Information for Doctors

Doctors, this information is for you and your staff, and for your use in referring patients to ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center:   Medical studies, quotes and links on the benefits of hypnosis for a vast range of medical issues.

  • Mayo Clinic review of prior studies.  Hypnosis in Contemporary Medicine,

A review study of over a hundred clinical studies of hypnosis for medical procedures documents that hypnosis is beneficial for allergy, anesthesia for pain, anesthesia for surgery, warts, dermatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, abdominal surgery, healing from injury or surgery, hemophilia, hypertension, headaches, childbirth, asthma, smoking cessation, fibromyalgia, impotence, and urinary incontinence. “Many important trials reviewed here have helped to establish the role of hypnosis in contemporary medicine. These trials have established the utility and efficacy of hypnosis for several medical conditions, either alone or as part of the treatment regimen,” writes Stewart, JH, Department of Internal Medicine and Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Jacksonville, FL. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2005;80:511-524

  • See the bibliography of the above Mayo Clinic study for information on over 140 medical studies utilizing hypnosis.
  • Medical hypnosis summary. Medical Hypnosis: An Underutilized Treatment Approach.

Five case histories demonstrate the dramatic and sometimes unexpected beneficial outcomes of medical hypnosis. “Hypnosis is suitable for patients with the following medical conditions: chronic headache, chronic back pain, psychogenic weakness or paralysis, chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, panic attacks and phobias,” writes Alman, B. (Kaiser) Permanente Journal, Fall 2001/Vol. 5, No. 4. (PJ online article)

  • Hypnosis beneficial for breast surgeries. A Randomized Clinical Trial of a  Brief Hypnosis Intervention to Control Side Effects in Breast Surgery Patients

In a randomized study of 200 women undergoing surgery for breast cancer, those who received a brief hypnosis session before entering the operating room required less anesthesia and pain medication during surgery, and reported less pain, nausea, fatigue, and discomfort after surgery than women who did not receive hypnosis. The overall cost of surgery was also significantly less for women undergoing hypnosis. Montgomery GH, Bovbjerg DH, Schnur JB, David D, Goldfarb A, Weltz CR, Schechter C, Graff-Zivin J, Tatrow K, Price DD, Silverstein JH. Department of Oncological Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine , NY . Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2007 Sep ;99(17):1304-12. (NCI online article)

  • Mind/body suggestions control blood flow during surgery. Preoperative Instruction for Decreased Bleeding During Spine Surgery.

In a trial with 93 spinal surgery patients at the University of California (Davis) Medical Center, those who received specific instructions about blood flow lost an average 500 cubic centimeters of blood, compared to 900 cubic centimeters lost on average by both the controls and a third group taught relaxation techniques. Bennett, HL et al., (originally Anesthesiology v.65, No. 3A, Sept. 1986), recently: Center for the Advancement of Perioperative Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT Anesth Analg 2006;102:1394-1396  (article)

  • Preoperative guided imagery improves cardiac surgery outcomes. Effect of guided imagery on length of stay, pain and anxiety in cardiac surgery patients.

“Cardiac surgery patients who listened to a preop guided imagery surgical tape had significantly less pain, anxiety and two days shorter hospital stay.” Tusek, D. L., Cwynar, R., and Cosgrove, D.M., Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, Journal of Cardiovascular Management 10; 2:22 -8 1999 (NIH online abstract)

  • Hypnosis and IBS. The Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Hypnotherapy.

“Previous research from the United Kingdom has shown hypnotherapy to be effective in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The current study provides a systematic replication of this work in the United States .” Galovski TE,Blanchard EB,, University of Albany, State University of New York, New York, Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 1998 Dec;23(4):219-32  (NIH online abstract)

  • Hypnosis and fibromyalgia. Controlled Trial of Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Refractory Fibromyalgia.

“In a controlled study, 40 patients with refractory fibromyalgia were randomly allocated to treatment with either hypnotherapy or physical therapy for 12 weeks with follow up at 24 weeks. Compared with the patients in the physical therapy group, the patients in the hypnotherapy group showed a significantly better outcome.” HAANEN H. C. M.; HOENDERDOS H. T. W.; VAN ROMUNDE L. K. J.; HOP W. C. J.; MALLEE C. ; TERWIEL J. P.; HEKSTER G. B. Sint Antonius Ziekenhuis, dept. rheumatology, Nieuwegein 3430 EM, Netherlands. Journal of Rheumatology 1991, vol. 18, no1, pp. 72-75 (NIH online abstract)

  • Hypnosis as general anesthesia. Hypnosis with Conscious Sedation Instead of General Anesthesia? Applications in Cervical Endocrine Surgery.

