Gary 'Smiler' Turner's Blog

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Monday, 20 May 2013

Hypnotherapy, what treatments is it good for - what do the studies say?

On Saturday I attended Change Phenomena – the National Hypnotism Conference. Last year I was a speaker, this year I got to sit in the audience and learn. Some amazing speakers and I learnt some amazing things. The first speaker was my friend Adam Eason, who presented on ‘Evidence Based Practice’, putting forward a strong case for all hypnotherapists to work towards a science based model. I fully agree. 

As part of his brilliant presentation he put forward findings from Wark, David M. “What we can do with hypnosis: a brief note”, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, July 2008. The ratings used those devised by Chamless and Hollon (1998). This was a systematic review of ‘proper’ peer reviewed scientific studies into the efficacy of hypnotherapy as various treatments. More studies are obviously required, yet, this puts forward a useful list of treatments with proven empirical effectiveness. 

Hypnotherapy as Empirically-Supported Treatments:

"Specific" empirically supported treatments:

  • Anxiety and asthma attack
  • Headaches and migraines
"Effective" empiracally supported treatments:

  • Cancer pain
  • Distress during surgery
  • Surgery pain (adult)
  • Surgery pain (child)
  • Weight reduction
"Possible" empirically supported treatments

  • Acute pain (adult)
  • Acute pain (children)
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety about public speaking
  • Anxiety about taking a test
  • Asthma
  • Bed wetting
  • Bulimia
  • Chemotherapy distress
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Depression
  • Duodenal ulcer relapse
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Haemorrhage
  • High blood pressure
  • Hip and knee osteoarthritis pain
  • Insomnia (primary)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Nausea and hyperemesis
  • Obstetrics Apgar score
  • Obstetrics pain
  • Smoking cessation
  • Trauma recovery
  • Wart removal
 I hope you found this interesting – it presents some good scientific evidence as to the effectiveness and efficacy of hypnotherapy with particular treatments. 

Also speaking at Change Phenomena was Steve Murray. Steve is a Consultant Cardiologist and utilises hypnotherapy in his work with his clients. An important quote from Steve was “My dream – hypnotherapists attached to every cardiology unit.” When medical practitioners speak in this way you know that hypnosis has its place in helping people to become better. 

As thanks to Adam for his presentation, and also providing us with the list of references to support each of the treatments above, please take a look at his latest book Hypnosis for Running. I was lucky enough to write the foreword, and find the contents of the book invaluable in my day to day running. Please take a look!

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