What Is Hypnotherapy? Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Hypnotherapy incorporates the power of persuasion and trance-like experiences to reach the lowest stages of the mind to induce beneficial behavioural improvements in an individual and to address a variety of health problems.

Hypnotherapy is widely accepted as an alternative treatment or as a valuable complement to many traditional and applied counseling approaches.

Hypnotherapy, like other types of treatment, has the potential to deliver health benefits but also has the capacity to inflict damages. Most hazards are observable in practice and are reduced if an adequately qualified and supervised Hypnotherapist conduct hypnotherapy in a safe treatment environment.

What Is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy (also known as controlled hypnosis) is a type of psychotherapy that utilizes relaxation, deep concentration and intense attention to achieve an enhanced state of consciousness or mindfulness.
In other terms, it places the person in a “hypnotic” or distorted state of mindfulness.

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The purpose of this form of treatment is to use one’s mind to alleviate or mitigate a variety of issues, such as psychological distress, phobias, and harmful, damaging, or inappropriate behaviours such as smoking and drinking.

The aim of hypnotherapy is to effect change in an individual positively, when he/she is in a state of unconsciousness or sleep.

Evidence shows that hypnosis may have a broad spectrum of benefits across a number of social, physical , and behavioural problems.

What is Hypnotherapy Used For?

Hypnotherapy can be used to combat depression, anxiety, phobias, drug addiction, sexual addiction, intrusive random activities, poor habits and overweight or obesity. It can be used to help improve issues concerning sleep, learning disorders, communication and relationships.

Difference Between Hypnosis And Hypnotherapy

To better understand the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy, think of hypnosis as a tool and hypnotherapy as the use of the tool. The definition of hypnotherapy is clear from the word itself.

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Hypnotherapy is the practice of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. In other words, if you are a professional mental health therapist or medical doctor and you’re using hypnosis to help a client overcome a mental or physical condition, you’re practising hypnotherapy.

The medical information provided in this article is provided as an information resource only. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Hypnotherapy has proven to be helpful in helping people deal with stress, pain, depression, anxiety and other health and behavioural problems. However, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is often the first phase of treatment for the above-mentioned health and behavioural challenges. Hypnotherapy can also be included as part of formal smoking and drinking quitting plan or weight-loss regimen.

hypnotherapist with a client
hypnotherapist with a client

Nonetheless, hypnotherapy isn’t perfect for everyone. You may not, for example, be able to enter a hypnotic state full enough to make it effective. The more inclined you are to be hypnotized, the most probable it is that you may benefit from hypnosis, some therapists believe.

How Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Some of the time, our senses become overwhelmed with lots of activities inspired by our environment. When the Television is blaring, the kids are seeking attention, or your friend needs to chat, all these make it hard to concentrate on yourself. In addition, our conscious minds are convulsed. You may be worried about paying a bill, worried about the upcoming project, or planning a dinner night. Even though the everyday counselling meetings, these issues continue to keep people from working on their problems.

You are profoundly comfortable in a hypnotic condition. Your conscious mind is quiet, causing your unconscious mind to concentrate intensely on your problem (in this situation, your phobia). You are also calmer, and therefore more receptive to your fear. Many hypnotherapists use a sequence of soothing phrases, such as “you are free” and “no one will hurt you,” to convince their clients so they will honestly confront their phobias through hypnosis without getting a nervous reaction.

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Your hypnotherapist can make subtle recommendations for behavioral improvements that will help you conquer your phobias. For starters, through your phobic responses, you might be encouraged to view yourself as a compassionate mentor, learning to trust yourself and your abilities to get through the scenario. You may be taught some cognitive-behavioural coping skills, such as guided imagery and STOP! Technique, that you can use to overcome the anxiety. You may also be prompted to think about the first time you’ve encountered phobia and how you felt at that moment.

Health Benefits Of Hypnotherapy

hypnotherapy health benefits

Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that either uses hypnosis as a stand-alone or supplementary treatment. It can benefit your health in a variety of ways.

Here are some common health problems where hypnosis can help:

  • Phobia, Anxiety and Depression

Hypnotherapy can allay anxiety and depression at times. Hypnosis tends to be more effective in people whose anxiety is caused by a chronic health condition such as heart disease rather than widespread anxiety disorders.

Hypnosis will also benefit you if you are dealing with a phobia. Phobia is a form of anxiety condition where you become deeply scared of something that doesn’t present a significant danger.

Hypnotherapy can be a useful tool when you’re sleepwalking or struggling to fall and stay asleep. Hypnosis will calm you enough to allow you to sleep better if you have insomnia.

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Hypnosis can also train you to wake up when you feel your feet hit the floor and help you avoid sleepwalking escapades if you’re a sleepwalker.
And if you only want to have a little more sleep, hypnosis will even assist you to sleep more peacefully.

