Specialist & General Hypnotherapist
Hypnotherapy Specialist: Utilizing hypnosis to achieve therapeutic outcomes for your benefit.
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(+27) Research Sabbatical


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Hypnosis for Alzheimer’s & other Dementia’s

The main reason that hypno-therapy for dementia is largely unknown in South Africa is simply because no therapist from South Africa had previously studied this specific field.  http://dementiatherapyspecialists.com/find-a-therapist/  

Senior Dementia Specialist, Dr Daniel Nightingale and clinical and forensic psychologist Dr Simon Duff  (University of Nottingham) were requested to do an empirical study in the efficacy of hypnosis for the British Conservative party. This request was in line with the British Governments pledge to use all resources available to fight Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia’s and find various ways to cure and/or treat those living with this terrible disease.

The findings of Dr Nightingale and Dr Duff were later published in various scientific publications such as Alzheimer’s Care today and the European Journal of Clincal hypnosis. These findings were that patients who had undergone hypnotherapy only, had shown a significant improvement in the 7 key areas and when the assesments were performed 2 years later, in most cases they had continued to improve in comparison to the other 2 groups, discussion group and treatment as usual group.

As I have a personal interest in this particular field, I contacted Dr Daniel Nightingale who had now taken the technique to the USA and was residing and practising in Phoenix, Arizona, after some discussions, he agreed to train me in this specific field for which I am incredibly grateful.

Using his techniques, I have had incredible success in improving the quality of life for my clients and it is not unusual to see a 4/5 point difference out of 30 in their MMSE scores within the first 5 sessions. It is my wish that science may find a cure and means to reverse the neuro-degeneration in this specific client group, rather sooner than later. However, at this time the best I can do is to improve the quality of life and by so doing, often extending life.

The use of this technique is 45 min to 1 hour weekly sessions over a period of 9 months and works best with clients up to and including some in the 5th stage of impairment. Although I do assesment tests such as the MMSE and GDS, I do require a letter from the medical professional currently treating the patient/client. 

I am well aware that the majority of this client group are pensioners and that South African medical aids do not cover hypnotherapy. In order to assist, I hope to train other therapists in these techniques, in various centres throughout South Africa in the near future. Until then however, the best I can do is to make myself available to travel when and where required.

 For purposes of time constraints and cost effectiveness, it is recommended that this is to groups, although I realise that this is not always possible. I suggest discussions with care facilities and medical professionals working in this area in order to establish these groups. Unfortunately, our internet in South Africa is too slow and unreliable to offer skype sessions for this client group. Below are graphs that were published findings of the results of treating those living with dementia as opposed to the other treatments.

Of the 100 different types of dementia’s, Alzheimer’s is the most common and accounts for 60% of dementia cases. Vascular dementia, the 2nd most common accounts for around 30% and the other 10% is made up of the remaining different types such as Lewy body dementia (most common of the balance). Various other Dementia’s such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntingtons disease, Pugelistica, CADASIL (cerebral autosomil dominant arteriopathy with supportical infarct and lucoencopathy), etc.

Dementia is a neuro-degenerative disease which can be categorised into 2 different type: Primary and Secondary Dementia. Primary dementia’s are incurable whilst some of the secondary dementia’s are curable and result from side effects from different medications and other causes. Wilsons disease (too much copper in the blood) is one of the secondary dementia’s which is curable. For dementia to be considered as a diagnosis, the patient/client needs to have a decline in one of the following areas:- Concentration, Relaxation and/or Motivation together with a decline in either, activities of daily living, Immediate memory, memory of significant life event and socialisation.

Mixed Dementia is a term used to describe the presence of more than 1 dementia. As an example, Vascular Dementia which is caused by tiny strokes known as T.I.A’s (Transient Ischaemic Attacks) triggers Alzheimer’s Disease. The sufferer is then known to have mixed Dementia. In Alzheimer’s disease, it is thought that the amyloid plaques, a protein that forms between the neurons and the Neurofibrillary tangles, and which forms from a protein ‘tau” form around the neurons. This is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and known as Plaques and Tangles.

Lewy Body Dementia is similar in early presentation to Parkinson’s disease but post mortem will reveal clumps of alpha- synuclein and ubiquitin protein in neurons. a loss of dopamine-producing neurons (in the substantia nigra) occurs. This group experiences fluctuation in their abilities, one moment functioning normally and the next, being unable to function. In this group, problems with spatial awareness is also a problem. Hallucinations, common in all dementia’s is more pronounced in the Lewy Body type.