Research: Science Proves Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy

Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy

According to a number of acclaimed studies and research, published by Professional Hypnotherapists of Australia Inc., hypnotherapy is notably more effective than current mainstream treatments for a variety of conditions including:

  • Anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Weight loss
  • Migraines
  • Recovery from Surgery
  • Pain of Headaches and Anxiety
  • Pain in Burn Injuries
  • Lowered Limb Phantom Pain
  • Acute and Chronic Pain
  • Hospital Emergency Rooms
  • Methadone Addiction
  • Drug Addiction
  • Self-esteem and Serenity
  • Lowered Impulsivity and Anger
  • Fracture Healing



There is solid scientific research proving the effectiveness of hypnosis, and it has been respected and used by pioneers of mental health such a Sigmund Freud, Pierre Janet, and Alfred Binet… just to name a few.

Frans Anton Mesmer brought hypnotherapy (mesmerism) into public attention as a powerful therapeutic tool in the late 18th century.

However, we know that hypnosis and hypnotherapy have been used effectively for thousands of years. In fact, it’s been traced back BC to Ancient Greek and Egyptian times. It’s been used it to cure all sorts of physical and psychological issues throughout the history of mankind, including all cultures – the Sumerian, Persian, Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman.

You can READ MORE about the history of Hypnotherapy HERE.

Clinical Hypnotherapy, and healing at the unconscious level, is therefore the furtherest thing from a “new-age” therapy… it’s the oldest and most fundamental therapy available to mankind.

You can READ another great article regarding the history of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy throughout the history of mankind HERE.


The following list provides a taste of the extensive research proving the effectiveness of Hypnotherapy:

  • An extensive 2010 study published in the Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics (Volume 10, 2010 - Issue 2) concluded:

"Self-hypnosis training represents a rapid, cost-effective, nonaddictive and safe alternative to medication for the treatment of anxiety-related conditions. Here we provide a review of the experimental literature on the use of self-hypnosis in the treatment of anxiety and stress-related disorders, including anxiety associated with cancer, surgery, burns and medical/dental procedures. An overview of research is also provided with regard to self-hypnotic treatment of anxiety-related disorders, such as tension headaches, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome. 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."


  • A 2006 study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (Volume 31, Issue 1, January 2006) concluded:

"Studies report positive results, including statistically significant reductions in pain and anxiety/distress..."  


"Results suggest that hypnosis appears to be a feasible method to manage anxiety and pain associated with colonoscopy, reduces the need for sedation, and may have other benefits such as reduced vasovagal events and recovery time.
Hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in a number of previous research studies. This has led to the establishment of the first unit in the United Kingdom staffed by six therapists that provides this treatment as a clinical service. This study presents an audit on the first 250 unselected patients treated, and these large numbers have also allowed analysis of data in terms of a variety of other factors, such as gender and bowel habit type, that might affect outcome.
This study clearly demonstrates that hypnotherapy remains an extremely effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome and should prove more cost-effective as new, more expensive drugs come on to the market. It may be less useful in males with diarrhea-predominant bowel habit, a finding that may have pathophysiological implications."


  • Science Direct Volume 73, Issue 3, December 1997, Pages 361-367, published a study titled Psychological approaches during conscious sedation. Hypnosis versus stress reducing strategies: a prospective randomised study.
The study proved that Hypnotherapy was greatly beneficial, both pre and post-operatively, aiding anxiety and recovery of plastic surgery patients.
It concluded:
"This study suggests that hypnosis provides better perioperative pain and anxiety relief, allows for significant reductions in alfentanil and midazolam requirements, and improves patient satisfaction and surgical conditions as compared with conventional stress reducing strategies support in patients receiving conscious sedation for plastic surgery."


  • A study published by the American Headache Society found Hypnosis highly effective in the treatment of tension headaches.
It concluded:
"The results showed significant reductions in the number of headache days (p<0.05), the number of headache hours (p<0.05) and headache intensity (p<0.05)."


  • Sapp, M. (1991). Hypnotherapy and test anxiety: Two cognitive-behavioral constructs: The effects of hypnosis in reducing test anxiety and improving academic achievement in college studentsAustralian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, 12(1), 25-31.
This study concluded:
"Investigated the effects of cognitive-behavioral hypnosis in reducing test anxiety and improving academic performance. 44 introductory psychology students received 4 sessions of hypnosis and 50 Hawthorne controls received no treatment over the same time period. Ss' midterm test grades and scores on the Test Anxiety Inventory were examined. There was a decrease in test anxiety and improvements in achievement for the hypnosis group. The treatment gains were maintained at 6-wk follow-up."


  • Parncutt & McPherson (2002) explain, "Kendrick et al.(1982) showed the effectiveness of a procedure called attention training with a groupof 53 pianists who … Hypnotherapy if confident self-talk is the key to alleviating performance anxiety..."
Parncutt, R., McPherson, G. (2002) The Science & Psychology of Music Performance: Creative Strategies for Teaching and LearningOxford University Press.


  • MD, Dr. Bernice C. Sachs, published an article in the Stress & Health Journal in 1991, stating:
"Sixty per cent of office visits to family practitioners are prompted by emotionally induced, stress-related symptoms. How a person responds to life events, not the events themselves, influences susceptibility to disease. Failure to cope well with stress can enhance illness and impair the immune system, whereas adequate coping reflects psychological strength that promotes health.
The core of stress management is teaching a patient to relax and it is here that hypnosis is of major importance. Hypnotic suggestion exerts a potent force on imagination. Using self-hypnosis with ego-strengthening suggestions enhances self-esteem and a healthy sense of control over one's life.
Neutralizing anxiety, fear and tension through hypnosis creates a generalized decrease in autonomic nervous system activity which results in reducing the stress that contributes to disease."