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Is hypnosis medically approved?
Ways of stopping smoking. Hypnosis works
Parents Blamed for Hypnotic Delusion
Hypnosis may help understand memory repression of important event
Investigative Hypnosis
Can hypnosis be a sustitute for valium?
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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 About Hypnosis

"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.'

New Scientist


Forget me not

An Australian psychologist has found an experimental method for investigating why people forget important events in their lives, yet easily remember other less significant events.

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 month.

"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 affair."

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 

Dec 2004


Hypnosis 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.


With 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 painful sensations.


A 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.


An earlier review that was published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics in June 2004 concluded that there was enough positive evidence to warrant larger scale investigations of the use of hypnosis in children with cancer.


In 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.


The 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.



Parents Blamed for Hypnotic Delusion


Dec 2004


Parents 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.


Children 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.


"In 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".


Hypnotic 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.


It 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.


The ASS spokesperson will be addressing the Green Garden Management Association tomorrow regarding the abolition of gnomes.





Investigative Hypnosis


Law officers learn use of hypnosis for investigations

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 with."


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.