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Hypnosis Research


Learn More About the Benefits of Hypnosis

How to Use This Page

Many people may be satisfied to simply go to a web browser and type in some key words to find information about a given subject.  Often, one will find blogs, news articles, and other information that may be of some subjective value.  Many do not realize that the information being retrieved can be biased or subjective.

In addition to conducting web searches and retrieving popular press information, it is highly suggested that one conduct some level of academic research to understand the effectiveness (or efficacy) of hypnosis for his or her presenting issue.

Below, you will find quite a number of references.  Each is under a heading in order to make it easy to find.  The best way to conduct research and find scholarly resources for free is to use Google Scholar, which can be found at  

You may like to copy and paste the name of the article of interest, the author's name(s), or you can simply type in the search bar any topic or area of interest, plus the word hypnosis or hypnotherapy.  What you will find is a treasure trove of documents that help support the efficacy of hypnosis.

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Academic Performance

Improved learning: Our results indicate that hypnosis is beneficial for second language vocabulary learning and retrieval. 


Using Hypnosis to Enhance Learning Second Language Vocabulary. Yakup Çetin, O. Arda Çimen, and Zeynep Ebrar Yetkiner. American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 58 , Iss. 4,2016 

Academic performance: The two hypnotic training programs had a significant effect on the academic achievement of the participants, which was not found in the control groups. 


The Effect of Hypnotic Training Programs on the Academic Performance of Students. H. M. De Vos and . A. Louw. American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 49 , Iss. 2, 2006 

Investigated the effects of cognitive-behavioral hypnosis in reducing test anxiety and improving academic performance. 44 introductory psychology students received 4 sessions of hypnosis and 50 Hawthorne controls received no treatment over the same time period. Ss' midterm test grades and scores on the Test Anxiety Inventory were examined. There was a decrease in test anxiety and improvements in achievement for the hypnosis group. The treatment gains were maintained at 6-wk follow-up. 


Sapp, M. (1991) Hypnotherapy and test anxiety: Two cognitive-behavioral constructs: The effects of hypnosis in reducing test anxiety and improving academic achievement in college students.  Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, Vol 12(1), 25-31.

Anxiety / Stress / Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Self-hypnosis training represents a rapid, cost-effective, nonaddictive and safe alternative to medication for the treatment of anxiety-related conditions. The tremendous volume of research provides compelling evidence that hypnosis is an efficacious treatment for state anxiety (e.g., prior to tests, surgery and medical procedures) and anxiety-related disorders, such as headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. 


Hammond, D. C. (2010). Hypnosis in the treatment of anxiety- and stress-related disorders. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 10(2), 263-273. doi:10.1586/ern.09.140 

Hypnosis appears to reduce perceived hot flashes in breast cancer survivors and may have additional benefits such as reduced anxiety and depression, and improved sleep. 

Lawton, C. (2009). Randomized Trial of a Hypnosis Intervention for Treatment of Hot Flashes Among Breast Cancer Survivors. Yearbook of Oncology, 2009, 17-18. doi:10.1016/s1040-1741(08)79273-x 

Studies report positive results, including statistically significant reductions in pain and anxiety/distress 

Richardson, J., Smith, J. E., Mccall, G., & Pilkington, K. (2006). Hypnosis for Procedure-Related Pain and Distress in Pediatric Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review of Effectiveness and Methodology Related to Hypnosis Interventions. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 31(1), 70-84. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2005.06.010 

Presently, there is moderate support for the integration of hypnotic techniques in the treatment of a number of medical problems. This critical review of the research literature focuses on the empirical research on the effectiveness of hypnotic treatments as adjuncts to medical care for anxiety related to medical and dental procedures, asthma, dermatological diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, hemorrhagic disorders, nausea and emesis in oncology, and obstetrics/gynecology 


Pinnell, C. M., & Covino, N. A. (2000). Empirical findings on the use of hypnosis in medicine: A critical review. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 48(2), 170-194. doi:10.1080/00207140008410047 

Results demonstrated that at the end of intervention patients in the hypnosis group had significantly better overall quality of life and lower levels of anxiety and depression when compared to the standard care group. It is concluded that hypnosis is effective in the enhancement of quality of life in terminally ill cancer patients. 


Efficacy of clinical hypnosis in the enhancement of quality of life of terminally ill cancer patients.  Liossi and White (Contemporary Hypnosis 18(3): 145–160). (2001). Contemporary Hypnosis, 18(4), 220-220. doi:10.1002/ch.233 

PTSD: Abreactive hypnosis emphasized hypnotically activated “reliving” of the trauma experience to physical and psychological exhaustion. In study #1 hypnosis and control group’s reduced PTSD checklist (PCL) scores immediately post treatment (placebo PCL score mean reduction 17. 34 and EST treatment PCL mean reduction 53.11). However, only the hypnosis patients maintained significant treatment effects at followups. Study #2 used the Davidson Trauma Scale (DTS), Beck Depression II (BDI – II), and Beck Anxiety Scales (BAI). Only the hypnosis group showed significant positive effects from pre-treatment to all post treatment measurement periods. 


