Hypnotherapy Research

Breast Cancer
Hypnosis before breast cancer surgery helps recovery: read more
USC School Of Dentistry Teaches Hypnosis As An Alternative To Needles And Novocain
Report in emedicine: Hypnosis: Applications in Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery
Hay Fever Symptoms
April 22, 2005A group of researchers of the University of Basel, Switzerland, has performed a randomized controlled trial: on the use of self-hypnosis (which was likely to induce relaxation) on a hay fever symptoms.Many people suffer from hay fever symptoms. Hypnosis has proved to be a useful adjunct in the treatment of conditions where allergic phenomena have an important role.Randomised parallel group study over an observation period of two consecutive pollen seasons. Outcome data include nasal flow under hypnosis, pollinosis symptoms from diaries and retrospective assessments, restrictions in well-being and use of anti-allergic medication.

Researchers investigated 79 patients with a mean age of 34 years (range 19-54 years; 41 males), with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis to grass or birch pollen of at least 2 years duration and mild allergic asthma. The intervention consisted of teaching self-hypnosis during a mean of 2.4 sessions (SD 1.7; range 2-5 sessions) and continuation of standard anti-allergic pharmacological treatment. Of 79 randomised patients, 66 completed one, and 52 completed two seasons. Retrospective VAS scores yielded significant improvements in year 1 in patients who had learned self-hypnosis.

Recovery Rates
  • Harvard University Gazette: “Hypnosis Helps Healing”
  • A survey of psychotherapy literature by Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D. revealed the following recovery rates:
    • Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions
    • Behavior Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions
    • Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions

    (Source: American Health Magazine)

Hypnosis ‘doubles IVF success’ – by Caroline Ryan
BBC News Online health staff in Berlin
Hypnosis can double the success of IVF treatment, researchers have claimed.A team from Soroka University, Israel, found 28% of women in the group who were hypnotised became pregnant, compared with 14% of those who were not.The study of 185 women was presented to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Berlin.But other experts said the research failed to account for key differences between the two groups.

The Israeli researchers were looking to see if hypnosis could make the embryo transfer stage of IVF more successful.

During this stage, the embryo is transferred into the womb. However, if the womb is contracting, it can affect the chances of the transplant being a success.

It was hoped hypnotherapy could help women relax and therefore improve the chances of success.


Women undergoing IVF were assessed to see if they were suitable to be hypnotised. Eighty-nine women were then given hypnosis while their embryos were implanted. Some underwent more than one cycle of IVF treatment. Ninety-six other women underwent embryo transfers without hypnosis. All received one cycle each.

Dr Eliahu Levitas, who led the research, told the conference: “Embryo transfer is known to be a stressful time for patients, and it may be that the procedure is the peak of their stress in IVF.

“Hypnosis may be related to a tranquilising effect.

“Performing embryo transfer under hypnosis may significantly contribute to an increased clinical pregnancy rate.”

But experts said the study failed to take into account key differences between the groups which would have a major influence on their chances of conceiving. On average, women in the non-hypnosis group had been trying to conceive for 7.4 years, compared with 4.7 years for those who did receive hypnosis.

Dr Francois Shenfield, of University College London Hospital, UK, said: “One of the very important confounding factors in this field is the duration of infertility.

“The longer a couple have been trying to conceive, the less likely they are to conceive spontaneously, and with technical help.”

The longer a couple have been trying to conceive, the less likely they are to conceive.

Dr Francoise Shenfield

Irritable Bowel Syndrome .
A British study of 18 adults with IBS published in The Lancet found that hypnosis “strikingly” reduced colonic motility, thus decreasing diarrhea and cramping (July 11, 1992)
Erectile Dysfunction
In a controlled study of 79 men with impotence from no known organic cause, only hypnosis proved more effective than a placebo, boosting sexual function by 80 percent (British Journal of Urology, February 1996).
  • Hypnosis in Medicine
    By David I. Brager
    Washington State University
    January 20, 2001 100
  • Scientific American Feature Article: July, 2001, “The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis” – By Michael R. Nash
    Though often denigrated as fakery or wishful thinking, hypnosis has been shown to be a real phenomenon with a variety of therapeutic uses — especially in controlling pain.
Hypnosis & Bone Fracture
The Harvard Medical School conducted research on the use of hypnosis to enhance physical healing. Twelve people with a recent bone fracture were divided into two groups. One group received hypnosis and the other group served as control. Both groups received standard orthopedic treatment. The hypnosis group had individual hypnotic sessions and listened to audio tapes designed to increase bone healing. Xray and orthopedic evaluations were made during the 12 weeks of the experiment.
The results showed a faster healing for the hypnosis group at week 9 of the experiment. Xrays revealed a notable difference at the edge of the fracture at week 6 of the experiment. The hypnosis group also had better mobility and used less pain killers. The researchers conclude by saying that “despite a small sample size…. these data suggest that hypnosis may be capable of enhancing both anatomical and functional fracture healing, and that further investigation of hypnosis to accelerate healing is warranted.”
The article was “Using hypnosis to accelerate the healing of bone fractures: a randomized controlled pilot study”, by Ginandes, CS, Rosenthal, DI. Alternative Therapy Health Medicine, 1999, March, 5(2), pp.67-75.
Preparing for Surgery
A controlled study of 32 coronary bypass patients showed that those taught self-hypnosis pre-operatively were more relaxed after surgery and had less need for pain medication (Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery, February 1997).
A review panel appointed by the National Institutes of Health found “strong evidence” for the use of hypnosis in alleviating pain associated with cancer (Journal of the American Medical Association, July 24-31, 1996).
Sedation Alternative
University of Iowa News Release, Feb. 6, 2003: Physician Studies Hypnosis As Sedation Alternative
Self-Hypnosis Can Cut Stress and Boost Your Immune System
A number of studies have suggested stress can hinder the body’s immune system defenses. Now researchers say people may be able to fight back with the stress-relieving techniques of self-hypnosis.
In a study of medical students under exam-time stress, investigators found that those who received “hypnotic-relaxation training” did not show the same reduction in key immune system components that their untrained counterparts did.
The researchers looked at 33 medical and dental students during relatively low-stress periods and around the time of the first major exam of the term. Half of the students attended sessions where they learned to relax through self-hypnosis.
The investigators found that during exam time, the self-hypnosis students launched stronger immune responses compared with students who did not learn the technique. And the more often students practiced the relaxation strategy, the stronger their immune response.
In previous studies, the researchers found that stressful times may impair the body’s wound-healing process and response to vaccination. They and other researchers have also found that relaxation techniques may combat these effects by relieving stress and boosting the immune system.
The data from this study provide encouraging evidence that interventions may reduce the immunological dysregulation associated with acute stressors. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2001;Source: Ontario Hypnosis Center

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