• "A funny thing is happening to hypnosis, long a feature of vaudevillian routines: It's becoming respectable, working its way into premier research hospitals, medical journals, and doctors' offices throughout the US. An increasing number of physicians are using hypnosis to ease patients through childbirth, angioplasty, chemotherapy, breast biopsy--even full-on surgery. 'If somebody told you there was a medication that could treat 100 different conditions, didn't require a prescription, and had no bad side effects, you wouldn't believe them,' says Harvard Medical School psychologist Carol Ginandes, PhD.'"I don't want to sound like a snake oil salesman, because hypnosis is not a magic wand. But it should be made available as a supplementary treatment for all patients who could benefit. Right now.'

    From Prevention Magazine's March 2006 article, The Healing Power of Hypnosis

  • Speed weight loss. Studies have consistently shown that adding hypnosis to cognitive-behavioral treatments for weight reduction increases the chances of short-term success. Over as many as 48 months, hypnotized patients lost more than double the amount of weight that patients lost in a program without a hypnosis component.

    From Consumer Reports: Power of suggestion: Medical uses of hypnosis

  • This study examined the effect of adding hypnosis to a behavioral weight-management program on short- and long-term weight change. One hundred nine subjects, who ranged in age from 17 to 67, completed a behavioral treatment either with or without the addition of hypnosis. At the end of the 9-week program, both interventions resulted in significant weight reduction. However, at the 8-month and 2-year follow-ups, the hypnosis clients showed significant additional weight loss, while those in the behavioral treatment exhibited little further change. More of the subjects who used hypnosis also achieved and maintained their personal weight goals.

    From the Journal of Clinical Psychology: Effectiveness of hypnosis as an adjunct to behavioral weight management

  • "Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. Willpower, it turns out, counts for very little."

    To find the most effective method to stop smoking, University of Iowa researchers performed a meta-analysis, utilizing the results of more than 600 studies, totaling nearly 72,000 people.

    The results, which were published in the Journal of Applied Psychology and included 48 studies of hypnosis covering 6000 smokers, clearly showed that hypnosis was three times more effective than Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

    Cognitive Reactions to Smoking Relapse, Reported in New Science, Vol 136, Issue 1845

  • Just when my skeptic's antennae convince me I always know bunk when I see it, I get fooled. I assumed hypnosis in medicine was one more con game... "Hypnotherapy will help you lose weight!" C'mon, if it worked, there wouldn't be all those overweight people around.Truth: Hypnosis works -- if you let it!

    John Stossel of ABC's 20/20, from page 215 of his new bestselling book: Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity

  • Hypnosis is no longer just a stage-show act. During the past 10 years, it has slipped quietly into mainstream medicine -- helping people quit smoking, even cut back or stop using pain and anxiety medications. There's good research backing it up.

    From WebMD: Hypnosis Goes Mainstream

  • "Hypnotherapy has the potential to help relieve the symptoms of a wide variety of diseases and conditions. It can be used independently or along with other treatments. For example, it's one of several relaxation methods for treating chronic pain that has been approved by an independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health. According to preliminary studies, hypnotherapy may be used to change negative behaviors, such as smoking, bed-wetting and overeating, reduce fear, stress and anxiety, eliminate or decrease the intensity of phobias, treat pain during childbirth and reduce labor time, control pain during dental and surgical procedures..."

    From the Mayo Clinic article Hypnosis: An Altered State of Consciousness

  • "To appreciate the therapeutic potential of hypnosis, you first have to forget about things like swinging watches and hapless audience members who prance around onstage, crowing like roosters. 'One of the interesting ironies about hypnosis is that old fantasy that it takes away control,' says Dr. David Spiegel, professor and associate chair of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and a leading expert on the practice. 'It's actually a way of enhancing people's control, of teaching them how to control aspects of their body's function and sensation that they thought they couldn't .'"

    Newsweek, Altered States

  • Under hypnosis, subjects do not behave as passive automatons but instead are active problem solvers who incorporate their moral and cultural ideas into their behavior while remaining exquisitely responsive... Nevertheless, the subject does not experience hypnotically suggested behavior as something that is actively achieved. To the contrary, it is typically deemed as effortless--as something that just happens.

    From Scientific American Mind: The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis

  • The power of suggestion which hypnosis provides is enough to change the way patients think of themselves, their bodies and their surroundings.

    From Johns Hopkins: Hypnosis Practices Gain Credibility

  • "A 'cure' to help us lose weight and quit smoking is the Holy Grail for those who have tried everything. Hypnosis can help... Lifestyle changes matter most here. That means better eating habits and more exercise. Hypnosis can be extremely effective in reinforcing a commitment to lifestyle changes."

  • From the Chicago Tribune  "MDs Bone Up on Remedies Once Scorned" About 75 percent of medical schools now have some CAM courses in the curriculum....      http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/q/chi-1216_cam_p1_xxxxxdec16,0,4155613,full.column

  • Dental Surgery Done only with Hypnosis: Take a look at this article from the U.K.  http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/newsfeed/2008/03/17/dentists-trance-surgery-86908-20353715/

  • Applying Hypnosis in Dermatology  Article from MedScape http://doctor.medscape.com/viewarticle/466140_3

    Hypnosis for Health by Dr. Andrew Weil
    (bestselling author of Spontaneous Healing, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, 
    Natural Health/ Natural Medicine, and Healthy Aging)

    Three weeks before my daughter's birth, I asked hypnotherapist Steve Gurgevich, PhD, a friend and colleague, to do a session with my then wife Sabine. The baby was in a posterior position (her spine against Sabine's spine) at the time, which can cause long, painful labor. Steve did an hour long session, encouraging Sabine to talk with the baby, asking her to turn around before the beginning of labor and help make the labor quick. When the session ended, Sabine was very relaxed. Not much later, Sabine suddenly clutched her belly and bent over. "I think the baby's turning," she said. Later that day, our midwife examined Sabine and reported the baby was now in an anterior position (her spine against Sabine's belly), having turned within 20 minutes of being asked to do so. The baby came right on her due date, and labor lasted a mere two hours and six minutes.

