Scientific Support for Hypnotherapy
There is a great deal of scientific support for hypnotherapy, comprised by medical professionals all over the world. Below are just some examples.
In 1999, the British Medical Journal published a Clinical Review of current medical research on hypnotherapy and relaxation therapies, concluding:
- “There is good evidence from randomized controlled trials that both hypnosis and relaxation techniques can reduce anxiety particularly that related to stressful situations such as receiving chemotherapy.”
- “They are also effective for panic disorders and insomnia, particularly when integrated into a package of cognitive therapy (including, for example, sleep hygiene).”
- “A systematic review has found that hypnosis enhances the effects of cognitive behavioural therapy for conditions such as phobia, obesity, and anxiety.”
- “Randomized controlled trials support the use of various relaxation techniques for treating both acute and chronic pain.”
- “Randomized trials have shown hypnosis to be of value in asthma and in irritable bowel syndrome.”
- “Relaxation and hypnosis are often used in cancer patients. There is strong evidence from randomized trials of the effectiveness of hypnosis and relaxation for cancer related anxiety, pain, nausea, and vomiting, particularly in children.” (Vickers & Zollman, “Clinical Review: Hypnosis & Relaxation Therapies”, British Medical Journal, 1999)
In 2001, the British Psychological Society (BPS) published a report entitled The Nature of Hypnosis. The report provides a concise summary of the current scientific research on hypnosis, arriving at some positive conclusions about the efficacy of clinical hypnotherapy:
- “Enough studies have now accumulated to suggest that the inclusion of hypnotic procedures may be beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy” (BPS, 2001).
- “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.” (BPS, “The Nature of Hypnosis”, 2001)
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