The Benefits of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

When it comes to using hypnosis as a medical procedure, we are not talking about what you see in pop culture television shows and in classic movies where the person administering the hypnosis says “you are getting very sleepy”. The type of hypnosis we are referring to in this article is known as hypnotherapy in the medical field and is a type of medical procedure in conjunction with other therapies and medical treatments.

The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis defines hypnosis more clearly as a state of focused attention, concentration, and an inner absorption that helps us to use our minds in a more powerful way.  The American Psychological Association states that, like many other medical procedures, hypnosis should only be carried out by healthcare professionals who have the proper training and appropriate credentials. These professionals should only use the procedure within their limits of expertise.

The Benefits of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Since the goal of hypnosis is to harness the power of the mind, many clinicians and researchers in the medical field are being inspired into how they can apply the procedure in any given number of health outcomes.  The practice of hypnotherapy works by using verbal repetition and mental imagery to induce a state of increase focus to bring about a more relaxed and calm state of being in an individual.  The Mayo Clinic goes on to say the this trance-like state is best known for opening people up to the power of suggestion.

Prior to 1958, the act of hypnosis was formerly regarded as a parlor trick, until the American Medical Association approved hypnotherapy as a medical procedure for various conditions. The APA approved the procedure three years later in 1961.

Like every other medical procedure, more research has yet to be performed in using hypnotherapy to treat various medical conditions. Two of these said areas where researchers are looking at using hypnosis is in smoking cessation and weight loss.

Due to the highly relaxed state which leads to an increased calmness, hypnosis is best known for the way it improves an individual’s sleep. This is evidenced in a study by Swiss researchers among young, healthy women. These women took a 90 minute nap after listening to a hypnotic suggestion tape. The results were that 80% of the women’s sleep was spent in the deep, restorative phase that is known as slow-wave sleep.

It can also be noted that there are no known side effects during the process of hypnosis. This is quite the contrary to patients who use sleep-inducing drugs, or drugs for any medical condition for that matter.

Improving sleep conditions is not the only study that researchers monitored.  In a study back in 2003 that took place among 204 patients who were diagnosed with Irritable Bowel System, IBS, 71% of these patients underwent a dozen weekly hour-long sessions where hypnosis was practiced. The end results featured 81% of these patients showing marked improved for up to the next six years.

There was another study among post-menopausal women who had at least 50 hot flashes per week. These women underwent five weekly sessions of hypnotherapy with the result being their hot flashes decreasing by up to 74% over the next three months. Further research shows the practice of hypnosis to be highly effective at relieving chronic pain that is found in many cases in cancer, arthritis, and fibromyalgia, though there are seldom few psychologists who practice hypnotherapy in these cases.

To conclude, like any other new, or evolving, medical procedure, more research is always needed. But it is safe to say that due to hypnotherapy’s ability to harness the power of the mind, the practice of hypnosis is best known for calming an individual’s nerves and relieving anxieties. This is usually the underlying issue in many cases of sleep deprivation and digestive problems such as IBS.


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