Hypnosis & Weight Loss

Studies have shown (1) that the use of hypnosis motivational suggestions produced an average 17 pound weight loss compared to half a pound weight loss in the control group after 6 months. A further study (2) showed including hypnosis in a weight loss program doubled the amount of weight lost.

  • 1) Cochrane, Gordon; Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492.
  • 2) Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments–Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64 (3), 517-519.


Stop Smoking

To find the most effective method to stop smoking Frank Schmidt and research student Chockalingham Viswesvaran from the university of Iowa used a meta-analysis, utilising the results of more than 600 studies totalling nearly 72,000 people.
The results, which were published in the Journal of Applied Psychology and included 48 studies of hypnosis covering 6000 smokers, clearly showed that hypnosis, to use the same terminology as the quit counsellor, was three times more effective than NRT.


  • (1)Elliot Wald, Tami J Eggelston PhD & Fredrick Gibbson PhD, "Cognitive reactions to smoking relapse", New Scientist, vol 136, pp6.

In a recent stop smoking study, where smokers attended individual hypnotherapy for stop smoking over three sessions, 81% had stopped smoking after the treatment ended, and at a 12 month follow-up nearly 50% remained smoke free. And 95% of the people were satisfied with their treatment.


  • (1) Elkins GR, Rajab MH. (2004)  "Clinical hypnosis for Smoking Cessation: preliminary results of a three session intervention." International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 2004 Jan; 52 (1):73-81


Migraine & Headaches

Hypnosis is highly effective in the treatment of chronic migraine headaches. All Hypnotic methods appear to be superior to standard treatment relying on pharmacological approaches alone. Patients treated with Hypnosis had a significant reduction in severity and the number of attacks compared to a control group treated with traditional medications. At the one year follow-up the number of patients in the Hypnosis group who had no headaches for over three months was significantly higher. (1)



Review of the Efficacy of Clinical Hyponosis with Migraines & Headaches

The 12-member National Institute of Health Technology Assessment Panel on Integration of Behavioral and Relaxation Approaches into the Treatment of Chronic Pain and Insomnia (1996) reviewed outcome studies on hypnosis with cancer pain and concluded that research evidence was strong and that other evidence suggested hypnosis may be effective with some chronic pain, including tension headaches.  This paper provides an updated review of the literature on the effectiveness of hypnosis in the treatment of headaches and migraines, concluding that it meets the clinical psychology research criteria for being a well-established and efficacious treatment and is virtually free of the side effects, risks of adverse reactions, and ongoing expense associated with medication treatments. (2)


  • (1) Anderson, J.A., Basker, M.A, Dalton, R. (1975). "Migraine and Hypnotherapy." International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 23, 48-58.
  • (2) Hammond C. (2000) The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis; Volume 55, Number 2 - April 2000



”Various case studies have reported the successful use of self-hypnosis in treating P.T.S.D., public speaking, simple phobia and panic disorder. Overall, previous speculations and empirical findings suggest that increases in a sense of self-reliance, self control and self-efficacy may be central to the alleviation of anxiety through self hypnosis.”

  • (Lucy O’Neil, Amanda Barnier & Kevin McConkey, “Treating Anxiety with self-hypnosis and relaxation,” Contemporary Hypnosis 1999, vol. 16 (2): 68)


Chronic Pain

July, 2001 issue of Scientific American the article The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis states;

“The pain relieving effect of hypnosis is often substantial and in a few cases the degree of relief matches or exceeds that provided by morphine.”

“Voluminous clinical studies also indicate that hypnosis can reduce the acute pain experienced by patients undergoing burn-wound debridement, children enduring bone marrow aspirations and women in labor.”



April, 2007 International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis “Cognitive hypnotherapy for depression: an empirical investigation.

The article discusses a study that was conducted to determine the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy combined with hypnosis. This is known as “cognitive hypnotherapy” (CH)

The effectiveness of CH was compared to standard cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and the results were excellent.

The CH group produced significantly larger changes than the CBT group in the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Hopelessness Scale.

And a 12 month follow up confirmed the continued success of CH vs. CBT.



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