Children can be taught to use their imagination to tackle frequent bouts of stomach pain, research shows. A relaxation-type CD, asking children to imagine themselves in scenarios like floating on a cloud led to dramatic improvements in abdominal pain. The US researchers said the technique worked particularly well in children as they have such fertile imaginations. It has been estimated that frequent stomach pain with no identifiable cause affects up to one in five children. The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, follows on from studies showing hypnosis is an effective treatment for a range of conditions known as functional abdominal pain, which includes things like irritable bowel syndrome.
In this study, the children had 20 minute sessions of “guided imagery” – a technique which prompts the subject to imagine things which will reduce their discomfort. One example is letting a special shiny object melt into their hand and then placing their hand on their belly, spreading warmth and light from the hand inside the tummy to make a protective barrier inside that prevents anything from irritating the belly The researchers, from the University of North Carolina and Duke University Medical Center, said a lack of therapists led them to the idea of using a CD to deliver the sessions. In all 30 children aged between six and 15 years took part in the study – half of whom used the CDs daily for eight weeks and the rest of whom got normal treatment.
As usual at Diets Don’t work we must also emphasise the importance of exercise and good healthy nutrition in preventing any illnesses, whether in children or adults. Many of our personal training clients in the London area have families and report that exercise and good nutrition really helps prevent their children getting ill, and it also means that when they do catch something nasty from school it’s gone in no time.
This power of mind over matter also plays a vital role in all sports and for those battling illness. whether it’s the mental toughness of a marathon runner or the mental calmness of German footballer getting ready to score a penalty!