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Research into Hypnotherapy and it's Benefits



Many questions people have around hypnotherapy and hypnosis refer to the existence of independent research into it's use and benefits. What a lot of people don't realise however is that there had been over 400 research trials completed on Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy prior to 2002. Having been scrutinised by leading medical associations, the results and clear benefits of the use of hypnotherapy and hypnosis are now clearly supported throughout the world by leading medical research and professional boards. Below is a brief compilation of just some of the main research conducted and their findings. Detailed results can be accessed via the institutions website archives.


1995 – A Technology Assessment Conference organised by the United States National Institute for Health compiled an extensive report from it's research into hypnotherapy for chronic pain. This research report would become known as the Integration of Behavioural & Relaxation Approaches into the Treatment of Chronic Pain & Insomnia. From the extensive research undertaken, they concluded that the evidence supporting the effectiveness of hypnosis in addressing and alleviating chronic pain was strong and in addition, the panel also acknowledged that their trial collated data that strongly suggested the effectiveness of hypnosis in other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, oral mucositis, jaw pain and disorders along with tension headaches. These research results can be found at the National Institute for Health ( NIH ).


1999 – A Clinical review by the British Medical Journal was published detailing the medical research on hypnotherapy and relaxation therapies and concluded that:


Strong evidence existed from their randomised trials detailing clearly the effectiveness of hypnosis and relaxation for cancer related nausea, anxiety, pain and vomiting.


Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are also effective for panic disorders and insomnia as well as acute and chronic pain.


Hypnosis has shown to be of value in asthma and irritable bowel syndrome as per their randomised trial results.


2001 – The British Psychological Society's Professional Affairs Board conducted their own randomised trials that concluded :


The therapeutic use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy have strong evidence that suggest their inclusion in procedures would be beneficial in the treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems countered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy. They concluded that enough studies have now been accumulated and that results showed clear benefits from their use.


They also provided an overview of their research findings as follows:


  • There is convincing evidence that hypnotic procedures are effective in the management and relief of both acute and chronic pain and in assisting in the alleviation of pain, discomfort and distress due to medical and dental procedures and childbirth.

  • Hypnosis and the practice of self-hypnosis may significantly reduce general anxiety, tension and stress in a manner similar to other relaxation and self-regulation procedures.

  • Likewise, hypnotic treatment may assist in insomnia in the same way as other relaxation methods.

  • There is encouraging evidence demonstrating the beneficial effects of hypnotherapeutic procedures in alleviating the symptoms of a range of complaints that fall under the heading 'psychosomatic illness." These include tension headaches and migraine; asthma; gastro-intestinal complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome; warts; and possibly other skin complaints such as eczema, psoriasis and urticaria [hives].

  • There is evidence from several studies that its [hypnosis'] inclusion in a weight reduction program may significantly enhance outcome

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