The British Psychological Society in a report published in March 2001 titled ‘The Nature of Hypnosis’ stated that:
Enough studies have now accumulated to suggest that the inclusion of hypnotic procedures may be beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy.
An overview of some of the most important contemporary research on the efficacy of clinical hypnotherapy, summarised as follows:
There is convincing evidence that hypnotic procedures are effective in the management and relief of both acute and chronic pain and in assisting in the alleviation of pain, discomfort and distress due to medical and dental procedures and childbirth.
Hypnosis and the practice of self-hypnosis may significantly reduce general anxiety, tension and stress in a manner similar to other relaxation and self-regulation procedures.
Likewise, hypnotic treatment may assist in alleviating insomnia in the same way as other relaxation methods.
There is encouraging evidence demonstrating that the beneficial effects of hypnotherapeutic procedures may alleviate the symptoms of a range of complaints that fall under the heading ‘psychosomatic illness’. These include tension headaches and migraine; asthma; gastrointestinal complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome; warts; and possibly other skin complaints such as eczema, psoriasis and hives.
There is evidence from several studies that the inclusion of hypnosis in a weight reduction program and smoking cessations and other addictive and unwanted behaviours may significantly enhance successful outcomes.
A comparison study from the American Health Magazine reported the following findings:
•Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions
• Behaviour Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions
• Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions.