Investigators from the Institute of Medical Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians-University and Technical University in Munich, Germany, used a retrospective study to assess the effectiveness of a combined therapy of traditional Chinese medicine and hypnotherapy (systemic autoregulation therapy or SART) as a novel treatment for endometriosis-associated symptoms, especially for the 15% of patients with severe endometriosis who suffer from pain in spite of pharmacological and surgical treatment.
 
Forty-seven patients with severe endometriosis, treated with the SART protocol, were followed up through standardized telephone interviews.  Follow-up data were compared to baseline assessments.

The median follow-up time was 5 years. The median intensity of endometriosis-associated pain had decreased on average from 8 to 3 points on a 0-10 point visual analogue scale (p < 0.001).

Eighteen patients (38%) were free of pain, and the number of patients using pain medication had decreased from 38 to 19 (from 81% to 40%).
 
Seventeen out of the 31 women trying for a pregnancy (55%) produced a total of 21 births at follow-up.  Exploratory analyses revealed that larger decreases in pain scores correlated significantly with longer treatment durations, suggesting a dose-response relationship.

The researchers summarize that treatment of endometriosis with a holistic approach of Chinese medicine and hypnotherapy may result in a substantial reduction of pain as well as increased birth rates in patients with therapy-refractory endometriosis. They conclude that randomized controlled studies to further investigate the effectiveness of SART are highly warranted.

Citation:  Meissner K, Böhling B, Schweizer-Arau A.  Long-term effects of traditional Chinese medicine and hypnotherapy in patients with severe endometriosis - a retrospective evaluation. Forschende Komplementarmedizin. (Research in Complementary Medicine) 2010;17(6):314-20. Epub 2010 Dec 9. [email protected]