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Using the Power of the Mind to Repair the BodyAdvocates of holistic hypnotherapy have long contended that the power of the imagination is greater than the power of pharmaceuticals in speeding healing of hundreds of different kinds of ailments, including allergies, impotence, depression, arthritis, and asthma. For two generations, hypnotherapists have organized seminars for mass hypnosis to help people lose weight and stop smoking.
Does holistic hypnotherapy really work?
Authors publishing their findings in the journal Obesity reported that very low-calorie diets result in fast weight loss and fast weight regain, but people who used self-hypnosis in combination with diets of their own design were more likely to keep weight off once they lost it.
Dr. Tom Kraft, writing a letter to the Journal of the Royal Society for Medicine, reported that 10 hypnotherapy sessions helped a patient to stop snoring. He also was able to reduce his alcohol consumption and lose 8 kg (17 pounds).
The Alternative Medicine Review reported three studies that found that hypnosis resulted in average weight loss of 3 kg (7 pounds), and that weight loss continued at a slower rate over time. Most diets result in short-term weight loss that is followed by the weight being gained back.
The journal BMC Pediatrics reports that a patient taught hypnosis by her pulmonologist for controlling anxiety about asthma was eventually able to control her asthma without using an inhaler.
- A study published in the British Medical Journal found that treating allergy patients with hypnosis changed their blood work. After hypnosis, the allergy patients' blood samples showed more suppressor T-cells, which stop allergic reactions, than helper T-cells, which start them.
Many clinical trials have evaluated hypnosis as a tool for treating pain caused by severe burns. They tend to find that there are greater results for severe pain than for mild pain, and greater results for children than for results.
- An oral surgeon who used hypnotherapy in his dental practice had his gallbladder removed without anesthesia, using hypnosis alone. He was able to walk to his room after surgery and returned to work 10 days after the operation.
Three studies have evaluated hypnosis as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS. Patients who received hypnosis reported significantly greater quality of life and fewer days missed from work.
- Hypnosis has been used with colonoscopy exams. Half of colonoscopy patients were able to enter a deep trance before the procedure, and 80 per cent of these experienced no pain or only minor discomfort during the procedure.
The Journal of Behavioral Medicine reports a study of a combination of hypnotherapy and aversion techniques for smoking cessation (such as a mild electrical shock when picking up a cigarette) results in an 86 per cent quit rate for men and and 87 per cent quit rate for women.