Thursday, 24 November 2011

Research Shows Effectiveness of Hypnosis

(NaturalNews) The effectiveness of hypnosis is often questioned because the cause of hypnotic phenomenon is not yet known. Research has been conducted on hypnosis for hundreds of years. Thousands of studies have been performed, yet the origination of hypnosis has not yet been realized. The Mayo Clinic has found hypnosis to be very effective and beneficial with a variety of disorders. Hypnosis does not always work the same way for everyone, but its effectiveness cannot be denied.

The Mayo Clinic defines hypnosis as being an altered state of consciousness. There are many changes that occur while a person is in a trance-like state. A person is able to focus their attention in a more direct way while under hypnosis. People are also more open to suggestion, which often helps people make changes in their thought process and in their actions. While in a hypnotic state, people tend to be less critical and more believing. The Mayo Clinic believes that the purpose of hypnosis is a therapeutic technique to help you understand and gain more control over your behavior, actions, emotions, or physical well-being.

Researchers and doctors at the Mayo Clinic are not sure how exactly hypnosis works, but current research points to a mind-body connection through nerves, hormones, and chemicals in the brain and body. Hypnosis is best used in conjunction with other forms of therapy. The Mayo Clinic lists the following benefits of hypnosis: changing negative habits (stop-smoking), reduce stress and anxiety, control pain, relieve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lower blood pressure, reduce frequency and intensity of migraines, treat asthma, and heal skin disorders.

The Mayo Clinic also puts many hypnosis myths to rest. Many people think that under hypnosis, they will have no free will. This is untrue; under hypnosis people have a heightened state of concentration, but they are in complete control. Another myth is that a hypnotherapist can control people under hypnosis. The truth is that a hypnotherapist serves as a guide and cannot make anyone do something that they do not want to do. It is also not true that people can become hypnotized without consent. Hypnosis involves a person`s willingness to participate (Goal Oriented Hypnotherapy).

The Mayo Clinic is a one of the leaders in research in the medical field. Their research of hypnotherapy is evidence-based (Hypnosis). They are a reputable source of information on the topic of hypnotherapy and medicine.


Hypnosis. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on September 14, 2009:

Hypnosis: An altered state of consciousness. Goal Oriented Hypnotherapy. Retrieved on September 14, 2009:

Written on Monday, November 30, 2009 by: Steve G. Jones, M.Ed., citizen journalist

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Hypnosis Effective at Helping People to Stop Smoking

Hypnosis is probably most famous for helping people to stop smoking, recently Matt Damon even testified to the benefits of quitting smoking; he told Jay Leno that he visited a hypnotist and it worked:
"I went to a hypnotist... It worked. I swear to god it worked. It was the greatest decision I ever made in my life!" - Matt Damon on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno
The research into this area of hypnotherapy is very solid, again it not only shows a massively increased success rate when using hypnosis to help you to stop smoking, but it points to hypnosis as the most effective form of smoking cessation therapy (with a higher success rate than nicotine patches / gum etc):

Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking

In 1992 the University of Iowa conducted a meta-analysis of studies using different methods to try and help people to quit smoking. This was the largest ever scientific comparison - looking at more than 600 studies which contained 72,000 people in total, from America and Europe. They found that on average, hypnosis was over three times as effective as nicotine patches or nicotine replacement methods and 15 times as effective as trying to quit alone, and concluded that hypnosis is by far the most effective way of giving up smoking.

90.6% Success rate when using hypnosis to stop smoking

The University of Washington medical school conducted a study where they used hypnosis on 43 patients to help them stop smoking. Of the 43 consecutive patients undergoing hypnosis, 39 reported remaining abstinent from tobacco use at follow-up (up to 3 years post-treatment). Barber concluded that hypnosis is an extremely effective way to quit smoking and this study represents a 90.6% success rate using hypnosis.

81% Stopped smoking after hypnosis

30 patients were referred by their doctor to Texas A&M University for treatment to help them stop smoking. Of this group 21 patients returned and were given 3 sessions of hypnosis for smoking cessation. Results showed that immediately after treatment 81% of patients reported that they had stopped smoking. Then in a followup 12 months later 48% of these patients reported that they were still not smoking. Elkins GR and Rajab MH concluded that hypnosis was indeed a statistically significant method of helping people to stop smoking.


Antonia Harrison is the English Hypnotherapist in Belgium who specializes in helping clients to stop smoking in one relaxing session of hypnosis.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

What Happens During a Clinical Hypnosis Session?

Many people have completely the wrong idea about hypnosis, fearing that they will lose control, be made to do or say things against their will or worry that they might stay in hypnotic trance. I want to alleviate your fears and describe a typical clinical hypnosis session.

