Hypnosis Articles

These Hypnosis articles have been gathered from various international newspapers and magazines

Here’s what experts and the media are saying about Hypnosis…
“Hypnosis can help adult patients control other forms of pain, relieve gastrointestinal problems, stimulate weight loss, clear up skin problems, and accelerate the healing of bone fractures and surgical wounds.”
– Consumer Reports

“Hypnosis: A safe and potent pain reliever.”
– Consumer Reports

“I should have done it years ago. It’s amazing I didn’t even want cigarettes any more.”
Matt Damon describing his hypnosis experience to Jay Leno,
Tonight Show

“Hypnosis can help. A growing body of research supports the ancient practice as an effective tool in the treatment of a variety of problems, from anxiety to chronic pain.”
– Newsweek

“Hypnosis is not mind control. It’s a naturally occurring state of concentration; It’s actually a means of enhancing your control over both your mind and your body.”
Dr. David Spiegel, Assoc. Chair of Psychiatry
Sanford University School of Medicine,
– Jane Pauley Show

“Want to lose weight? Kick a bad habit? Well you might want to try hypnosis! No longer regarded as mere hocus-pocus, it’s been shown as an effective means of helping people quit smoking, shed pounds, reduce stress, and end phobias.”
– Jane Pauley Show

“Hypnosis can actually help you lose weight.”
Harvard Medical School psychotherapist Jean Fain
– Oprah Magazine

“In hypnosis, you can attain significant psycho-physiologic changes.”
Dr. Daniel Handel, National Institute of Health
– New York Times

“Approved as a valid treatment by the American Medical Association in 1958, hypnotism has become increasingly accepted by the medical community. Its use for chronic pain was approved in 1996 by the National Institutes of Health.”
– The Capital (Annapolis, MD)

“Hypnosis has gained credibility in the past five years because of research using the latest brain-imaging technology. Studies show hypnosis can help treat a multitude of disorders.”
– Business Week

Hypnosis for the people
AAAS Boston, BBC

By BBC News Online’s Caroline Ryan in Boston

All doctors should know how to perform hypnotherapy on their patients, according to a US expert.
Professor David Spiegel, of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Stanford University, said the therapy had been shown to help patients deal with pain, and could potentially be used in many other situations, such as helping people cope with long-term illnesses.

Professor Spiegel told BBC News Online: “We have more and more people living with these illnesses who need help coping with them, and hypnosis is a safe and effective way to teach people how to manage their own response, how to take the edge off their pain, how to think through their anxiety and not let it overwhelm them.”

The Stanford scientist made his comments at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.

He teaches self-hypnosis to help people manage their symptoms themselves.

Different colours

“If they have pain, I’ll have them imagine they’re doing to the part of their body that hurts what they actually do in the real world when it hurts, whether it’s using a bag of ice cubes or applying heat.”

Professor Spiegel said studies had shown hypnosis did help patients. In a study of women with breast cancer his team is due to publish later this year, those given support plus self-hypnosis had half the pain of those not given that combination.

His team has also found evidence that the brain’s reaction can be changed under hypnosis.

A study of people classed as highly receptive to hypnosis looked at how colour was processed in their brains.

Real view

They were shown patterns, either in colour, or in shades of grey. But if they were hypnotised to see colour, when in fact they were looking at the grey pattern, they believed they were seeing colour and their brain reacted as if that were true.

Professor Spiegel said that studies showed hypnosis was a distinct psychological state, and it was not simply that the person under hypnosis was adopting a role suggested to them.

He added: “People who are hypnotised see what they believe. They don’t just tell you that’s what it is – it actually looks that way to them.”

He is still looking for a “brain signature” which will show what happens in the brain when people are hypnotised.


Hypnosis not just a stage trick

Tim Radford
Guardian Unlimited

Stage hypnosis might be mesmerising trickery but there is increasing evidence that it works as a medical treatment, according to researchers yesterday.
They told the British Association festival of science in Exeter that many of the dramatic effects could be achieved without an altered state of consciousness – but brain scans showed changes during hypnosis, and children with cancer were able to better deal with the pain of lumbar punctures using self-hypnosis.

“What our studies show is that just getting attention is not enough to help you feel less pain,” said Christina Liossi of the University of Wales, Swansea. “When you do hypnosis you decrease pain; when you just get attention, you don’t decrease pain.”

Tests and brain scans on hypnotised volunteers suggested that a region of the brain called the anterior cingulated cortex – a region that checks imagination against reality – was altered during hypnosis. So experts could confirm an altered state of consciousness in those who could be hypnotised.

Peter Naish of the Open University said that a hard-nosed look at hypnosis as practised by entertainers might lead someone to conclude that hypnosis did not work. But in some circumstances, it did work.

“The evidence really, really is there. There are other areas where it will probably come soon. Hypnosis is not miraculous. It is for real. Something is going on. The arch-sceptical view cannot be right, and for sure the brain is doing quite different things during hypnosis from what it does in ordinary everyday existence,” he said.

John Gruzelier from Imperial College London said “We have a magnificent therapeutic tool which has been ignored because there is no evidence of the mechanism involved. Now we are getting evidence of the mechanism and we now hope people will take it more seriously and develop its effects on cancer and the immune system, pain analgesia and so on.”


Hypnosis ‘reduces cancer pain’

By Paul Rincon
BBC News Online science staff, at the BA festival

Childhood cancer patients suffer less pain when placed under hypnosis, scientists have claimed.
Children who had been hypnotised in trials reported they had less pain from medical procedures as well as cancer-related pain.

Dr Christina Liossi, from University of Wales, Swansea, suggested there was even tentative evidence that hypnosis prolonged the lives of cancer patients.

The research is being presented at the BA Festival of Science in Exeter.

In one study, 80 children were placed in four groups: two experimental groups who were treated with an anaesthetic and hypnosis.

Two control groups were just given the anaesthetic.

“All [40] children who used hypnosis with a local anaesthetic felt much less pain than children who were just given the local anaesthetic,” said Dr Liossi.

The children, aged six to 16, were placed under hypnosis by experts and then taught to hypnotise themselves before they underwent procedures.

Children not treated with hypnosis were talked to and counselled instead.

“We asked children to rate their pain from 0 to 5 on a graded scale. Before we perform hypnosis we ask them to rate their pain on this scale,” Dr Liossi explained.

“Then we introduce hypnosis and then we ask them to rate pain again and they report much less.”

Brain changes

Other evidence presented at the festival also supports the idea that hypnosis is a genuine physical state and that people are not simply deceiving themselves into thinking they are hypnotised.

There are some studies and there are some encouraging results from these that hypnosis can probably improve the survival of cancer patients. But at the moment there isn’t enough evidence
Dr Christina Liossi
Individuals who are highly susceptible to being placed under hypnosis show that there are changes in the left frontal cortex of the brain and a structure called the cingulated gyrus when viewed through a functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner.
“The frontal lobe is concerned with our planning, our future actions, our analysis of the here and now, our critical evaluation and the things we do so we don’t make silly mistakes,” said Dr John Gruzelier of Imperial College, London.

“If you think about what the hypnotist does, he asks you to go with the flow and not critically analyse what you’re doing.”

Dr Liossi suggested there was even evidence that hypnosis might prolong life in adult cancer patients.

“There are some studies and there are some encouraging results from these,” she said.

Adult cancer patients placed under hypnosis show fewer cancer-related symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and pain, said Dr Liossi.

“There are some studies and there are some encouraging results from these that hypnosis can probably improve the survival of cancer patients.

“But at the moment there isn’t enough evidence.”

Story from BBC NEWS: