Hypnosis has been the focus of much high quality, peer reviewed research over the decades. Many don't realize that hypnosis was accepted as a treatment modality by the British Medical Association in 1956, and by the American Medical Association in 1958.
Here is a summary of only a very small portion of the studies available.
A Survey of Psychotherapy Literature by Alfred A. Barrios, PhD. Revealed the Following Recovery Rates:
Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions.
Behavior Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions.
Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions.
-Source: Alfred A. Barrios, PhD
Preparing for Surgery
A controlled study of 32 coronary bypass patients showed that those taught self-hypnosis pre-operatively were more relaxed after surgery and had less need for pain medication.
Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery, February 1997
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
About Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Hypnotherapy for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
A British study of 18 adults with IBS published in The Lancet found that hypnosis "strikingly" reduced colonic motility, thus decreasing diarrhea and cramping (July 11, 1992)
Hypnosis for Weight Loss: Does It Work?
Yes, research demonstrates a significant effect when using hypnosis for weight loss.
In a 9-week study of two weight management groups (one using hypnosis and one not using hypnosis), the hypnosis group continued to get results in the two-year follow-up, while the non-hypnosis group showed no further results (Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1985).
In a study of 60 women separated into hypnosis versus non-hypnosis groups, the groups using hypnosis lost an average of 17 pounds, while the non-hypnosis group lost an average of only .5 pounds (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1986).
In a meta-analysis, comparing the results of adding hypnosis to weight loss treatment across multiple studies showed that adding hypnosis increased weight loss by an average of 97% during treatment, and even more importantly increased the effectiveness POST TREATMENT by over 146%. This shows that hypnosis works even better over time (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1996).
Here are some of the studies:
Cochrane, Gordon; Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492.
Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments–Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64 (3), 517-519.
Allison, David B.; Faith, Myles S. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: A meta-analytic reappraisal. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 1996 Jun Vol 64(3) 513-516
Stradling J, Roberts D, Wilson A, Lovelock F. Controlled trial of hypnotherapy for weight loss in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. International Journal of Obesity Related Metababolic Disorders. 1998 Mar;22(3):278-81.
Self-Hypnosis Can Cut Stress and Boost Your Immune System
A number of studies have suggested stress can hinder the body's immune system defenses. Now researchers say people may be able to fight back with the stress-relieving techniques of self-hypnosis.
In a study of medical students under exam-time stress, investigators found that those who received "hypnotic-relaxation training" did not show the same reduction in key immune system components that their untrained counterparts did.
The researchers looked at 33 medical and dental students during relatively low-stress periods and around the time of the first major exam of the term. Half of the students attended sessions where they learned to relax through self-hypnosis.
The investigators found that during exam time, the self-hypnosis students launched stronger immune responses compared with students who did not learn the technique. And the more often students practiced the relaxation strategy, the stronger their immune response.
In previous studies, the researchers found that stressful times may impair the body's wound-healing process and response to vaccination. They and other researchers have also found that relaxation techniques may combat these effects by relieving stress and boosting the immune system.
The data from this study provide encouraging evidence that interventions may reduce the immunological dysregulation associated with acute stressors.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2001;69
Hypnotherapy in the treatment of chronic combat-related PTSD patients suffering from insomnia: a randomized, zolpidem-controlled clinical trial.
Abramowitz EG, Barak Y, Ben-Avi I, Knobler HY.
Israel Defense Forces, Mental Health Department, Israel. email@example.com
This study evaluated the benefits of add-on hypnotherapy in patients with chronic PTSD. Thirty-two PTSD patients treated by SSRI antidepressants and supportive psychotherapy were randomized to 2 groups: 15 patients in the first group received Zolpidem 10 mg nightly for 14 nights, and 17 patients in the hypnotherapy group were treated by symptom-oriented hypnotherapy, twice-a-week 1.5-hour sessions for 2 weeks. All patients completed the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C, Beck Depression Inventory, Impact of Event Scale, and Visual Subjective Sleep Quality Questionnaire before and after treatment. There was a significant main effect of the hypnotherapy treatment with PTSD symptoms as measured by the Posttraumatic Disorder Scale. This effect was preserved at follow-up 1 month later. Additional benefits for the hypnotherapy group were decreases in intrusion and avoidance reactions and improvement in all sleep variables assessed.
