Despite the continued debate and lack of a clear consensus about the true nature of the hypnotic phenomenon, hypnosis is increasingly being utilized successfully in many medical, health, and psychological spheres as a research method, motivational tool, and therapeutic modality. Significantly, however, although hypnotherapy is widely advertised, advocated, and employed in the private medical arena for the management and treatment of many physical and emotional disorders, too little appears to be being done to integrate hypnosis into primary care and national health medical services. This article discusses some of the reasons for the apparent reluctance of medical and scientific health professionals to consider incorporating hypnosis into their medical practice, including the practical problems inherent in using hypnosis in a medical context and some possible solutions.
This 24-week long pilot investigation of 30 men and women with a BMI > 27kg/m2 aimed to determine whether virtual gastric band (VGB) hypnotherapy has an effect on weight loss in overweight adults, compared to relaxation hypnotherapy and a self-directed diet. Levels of weight loss and gain ranged from -17kg to +4.7kg in the VGB hypnotherapy group and -9.3kg to +7.8kg in the relaxation group. There was no significant difference between VGB hypnotherapy as a main effect on weight loss (Chi2 = 0.67, p = .41, df = 1) and there was no evidence of differential weight loss over time (Chi2 = 4.2, p = .64, df = 6). Therefore, the authors conclude that there was no significant difference between VGB hypnotherapy and the relaxation hypnotherapy.
In Israel, only physicians, dentists, and psychologists who complete an accredited licensing process may practice hypnosis. This study examines the characteristics of hypnotherapists compared to nonhypnotherapists in the same discipline. All hypnotherapists in Israel were compared to nonhypnotherapist health professionals. There are more subspecialists among hypnotists, and the most common specialties were psychiatry, pediatric dentistry, and clinical psychology. These findings imply self-sorting of hypnotists, as a result of the regulation in Israel. Licensure of hypnotherapists could be useful in other countries, by comprehensive follow-up of all licensed hypnotists, and by improving public and health professional perceptions of the field and its relevance to clinical practice
A systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy of hypnotherapy in the treatment of PTSD used literature searches to obtain 47 articles. However, only 6 were experiments testing the efficacy of hypnosis-based treatments. A fixed-effects meta-analysis was applied to postintervention assessment results and 4-week follow-ups. A large effect in favor of hypnosis-based (especially manualized abreactive hypnosis) treatment was found for the studies that reported the posttest results (d = 1.17). The temporal stability of the effect remains strong, as reflected by the 4-week follow-up assessments (d = 1.58) and also by long-term evaluations (e.g., 12 months). Hypnosis appears to be effective in alleviating PTSD symptoms.
Hypnotherapy’s effectiveness in improving and controlling chronic pain of various etiologies has been demonstrated by studies; the mechanism by which hypnosis does this is more complex than a simple induction of muscle relaxation. This study reveals, in addition to this mechanism, a deeper dimension of hypnotherapy from the vantage of a patient with a medical-surgical background, diagnosed with a pain disorder and major severe depressive disorder in addition to incurable painful symptoms, through treatment associated with hypnoanalysis. Following psychotherapy, which included some elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy, a complete remission of the anxious-depressive mood and the painful symptoms was achieved.
This article describes the history, rationale, and guidelines for developing a new definition of hypnosis by the Society of Psychological Hypnosis, Division 30 of the American Psychological Association. The definition was developed with the aim of being concise, heuristic, and allowing for alternative theories of the mechanisms (to be determined in empirical scientific study). The definition of hypnosis is presented as well as definitions of the following related terms: hypnotic induction, hypnotizability, and hypnotherapy. The implications for advancing research and practice are discussed. The definitions are presented within the article.
Hypnosis has long been recognized as an effective tool for producing behavioral change in the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Despite many studies from the latter half of the last century suggesting that hypnosis might also be of value in managing obesity situations, the efficacy of hypnotherapy for weight reduction has received surprisingly little formal research attention since 2000. This review presents a brief history of early clinical studies using hypnosis for weight reduction and describes a hypnotherapeutic approach within which a combination of instructional/pedagogic and exploratory therapeutic sessions can work together synergistically to maximize the potential for sustained weight loss. Hypnotic modulation of appetite- and satiation-associated peptides and hormone levels may yield additional physiological benefits in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.