You’d be surprised how much scientific research has been focused on hypnosis. According to this article in Penn State News, there have been more than 12,000 scientific articles on the subject! Technology is giving researchers more and more toys to use in their studies, including brain imaging techniques that let them see how brain activity changes under hypnosis. It changes a lot!
People in a hypnotic trance tend to be very relaxed, that kind of delicious relaxation where you’d prefer to enjoy it and not talk or move much. This lethargy is misleading, because it conceals a heightened level of mental activity. With this heightened level of mental ability, more than ever, it’s easy to think, imagine, remember, face previously troublesome issues serenely, connect with all your mental, physical, and emotional resources, make decisions that are right for you, and change.
Some of the researchers even admit that their results are gloomier than they should be. Why? For one thing, research often uses whichever student volunteers can be rounded up at the moment, rather than people who are truly motivated to change. Also, for consistency, researchers often use specific, standardized techniques for a fixed number of sessions, rather than tailoring the approach to the individual and continuing until the job is done. And finally, sometimes researchers without much experience or passion for hypnotherapy will do the hypnosis, simply because they’re available.
And even with these disadvantages, the results are generally positive!
Even authors who seem a bit reluctant to admit that hypnosis works find themselves compelled to do so, such as this Medscape article on therapeutic hypnosis. The article points out that hypnosis has been demonstrated to be effective for (among other things) phobias, weight loss, irritable bowel syndrome, and control of chronic pain. The article reports:
The pain relief from hypnosis often matched or even exceeded the relief given by morphine.
And, unlike a Schedule II narcotic like morphine, hypnosis has been demonstrated over and over again to be safe — safer than just about any of the alternatives. And more comfortable. How comfortable? People work on some pretty intense issues in my office, but one box of Kleenex lasts me a whole year.
And hypnosis is quick. Hardly anyone does a study on the effect of more than ten sessions. Some approaches take years, but not hypnosis. Think in terms of a month or two.
And if you come in with a long to-do list, you’ll find that you get better with practice, so you’ll cross items off the list faster and faster.
How well will it work for you? You never know until you try. And the sooner you start, the sooner you can start enjoying the results. Why not now?