  • Chronic Pain and Arthritis

Hypnotherapy can help with management of pain such as post-surgery pains, migraines, tension headaches, arthritis and chronic pains. Individuals with pain associated with conditions such as diabetes, cancer, sickle cell disease, and fibromyalgia as well as people with lower back pain may experience relief via hypnotherapy.

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  • Weight Loss

There are not enough trials currently that would support the feasibility of weight loss through hypnotherapy, but several reports have shown moderate weight reduction of around 6 pounds over 18 months via hypnosis. When hypnotherapy is used in combination with changes in diet and exercise it is usually most helpful.

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  • Quitting Smoking and Drinking

Alcohol and cigarettes are not easy to give up on. There are other ways to support you such as prescribed drugs or nicotine patches. Although the research is still ongoing, several people have considered hypnosis to have helped them quit the problem of smoking and drinking.

Smoking and drinking reduction hypnosis works better while you are practising one-on-one with a hypnotherapist who will tailor the hypnotherapy to fit the lifestyle.

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  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Clinical studies have consistently backed the effectiveness of hypnotherapy on IBS. IBS is bowel-created stomach discomfort, so hypnosis may help relieve symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea so bloating.

IBS can sometimes cause side symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, backache, and urinary problems. Hypnosis has also proven capable of helping with these symptoms.

Hypnotherapy For Weight Loss

You are already aware of the usual go-to professionals when it comes to losing weight: doctors, nutritionists and dietitians, personal trainers, even mental health coaches. But there might be one professional you haven’t even heard or tried yet: a Hypnotherapist.

Using hypnotherapy for weight loss turned out to be another path people go down in the process of weight reduction.

Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss

Being in that state of hypnosis makes you more susceptible to change, and that’s why weight loss through hypnotherapy might be effective. It’s special from other approaches to weight loss as hypnotherapy addresses the trigger and other underlying factors explicitly in the mind of the individual at the subconscious stage, where their thoughts, behaviours, worries, diet plans, derogatory self-talk and self-esteem emanate from.

No other form of weight loss strategy addresses the main root causes as does hypnotherapy – according to some experts.

There isn’t a lot of new research work available on using hypnotherapy for weight loss, but what’s already out there suggests the approach could be plausible.

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Early 90s studies found that individuals who used hypnosis lost more than twice as much weight as those who dieted without cognitive therapy. A 2014 research operated with 60 obese people and observed weight reduction in those who underwent Hypno-behavioural treatment and changed their dietary patterns and body appearance. And a small 2017 research operated with eight obese adults and three babies, all of whom lost weight effectively, with one also refusing surgery due to the effects of therapy, although of course none of this is definitive.

In fact, a 1970 study analysis found that hypnotherapy for weight loss had a success rate of 93 per cent, with fewer sessions needed than both psychotherapy and behavioural therapy. This led researchers to believe that hypnosis was the most effective method for changing habits, thought patterns and behaviours.

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Hypnotherapy doesn’t have to be used on its own. Hypnotherapy can often be seen as a supplement to other weight management strategies developed by health professionals to manage various health problems, including arthritis, obesity, diabetes, depression and cardiovascular diseases.

Hypnotherapists Near You

Your mental health doctor might be licensed to conduct hypnotherapy. If not, he or she can be acquainted with somebody they trust who may do hypnotherapy on you. However, if that isn’t the case, there are several ways to find a reputable hypnotherapist near you.

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Word of mouth is also an outstanding means of identifying any Hypnotherapist. When you meet someone who has been exposed to this form of treatment, inquire about their experiences. However, bear in mind that certain hypnotherapists work exclusively on particular health or mental problems and that your friend’s hypnotherapist might not work out well enough for you.

Check the American Board database for Licensed Clinical Hypnotherapists available in the USA, Great Britain or other areas of Europe. This organization is responsible for hypnotherapist certification and is in charge of keeping the database up-to-date.

5 thoughts on “What Is Hypnotherapy? Does Hypnotherapy Work?”

  1. You got my attention when you said hypnotherapy is effective in people whose anxiety is caused by chronic health conditions. This is something that I will share with a friend who always worries because of his heart problems. He mentioned that he has been sleepless since his heart problem starts again, so he could not work properly. I will ask him to see a hypnotherapist.

  2. It got my attention when you said that to combat depression, anxiety, phobias, drug addiction, sexual addiction, and many more, hypnotherapy is used. As you said, it can also help improve issues concerning sleep. This reminds me of my sleep problem for the past 3 weeks. No matter how tired I am, I could not find a way to keep properly at night. My mind has been so restless, and I always end up feeling so tired in the morning. I will consider hypnotherapy, for sure.

    • Hi Shammy,
      Sorry you are going through this right now. However, the best way to start is by consulting your doctor first. Thank you

  3. My sister would like to try hypnotherapy since this will help ease her anxiety. Thank you for sharing as well that this may help with her weight loss. I also agree with you that this may help prevent the development of a phobia.


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