How can hypnosis help with perimenopause and menopause?


Hypnotherapist, Louise Coyle, on hypnosis for perimenopause and menopause.


Louise Coyle from Changing Times Hypnotherapy: hypnosis, mindfulness and CBT

Before becoming a hypnotherapist, Louise worked as a medical journalist, writing about diseases and new medicines to help doctors and the public understand advances in research. She loved her career as she’s fascinated by progress in treating disease and keeping people well. Now, as a hypnotherapist, she has found a way to help people directly.

Louise says that one of the most fascinating aspects she noticed when learning about advances in medicine is that the best trials need to compare new treatments to a ‘dummy’ treatment, called a placebo. Long ago, researchers noticed that people who are involved in a clinical trial can experience remarkable improvements in their condition, even when they aren’t actually receiving a new treatment. We call this the placebo response and it highlights just how powerful the effects of positive suggestions and beliefs can be. This power of the mind  is harnessed in hypnotherapy, says Louise.

What is hypnosis useful for during peri, and menopause?

Hypnotherapy is highly effective, evidence-based method of managing a range of issues but particularly problems relating to stress and anxiety. Hypnosis has been shown, in properly conducted clinical trials, to be as effective at treating hot flushes as conventional hormone treatment (HRT).

Believe it or not, women can learn to control their body’s temperature thermostat. Hypnosis also has a wealth of evidence for its effectiveness in reducing anxiety and treating insomnia. The North American Menopause Society recommends hypnosis, alongside CBT, as a non-hormonal treatment for menopausal symptoms. A recent article in the British Medical Journal stated:' The NAMS guideline recommends hypnosis for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms,  based on randomised controlled trials including women with and without a history of breast cancer demonstrating a statistically significant reduction in the frequency of subjective and objective vasomotor symptoms'. (BMJ 2017;359:5101)

Using hypnotherapy, a woman can learn how to reduce the number and impact of hot flushes, find ways to sleep better, gain motivation for improving exercise or reducing weight and reduce stress and anxiety.

How can hypnotherapy help menopause?

Hypnotherapy can help you change behaviour if you want it to! Hypnotherapy is a way of harnessing your brain’s natural power to enable you to achieve change and to achieve the best version of ‘you’ that there is!

Hypnosis is………

  • Time for relaxation and focus on positive suggestions
  • Something anyone can learn to do and become accomplished at
  • Time for yourself and a step on the journey to be the best you there is
  • A way to change behaviour and habits
  • Completely safe
  • A method of achieving change that has lots of evidence to back it up
  • A skill that you can use in everyday life to manage stress
  • A collaborative process between you and the therapist

Hypnosis is not……

  • Something to be scared of
  • A form of mind control!
  • A trick that will make you do things you don’t want to do!
  • Going to leave you ‘stuck’ in a trance!

Hypnosis is a simple, down-to-earth and common sense therapy that can enable you to progressively improve your habitual feelings and behaviour.

The feeling of being in hypnosis is not actually ‘sleep’ – people are aware of everything that is going on around them – but it has been likened to the feeling of daydreaming when you are absorbed in your imagination and an idea.

What can hypnotherapy do for menopause symptoms?

Hypnotherapy can help to change behaviour if the client wants it to! Hypnotherapy is a way of harnessing natural psychological and physiological states to enable someone to achieve change. The therapist has an important part to play in the process – guiding you towards positive suggestions – but the client’s part is crucial. She must want to accept the suggested ideas for change and use the imagination to vividly picture responding to these suggestions. But a client needn’t worry that they don’t have a very good imagination – everyone can learn the skills of hypnosis.

The wealth of research that has been carried out on hypnotherapy shows that it can be particularly helpful for:

  • Managing anxiety
  • Overcoming sleep disorders
  • Managing stress related disorders
  • Reducing the intensity and number of hot flushes during menopause