    Hypnotherapy in which practitioners encourage patients to enter a trance, a state of heightened suggestibility, to promote physical or emotional health doesn't always have such dramatic or immediate effects. Yet, I've seen this mind-body approach produce excellent results in many illnesses, from eczema and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to back pain and panic attacks. While you're in a state of trance, the practitioner offers suggestions tailored to your specific needs. For example, he may suggest that a person with IBS picture the wavelike motions of their digestive system slowing down and becoming smoother to reduce cramping and diarrhea. Your unconscious mind can then transmit these thoughts and images throughout your mind and body, influencing them in ways that seem impossible in ordinary states of consciousness.

    Hypnotherapy is increasingly being used in mainstream medicine, thanks to mounting evidence that it works, as well as research showing how the human brain responds to hypnosis. Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute found that during a hypnotic state aimed at pain control, the brain's prefrontal cortex (Which controls concentration) directed other areas of the brain to inhibit the perception of pain.

    Hypnosis Offers a Host of Health Benefits

    Below are some conditions that hypnotherapy can help, usually as part of a broader treatment plan. A typical course of hypnotherapy may require one to five visits. Your health insurance may cover this if it's performed by an MC, a PhD, a dentist, or a licensed social worker. Once the practitioner has taught you how to access the trance state on your own, you can start using self-hypnosis on a regular basis to maintain or improve health.

    Gastrointestinal Disorders

    Several studies show that hypnotherapy can benefit people with IBS, whose symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. In a recent study, 204 IBS patients attended 12 one hour hypnotherapy sessions. Seventy-one percent reported improvement in symptoms after the hypnotherapy course. Of those 81 percent maintained their improvement up to five years (Gut, November 2003). This therapy also shows promise for treating functional dyspepsia, a type of chronic indigestion. In a British trial, 126 patients received one of three treatments regular hypnotherapy sessions, psychological counseling, or the acid suppressing drug Zantac for 16 weeks. Even 40 weeks after treatment ended, the hypnotherapy group still had fewer symptoms like nausea and bloating, needed less medication, an had fewer doctors' visits than those in the other two groups (Gastroenterology, December 2002).

    Skin Conditions

    Research suggests that hypnotherapy can be helpful in treating a wide range of skin conditions, including dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and warts. In a six week trial, people with warts on their hands or feet who attended twice weekly hypnotherapy sessions lost significantly more warts than those who used topical salicylic acid (a standard treatment for warts), a topical placebo, or no treatment.

    Surgical Patients

    A meta analysis of 20 controlled studies found that patients who received hypnotherapy before or during surgery fared better than 89 percent of patients in control groups. Among the benefits were reduced anxiety, pain, and postoperative nausea and vomiting, less blood loss, and shorter hospital stays (Anesthesia and Analgesia, June 2002).


    In another meta analysis of 18 studies, hypnosis relieved pain in 75 percent of the people studied (International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, April 2000). I often recommend this therapy as part o and integrative treatment program for chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, headache, and back or neck pain.

    Cancer Patients

    Research shows that cancer patient who receive hypnotherapy prior to o during chemotherapy sessions have less nausea and vomiting afterward. Plus, a National Institutes of Health panel found strong evidence that it can relieve some pain associated with cancer.

    Pregnancy and Childbirth

    Several studies have found that hypnotherapy can reduce morning sickness and it's been used for more than a century to control pain during labor and delivery. Also, there's some evidence that it can shorten labor time and help turn babies from the breech (bottom down) position to the proper (head down) position.

    Allergies and Autoimmunity

    There are many disorders marked by overactive immune function, including allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. A hypnotherapist can offer suggestions and images designed to restore balance to the immune system, and I've found this approach can help ease symptoms in many patients with these conditions.

    Anxiety and Phobias  

    As a form of relaxation training, hypnotherapy has proven effective in treating anxiety, panic disorder, and phobias. Some health plans have begun covering it to treat post traumatic stress disorder.

    Weight Control

    Studies show that adding hypnotherapy to cognitive behavioral treatments for weight reduction can increase the chances of losing weight and keeping it off. While hypnotherapy won't magically melt pounds, it can be helpful for reinforcing motivation, and for helping people change their behavior and attitudes about eating and physical activity.

    Pain Management of Mesothelioma

    Mesothelioma can be a painful cancer. Over half of the pleural mesothelioma patients experience pain in the chest which can be intense and severe enough to require narcotics to alleviate the pain and discomfort.

    Not willing to take any more drugs, some mesothelioma patients are turning to hypnosis as a way to manage their pain. Hypnosis, once shunned by the medical profession, is becoming more popular in clinical settings helping people stop smoking, lose weight, and now, deal with pain.

    Hpynotherapy, when performed by a trained specialist, can be a powerful and effective procedure. A hypnotist brings a patient to a state of high concentration allowing him to have a strict focus. The person then "projects" himself to another place or state where he can block pain awareness or substitute other sensations for painful ones. 

    Hypnosis is considered an unconventional therapy and is often used with other holistic treatments including yoga and meditation. Hypnosis is not effective for everyone.


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