M, B. A. (2013). Hypnosis for PTSD: Evidence Based Placebo-Controlled Studies. Journal of Trauma & Treatment, S4. doi:10.4172/2167-1222.s4-006 

CBT-hypnosis resulted in greater reduction in reexperiencing symptoms at posttreatment than CBT. These findings suggest that hypnosis may have use in facilitating the treatment effects of CBT for post traumatic stress


Bryant, R. A., Moulds, M. L., Guthrie, R. M., & Nixon, R. D. (2005). The Additive Benefit of Hypnosis and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Treating Acute Stress Disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(2), 334-340. doi:10.1037/0022-006x.73.2.334 

A group mindfulness meditation training program can effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic and can help maintain these reductions in patients with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or panic disorder with agoraphobia. 


Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. (1992). American Journal of Psychiatry, 149(7), 936-943. doi:10.1176/ajp.149.7.936 

This study investigated the effect of hypnosis on anxiety, depression, fatigue, and sleepiness in hemodialysis patients. Twenty-nine patients participated in the 15-day study. A single hypnosis session was performed on Day 8. Anxiety, depression, fatigue, and sleepiness were measured at baseline, on Day 8, and on Day 15 (HADS, MFI, ESS). Daily fatigue was also measured numerically. Anxiety, depression, and sleepiness significantly decreased after hypnosis. 


Untas, A., Chauveau, P., Dupré-Goudable, C., Kolko, A., Lakdja, F., & Cazenave, N. (2013). The Effects of Hypnosis on Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue, and Sleepiness in People Undergoing Hemodialysis: A Clinical Report. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 61(4), 475-483. doi:10.1080/00207144.2013.810485 

Breast cancer, improves wound healing: During surgery, hypnosis may be applied to limit immunosuppression, while, in the postoperative period, it can reduce pain, anxiety, and fatigue and improve wound healing. 


Potié, A., Roelants, F., Pospiech, A., Momeni, M., & Watremez, C. (2016). Hypnosis in the Perioperative Management of Breast Cancer Surgery: Clinical Benefits and Potential Implications. Anesthesiology Research and Practice, 2016, 1-8. doi:10.1155/2016/2942416 

Nocturnal enuresis in children: The use of hypnosis was safe and moderately helpful, particularly for anxiety disorder or nocturnal enuresis. 


M. (2013). Hypnosis in 53 Children With Anxiety Disorders, Nocturnal Enuresis, or Insomnia. International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics. doi:10.4021/ijcp104w 

Pediatric surgery: Significantly lower postoperative pain ratings and shorter hospital stays occurred for children in the experimental group. State anxiety was decreased for the guided imagery group and increased postoperatively for the control group. This study demonstrates the positive effects of hypnosis/guided imagery for the pediatric surgical patient. 


Lambert, S. A. (1996). The Effects of Hypnosis/Guided Imagery on the Postoperative Course of Children. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 17(5), 307-310. doi:10.1097/00004703-199610000-00003 

Autogenic training and students: here was a statistically significantly greater reduction of State (P < 0·001) and Trait (P < 0·001) Anxiety in the autogenic training group than in both other groups immediately after treatment. 


Kanji, N., White, A., & Ernst, E. (2006). Autogenic training to reduce anxiety in nursing students: Randomized controlled trial. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 53(6), 729-735. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2006.03779.x 

Hypnosis significantly alleviates preoperative anxiety


Saadat, H., Drummond-Lewis, J., Maranets, I., Kaplan, D., Saadat, A., Wang, S., & Kain, Z. N. (2006). Hypnosis Reduces Preoperative Anxiety in Adult Patients. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 102(5), 1394-1396. doi:10.1213/01.ane.0000204355.36015.54 

PTSD: New uses of hypnosis in the psychotherapy of PTSD victims involve coupling access to the dissociated traumatic memories with positive restructuring of those memories. Hypnosis can be used to help patients face and bear a traumatic experience by embedding it in a new context, acknowledging helplessness during the event, and yet linking that experience with remoralizing memories such as efforts at self-protection, shared affection with friends who were killed, or the ability to control the environment at other times. In this way, hypnosis can be used to provide controlled access to memories that are then placed into a broader perspective. 


Spiegel, D. (n.d.). Hypnosis in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Casebook of Clinical Hypnosis., 99-111. doi:10.1037/11090-005 

PTSD Insomnia: There was a significant main effect of the hypnotherapy treatment with PTSD symptoms as measured by the Posttraumatic Disorder Scale. This effect was preserved at follow-up 1 month later. Additional benefits for the hypnotherapy group were decreases in intrusion and avoidance reactions and improvement in all sleep variables assessed. 


Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Chronic Combat-Related PTSD Patients Suffering From Insomnia: A Randomized, Zolpidem-Controlled Clinical Trial Eitan G. Abramowitz, Yoram Barak, Irit Ben-Avi, and Haim Y. Knobler International Journal Of Clinical And Experimental Hypnosis Vol. 56 , Iss. 3,2008 

Child Birth (Labor and Delivery) & Pregnancy

Pain in childbirth: Hetero-hypnosis and self-hypnosis were consistently shown to be more effective than standard medical care, supportive counseling, and childbirth education classes in reducing pain. 


Landolt, A. S., & Milling, L. S. (2011). The efficacy of hypnosis as an intervention for labor and delivery pain: A comprehensive methodological review. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(6), 1022-1031. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2011.06.002 

Decreased drug use in child delivery: In the main comparison, women in the hypnosis group were less likely to use pharmacological pain relief or analgesia than those in the control groups 


Wittels, B. (n.d.). Faculty of 1000 evaluation for Hypnosis for pain management during labour and childbirth. F1000 - Post-publication Peer Review of the Biomedical Literature. doi:10.3410/f.717964644.793468978 

Pregnancy nausea: Persistent nausea of pregnancy is often caused by some unresolved emotional or psychological issue that can be rapidly resolved through hypnosis. Four cases of women who were nauseated throughout their pregnancy were treated with a brief form of hypnosis that used a psychodynamic investigation of the cause of the problem. David Cheek's ideomotor questioning was used to discover the reason for the disturbance; once uncovered, the solution was obvious and quick. 


Treating Persistent Nausea of Pregnancy With Hypnosis: Four Cases. Antonio Madrid, Richard Giovannoli, and Maureen Wolfe. American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 54 , Iss. 2, 2011 

Cancer / Pain Relief

Painful procedures, treatments, or diseases remain a major nursing challenge, and nurses need complementary ways to relieve pain from surgery, tumors, injuries, and chemotherapy. This article examines the evidence based related to hypnosis for pain management, as well as how to assess and educate patients about hypnosis. 


Hypnosis for Pain Management. Sharon M. Valente, RN, CS, PhD, FAAN. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. February 2006 - Volume 44 · Issue 2: 22-30 

Cancer related anxiety: The authors conclude that brief hypnosis concurrently administered reduces patient anxiety during bone marrow aspirates and biopsies but may not adequately control pain. The authors explain this latter finding as indicating that the sensory component of a patient's pain experience may be of lesser importance than the affective component 


A Randomized Trial of Hypnosis for Relief of Pain and Anxiety in Adult Cancer Patients Undergoing Bone Marrow Procedures Alison Snow LCSW-R, David Dorfman PhD, Rachel Warbet LCSW, Meredith Cammarata LCSW, Stephanie Eisenman LCSW, Felice Zilberfein PhD, Luis Isola MD, and Shyamala Navada MD Journal Of Psychosocial Oncology Vol. 30 , Iss. 3,2012 

Breast cancer, improves wound healing: During surgery, hypnosis may be applied to limit immunosuppression, while, in the postoperative period, it can reduce pain, anxiety, and fatigue and improve wound healing. 


Potié, A., Roelants, F., Pospiech, A., Momeni, M., & Watremez, C. (2016). Hypnosis in the Perioperative Management of Breast Cancer Surgery: Clinical Benefits and Potential Implications. Anesthesiology Research and Practice, 2016, 1-8. doi:10.1155/2016/2942416 

Breast Cancer: The results support CBTH (cognitive-behavioral therapy plus hypnosis) as an evidence-based intervention to control fatigue in patients undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer. CBTH is noninvasive, has no adverse effects, and its beneficial effects persist long after the last intervention session. 


Jooris, D., & Cohen, L. (2015). Randomized Controlled Trial of a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Plus Hypnosis Intervention to Control Fatigue in Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer. Breast Diseases: A Year Book Quarterly, 26(1), 30-31. doi:10.1016/j.breastdis.2015.01.008 

Hypnosis appears to reduce perceived hot flashes in breast cancer survivors and may have additional benefits such as reduced anxiety and depression, and improved sleep. 

Lawton, C. (2009). Randomized Trial of a Hypnosis Intervention for Treatment of Hot Flashes Among Breast Cancer Survivors. Yearbook of Oncology, 2009, 17-18. doi:10.1016/s1040-1741(08)79273-x 

Results indicated significant decreases in gynecologic examination pain and in several measures assessing intercourse pain, and nonsignificant increases in threshold. Some indices of noncoital vulvar pain decreased. Overall sexual function, particularly sexual satisfaction, increased at posttreatment. 


