Is Hypnosis medically approved?
Yes. The American Medical Association and the American
Psychiatric Association have approved hypnotherapy for use by professionally
responsible individuals. The British Medical Association also adopted hypnosis
as a viable therapeutic tool in 1958. (The same year as the AMA.)
Science And News From Around The World
"Ways of breaking the
smoking habit. Hypnosis works"
The New Scientist
vol. 136, Issue 1845, 31 October 1992
How one in five have given up smoking New Scientist vol 136
issue 1845 - 31 October 92, page 6 Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving
up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of
breaking the habit.
Willpower, it turns out, counts for very little. Smokers are coming under
increasing pressure to quit. Earlier this month the Institute of Actuaries
published the results of a study it commissioned which showed that the mortality
rate for smokers is twice as high as for non-smokers, and that on average, a
smoker dies 6 years earlier than a non-smoker.
Surveys suggest that three in four smokers would like to give up, according to
the anti-smoking campaign Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). To find the most
effective way to give up smoking, Frank Schmidt and research student
Chockalingam Viswesvaran of the University of Iowa carried out a meta-analysis,
statistically combining the results of more than 600 studies covering almost 72
000 people from America, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe.
By combining the results from so many separate studies, the meta-analysis
enables the real effectiveness of each technique to be picked out from the
statistical 'noise' that often blights studies involving smaller numbers of
subjects. The results, published in the current issue of the Journal of Applied
Psychology, show that the average success rate for all methods was 19 per cent:
that is, only about one in five smokers is likely to succeed using methods
covered by the study.
Patients told that they had serious cardiac disorders, and so a clear incentive
to stop immediately, had the highest quitting rate, at 36 per cent. But for most
smokers the most effective technique was hypnosis, in which smokers go into a
state of deep relaxation and listen to suggestive tapes. The analysis of
treatment by hypnosis, which included 48 studies covering over 6000 smokers,
gave an average success rate of 30 per cent for this method. 'Combination'
techniques, combining, for example, exercise and breathing therapy, came second
with a success rate of 29 per cent.
Smoke aversion, in which smokers have their own warm, stale cigarette smoke
blown back into their faces, achieved a 25 per cent success rate, followed by
acupuncture at 24 per cent. The least successful method turned out to be advice
from GPs, which appears to convince virtually no one to give up.
Sheer willpower proved little better, with a success rate of only 6 per cent.
Self-help, in the form of books or mail-order advice, achieved modest success -
around 9 per cent, while nicotine gum was a little better at 10 per cent. 'We
found that involvement of physicians did not have as big an impact as we
expected,' said Schmidt 'We speculate that the reason is that it is the content
of the treatment that matters, and not the status of the person giving it.'
David Pollock, director of ASH, said he was surprised by the success of
hypnosis, which anecdotal evidence had suggested was not very effective.
One organisation not surprised by the results is the British Society of Medical
& Dental Hypnosis. Christopher Pattinson, the society's academic chairman,
said that current hypnosis techniques are a far cry from their popular image of
music-hall tricks involving swinging fob watches. The latest relaxation
techniques achieve success rates of up to 60 per cent from a single session, he
said. Richard Doll, the epidemiologist who carried out the pioneering studies of
the risk of smoking, said that the apparent success of hypnosis and the high
quitting rate of patients with heart disease backed his own observations.
He added, however, that he was somewhat surprised by the low success rate of
those who resorted to willpower alone: 'The majority of people find it not too
difficult to give up,' he said. 'The only way to succeed is to want to do it
enough. You have got to really appreciate what the risk is. I smoked and gave up
without too much difficulty.'
An Australian psychologist has found an
experimental method for investigating why people forget important
events in their lives, yet easily remember other less significant
Dr Amanda Barnier, from the University
of New South Wales has found hypnosis can help in researching the
condition known as autobiographical amnesia. She will deliver her
findings at a number of international conferences in Europe next
"For many years, researchers have doubted the Freudian concept of
memory repression because they have not been able to find evidence of
it in the laboratory," says Dr Barnier. "But maybe the
methods used to probe it were not right."
Dr Barnier says that memory research has largely relied on subjects'
abilities to recall word lists and pictures. While these have been
useful in clarifying the underlying processes and basic structure of
memory, she believes they may have not been the most useful tool in
exploring the processes that affect personal memories.
"In these memories, there is a motivational element - it's
connected to how we see ourselves," she says. "So we've been
more interested in using material that's more relevant to people's
everyday lives such as what happened in someone's first love
Dr Barnier found that by using hypnosis, she can induce a state of
amnesia that is almost identical to a clinical condition called
functional amnesia in which an individual is unable to remember
significant events in their lives.
The reversible post-hypnotic amnesia has now provided her with a
useful laboratory model to experimentally investigate memory loss and
recovery in a controlled manner.
In related research, Dr Barnier found that some people have a
"repressive coping style" in which they deliberately choose
to forget negative things relevant to themselves.
However, she says, while some people more easily repress negative
emotional events, others find negative events tend to stand out more
in their memories.
Her team will compare people's repression of positive and negative
events in their lives, who forgets and who doesn't and whether it's
easier to forget positive or negative events.