Hypnosis & Bone Fracture
The Harvard Medical School conducted research on the use of hypnosis to enhance physical healing. Twelve people with a recent bone fracture were divided into two groups. One group received hypnosis and the other group served as control. Both groups received standard orthopedic treatment. The hypnosis group had individual hypnotic sessions and listened to audio tapes designed to increase bone healing. Xray and orthopedic evaluations were made during the 12 weeks of the experiment.
The results showed a faster healing for the hypnosis group at week 9 of the experiment. Xrays revealed a notable difference at the edge of the fracture at week 6 of the experiment. The hypnosis group also had better mobility and used less pain killers. The researchers conclude by saying that "despite a small sample size.... these data suggest that hypnosis may be capable of enhancing both anatomical and functional fracture healing, and that further investigation of hypnosis to accelerate healing is warranted."
The article was "Using hypnosis to accelerate the healing of bone fractures: a randomized controlled pilot study", by Ginandes, CS, Rosenthal, DI. Alternative Therapy Health Medicine, 1999, March, 5(2), pp.67-75. 1: Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2008 Jul;56(3):270-
Hypnosis and Headache Pain
In a study conducted by Mr. Anderson (1975), migraine patients treated with hypnosis had a significant reduction in the number of attacks and in their severity compared to a control group who were treated with traditional medications. The difference did not become statistically significant until the second six-month follow-up period. In addition, at the end of one year, the number of patients in the hypnosis group who had experienced no headaches for over three months was significantly higher.
In a controlled trial conducted by Mr. Olness (1987), self-hypnosis was shown to be significantly more effective than either propranolol or placebo in reducing the frequency of migraine headaches in children between the ages of six and twelve years of age.
In a research conducted by Mr. Schlutter (1980), hypnosis was also found to be effective in dealing with the relief of tension headache.
Alladin (1988) reviewed the literature on hypnosis, identifying fully a dozen different hypnotic techniques that have been used in the treatment of chronic migraine headaches. Of these, hypnotic training emphasizing relaxation, hand warming (which, according to Anderson, 1975) seems the simplest method of establishing increased voluntary control of the sensitive vasomotor system) and direct hypnotic suggestions of symptom removal have all been shown to be effective in reducing the duration, intensity and frequency of migraine attacks during a ten-week treatment course and at thirteen-month follow-up when compared to controls.
A study (Gutfeld, G. and Rao, L., 1992) was conducted on 42 patients suffering from chronic headaches. These patients, all of whom had responded poorly to conventional treatments, were split into two groups. One received hypnotherapy to relieve their daily headaches; the rest acted as a comparison group. The hypnotherapy group experienced reduced frequency and duration of headaches, cutting the intensity by about 30%. "These results are impressive in such a difficult, hard-to-treat group of patients," commented Egilius Spierings, M.D., Ph.D. director of the headache section, division of neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Alladin, A. (1988). "Hypnosis in the Treatment of Severe Chronic Migraine. In M. Heap (ed.), Hypnosis: Current clinical, Experimental and Forensic Practices. London: Croom Helm. pp. 159-166.
>Anderson, J.A., Basker, M.A. & Dalton, R. (1975). "Migraine and Hypnotherapy." International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 23, 48-58.
Gutfeld, G. and Rao, L. (1992). "Use of Hypnosis with Patients Suffering from Chronic Headaches, Seriously Resistant to Other Treatment," As reported in Prevention, 44, 24-25.
Olness, K., MacDonald, J.T. & Uden, D.L. (1987). "Comparison of Self-Hypnosis and Propranolol in the Treatment of Juvenile Classic Migraine." Pediatrics, 79, 593- 597.
><font size=">Schlutter, L.C., Golden, C.J. & Blume, H.G. (1980). "A Comparison of Treatments for Prefrontal Muscle Contraction Headache." British Journal of Medical Psychology, 53, 47-52.