Pukall, C., Kandyba, K., Amsel, R., Khalifé, S., & Binik, Y. (2007). ORIGINAL RESEARCH—SEXUAL PAIN DISORDERS: Effectiveness of Hypnosis for the Treatment of Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome: A Preliminary Investigation. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 4(2), 417-425. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2006.00425.x 

Fatigue in cancer patients: Results: Multilevel modeling indicated that for weekly FACIT fatigue data, there was a significant effect of the CBTH intervention on the rate of change in fatigue (p < .05), such that on average, CBTH participants’ fatigue did not increase over the course of treatment, whereas control group participants’ fatigue increased linearly. 


Fatigue during breast cancer radiotherapy: An initial randomized study of cognitive–behavioral therapy plus hypnosis. Montgomery, Guy H.; Kangas, Maria; David, Daniel; Hallquist, Michael N.; Green, Sheryl; Bovbjerg, Dana H.; Schnur, Julie B. Health Psychology, Vol 28(3), May 2009, 317-322. 

Post-stroke: Even some serious medical cases such as cancer and heart attacks, hypnotherapy accelerate recovery of a patient. It is very possible because directed hypnotherapy to boost the immune system and reprogram individual attitude towards her illness. In hypnotherapy there is a progressive relaxation technique, relaxation technique that is done by focusing on the contraction and relaxation of the muscles of the body. So the therapy for post-stroke patients using hypnotherapy, especially with the use of progressive relaxation techniques, can help reduce muscle tension in patients with post-stroke. 


RAMA, Tamyis Ade; NAPRI, Muhammad. Hypnotherapy to Reduce Post-Stroke Muscle Tension in Indonesia. Scientific Journal of PPI - UKM, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 2, p. 53-56, apr. 2015. ISSN 2356-2536 

Breast cancer: Hypnosis was superior to attention control regarding propofol and lidocaine use; pain, nausea, fatigue, discomfort, and emotional upset at discharge; and institutional cost. Overall, the present data support the use of hypnosis with breast cancer surgery patients. 


A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Brief Hypnosis Intervention to Control Side Effects in Breast Surgery Patients Guy H. Montgomery, Dana H. Bovbjerg, Julie B. Schnur, Daniel David, Alisan Goldfarb, Christina R. Weltz, Clyde Schechter, Joshua Graff-Zivin, Kristin Tatrow, Donald D. Price and Jeffrey H. Silverstein JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2007) 99(17): 1304-1312.doi: 10.1093/jnci/djm106 


A wide spectrum of dermatologic disorders may be improved or cured using hypnosis as an alternative or complementary therapy, including acne excoriée, alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis, congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma, dyshidrotic dermatitis, erythromelalgia, furuncles, glossodynia, herpes simplex, hyperhidrosis, ichthyosis vulgaris, lichen planus, neurodermatitis, nummular dermatitis, postherpetic neuralgia, pruritus, psoriasis, rosacea, trichotillomania, urticaria, verruca vulgaris, and vitiligo. 


Shenefelt, P. D. (2000). Hypnosis in Dermatology. Archives of Dermatology, 136(3). doi:10.1001/archderm.136.3.393 

The use of psychological therapies for patients with psoriasis has been proposed based on observations that the severity of their disease may correlate with emotional stress. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effect of hypnosis as a treatment modality for patients with psoriasis. Methods: We performed a 3-month randomized, single-blind, controlled trial of the use of hypnosis in adults with stable, chronic, plaque-type psoriasis. Highly or moderately hypnotizable subjects were randomized to receive either hypnosis with active suggestions of improvement (5 patients) or neutral hypnosis with no mention of their disease process (6 patients). After this period, the study was unblinded, and all the patients were treated for an additional 3 months with hypnosis with active suggestions of improvement. Results: Highly hypnotizable subjects showed significantly greater improvement than did moderately hypnotizable subjects, independent of treatment group assignment (active suggestion or neutral hypnosis). Conclusion: Although this study included a very limited number of patients, the results suggest that hypnosis may be a useful therapeutic modality for highly hypnotizable subjects with psoriasis, and merits further testing in a larger patient population.

Tausk, F., & Whitmore, S. E. (1999). A pilot study of hypnosis in the treatment of patients with psoriasis. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 68(4), 221-225.

Emergency Hypnosis

Hypnosis can be a most valuable method in the emergency room treatment of the burn patient. This paper addresses certain issues and methods of hypnotic therapy within such a setting.

Ewin, D. M. (1986). Emergency room hypnosis for the burned patient. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 29(1), 7-12.

Emergency medicine: Although it is safe, fast, and cost-effective, emergency clinicians rarely use hypnosis. This is due, in part, to the myths surrounding hypnosis and its association with alternative-complementary medicine. Genuine barriers to its increased clinical use include a lack of assured effectiveness and a lack of training and training requirements. Based on the results of further research, hypnosis could become a powerful and safe nonpharmacologic addition to the emergency clinician's armamentarium, with the potential to enhance patient care in emergency medicine, prehospital care, and remote medical settings. 


Iserson, K. V. (2014). An Hypnotic Suggestion: Review of Hypnosis for Clinical Emergency Care. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 46(4), 588-596. doi:10.1016/j.jemermed.2013.09.024 

Fears / Phobias

Fear of Flying: The patient’s self-assessed readiness to fly increased significantly over the course of treatment, and she successfully engaged in a “practice flight” toward the end of her treatment. 


Volpe, E. G., & Nash, M. R. (2012). The Use of Hypnosis for Airplane Phobia With an Obsessive Character: A Case Study. Clinical Case Studies, 11(2), 89-103. doi:10.1177/1534650112440167 

Two case studies, school-phobic child and a phobia of a single phase of airplane flight activity, are presented to illustrate the importance of the assessment of hypnotic susceptibility and the tailoring of the particular hypnotic intervention in a wider therapeutic context to fit the characteristics of the individual.

Crawford, H. J., & Barabasz, A. F. (1993). Phobias and intense fears: Facilitating their treatment with hypnosis.

Fear of heights: The author, an experienced alpine mountaineer, sustained several traumatic climbing injuries over a two-year period. This article describes her multiple uses of self-hypnosis to deal with several challenges related to her returning to successful mountain climbing. She used self-hypnosis for physical healing and to enhance her motivation to resume climbing. While training for her next expedition, she successfully utilized self-hypnotic techniques to deal with acute stress and later post-traumatic symptoms that had emerged related to her climbing injuries. She describes her use of hypnotic ego-strengthening, mental rehearsal, age progression, and “Inner Strength” as well as active-alert trance states. Her successful summitting of Ecuador's Cotopaxi at 19,380 feet was facilitated by “The Hypnotic Belay” which permitted her to secure herself by self-hypnosis in addition to the rope used to secure climbers. In 1994, the author returned to the Cascade Mountains where she had been injured three years earlier and reached the summit of Mount Shuksan. This time she was secured by “The Hypnotic Belay”. 


The Hypnotic Belay in Alpine Mountaineering: The Use of Self-Hypnosis for the Resolution of Sports Injuries and for Performance Enhancement Priscilla A. Morton ACSW, BCD American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 46 , Iss. 1,2003 

Forensic Hypnosis

Forensic hypnosis: These cases illustrate how forensic hypnosis can result in obtaining important additional investigative leads which lead to the solving of crimes. 


Solving Crimes with Hypnosis. William C. Wester II Ed.D., ABPH, ABPP and D. Corydon Hammond Ph.D., ABPH Am 

The subjects consisted of 45 volunteers enrolled in an introductory criminology class. Each of the subjects attended the class on the day an unannounced mock assassination took place during their lecture. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups, which resulted in eight females and seven males being assigned to each of the groups. One group received a fairly typical forensic hypnosis treatment, a second group was administered the same procedure without hypnotic induction, and the third group did not receive either the forensic hypnosis procedure or the induction. Each subject's description of the details pertaining to the mock assassination was recorded in writing by the experimenter, who sat next to the subject in a testing room. Results were calculated using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedure in which the mean scores of the three groups were compared. The most accurate responses were provided by group two. A one-way ANOVA comparing the recognition mean scores of the three groups was also calculated. These data also suggest that the forensic hypnosis technique with or without hypnotic induction may serve to increase the accuracy of witness recall. 

Timm, H. W. (1981). The effect of forensic hypnosis techniques on eyewitness recall and recognition. Journal of Police Science and Administration, 9(2), 188-194.

Focuses on the experimental analysis of the effects of hypnosis on remembering the context of contemporary research on hypnosis and memory / an evaluative summary of experimental approaches and findings [hypnotic hyperamnesia, hypnotic distortions in memory, hypnotic pseudomemory] 

McConkey, K. M. (1992). The effects of hypnotic procedures on remembering: The experimental findings and their implications for forensic hypnosis.

Human Performance Improvement / Sports Performance

Vocal issues: Hypnosis has previously proven efficacious for treating vocal cord dysfunction, and in this case, hypnotic techniques were major factors in successful symptom control. 


Hypnosis for Asthma and Vocal Cord Dysfunction in a Patient With Autism. Robert Kaslovsky and David Gottsegen. American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 58 , Iss. 2,2015 

Golf performance: These results support the hypothesis that an hypnotic intervention can improve golf-chipping performance and increase feelings and cognitions associated with flow. 


