Hypnosis Research


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. 

It was concluded that hypnosis combined with NP compares favorably with standard behavioral counseling in generating long-term quit rates. Carmody, T., Duncan, C., Simon, J., Solkowitz, S., Huggins, J., Lee, S., & Delucchi, K. (2008). Hypnosis for smoking cessation: A randomized trial. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 10(5), 811-818. doi:10.1080/14622200802023833

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


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 ProcedureRelated 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

Mindfulness and depression: The results suggest that mindfulness meditation practice primarily leads to decreases in ruminative thinking, even after controlling for reductions in affective symptoms and dysfunctional beliefs. Ramel1, W., Goldin, P. R., Carmona, P. E., & Mcquaid, J. R. (2004). The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Cognitive Processes and Affect in Patients with Past Depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 28(4), 433-455. doi:10.1023/b:cotr.0000045557.15923.96

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

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

Sports Performance

Sports performance: The results indicated that all five participants in- creased both their mean basketball three-point shooting performance and their mean flow scores from baseline to intervention. Pates, J., Cummings, A., & Maynard, I. (2002). The Effects of Hypnosis on Flow States and Three-Point Shooting Performance in Bastketball Players. The Sport Psychologist, 16(1), 34-47. doi:10.1123/tsp.16.1.34

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


Headaches reduced in frequency and intensity through self-hypnosis: Data were available for 144 patients in this patient self-selected and uncontrolled observation. Compared with self-reports before learning self-hypnosis, children and youths who learned self-hypnosis for recurrent headaches reported reduction in frequency of headache from an average of 4.5 per week to 1.4 per week (P < .01), reduction in intensity (on a self-rating scale of 0 to 12) from an average of 10.3 to 4.7, P < .01, and reduction in average duration from 23.6 hours to 3.0 hours, (P < .01). There were no adverse side effects of self-hypnosis. Kohen, D. P., & Zajac, R. (2007). Self-Hypnosis Training for Headaches in Children and Adolescents. The Journal of Pediatrics, 150(6), 635-639. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.02.014

Hypnosis more effective in treating headache pain: The objective of the current study was to conduct a meta-analysis to assess the efficacy of hypnosis for managing chronic pain. When compared with standard care, hypnosis provided moderate treatment benefit. Hypnosis also showed a moderate superior effect as compared to other psychological interventions for a nonheadache group. The results suggest that hypnosis is efficacious for managing chronic pain. A Meta-Analysis of Hypnosis for Chronic Pain Problems: A Comparison Between Hypnosis, Standard Care, and Other Psychological Interventions Tomonori Adachi, Haruo Fujino, Aya Nakae, Takashi Mashimo, and Jun Sasaki1 International Journal Of Clinical And Experimental Hypnosis Vol. 62 , Iss. 1,2014

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