Does hypnotherapy work? Science says “YES!”

Found this intresting arcticle in the Washington Times by Paul Mountjoy

WASHINGTON- April 28, 2013- “Hypnosis seems helpful in  treating addictions and the depression and anxiety associated with them”-Psychology Today

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy has been rooted in science with evidence based  results reported for many years. Although the American Medical Association (AMA)  currently has no clear position on the effectiveness of hypnosis and  hypnotherapy, in 1958, the AMA reported hypnotherapy has a recognized place in  the medical armamentarium and is a useful technique in the treatment of certain  illnesses.

Hypnotherapy is considered an effective adjunct in psychotherapy for many  issues, and more are being studied. On its own, hypnotherapy is reported to be  beneficial: In 2001, the British Psychological Society commissioned a group of  expert psychologists and published a report that declared hypnosis a proven  therapeutic medium and valid for study.

The report went on to say hypnotherapy is beneficial for a wide range of  issues encountered in medicine, psychology and psychiatry with regard to stress,  anxiety, pain, and psychosomatic illnesses. Some illnesses described are  insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches and migraines, asthma and a  variety of skin maladies. Weight reduction was also cited as benefiting from  hypnotherapy.

A comparison study reported in 2007 by American Health Magazine indicates  some psychological issues benefit more from hypnotherapy than psychoanalysis and  behavior therapy.  A German university meta-analysis of 444 studies  supported this claim, concluding a 64 percent success rate with hypnotherapy for  stress, anxiety and chronic pain.

According to Sanjay Paul, A psychology instructor at several universities,  hypnosis is a heightened sense of suggestibility for accessing the subconscious  mind which is responsible for up to 90 to 95 percent of our thoughts and  actions. No one can be made to do anything they do not wish to under hypnosis.  That old, inaccurate reputation stems from night club acts.

Paul goes on to say hypnosis can provide lasting change by “cleaning the  bottom of the mental fish tank” and it is the sub-conscious that helps to  maintain ones self-image and record all memory via sensor input as a 24 hour  mental tape recorder.

Ohio based certified hypnotherapist Janet Berg describes hypnosis as the  state one must achieve in order to be receptive to hypnotherapy. She describes  hypnosis as a state where the sub-conscious can readily accept and act on new  information and suggestions for healing, change, growth and attainment of  individual goals.

The experience, according to Paul, is the phase one enters directly before  falling asleep or upon awakening and Berg claims those under hypnosis can leave  this state voluntarily at any time and those who receive hypnotherapy describe  the experience as relaxing and refreshing. More information can be obtained  through her website where she identifies a host  of  issues she can help with.

The American Psychology Association (APA) website has declared most  clinicians now agree hypnotherapy can be a powerful, effective therapeutic  technique for a wide variety of conditions.

Apparently, hypnotherapy is gaining ground fast as a respected form of  therapy within the corridors of the scientific community.


Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based writer and a member of the American  Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological  Science.

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