BENEFITS OF HYPNOTISM

The Science of Hypnosis

Hypnosis is scientifically proven to help with a variety of physical and emotional conditions. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, hypnosis is helpful with anxiety, headaches, smoking cessation, pain control, hot flashes, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Smoking Cessation
Hypnosis has long been appreciated as an affordable, effective way to overcome unwanted habits. Generally, between 45 and 60 percent of smokers who use hypnosis will successfully quit. Studies show that a multi-session approach, combined with at-home audio practice increases your chances of long-term success. Those who use hypnosis also report higher satisfaction with the process compared to other methods (95% satisfaction in one study).
Source: Viswesvaran and Schmidt, "A Meta-analytic Comparison of the Effectiveness of Smoking Cessation Methods." Elkins and Rajab, "Clinical Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation."
Weight Loss
One of the advantages of using hypnosis for weight loss is that it's a brief and pleasant process, with often long-lasting results. Hypnosis helps by enhancing your confidence, commitment, and motivation. Studies have shown that incorporating hypnosis into a lifestyle program can double your weight loss. Researchers also found that participants who use hypnosis are able to maintain their weight loss longer. This suggests that hypnosis can be especially helpful for long-term weight management.
Source: Evelyn Greaves, G. Tidy, R.A.S. Christie, "Hypnotherapy as an Adjunct to the Dietetic Management of Obese Patients." Irving Kirsch, "Hypnotic Enhancement of Cognitive-Behavioral Weight Loss Treatments: Another Meta-Reanalysis."
Sleep Improvement
Hypnosis has shown to be a safe, side-effect free way to improve troubled sleep. In a study measuring brain wave activity, researchers found that hypnosis not only boosts deep sleep quantity but also improves deep sleep quality. Study participants slept 67% more and saw their "deep sleep" time rise by roughly 80% after hypnosis. The research team observed that slow-wave activity during the deep sleep was "significantly enhanced" following hypnosis.
Source: Cordi, M. J., Schlarb, A. A., & Rasch, B., "Deepening sleep by hypnotic suggestion."
Fertility, IVF Success
Hypnosis is a non-invasive technique that is proven to enhance fertility. Research shows that stress can interfere with and undermine the body's reproduction function and that relieving stress greatly enhances fertility. One study of 185 women found that 28% of women who were hypnotized became pregnant, compared with 14% of those who were not. In general, hypnosis can double IVF success rates and increase chances of natural conception by 50%.
Source: Levitas, E., Parmet, A., Lunenfeld, E., Bentov, Y., Friger, M., & Potashnik, G., "Impact of hypnosis during embryo transfer on the outcome of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer: a case-control study."
Chronic Pain
Studies confirm that hypnosis is highly effective at reducing pain intensity in individuals with chronic pain. According to research, hypnosis "drastically reduces severe pain in hospital patients." After receiving a single 15-minute session, patients reported an immediate reduction in pain similar to what one might expect from an opioid painkiller. Patients also reported a significant decrease in the perceived need for pain medication.
Source: Eric L. Garland, Anne K. Baker, Paula Larsen, Michael R. Riquino, Sarah E. Priddy, Elizabeth Thomas, Adam W. Hanley, Patricia Galbraith, Nathan Wanner, Yoshio Nakamura, "Randomized Controlled Trial of Brief Mindfulness Training and Hypnotic Suggestion for Acute Pain Relief in the Hospital Setting."
Headaches, Migraines
There is sufficient evidence to show that hypnosis can help those who suffer from headaches and migraines manage their symptoms and may also prevent triggers that cause headaches. One study examined whether hypnosis could reduce medication usage and migraine duration in a program which consisted of six sessions. They found that the number of patients in the hypnosis group who experienced a complete remission from migraines was 43.5%, compared to 12.5% from the medication group.
Source: J.A.D. Anderson, M.A. Basker, R. Dalton, "Migraine and Hypnotherapy." DC Hammond, "Review of the efficacy of clinical hypnosis with headaches and migraines."
Hot Flashes
Of all complementary approaches, hypnosis is uniquely effective in alleviating symptoms of menopause. A report commissioned by the North American Menopause Society showed hypnosis significantly decreases hot flashes in both frequency and severity and reduces hot flashes by as much as 74%.
Source: Elkins GR, Fisher WI, Johnson AK, et al. "Clinical hypnosis in the treatment of postmenopausal hot flashes: a randomized controlled trial."
Gastrointestinal Problems
People with gut problems (irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel, ulcerative colitis, crohn's) often find relief with hypnosis. On average, 75% experience "significant" relief and 80% continue to feel better for up to 6 years. Hypnosis has also proven to help people who fail to see improvements with other methods. According to research, those who experience relief through hypnosis can look forward to years of reduced bowel symptoms.
Source: Whorwell PJ; Prior A; Faragher EB., "Controlled trial of hypnotherapy in the treatment of severe refractory irritable-bowel syndrome." Palsson OS, Turner MJ, Johnson DA, Burnett CK, Whitehead WE., "Hypnosis treatment for severe irritable bowel syndrome: investigation of mechanism and effects on symptoms."
Relax Before a Medical Procedure
Feeling stressed or worried can negatively impact the outcome of a medical procedure. Hypnosis offers a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical way to tap into the mind's natural ability to reduce stress and pain. In clinical trials, those who received hypnosis reported far less pain and anxiety, suffered fewer complications, and recovered faster than those who received standard care.
Source: Flory N, Salazar GM, Lang EV., "Hypnosis for acute distress management during medical procedures." Lang EV, Rosen M., "Cost analysis of adjunct hypnosis for sedation during outpatient interventional procedures." Lang EV, Berbaum K, Faintuch S, Hatsiopoulou O, Halsey N, Li X, Berbaum M, Laser E, Baum J., "Adjunctive self-hypnotic relaxation for outpatient medical procedures: A prospective randomized trial with women undergoing large core needle biopsy of the breast."
Stress-Related Skin Problems
Numerous studies have demonstrated hypnosis is especially helpful when dealing with stress-related skin problems (acne, psoriasis, eczema, and hives). Hypnosis has also been shown to decrease pain and inflammation and to limit behaviors such as scratching, skin picking and hair pulling.
Source: Shenefelt PD., "Hypnosis in dermatology." Perczel, K. and Gál, J., "Hypnotherapy of atopic dermatitis in an adult." Stewart, A. C. & Thomas, S. E., "Hypnotherapy as a treatment for atopic dermatitis in adults and children." Spanos, N. P., Stenstrom, R. J. & Johnston, J. C., "Hypnosis, placebo, and suggestion in the treatment of warts."
Coping With Cancer
While there is no evidence suggesting hypnosis can treat cancer itself, it can play an important role in managing symptoms, side effects, and enhancing quality of life. Hypnosis is effective in helping patients control pain, manage stress, and calm fears and anxiety. It is specifically used in palliative care to reduce symptoms associated with chemotherapy and radiation (such as nausea, fatigue, pain, hot flashes, and sleep disturbance). In fact, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which develops clinical guidelines for standard cancer care, recommends hypnosis for managing pain and relieving treatment-related fatigue.
Source: Montgomery GH, Schnur JB, Kravits K., "Hypnosis for cancer care: over 200 years young." Elkins GR, Cheung A, Marcus J, et al: "Hypnosis to reduce pain in cancer survivors with advanced disease: A prospective study." Elkins G, Marcus J, Stearns V, et al: "Pilot evaluation of hypnosis for the treatment of hot flashes in breast cancer survivors." Elkins G, Johnson A, Fisher W., "Cognitive hypnotherapy for pain management." Jacknow DS, Tschann JM, Link MP, et al: "Hypnosis in the prevention of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in children: A prospective study."

Hypnosis by Harley Sears
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Author: The content on this page was researched, written, and verified by Harley Sears. All material copyright © 2019. This website was last updated on 04/01/2019.
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