First of all, if you have ever seen a stage hypnosis show, you might have seen people do or say silly and embarrassing things. Remember that people volunteer to go on stage so know they will be asked to make exhibitionists of themselves. Some shows are X-rated but most shows are good, clean family fun. I used to hold a negative view of stage hypnosis but now offer a fun show, either as a complete show or as a demonstration for clubs and companies as an introduction to clinical hypnosis.

During stage hypnosis, the hypnotist will give individuals messages to tell them to do or say funny things but all suggestions will be removed before the end of the show and people return to normal, usually wanting to buy a DVD of the show to see how they performed. Clients go to a clinical hypnotist for help with a particular problem eg to stop smoking, lose weight, overcome a fear or phobia, increase self-confidence, improve a sport, alleviate pain, a health condition or deal with an addiction. Some specialise in specific conditions but most help with a wide variety of issues.

A professional hypnotist will carry out a detailed consultation asking questions about your lifestyle and the background to the issue. They will then describe the experience of hypnosis so that you understand that it is a perfectly natural, everyday state which we all know. If you are engrossed in a film on TV and someone calls you, you might not hear them. If they call again, louder, they will bring your attention back in the room. When you are engrossed, you are in a state of trance ie altered awareness. You cannot be in this state unless you are relaxed mentally and physically. You see, it is a state you already know and frequently experience.

There may be a test of suggestibility eg the hands clasp or rising and falling arms. A quick result will mean that you make a good subject for hypnosis. Lack of result or a slow result does not mean that you cannot be hypnotized but simply that you might take longer and require a lengthier induction process.

An induction is the talking to lead you into a hypnotic state. Very rarely a hypnotist will use a pendulum like a swinging crystal or ask you to stare at a flickering candle. This simply tires the eye muscles so that you want to close your eyes and start relaxing. If this is the first time you have been hypnotized, or if you are stressed and tense, you may need an induction lasting several minutes. However, there is no fast rule. If you are highly motivated to achieve a result, you may enter quickly into trance. There are fast induction methods which can put a subject into a deep state in a matter of seconds! The main objective here is to have you close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Once your body is relaxed, you will be asked to visualize a scene which serves to distract and relax your mind. This might be a beach, a lake, a meadow or garden.

Next a deepener to deepen the relaxed state which usually asks you to visualize walking slowly downstairs or going down in a lift. The emphasis is on going “down, deeper”.

Remember that no one can put you into hypnosis against your will as all hypnosis is self-hypnosis and you will only go into this state when it is safe for you to do so, never when operating machinery or driving a car.

For treating many of the reasons why people come to a clinical hypnotist, some ego strengthening or confidence-boosting is necessary. Sometimes we have been told “we can’t” for so long that we need to believe “we can”. We focus on being calm, relaxed and confident. Specific techniques will then follow to help overcome your issue, your habit, health problem, phobia, addiction or just to strengthen your confidence. There are many techniques involved in clinical hypnosis and your success will depend on the training, skill and experience of the practitioner. Having said that, even someone who is newly qualified can achieve good results.

I shall also mention two specific areas: regression and parts therapy. Regression uses visualization to take you back to an earlier time to identify the cause of a problem or to re-write a negative association. Parts integration deals with incongruencies when you say, “Part of me.... but part of me....”

You may also be taught self-hypnosis which is a very useful skill to use throughout your life in many situations. You may be given specific post-hypnotic suggestions or triggers to reinforce a new positive behaviour.

Simple issues can be dealt with in a single session but most require 2-5 sessions. Your hypnotist will discuss this at the first session. Weight loss may require many sessions over a period of time. It is most important that you be realistic and commit to the full course if you want a long-lasting successful outcome. Think of learning to drive, a new language, a skill and expecting success by just attending the first couple of lessons. You will have a little knowledge but not enough to be competent. So it is with hypnosis. Don’t expect a magic wand. This is the most powerful tool on the planet for fast, life-changing results but only if you commit to the recommended course.

Finally, time distorts in hypnosis so you might be surprised to find that what feels like a few minutes was actually much longer. The other benefit of hypnosis is that 30 minutes can refresh you as much as a night of good sleep. So, positive, life-enhancing results, a calm relaxed feeling and extra vitality. Sounds wonderful.

© Antonia Harrison 2011. Antonia Harrison is the English Clinical Hypnotist in Belgium specializing in stopping smoking, controlling alcohol consumption, overcoming the fear of public speaking and phobias. She is a competent public speaker and rid herself of a life-long spider phobia. She also gave birth twice without conventional pain control using self-hypnosis for low pain childbirth without tearing or bruising.