Harvard, Stanford, Mayo Clinic, WebMD, Time, Psychology Today, Opinion's On Hypnosis.

What Does The Mayo Clinic Have To Say?

Hypnosis, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you're under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and are more open to suggestions.

Hypnosis can be used to help you gain control over undesired behaviors or to help you cope better with anxiety or pain. It's important to know that although you're more open to suggestion during hypnosis, you don't lose control over your behavior.

What Does Stanford Have To Say?

Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. David Spiegel is Willson Professor and Associate Chair of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Center on Stress and Health, and Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he has been a member of the academic faculty since 1975, and was Chair of the Stanford University Faculty Senate from 2010-2011.

Dr. Spiegel has more than 40 years of clinical and research experience studying psycho-oncology, stress and health, pain control, psychoneuroendocrinology, sleep, hypnosis, and conducting randomized clinical trials involving psychotherapy for cancer patients. He has published thirteen books, 404 scientific journal articles, and 170 book chapters on hypnosis, psycho-social oncology, stress physiology, trauma, and psychotherapy.

His research has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health. He was a member of the work groups on stressor and trauma-related disorders for the DSM-IV and DSM-5 editions of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. He is Past President of the American College of Psychiatrists and the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, and is a Member of the National Academy of Medicine.

What Does Harvard Have To Say?

Although myths about Hypnosis abound, this form of therapy is often helpful.

Pain relief. A meta-analysis published in 2000 concluded that hypnosis offered moderate to major relief for many types of pain. And a 2003 analysis found that hypnosis was at times more effective than other pain relief methods.

Anxiety. Hypnosis also helps to alleviate anxiety. 

Depression. One study involving 84 people with depression, who were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of treatment with either hypnosis or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), found that both groups improved with treatment. The hypnosis group made greater improvements than the CBT group when symptoms were rated on scales such as the Beck Depression Inventory and the Beck Anxiety Inventory, but the gains were small.

What Does Psychology Today Have To Say?

Hypnotherapy is extremely effective in relieving pain. Pain perception really has two parts. First is the sensation of something uncomfortable happening to a part of our body, and second is our reaction to this information.

The fact is, however, that hypnosis is a genuine psychological phenomenon that has valid uses in clinical practice. 

One well-known use of hypnotherapy is pain control. According to Hilgard, the hypnotist’s suggestions work not by eliminating the cause of the pain, but by shifting awareness of the pain into a dissociated portion of your mind. The pain is technically still there, but you’re not conscious of it any longer.

What Does Web MD Have To Say?

The hypnotic state allows a person to be more open to discussion and suggestion. It can improve the success of other treatments for many conditions, including:

  • Phobias, fears, and anxiety

  • Sleep disorders

  • Depression

  • Stress

  • Post-trauma anxiety

  • Grief and loss

Hypnosis also might be used to help with pain control and to overcome habits, such as smoking or overeating. It also might be helpful for people whose symptoms are severe or who need crisis management.

What Does Time Magazine Have To Say?

Hypnosis can also be “very helpful” in treating stress, anxiety and PTSD. Research has found hypnosis can even alter a person’s immune function in ways that offset stress and reduce susceptibility to viral infections.

Hypnosis is a well-studied and legitimate form of adjunct treatment for conditions ranging from obesity and pain after surgery to anxiety and stress.

In terms of weight loss, some of Kirsch’s research has found that, compared to people undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—one of the most evidence-backed non-drug treatments for weight loss, depression and many other conditions—those who undergo cognitive behavior therapy coupled with hypnosis tend to lose significantly more weight.

Garrett Wood