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  • Susana Padilla-Burns

Studies on Hypnosis in Health Care

Here is an excerpt from a White Sheet on Hypnosis compiled by the president of the American Hypnosis Association.

The use of hypnosis for medical issues is not exactly new. Back in 1958, the American Medical Association (AMA) recognized that hypnosis is a useful technique in the treatment of certain illnesses and a valid medical procedure.[1] In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2003 that hypnosis “is increasingly being employed in mainstream medicine”[2] and in 2012 that “scientific evidence is mounting that hypnosis can be effective in a variety of medical situations.”[3]

A 2016 study done by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine confirms that hypnosis is indeed a real thing. The study was conducted with functional magnetic resonance imaging, a scanning method that measures blood flow in the brain. It found changes in activity in brain areas of hypnotized persons that are thought to be involved in focused attention, the monitoring and control of the body’s functioning, and the awareness and evaluation of a person’s internal and external environments.[4]

Yet, hypnosis is still underutilized for medical issues. In 2016, Pierre-Yves Rodondi, a doctor at the University Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the Lausanne University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, said: "If hypnosis were a medication it would already be in all hospitals, but it is an approach, and thus it must overcome cultural barriers."[5]

Top Studies: Most Common Issues

Here are brief descriptions of just some of the top studies done at universities and hospitals that show how hypnosis helps with some of the most common issues that hypnotherapists address. (See References if you are interested in more details about any of these studies).

1. Smoking Cessation (https://hypnosis.edu/medical/#Smoking-Cessation

2. Weight Loss (https://hypnosis.edu/medical/#Weight-Loss)

3. Sleep Issues (https://hypnosis.edu/medical/#Sleep-Issues)

4. Stress (https://hypnosis.edu/medical/#Stress)

5. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) / Gastrointestinal Disorders (https://hypnosis.edu/medical/#IBS)




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