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Hypnosis Research

Talking to the Amygdala: Expanding the Science of Hypnosis

Recent brain research indicates that it is possible to talk to the amygdala, a key part of the brain that deals with certain emotions. The inner mind is concerned with emotion, imagination and memory as well as the autonomic nervous system which automatically controls our internal organs. By talking to the amygdala, an experienced hypnotherapist can relax the autonomic nervous system shutting down, or curtailing the trigger that sets off secretion of the adrenal and pituitary glands. This gives the body an opportunity to rebuild its immune system in many...continue reading »

Hypnosis and Healing

Marie McBrown was invited to test whether or not hypnosis would help heal the scars from her breast surgery. Marie (not her real name) and 17 other women underwent surgery to reduce their breast size.

It's a common operation for women whose breasts are large enough to cause back and shoulder strain, interfere with routine tasks, or prompt social and psychological problems. The pain and course of healing from such surgery is well-known, and a team of researchers headed by Carol Ginandes of Harvard Medical School and Patricia Brooks of the Union Institute in Cincinnati wanted to determine if hypnosis could speed wound healing and recovery....continue reading »

How Effective Is Hypnosis in Relieving Pain?

Hypnosis is a state of altered awareness in which we can become absorbed in more relaxing thoughts, ideas, images and feelings, and more easily distracted from negative or painful ones. Many people who benefit from hypnosis respond well to suggestions about feeling less pain, more comfort, increased energy, better sleep, and having rapid healing outcomes. Only about 10-20% of the general population does not receive good results from hypnosis; this group may benefit more from biofeedback and other methods.

There are many published, well-controlled research studies that focus on the use of hypnosis with surgery. In a recent review of 18 of these studies1, the overall result was that most patients treated with hypnosis have moderate to significantly better surgical outcomes...continue reading »

Hypnosis and Pain Reduction: The Latest Research

Although hypnosis has been shown to reduce pain perception, it is not clear how the technique works. Identifying a sound, scientific explanation for hypnosis' effect might increase acceptance and use of this safe pain-reduction option in clinical settings.

Researchers at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the Technical University of Aachen, Germany, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to find out if hypnosis alters brain activity in a way that might explain pain reduction. The results are reported in the November-December 2004 issue of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.

The researchers found that volunteers under hypnosis experienced significant pain reduction in response to painful heat. They also had a distinctly different pattern of brain activity compared to when they were not hypnotized...continue reading »

Hypnosis and Headache Pain: The Research

In a study conducted by Anderson (1975), migraine patients treated with hypnosis had a significant reduction in the number of attacks and in their severity compared to a control group who were treated with traditional medications. The difference did not become statistically significant until the second six-month follow-up period. In addition, at the end of one year, the number of patients in the hypnosis group who had experienced no headaches for over three months was significantly higher.

In a controlled trial conducted by Olness (1987), self-hypnosis was shown to be significantly more effective than either propranolol or placebo...continue reading »

Hypnosis for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

Yes, research demonstrates a significant effect when using hypnosis for weight loss.

In a 9-week study of two weight management groups (one using hypnosis and one not using hypnosis), the hypnosis group continued to get results in the two-year follow-up, while the non-hypnosis group showed no further results (Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1985).

In a study of 60 women separated into hypnosis versus non-hypnosis groups, the groups using hypnosis lost an average of 17 pounds...continue reading »

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