Pates, J. (2000). Effects Of Hypnosis On Flow States And Golf Performance. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 91(7), 1057. doi:10.2466/pms.91.7.1057-1075 

Athletes: The 14 athletes participating imaged each situation in and out of hypnosis—half of the time the imagery in hypnosis came first and half after. The participants reported that the imagery under hypnosis was more intense for each dimension and more intense for each situation. Whether the imagery was done under hypnosis first or after was not significant. The findings suggest that hypnosis substantially enhances imagery intensity and effectiveness. 


Liggett, D. R. (2000). Enhancing Imagery through Hypnosis: A Performance Aid for Athletes. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 43(2), 149-157. doi:10.1080/00029157.2000.1040426 

Modern clinical uses of hypnosis often deal with pathology. Prophylatic uses to improve normal human functioning and performance are only occasionally addressed. This author proposes two methods, cognitive rehearsal and arousal level control, which may be achieved through hypnosis to enhance human performance. Two case reports are presented to illustrate the uses of cognitive rehearsal through neuromotor facilitation and arousal level control using numerical posthypnotic cues. Biofeedback is also discussed to provide further information relative to these methods.

Garver, R. B. (1977). The enhancement of human performance with hypnosis through neuromotor facilitation and control of arousal level. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 19(3), 177-181.

Using a single-subject multiple baseline design, combined with assessments of participants’ internal experience (Wollman, 1986), the efficacy of a hypnotic intervention on flow state and competitive cycling performance was assessed in three elite cyclists. Intervention involved relaxation, imagery, hypnotic induction, hypnotic regression, and the conditioning of an unconscious trigger associated with the emotions of past peak performance. Ecologically valid performance measures were collected from British Cycling Federation (BCF) races, and the intensity of flow was assessed using Jackson and Marsh’s (1996) Flow State Scale (FSS). Results indicated that the number of BCF points gained per race was positively influenced in one participant, sporadically influenced in the second participant, and not influenced in the third participant. FSS scores during the intervention phase increased for one participant. These findings suggest that hypnotic interventions may improve elite competitive cycling performance and increase the feelings and cognitions associated with flow.

Lindsay, P., Maynard, I., & Thomas, O. (2005). Effects of hypnosis on flow states and cycling performance. The Sport Psychologist, 19(2), 164-177.

This study examined the effects of an hypnotic intervention on flow states and golf-chipping performance of 3 participants. The study utilized an ideographic ABA single-subject design combined with a procedure to assess the participants' internal experience (Wollman, 1986). The intervention involved relaxation, imagery, hypnotic induction, hypnotic regression, and trigger control procedures over 5 wk. and 7 trials. Analysis indicated the 3 participants increased their mean golf-chipping performance from the trials in Baseline 1 to intervention, with 2 returning to Baseline 1 performance after the intervention phase at Baseline 2. The intensity of flow experienced by the participants during the performance trials was measured using Jackson and Marsh's 1996 Flow State Scale. Two participants experienced higher flow during the intervention phase and much lower flow during Baselines 1 and 2. Finally, participants indicated the intervention seemed useful in keeping them confident, relaxed, and in control. These results support the hypothesis that an hypnotic intervention can improve golf-chipping performance and increase feelings and cognitions associated with flow.

Pates, J., & Maynard, I. (2000). Effects of hypnosis on flow states and golf performance. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 91(3_suppl), 1057-1075.

Other General

Level of hypnotic suggestibility not so important: Although the four patients differed obviously and vastly in hypnotizability, they all benefited from the use of hypnosis. 


Hypnosis, Hypnotizability and Treatment. Howard Sutcher DDS, MA American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 51 , Iss. 1,2008 

Increase happiness: Hypnosis is presented as an efficient companion intervention to work on these variables in a creative way and to pave the way to a happy and full life. The following results are presented: (1) hypnosis allows for increased executive attention with control of emotions, (2) focusing on positive imagery contributes to strengthening “happy pathways,” and (3) emotions about the past, present, and future are subject to change. 


The Use of Hypnosis in Therapy to Increase Happiness. Nicole Ruysschaert American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 56 , Iss. 3,2014 

Other Medical & Behavioral

Decrease need for blood transfusion: Our study showed that using positive suggestions in the perioperative period significantly decreases the necessity for transfusion. 


Effects of Positive Suggestions on the Need for Red Blood Cell Transfusion in Orthopedic Surgery Csenge Szeverényi, Zoltán Csernátony, Ágnes Balogh, Tünde Simon, and Katalin Varga International Journal Of Clinical And Experimental Hypnosis Vol. 64 , Iss. 4,2016 

Fibromyalgia: The analyses indicated that: 1) patients with FM who received multicomponent CBT alone or multicomponent CBT with hypnosis showed greater improvements than patients who received only standard care; and 2) adding hypnosis enhanced the effectiveness of multicomponent CBT. This study presents new evidence about the efficacy of multicomponent CBT for FM and about the additional effects of hypnosis as a complement to CBT. 


