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Hypnosis Education. Hypnotherapy Resources.

Hypnosis Research. Hypnosis Medical Studies.


Dear Reader, Use this page to show your friends to prove Hypnosis and Hypotherapy work to help people solve personal problems.

Or call me directly for any quesion you have about Hypnosis.

I also speak, or give hyposis demonstrations, to schools and non-profits for no charge.

Alan Barsky 415-389-9444


Do you have Questions About Hypnosis?

You can go to and enter hypnosis and find thousands of proofs, or read this page, or ask me for a download of 100 article briefs. Just email or phone me.

Hypnotherapy: How It Actually Works, and Should You Try It?

Although many used to consider hypnosis little more than just a parlor trick, the common perception has changed. Far too many people have been helped considerably by these methods. It may be the answer to some of your own most menacing health problems.


What does Stanford University say about Hypnosis?

What are statistics on the effectiveness of Hypnosis

for Quiting Smoking

(Tobacco Cessation)?


Answer: Here is a brief review of some of the research evidence on the effectiveness of hypnosis:


90.6% Success Rate for Smoking Cessation Using Hypnosis

University of Washington School of Medicine, Depts. of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66. Barber J.


87% Reported Abstinence From Tobacco Use With Hypnosis

A field study of 93 male and 93 female CMHC outpatients examined the facilitation of smoking cessation by using hypnosis.

At 3-month follow-up, 86% of the men and 87% of the women reported continued abstinence from the use of tobacco using hypnosis. Johnson DL, Karkut RT. Adkar Associates, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana. Psychol Rep. 1994 Oct;75(2):851-7. PMID: 7862796 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


81% Reported They Had Stopped Smoking After Hypnosis

81% of those patients reported that they had stopped smoking.Texas A&M University, System Health Science Center, College of Medicine, College Station, TX USA. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2004 Jan;52(1):73-81.


Hypnosis Patients Twice As Likely To Remain Smoke-Free After Two Years

After a two-year follow up, patients that quit with hypnosis were twice as likely to remain smoke-free than those who quit on their own.

       Guided health imagery for smoking cessation and long-term abstinence. Wynd, CA. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2005; 37:3, pages 245-250....Group hypnosis sessions were still demonstrated here as being more effective than drug interventions. Ohio State University, College of Nursing, Columbus, OH 43210, USA 


Hypnosis Most Effective Says Largest Study Ever: 3 Times as Effective as Patch and 15 Times as Effective as Willpower

 ...Studies of 72,000 people from America and Europe to compare various methods of quitting. On average, hypnosis was over three times as effective as nicotine replacement methods and 15 times as effective as trying to quit alone.University of Iowa, Journal of Applied Psychology, How One in Five Give Up Smoking. October 1992. (Also New Scientist, October 10, 1992.)


What are statistics on the effectiveness of Hypnosis

for Weight Loss?

Hypnosis Over 30 Times as Effective for Weight Loss

Investigated the effects of hypnosis in weight loss for 60 females, at least 20% overweight. Treatment included group hypnosis with metaphors for ego-strengthening, decision making and motivation, ideomotor exploration in individual hypnosis, and group hypnosis with maintenance suggestions. Hypnosis was more effective than a control group: an average of 17 lbs lost by the hypnosis group vs. an average of 0.5 lbs lost by the control group, on follow-up.Cochrane, Gordon; Friesen, J. (1986).


Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492. Two Years Later: Hypnosis Subjects Continued To Lose Significant Weight109

Hypnosis Subjects Lost More Weight Than 90% of Others and Kept it Off

Researchers analyzed 18 studies comparing a cognitive behavioral therapy such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self monitoring, or goal setting with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis.Those who received the hypnosis lost more weight than 90 percent of those not receiving hypnosis and maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended.University of Connecticut, Storrs Allison DB, Faith MS. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: a meta-analytic reappraisal. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996;64(3):513-516. Hypnosis More Than Doubled Average Weight LossStudy of the effect of adding hypnosis to cognitive-behavioral treatments for weight reduction, additional data were obtained from authors of two studies. Analyses indicated that the benefits of hypnosis increased substantially over time.Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments--Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64 (3), 517-519.


Hypnosis Showed Significantly Lower Post-Treatment Weights

Two studies compared overweight smoking and non-smoking adult women in an hypnosis-based, weight-loss program. Both achieved significant weight losses and decreases in Body Mass Index. Follow-up study replicated significant weight losses and declines  using hypnosis and multi-component treatments with and without overt aversion. Johnson DL, Psychology Reprints. 1997 Jun;80(3 Pt 1):931-3. Hypnotherapy group with stress reduction achieved significantly more weight loss than the other two treatments.

Hypnosis can more than double the effects of traditional weight loss approaches.

An analysis of five weight loss studies reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 showed that the "… weight loss reported in the five studies indicates that hypnosis can more than double the effects" of traditional weight loss approaches.University of Connecticut, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 (Vol. 64, No. 3, pgs 517-519).


