Is there Published Medical Research on Hypnosis Effectiveness?
It may surprise you that medical and university researchers published studies testing the effectiveness of hypnotherapy
on a variety of conditions for decades.
These placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials have been published
in some of the most prestigious medical journals,
such as The Lancet and the New England
Journal of Medicine. -
Contrary to the myths and some false claims
you may have heard or read, this method has been PROVEN to be a quick and effective treatment modality
mental and physical ailments. Below you will find a SMALL SAMPLE of the hundreds of scientific research studies that support
its efficacy as a treatment modality.
For example, the lead researcher on an extensive hospital study of the use
of hypnosis right before breast surgery concluded: "If this were a drug, eveyone would be using it."
Over 50 million inpatient
surgeries are performed in the USA each year. The most common are on the cardiovascular system, then digestive system and
third most common are
musculoskeletal system surgeries. These surgeries require hospital overnight stays, and usually
involve some type of anaesthesia. Research has been conducted to see what
can be accomplished in terms of the amount
of anaesthesia needed (pioneered by the May brothers), pain and wound healing.
- Hypnosis can prevent pain perception and surgical stress as a whole, comparing well with anaesthetic drugs.Facco,
E., Pasquali, S., Zanette, G., & Casiglia, E. (2013).
Studied its use as sole anaesthesia for skin tumour removal
in a patient with multiple chemical sensitivity. Anaesthesia, 68(9), 961-965
- It can be used for breast cancer surgery to limit immunosuppression, and in the postoperative
period it can reduce pain, anxiety, fatigue and improve wound healing.Potie,
A., Roelants, F., Pospiech, A., Momeni,
M., & Watremez, C. (2016). Hypnosis in the perioperative management of breast cancer surgery:
and potential implications. Anesthesiology Research and Practice, 2016, 1-8.
With 72,000 overdose deaths in America in 2017, with most of those being linked to opioids, significant research
has been conducted in safer, effective and non-addictive
pain management methods. Chronic pain is defined as any
pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Approximately 100 million Americans (almost 10%) suffer from chronic pain.
is also the number one cause of long-term disability. Chronic pain costs American society over $600 billion a year in lost
productivity and benefits.
Research into non-traditional treatment methods is therefore not surprising.
- The hypnotherapy is more effective in pain intensity reduction than biofeedback.Tan,
G., Rintala, D., Jensen, M., Fukui, T., Smith, D., & Williams, W. (2014).
A randomized controlled trial of
hypnosis compared with biofeedback for adults with chronic low back pain. European Journal of Pain,
- It was also found to be more effective than standard medical care, supportive counseling,
or childbirth education classes in reducing pain in childbirth.
Landolt, A. S., & Milling, L. S. (2011). The efficacy
of hypnosis as an intervention for labor and delivery pain:
A comprehensive methodological review. Clinical
Psychology Review, 31(6), 1022-1031.
Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a disorder characterized by abdominal pain
or discomfort, and altered bowel habit. IBS affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States
of sufferers are female. Since there seems to be a stress component in most IBS patients, it is not surprising that this well-accepted
has been tried and tested. Notice that the first study below was published in the most
prestigious medical journal in the United States.
- These patients showed
a dramatic improvement in all features and no relapses were recorded during the 3-month follow-up period.
Prior, A., & Faragher, E. (1984). Controlled trial of hypnotherapy in the treatment of severe refractory irritable-bowel
syndrome. The Lancet, 324(8414), 1232-1234.
- This body
of research shows that for adults and children with IBS, the treatment is highly efficacious in reducing bowel symptoms and
can offer lasting and substantial symptom relief.
Palsson, O. S. (2015). Hypnosis treatment of gastrointestinal disorders:
A comprehensive review of the empirical evidence. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 58(2),
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United
States, affecting 40 million adults--or 18% of the population every year.
Only 37% of anxiety sufferers actually
receive treatment. This has become a huge problem especially with teenagers and college students.
In 2016, 41%
of UCLA incoming freshmen indicated they "felt overwhelmed by all I have to do."
In 1985 the comparable
number was 18%. In addition, hospital admissions for suicidal teenagers have DOUBLED in the last ten years.
I have also found many people who had anxiety but never classified it as such. In their minds they had "insomnia"
or they didn't drive on highways because they didn't like them.
Those with social anxiety tend to avoid social
situations, and thus alter their lives as a coping mechanism. Unfortunately, most recommended treatment modalities are not
The pharmaceutical approach only provides some relief at best, and comes with a host of side effects--including
suicide especially for teens--and dependency.
Psychotherapy, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which is currently
popular is promoted as "effective" in treating anxiety, yet those studies just show a SMALL improvement.
They do not require significant improvement in anxiety symptoms. In contrast, hypnotherapy has been found to be very effective
with all forms of anxiety, and the improvements begin rapidly.
General Anxiety Disorder is the
most common form and affects 6.8 million adults. Panic Disorder affects 6 million adults. Social Anxiety Disorder is more
common and affects 15 million adults.
While Phobias are most common, affecting 19 million adults or almost 19%
of the population. Claustrophobia (fear of enclosed places), fear of driving or flying are common issues in my office.
- The use of hypnosis was found to be safe and helpful in children, particularly for Anxiety Disorder or Nocturnal
Hypnosis with 53 children with Anxiety Disorders, Nocturnal Enuresis or Insomnia.
Journal of Clinical Pediatrics 2013, doi: 10.4021/ijcp104w