Castel, A., Cascón, R., Padrol, A., Sala, J., & Rull, M. (2012). Multicomponent Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy With Hypnosis for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia: Long-Term Outcome. The Journal of Pain, 13(3), 255-265. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2011.11.005 

ADHD: Better long-term outcome for hypnotherapy. Independent evaluators’ ratings qualitatively supported the results. Hypnotherapy seems to be a usable method for treating ADHD in adults. 



ADHD: This study indicates that hypnotic suggestions have an effect on reaction times in the sustained attention task both in adult ADHD patients and control subjects. 


Virta, M., Hiltunen, S., Mattsson, M., & Kallio, S. (2015). The Impact of Hypnotic Suggestions on Reaction Times in Continuous Performance Test in Adults with ADHD and Healthy Controls. Plos One, 10(5). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126497 

Medical procedure: Hypnosis facilitated an adequate endoscopy intervention without any discomfort in 85% of the cases examined. Avoidance of anaesthesia reduces risk to the patient. Hence, hypnosis for gastrointestinal endoscopy appears to provide a promising strategy. 


The Effectiveness of Clinical Hypnosis in the Digestive Endoscopy: A Multiple Case Report. Luis Domínguez-Ortega and Sarbelio Rodríguez-Muñoz. American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 53 , Iss. 2,2010 

Autism: It suggests that self-regulation therapy using hypnosis and biofeedback should be highly effective, especially for young people. Hypnotic strategies can utilize restrictive repetitive behaviors in trance as resources for comfort and control. Biofeedback training can be tailored to focus on autonomic regulation. The authors develop this theory and describe methods of integrating hypnosis and biofeedback that have been therapeutic for people with autism. 


Symptoms as Solutions: Hypnosis and Biofeedback for Autonomic Regulation in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Laurence I. Sugarman, Brian L. Garrison, and Kelsey L. Williford. American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 56 , Iss. 2,2013 

Tele-hypnosis and behavioral issues: This study illustrates the benefits of self-hypnosis in the treatment of school refusal, while also enabling the patient to maintain the connection with the therapist so that the anxiety may be confronted when it arises. 


Tele-hypnosis in the Treatment of Adolescent School Refusal. Alex Aviv MD. American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 49 , Iss. 1,2006 

Accelerated healing of surgical incisions: Analysis of variance showed the hypnosis group's objectively observed wound healing to be significantly greater than the other two groups', p < .001, through 7 postoperative weeks; standard care controls showed the smallest degree of healing. In addition, at both the 1 and 7 week post-surgical observation intervals, one-way analyses showed the hypnosis group to be significantly more healed than the usual care controls, p <0. 02. The mean scores of the subjective assessments of postoperative pain, incision healing and functional recovery trended similarly. 


Can Medical Hypnosis Accelerate Post-Surgical Wound Healing? Results of a Clinical Trial. Carol Ginandes Ph.D., Patricia Brooks, William Sando, Christopher Jones, and John Aker American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 45 , Iss. 4,2003 

77% success rate in treating Substance Abuse. Combining the more intense treatment of 20 daily sessions with hypnosis is a successful method to treat addictions. The treatment has been used with 18 clients over the last 7 years and has shown a 77 percent success rate for at least a 1-year follow-up. 


Intensive Therapy: Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders. Greg Potter. American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis Vol. 47 , Iss. 1,2004 

Sleep / Sleep Disorders

Hypnosis has been described anecdotally to be effective in the treatment of sleepwalking and sleep terror, potentially dangerous parasomnias. The authors report the use of hypnosis in the treatment of 27 adult patients with these disorders. A total of 74% of these individuals reported much or very much improvement when followed over substantial periods after instruction in self-hypnotic exercises that were practiced in the home. Hypnosis, often preferred over pharmacotherapy by patients, required one to six office visits (mean=1.6). This represents a very cost-effective and noninvasive means of treatment, especially when constrasted with lengthy psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy.

Hurwitz, T. D., Mahowald, M. W., Schenck, C. H., Schluter, J. L., & Bundlie, S. R. (1991). A retrospective outcome study and review of hypnosis as treatment of adults with sleepwalking and sleep terror. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 179(4), 228-233.

Stop Smoking / Smoking Cessation

Hypnotherapy is more effective than nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Hypnosis and HNRT were over three times more likely than NRT only participants to abstain at 26-weeks. 

Hasan, F. M., Zagarins, S. E., Pischke, K. M., Saiyed, S., Bettencourt, A. M., Beal, L., . . . Mccleary, N. (2014). Hypnotherapy is more effective than nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 22(1), 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2013.12.012 

Smoking Cessation: 81% Quit smoking with hypnosis, and the majority of those who quit remained smoke-free a year later. 