Weight loss is greater where hypnosis is utilized

Research into cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments established that weight loss is greater where hypnosis is utilized. It was also established that the benefits of hypnosis increase over time.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1996) Showed Hypnosis As "An Effective Way To Lose Weight"A study of 60 females who were at least 20% overweight and not involved in other treatment showed hypnosis is an effective way to lose weight.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1986)Reference

What are statistics on the effectiveness of Hypnosis

for Anxiety, Pain, and Surgery Recovery?


Hypnosis Reduces Pain and Speeds up Recovery from Surgery.  

Since 1992, we have used hypnosis routinely in more than 1400 patients undergoing surgery. We found that hypnosis used with patients as an adjunct to conscious sedation and local anesthesia was associated with improved intraoperative patient comfort, and with reduced anxiety, pain, intraoperative requirements for anxiolytic and analgesic drugs, optimal surgical conditions and a faster recovery of the patient. We reported our clinical experience and our fundamental research.[Hypnosis and its application in surgery] Faymonville ME, Defechereux T, Joris J, Adant JP, Hamoir E, Meurisse M, Service d'Anesthesie-Reanimation, Universite de Liege, Rev Med Liege. 1998 Jul;53(7):414-8.


Hypnosis Reduces Pain Intensity

Analysis of the simple-simple main effects, holding both group and condition constant, revealed that application of hypnotic analgesia reduced report of pain intensity significantly more than report of pain unpleasantness.Dahlgren LA, Kurtz RM, Strube MJ, Malone MD, Differential effects of hypnotic suggestion on multiple dimensions of pain. Journal of Pain & Symptom Management. 1995; 10(6): 464-70.


Hypnosis Reduces Pain of Anxiety

The improvement was confirmed by the subjective evaluation data gathered with the use of a questionnaire and by a significant reduction in anxiety scores.Melis PM, Rooimans W, Spierings EL, Hoogduin CA, Treatment of chronic tension-type headache with hypnotherapy: a single-blind time controlled study.  appear to be a useful adjunct to established strategies for the treatment of phantom limb pain and would repay further, more systematic, investigation. Suggestions are provided as to the factors which should be considered for a more systematic research program.Treatment of phantom limb pain using hypnotic imagery. Oakley DA, Whitman LG, Halligan PW, Department of Psychology, University College, London, UK.


Hypnosis Has a Reliable and Significant Impact on Acute and Chronic Pain

Hypnosis has been demonstrated to reduce analogue pain, and studies on the mechanisms of laboratory pain reduction have provided useful applications to clinical populations. Studies showing central nervous system activity during hypnotic procedures offer preliminary information concerning possible physiological mechanisms of hypnotic analgesia. Randomized controlled studies with clinical populations indicate that hypnosis has a reliable and significant impact on acute procedural pain and chronic pain conditions. Methodological issues of this body of research are discussed, as are methods to better integrate hypnosis into comprehensive pain treatment.Hypnosis and clinical pain. Patterson DR, Jensen MP, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA USA 98104 Psychol Bull. 2003 Jul;129(4):495-521.




Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that hypnosis works the way it does due to changes in a few specific areas of the brain. A person who is hypnotized can feel his eyelids getting heavy, arms limp and his body weightless.

The results of the study were published recently in the journal Cerebral Cortex. The scientists scanned and studied the brains of 57 people during guided hypnosis sessions and found that distinct sections of the brain have altered activity and connectivity when under hypnosis. Guided hypnotic sessions are clinically used to relieve people of pain, trauma and anxiety. Study’s senior author David Spiegel, MD, professor and associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences opined that since it is known which brain regions are involved, this knowledge can be used to alter someone’s capacity to be hypnotized or the effectiveness of hypnosis for problems like pain control.

Hypnosis is more than just being associated with stage tricks – it is a serious science. Spiegel, who holds the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professorship in Medicine, said that hypnosis is the oldest Western form of psychotherapy, and it’s a very powerful means of changing the way we use our minds to control perception and our bodies. However, there is not much research about how it works at a physiological level. Earlier research on it studied the effects of hypnosis on pain, vision and other forms of perception, but not the state of hypnosis itself. Spiegel said that through his study he wanted to find out what goes on in the brain when one is hypnotized. Not everyone has the same ability to be hypnotized. So, the researchers first had to find out people who could or couldn’t be hypnotized. 545 participants were screened and of them 36 people consistently scored high on tests of hypnotizability, and they found 21 control subjects who were just the opposite.

The brain of the 57 participants were observed using MRI. Scanning of each participant was done under four different conditions”while resting, while recalling a memory and during two different hypnosis sessions. Spiegel remarked that it was important to have people who aren’t able to be hypnotized as controls to be sure that the happenings in the brains of those being hypnotized is due to hypnosis or not. The study revealed that there were three hallmarks of the brain under hypnosis. Each change was seen only in the highly hypnotizable group while they were undergoing hypnosis. First, there was a decrease in activity in an area called the dorsal anterior cingulate, part of the brain’s salience network, which signifies that the person under hypnosis is so absorbed in something that he is not aware of anything else. Secondly, an increase in connections between two other areas of the brain”the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the insula was seen. Lastly, the research team observed reduced connections between the dorsolateral cortex

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