Are you tired of being a slave to old destructive habits?
Do you want to gain control over your habits, thoughts, attitudes, and behavior?
What exactly is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a tool you can use to reprogram your subconscious mind so you can gain control of your thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes to achieve your goals. However, no one can make you do anything you don't want to do during hypnosis. The brain is said to operate in four states; Full Conscious Awareness, the Hypnotic State, the Dream State, and the Sleep State. We pass through all four states sequentially as we go to sleep and as we awaken. When in hypnosis, you can hear everything going on around you. You can hear all of the suggestions you're being given. When in this relaxed state, the subconscious mind is open to accept these suggestions if you choose, and use them to create the behavioral changes or body changes you desire. The subconscious mind controls much of what we do. The subconscious mind acts like a computer, it does what it is programmed to do. Programming comes from beliefs, attitudes, environment, practice, input from parents and peers, etc. The conscious mind is like the operator of the computer. Changing what you want consciously (the input to the computer), without changing your programming and software (the subconscious mind) leads to conflict and lack of successful changes. For permanent changes, you can either practice the change repeatedly or directly communicate it to the subconscious during hypnosis. When in a hypnotic state, the subconscious mind is said to be 88% more alert than in a conscious state and it can be purposely directed to what the conscious mind desires.
Misconceptions about hypnosis:
* Staying stuck in a trance - False - You are brought out of the hypnotic state by the hypnotist, but in self-hypnosis, you come out of it naturally when you are ready.
* Being open to the devil - False - you are no more open to the devil during hypnosis than when you're relaxed or sleeping.
As you experience hypnotherapy and learn the techniques for self hypnosis,
There has been considerable scientific research done on hypnosis:
* In 1892, the British Medical Association (BMA) commissioned a team of doctors to undertake an extensive evaluation of the nature and effects of hypnotherapy. The Committee reported that they are satisfied with the genuineness of the hypnotic state, and that hypnosis is frequently an effective therapeutic agent in relieving pain, aiding sleep, and alleviating many ailments such as psycho-somatic complaints and anxiety disorders (British Medical Journal, 1892) .
* In 1955, the Psychological Medicine Group of the BMA commissioned a Subcommittee, led by Prof. T. Ferguson Rodger, to deliver a second, and more comprehensive, report on hypnosis. The Subcommittee consulted several experts on hypnosis from various fields. "As a treatment, in the opinion of the Subcommittee it has proved its ability to remove symptoms and to alter morbid habits of thought and behavior" ('Medical use of hypnosis', BMJ, April, 1955; Science Daily,9/28/05)
* 'There is encouraging evidence demonstrating the beneficial effects of hypnotherapeutic procedures in alleviating the symptoms of a range of complaints. 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] ' (BPS, 'The Nature of Hypnosis', 2001) .
* In 2003, perhaps the most recent meta-analysis of the efficacy of hypnotherapy was published by two researchers from the university of Konstanze in Germany (Flammer & Bongartz). When all 133 studies deemed suitable in light of this consideration were re-analyzed, providing data for over 6,000 patients, the findings suggest an average improvement in 27% of untreated patients over the term of the studies compared with a 74% success rate among those receiving hypnotherapy. This is a high success rate given the fact that many of the studies measured included the treatment of addictions and medical conditions. The outcome rates for anxiety disorders alone, traditionally hypnotherapy's strongest application, were higher still" . (Flammer & Bongartz, 'On the efficacy of hypnosis: a meta-analytic study', Contemporary Hypnosis (2003), 179 – 197.)
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).
Other examples include:
" "A systematic review has found that hypnosis enhances the effects of cognitive behavioural therapy for conditions such as ... obeisity" (BMJ, 1999).
* 'There is evidence from several studies
that its [hypnosis'] inclusion in a weight reduction program may significantly
enhance outcome.' (BPS, 'The Nature
* EFFECTIVENESS STUDY ON
HYPNOSIS AND WEIGHT LOSS: Researchers analyzed 18 studies
comparing a cognitive behavioral therapy, such as
* Another study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, divided
109 people into two groups for a 9 week study. The first group were treated with
changes in in diet and exercise habits (the only way to lose weight) without the
addition of hypnosis. The second group was given the same diet and exercise
treatment and was
* A study, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, investigated the effects of hypnosis in weight loss for 60 females at least 20% overweight aaand not involved in other treatment. The researchers interviewed each participant this time about their family background, educational background, and their belief as to their hypnotizability. The group was split into hypnosis and non hypnosis groups with both groups being given weight loss behavioral treatments and counseling. TThe results were very interesting. The group using hypnosis lost an average of 17 pounds at the 6 month follow up. The group that did not receive hypnosis only lost a half of a pound. (Cochrane, Gordon; Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492).
* In this meta-analysis, (which is when researchers look across multiple studies), the results of the two studies I just mentioned and other studies were confirmed. In ththe studies of hypnosis versus no hypnosis the average short term weight loss was 6 pounds for those not using hypnosis and 11.83 pounds with hypnosis. Even mmore importantly, over the long term the average weight loss without hypnosis remained at 6 pounds, but with hypnosis it jumped to 14.88 pounds - indicating again ththat the effects of hypnosis seem to compound over time. What is impressive about these results is that doing hypnosis under controlled conditions is extremely didifficult, and to have the research indicate that people are losing anywhere from 2 to 17 times more weight under hypnosis than when they do not use it clearly iniindicates that hypnosis should be used by anyone who is serious about weight loss (Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments--Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64 (3), 517-519).