Elkins, G. R., & Rajab, M. H. (2004). Clinical Hypnosis For Smoking Cessation: Preliminary Results of a Three-Session Intervention. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 52(1), 73-81. doi:10.1076/iceh. 

Accupuncture and hypnosis are top methods for smoking cessation


Tahiri, M., Mottillo, S., & Joseph, L. (2012). Alternative Smoking Cessation Aids: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 56(4), 1179. doi:10.1016/j.jvs.2012.08.049 

Tobacco dependency: Of 43 consecutive patients undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent at follow-up (6 months to 3 years posttreatment). 


Barber, J. (2001). Freedom from smoking: Integrating hypnotic methods and rapid smoking to facilitate smoking cessation. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 49(3), 257-266. doi:10.1080/00207140108410075 

Aversion and hypnosis combined. Smoking cessation: After the 2-wk. program, 92% or 86 of the men and 90% or 84 of the women reported abstinence, and at 3-mo. follow-up, 86% or 80 of the men and 87% or 81 of the women reported continued abstinence. 


Johnson, D. L., & Karkut, R. T. (1994). Performance By Gender In A Stop-Smoking Program Combining Hypnosis And Aversion. Psychological Reports, 75(2), 851-857. doi:10.2466/pr0.1994.75.2.851 

Hypnosis More Effective Than Drug Interventions For Smoking Cessation

2,810 smokers participated in single-session, group hypnotherapy smoking cessation programs sponsored by the American Lung Association of Ohio. A randomly selected sample of 452 participants completed telephone interviews 5 to 15 months after attending a treatment session. Twenty-two percent of participants (n = 101) reported not smoking during the month prior to the interview. Use of other smoking cessation strategies since the treatment session were assessed. Interestingly, only 20% of participants who used pharmaceutical products to assist with smoking cessation took them for the recommended treatment duration. Hypnotherapy smoking cessation treatment offers an alternative cessation method, which may meet the unique needs of certain individuals.

Ahijevych, K., Yerardl, R., & Nedilsky, N. (2000). Descriptive outcomes of the American Lung Association of Ohio hypnotherapy smoking cessation program. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 48(4), 374-387.

Weight Loss

Weight Loss: Hypnosis helped people lose weight in both the short-term and in the long-term. In other words, hypnosis helps people keep from regaining weight! 

Kirsch, I. (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments: Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64(3), 517-519. doi:10.1037//0022-006x.64.3.517 

This study examined the effect of adding hypnosis to a behavioral weight-management program on short- and long-term weight change. One hundred nine subjects, who ranged in age from 17 to 67, completed a behavioral treatment either with or without the addition of hypnosis. At the end of the 9-week program, both interventions resulted in significant weight reduction. However, at the 8-month and 2-year follow-ups, the hypnosis clients showed significant additional weight loss, while those in the behavioral treatment exhibited little further change. More of the subjects who used hypnosis also achieved and maintained their personal weight goals. The utility of employing hypnosis as an adjunct to a behavioral weight-management program is discussed.

Bolocofsky, D. N., Spinler, D., & Coulthard‐Morris, L. (1985). Effectiveness of hypnosis as an adjunct to behavioral weight management. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 41(1), 35-41.

Investigated the effects of hypnosis as a treatment for weight loss among women. The sample consisted of 60 women (aged 20–65 yrs) who were at least 20% overweight and were not in any other treatment program. Six client variables (suggestibility, self-concept, quality of family origin, age of obesity onset, education level, and socioeconomic status [SES]) and 1 process variable (multimodal imagery) were analyzed in relation to the dependent variable (weight loss). Two experimental groups, hypnosis plus audiotapes and hypnosis without audiotapes, and the control group were investigated for weight loss immediately after treatment and again after a 6-mo follow-up. The primary hypothesis that hypnosis is an effective treatment for weight loss was confirmed, but the 7 concomitant variables and the use of audiotapes were not significant contributors to weight loss

Cochrane, G., & Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54(4), 489.

Studies of hypnotic, covert and overt aversive techniques have yielded equivocal results when each has been examined for a singular effect on weight lost. Some have advocated study of effective combinations of techniques before investing in other applications. Two programs of hypnosis, imagery, diet, tape, behavior management and support but differing in the overt use of aversion (electric shock, disgusting tastes, smells) were examined. A total of 172 overweight adult women were treated, 86 in a hypnosis only and 86 in an overt aversion and hypnosis program. Both programs achieved significant weight losses. Although subjects who received overt aversion attained somewhat more desired goals and lost more weight than subjects receiving only hypnosis, the differences were not significant.

Johnson, D. L., & Karkut, R. T. (1996). Participation in multicomponent hypnosis treatment programs for women's weight loss with and without overt aversion. Psychological reports, 79(2), 659-668.

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