Can hypnosis be a
substitute for valium
has long been known for it's ability to decrease the sensation of pain
and was used by Dr James Esdaile back in the 19th century to perform
surgical operations, dramatically reducing the mortality rates in the
hospital where he was employed.
the discovery of ether and other analgesics hypnosis was abandoned
because of the time taken produce the desired effect. Money was
invested in drugs instead of using nature's natural remedy to counteract
recent study of 80 cancer patients aged between 6 and 16 established
that patients receiving hypnosis from a therapist reported less pain,
anxiety and distress than others who received only standard hospital
care whilst undergoing painful spinal cord punctures.
earlier review that was published in the Journal of Developmental and
in June 2004 concluded that there was enough positive evidence to
warrant larger scale investigations of the use of hypnosis in children
a small trial of adult patients undergoing angioplasty, an invasive
heart procedure, it was also found that the sedative effect of hypnosis
was slightly better than that of the drug diazepam (Valium). This
finding is supported by other clinical trials whereby hypnosis has
enabled adult patients to gain control over other forms of pain such as
that associated with gastrointestinal problems, accelerated healing of
bone fractures and surgical wounds, skin problems and weight control.
latest guidelines from the U.S. Headache Consortium, a coalition of
seven medical groups, include hypnosis among the non-drug measures most
proven to help prevent headaches.
Blamed for Hypnotic Delusion
and caregivers were today accused of deluding children for their own
advantage. In the run-up to Christmas many adults will participate
in Delusional Hypnosis by telling their off-spring that they will not
receive Christmas presents if they do not behave themselves.
as young as a year old are led to believe in the mythical figure of
Santa Claus and warned that he will not visit them if they are
naughty, reported a spokesperson for the Anti Santa Society. This
is seen to have serious later implications for the youngsters who, when
discovering that Santa does not really exist, will be susceptible to the
influence of subsequent untruths, learn to distrust the people in whom
their security and well-being most depends on and find it difficult to
distinguish fact from fantasy.
the adult world bribery and blackmail are seen to be serious crimes and
yet children are unwitting subjects because their parents, relatives,
teachers and other adults who should be responsible for teaching truth
and integrity to tomorrow's generation want a bit of peace, quiet and
orderly behavior" reported the ASS spokesperson. "We are
concerned that children who are lied to in this way will have no respect
for the law and become materialistic, grasping adults with no regard for
the feelings of their fellow human beings".
Delusion refers to the implanting of false ideas or suggestions into the
subconscious mind. Creating a fantasy figure like Santa Claus is
rather like asking a subject to visualize a beautiful scene, something
that many Hypnotherapists do in order to instill a feeling of safety and
comfort with their subjects before offering suggestions which will later
be acted upon.
is known that aesthetic surroundings (decorated Christmas trees, lights
around windows and doors, shop displays, etc) can enhance hypnotic
susceptibility and coupled with the fact that children have been long
known to be excellent hypnotic subjects, this type of delusional
hypnosis is seen to be unethical and unnecessary.
ASS spokesperson will be addressing the Green Garden Management
Association tomorrow regarding the abolition of gnomes.
Law officers learn use of hypnosis
Law officers from DeWitt County Sheriff's Office in Cuero, Yorktown
and other police agencies are now using investigative and forensic
hypnosis to solve crime following a training course based on the
interview technique that began last week. Officers who attend the
classes can earn continuing education hours as required by state law.
The class is hosted by the sheriff's office, which serves as a
training provider for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer
Standards and Education.
Sheriff Gary Edwards and Lewis witnessed the amazing effects of
investigative hypnosis in the 1990s whilst working for the Friendswood
Police Department, however Edwards remained skeptical until watching
instructor Michael Boulch giving a demonstration on "glove
anesthesia" where he repeatedly jabbed a paper clip into a
hypnotized subject's hands who never flinched throughout the whole
experience. Following the training in hypnosis with more
detectives from the Friendswood Police Department their clearance rate
increased by 20%.
Boulch, a director of Diogenes & Associates, teaches the use of
hypnosis for law enforcement through several schools, including Texas
A&M University and University of Houston, and specialized classes
such as the one mentioned. He also provides instruction in therapeutic
hypnosis and has helped the technique gain acceptance by the courts.
Lewis reported that investigative hypnosis withstood legal challenge
in a 1980 case titled Zani vs. the State of Texas which involved the
murder of a convenience store clerk in the Austin area.
After murdering the store clerk, the killer put on the clerk's smock
and waited on customers for several hours to steal more money before
fleeing, reported Lewis.
Texas Rangers decided to use investigative hypnosis to help solve the
crime and used the technique on customers who had been in the store the
day of the homicide. From the hypnotized subjects investigators drew up
a composite sketch of the suspect, thus solving the case. The
conviction, and use of investigative hypnosis to identify the suspect,
was upheld through appeals, said Lewis.
According to Boulch, Texas is the only state in the U.S. that
licenses officers to use investigative and forensic hypnosis. Other
states use the technique - he has trained officers from all over the
U.S. and Canada - but Texas is the only one that requires trainees to
pass a state test and be licensed to use it.
The interview technique is used for victims and witnesses only to
improve memory. Presumably it is realized that anyone has the
capacity to lie during the hypnotic procedure which explains why
hypnosis is not used on suspects. According to Boulch
"We all have a perfect memory. It's retrieval that we have problems
The class waited almost a year waiting for Boulch to be available to
teach his techniques locally. The sheriff's office is using money from
its drug forfeiture fund to provide this class.
"The bad guys are paying for the training for the good guys to
be able to catch more bad guys." reported Edwards. "Generally,
the deputy using hypnosis in an interview should not be the same one
working the case.