The Science Behind Hypnosis

Earlier this year a study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology (published under the American Psychological Association) that found hypnosis can have profound effects on executive function – the cognitive processes that regulate our goals as well as the thought processes and actions oriented towards achieving those goals…

Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence in Cognition has conducted a series of experiments that puts new, solid science behind hypnotherapy and its effectiveness.

You can read the complete article HERE

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Hypnotherapy and Weight Loss

Over the next three days, I will present three studies that show how effective Hypnotherapy is in helping clients to lose weight, and, more importantly, to keep it off.

Here is the first one:

Study One:*
The first study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, divided 109 people into two groups for a 9-week study. The members of the first group were treated with changes in diet and exercise habits (the only way to lose weight) without the addition of hypnosis. The participants in the second group were given the same diet and exercise treatment and were also provided hypnosis for reinforcement.

After 9 weeks, not surprisingly, both groups lost weight due to the changes in diet and exercise while under supervision. What happened after the 8-month and 2-year follow-ups might surprise you:

1. The group that did not have hypnosis did not lose any more weight, and, in
fact, most gained most of their weight back.

2. The hypnosis group, however, continued to lose weight during both
intervals, and the studies showed that far more people in the hypnosis
group met their long-term weight-loss goals.

The most important thing to realize is that the hypnosis group continued the eating
and exercise habits learned in the experiment, while the non-hypnosis group did

There is no magic pill for weight loss. You simply have to follow a healthy eating
and exercise plan. From this study, it is clear that hypnosis supports diet and
exercise adherence.

* Bolocofsky, David N.: Spinler, Dwayne; Coulthard-Morris. Linda
(1985). “Effectiveness of hypnosis as an adjunct to behavioral weight
management.” Journal of Clinical Psychology, 41 (1), 35-41.

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Hypnotherapy and Bed Wetting (Enuresis)

Bed wetting, (Enuresis), is an extremely common  problem in childhood, mostly experienced by boys.

Eventually most children will grow out of it, although it does occasionally appear in adults as well.

However, the period when a child has this problem, if left unattended, can last for several years; years that are critical to the formation of a confident, self assured adult.

Enuresis can cause embarrassment, feeling of inadequacy and can also prevent a child from enjoying a normal social life, sleeping over or going on school camps, etc.

Hynpotherapy has long been recognised as a highly effective treatment for Enuresis; as effective as drug therapies, but without side effects.

Importantly, our ability as hypnotherapists to work directly with the subconscious to identify and deal with the underlying causes of the condition in each specific case, makes hypnotherapy the ideal solution.

Many studies have been done verifying the lasting success of hypnotherapy as a treatment for Enuresis.

For example, a study published in American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis* found the following:

“Various therapeutic modalities have been used for treating enuresis due to the lack of a single identifiable cause. We carried out a comparative study of imipramine and direct hypnotic suggestions with imagery used for the management of functional nocturnal enuresis. Enuretic children, ranging in age from 5 to 16 years, underwent 3 months of therapy with imipramine (N = 25) or hypnosis (N = 25).

After termination of the active treatment, the hypnosis group continued practicing self-hypnosis daily during the follow-up period of another 6 months.

Of the patients treated with imipramine, 76% had a positive response (all dry beds); for patients treated with hypnotic strategies, 72% responded positively. At the 9-month follow-up, 68% of patients in the hypnosis group maintained a positive response, whereas only 24% of the imipramine group did.

Hypnosis and self-hypnosis strategies were found to be less effective in younger children (5-7 years old) compared to imipramine treatment. The treatment response was not related to the hypnotic responsivity of the patient in either group.”

* Banerjee S. Srivastav A. Palan BM. Hypnosis and self-hypnosis in the management of nocturnal enuresis: a comparative study with imipramine therapy. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 1993;36(2):113-9

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Adolescent Stress Linked to Severe Adult Mental Illness, Mouse Study Suggests

A study conducted at John Hopkins University has identified a link between juvenile stress and later onset of mental illness

“We have discovered a mechanism for how environmental factors, such as stress hormones, can affect the brain’s physiology and bring about mental illness,” says study leader Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Our children have much to deal with that earlier generations didn’t.

Some concerns, like war, famine and natural disasters, have always been with us, but for kids today, these events are in their faces all day long; on TV, on the computer, on the tablet, on the big news screen in the city.

Pre-teens obsess about their waistlines and many tiny Australians today are well aware of the Sandy Hook school massacre in the US.

Children usually respond well to hypnosis, which is a totally side effect free way of combating the excess stress in their lives. They often can quite easily become competent at self hypnosis.

These various sources of additional stress in young lives can affect childrens’  behaviour, relationships and academic performance.

And now it appears that there may possibly be long term effects on their mental health as well.

To read the entire report in Science Daily, click here

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