Hypnotherapy is a scientifically studied and clinical therapy with more and more research emerging to prove its benefits mentally and physically in individuals. Below are important research findings relating to clinical hypnotherapy;
- fMRI imaging studies have shown changes in the brain during hypnosis. The part of the brain known to be affected during hypnosis is the precuneus, which is involved with episodic memory, visual processing, meta awareness and consciousness (Australian Hypnosis and Training Services, 2015). Other areas which may also be used during hypnosis are the amygdala, through relaxation (Australian Hypnosis and Training Services, 2015) and, the anterior cingulate cortex along with the frontal cortex as they control attention (Yapko, 2015).
- ‘75% of clinical and experimental participants with different types of pain obtained substantial pain relief from hypnotic techniques. Thus, hypnosis is likely to be effective for most people suffering from diverse forms of pain’ (Montgomery, G. H., DuHamel, K. N., & Redd, W. H. (2000). A meta-analysis of hypnotically induced analgesia: how effective is hypnosis? International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 48, pp. 138-153.)
- Immediately after a hypnotherapy program, 71% of patients had an improvement in their IBS symptoms and of these 81% maintained this or, symptoms improved even further over time with non-responders to hypnotherapy showing no improvement in their symptoms over time. Meaning that the improvement seen in the responders to the therapy was due to the hypnotherapy benefits not, time. Quality of life, anxiety and depression were also improved by hypnotherapy immediately and after time. (Gonsalkorale, W. M., Miller, V., Afzal, A., & Whorwell, P. J (2003). Long Term Benefits of Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Gut, Vol. 52, pp. 1623-1629).
- ‘Gut-directed hypnotherapy achieved almost identical rates of response and mean magnitude of improvement at the end of therapy and at the 6-month follow-up to that of the low FODMAP diet for gastrointestinal symptoms in IBS. Likewise, quality of life improved similarly’. (S. L. Peters, C. K. Yao, H. Philpott, G. W. Yelland, J. G. Muir & P. R. Gibson (2016). Randomised clinical trial: the efficacy of gut-directed hypnotherapy is similar to that of the low FODMAP diet for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Vol. 44, pp. 447-459.