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
'R* Randomized trials have shown hypnosis to be of value in ...irritable bowel syndrome" (BMJ, 1999).
* Medics at The University of Manchester have discovered a way to treat Irritable
Bowel Syndrome (IBS) using hypnotherapy. Two hundred and fifty patients who
have suffered from IBS for over two years were given twelve one-hour sessions,
during which they were given an explanation of how the gut works and what causes
their symptoms. "IBS is ideal for treatment with hypnosis, as there is no
structural damage to the body," explained Professor Whorwell. "During the
hypnotherapy, sufferers learn how to influence and gain control of their gut
function, and then seem to be able to change the way the brain modulates their
gut activity....with a success-rate of about 70%" (University of
Manchester, 2005, Hypnotherapy An Effective Treatment For Irritable Bowel
* "Hypnotherapy is superior to standard care in children and adolescents with functional abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome. In a randomized controlled trial, hypnotherapy led to a cure by the end of treatment in 59% of 53 young patients compared with 12% of those getting standard care, according to Arine Vlieger, M.D., Ph.D., of St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein. What's more, after a year of follow-up, the hypnotherapy had resulted in a cure in 85% of the children, compared to 25% of those getting standard care, she said. (Michael Smith, MedPage Today, May 22, 2007)
* The evidence supporting the effectiveness of hypnosis in alleviating chronic pain associated with cancer seems strong. In addition, the panel was presented with other data suggesting the effectiveness of hypnosis in other chronic pain conditions, which include irritable bowel syndrome, oral mucositis [pain and swelling of the mucus membrane], temporomandibular disorders [jaw pain], and tension headaches (NIH, 1995) .
* The results of this study lend strong support to the clinical use of hypnotic suggestion, deep relaxation and other nonmedical techniques as alternatives to pain-killing drugs. One of the most widely used of such alternatives, for example, is controlled breathing in childbirth. Dr. Spiegel said. ''If you focus on some other sensation, it can mute your perception of the pain.... He added: ''Learning to focus elsewhere is a cognitive discipline that can be learned. One way to teach it is hypnosis.' (DANIEL GOLEMAN, HEALTH: Psychology; Study Finds Hypnosis Can Suppress Brain's Perception of Pain ).
* '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 (BPS, 'The Nature of Hypnosis', 2001).
* In a study funded by the NIH's Office of
Alternative Medicine, researchers taught a self-hypnosis technique to people
suffering from chronic back pain. By
* In 1999, the British Medical Journal published a Clinical Review of current medical research on hypnotherapy and relaxation therapies, it concludes, 'There is good evidence from randomized controlled trials that both hypnosis and relaxation techniques can reduce anxiety, particularly that related to stressful situations" (BMJ, 1999).
* ' Hypnotherapy and relaxation therapies ...are also effective for panic disorders" (BMJ, 1999).
* A study
investigated the "effectiveness of cognitive hypnotherapy (CH),
hypnosis combined with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), on depression, 84
depressives were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of treatment of either CH or CBT
alone. At the end of treatment, patients from both groups significantly improved
compared to baseline scores. However, the CH group produced significantly larger
changes in Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and Beck
Alladin and Alisha Alibhai, Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Depression: An Empirical
* '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. (BPS, 'The Nature of Hypnosis', 2001)
* Another study reviewed the "evidence for the use of hypnosis in the treatment of posttraumatic conditions including posttraumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder. The review focuses on empirically supported principles and practices and suggests that hypnosis can be a useful adjunctive procedure in the treatment of posttraumatic conditions" (Steven Jay Lynn and Etzel Cardeña, Hypnosis and the Treatment of Posttraumatic Conditions: An Evidence-Based Approach, Abstract).
* In addition to the treatment of psychiatric disabilities, there is a place for hypnotism in the production of anesthesia or analgesia for surgical and dental operations ('Medical use of hypnosis', BMJ, April, 1955)
* "A meta-analytical review of studies using hypnosis with surgical patients was performed to determine the effectiveness of the (hypnosis) procedure. The results indicated that patients in hypnosis treatment groups had better clinical outcomes than 89% of patients in control groups. These data strongly support the use of hypnosis with surgical patients" (Guy H. Montgomery, PhD*, Daniel David, PhD*, Gary Winkel, PhD*, Jeffrey H. Silverstein, MD, and Dana H. Bovbjerg, PhD*, The Effectiveness of Adjunctive Hypnosis with Surgical Patients: A Meta-Analysis).
A study published in the medical journal, Lancet, found that patients
hypnotized before surgery required less pain medication, sustained fewer
complications, and left the hospital faster than those who were not given
(Michael Waldholz Wall Street Journal, Hypnosis Goes Mainstream, http://www.burlingtonhypnosis.com/articles/WallStreet.htm).
Copyright © Laurie Lynch, N.D., 2008-2011