiply 28 times faster than skin in normal condition) causing psoriatic plaques to form (PA).
Some patients like D have family history of the disease which would suggest genetic background of it however the others do not have any family members that suffered any form of psoriasis and no particular gene has been identified as a responsible for that disease so far. On the other hand many researchers suggest that some flare-ups of psoriasis can be triggered by environmental factors, such as stress or anxiety, injury to skin, hormonal changes, or certain infections or medications (Patient).
Usually immuno-suppressant, anti-inflammatory pills and vitamin A derivatives together with topical steroid creams, which slow down activity of immune cells are prescribed in such cases, UV treatment and vitamin D, however as they often do not bring expected results patients quickly stop sing them after a few weeks. What is more there are doctors that claim that most of those medications usually prescribed for psoriasis are more harmful than helpful for that in the long run (Mercola).
Because modern medicine cannot agree unanimously on the matter and the contemporary therapies often do not bring satisfying results it wouldn’t be bad idea to compliment traditional treatment with hypnotherapy. Especially that many therapist suggest that patients with such diseases suffer some kind of emotional, psychological or spiritual problems and that result in physical condition too (Tausk). Even medical sources suggest stress reduction (Medscape) and hypnotherapy (Sheffield Children’s NHS) as a complementary treatments because it is proven that emotional stress is the most common trigger. There are numerous sources confirming that such therapy help many patients (Zacharie) especially if we consider highly suggestible patients (Tausk).
Obviously the prescribed medical treatment shouldn’t be terminated as a result of hypnotherapy and it should be stressed to the patient that a hypnotherapy is a complementary treatment. The patient must know that the therapist doesn’t encourage him to give up any medications or procedures advised by the medical doctor. Even if the doctor clearly doesn’t believe in any benefits of hypnotherapy.
The main problems noticed by the therapists when examining people suffering psoriasis was that most of patients suffered stress (Patient) and low self-esteem (NCH) also as a result of the disease. Approximately one third of people with psoriasis experience depression and anxiety and 10 per cent of them admit to contemplating suicide (Pressat). Such figures suggest that it is worth to work on the mentioned problems especially that researches prove that when the subconscious issues were sorted many patients experienced meaningful remissions of psoriasis or at least felt much better as their perspective to the disease was changed (NCH).