197 thyroidectomies and 21 cervical explorations for hyperparathyroidism were performed under hypno-sedation and compared to a closely matched population of patients operated on under general anesthesia.  All patients having hypno-sedation reported a very pleasant experience, had significantly less postoperative pain, significantly reduced analgesic use, significantly shorter hospital stay, providing a substantial reduction of the medical care costs. Their postoperative convalescence was significantly improved, and full return to social or professional activity was significantly shortened. Meurisse M, Defechereux T, Hamoir E, Maweja S, Marchettini P, Gollogly L, Degauque C, Joris J, Faymonville ME. Dept. Surgery, University of Liege, Belgium, Acta Chir Belg. 1999 Aug;99(4):151-8. (NIH online abstract)

  • Hypnosis and dermatology. Hypnosis in Dermatology.

A comprehensive review of dermatology studies spanning 32 years that involved hypnosis concluded: “A wide spectrum of dermatologic disorders may be improved or cured using hypnosis as an alternative or complementary therapy, including acne excoriee, 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 PD, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Arch Dermatol. 2000 Mar;136(3):393-9 (NIH online abstract)

  • Preoperative suggestions improve abdominal surgery outcomes.  Effect Of Preoperative Suggestion On Postoperative Gastrointestinal Motility.

Single-blind trial of abdominal surgery patients, to whom a 5 minute script was read preoperatively suggesting increased gastrointestinal motility after surgery. Suggestion group had significantly shorter ileus time and was discharged two days earlier, with an estimated savings of $1200. Disbrow, E. A., Bennett, H. L., and Owings, J. T. Department of Anesthesiology, University of California , Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento ,1993 West J Med 158;5:488-92 (NIH online abstract)

What some doctors are saying:

”Pain control techniques using hypnosis are simple, effective, easy to learn and applicable to most cancer patients in pain.” — Dr. Bernie Siegel, MD, Stanford Cancer Center

“We believe that a second degree burn can often be kept from going third degree if hypnosis is used soon after the injury.”– Dr. Dabney Ewin, MD, Tulane University School of Medicine

“Doctors at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (NY) found that patients having breast cancer surgery who used hypnosis required less anesthesia, exited surgery quicker, and had less pain, nausea and fatigue afterward.”– Journal of the National Cancer Institute

“Hypnosis takes the edge off and makes patients feel better. With some, it’s dramatic. It works so well they don’t need pain medicine at all … Hypnosis is an astonishingly powerful pain reliever… that seems to be useful for virtually every clinical pain problem imaginable.”   — Dr. David Patterson, MD, University of Washington , Harbor View Burn Center

“Add hypnotherapy to the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) list of approved therapeutic techniques for the treatment of conditions ranging from allergies and high blood pressure to the pain associated with bone marrow transplantation, cancer treatment and anesthesia for liver biopsy.” Dr. David Spiegel, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University (see UK article)


Hypnosis helps the body heal itself faster and with less pain confirms Harvard Medical School studies.

Hypnosis Works: Article from Discover Magazine details the beneficial uses of hypnosis in medical procedures

Hypnosis as general anesthesia report.

Hand Surgery with only Self-Hypnosis as anesthesia.

Healthbeat News video on hypnosis for breast cancer surgery.

Hypnosis & Surgery: Overview from International Anesthesia Research Society.

Hypnosis useful in obstetrics and surgery.

Hypnosis produces measurable brain changes.  A study report: MRI brain scans of volunteers shows definite changes within brain of those hypnotized.

Hypnosis relieves stress. Medical guide article describes dangers of chronic stress and how hypnosis allows a patient to access his/her subconscious mind to remove the underlying origins of anxiety and stress.

Wall Street Journal article: Major Hospitals use hypnosis for fractures, cancer & burns.

Non-Medical Uses:

Hypnosis is also effective for excelling in sports, studies, sales, business, and creativity.  It is famous as the best solution for smoking cessation and weight release.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Reddit
  • Digg
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter