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True or False: Does Hypnosis Work for Stress Management, Weight Loss, and More?

Hypnosis is more than the mindless look in my eyes from the stage and the demonstrative hypnotist. Hypnosis is a medically accepted science, approved by the American Medical Association in 1958. Always use a licensed healthcare professional for competent hypnotic treatment. Photo courtesy of Photos8.com

Before you ask if hypnosis works, you need to ask what hypnosis is.

The Random House Dictionary defines hypnosis as “an artificially induced sleep-like state characterized by increased susceptibility to suggestion.”

If that definition is confusing, here are some of my favorites:

“Hypnosis is a state of mind in which the critical faculty of the human mind is bypassed and selective thinking is established.” Dave ElmanAuthor, hypnotherapy

“There are as many definitions of hypnosis as there are definers.” WS Kroger, MDAuthor, Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis

Kroger’s is the most accurate. This is why:

Each hypnotist can only define hypnosis based on their experience with hypnosis. The technical applications and strategies used by the hypnotist combined with the individual responses, results and outcomes of those people she has hypnotized. This is why there are as many definitions of hypnosis as there are definers.

Each hypnotist has different levels of skill, experience, and training. Therefore, the difference in their opinions – what is hypnosis, how does hypnosis work, what is the best way to use it, what are the benefits of hypnosis – will vary with each practitioner based solely on personal experience.

“Yes, but does hypnosis work?”

Stay with me. I’ll give you the answer you want. A brief review of the history of hypnosis will answer your question with surgical precision. Next I will answer the question you must be asking yourself, WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HYPNOSIS, WILL IT WORK FOR ME?

Theories about hypnosis abound. Neither is a fact. They are all unfinished. Here are some initial and revealing facts that answer the question, “Does hypnosis work?” and “How does hypnosis work?”

Before hypnosis to quit smoking

  • The oldest written record of hypnosis is described in the Ebers papyrus, 3,000 years ago.
  • The earliest medical records describe hypnotic healing performed in the temples of Aesculapius.
  • Récamier makes the first recorded use of hypnoanesthesia in surgery. (1821)
  • Dr. James Esdaile performs hundreds of surgeries under battlefield conditions with amazing success.
  • Dr. James Braid is called the father of modern hypnotism for coining the terms hypnosis and hypnotism. Braid later regretted the nickname upon realizing that hypnosis was not sleep. (1841)
  • The Catholic Church approves hypnosis in the Holy See in 1847.
  • Sigmund Freud bombs as a hypnotist but his failure did not stop the progress of hypnosis.
  • Clark Hull’s Yale University experiments renewed interest in hypnosis and are responsible for the scientific understanding we have of hypnosis today. (1933)
  • Stage hypnotist Dave Elman introduces time-saving hypnotic procedures and teaches his techniques to over 10,000 clinicians. Elman’s contributions cannot be underestimated. He is credited with making hypnosis economically practical for busy physicians. Elman’s work is still considered some of the best of all time. The basic induction of it is widely used in clinics today.
  • The British Medical Association approved the use of hypnosis in 1955.
  • Ormond McGill, a stage hypnotist, introduced the model of modern demonstrative hypnosis. Conscious at all times of protecting the value, dignity and integrity of the individual while keeping the value of entertainment high. McGill introduced America to hypnosis from a stage and made it palatable and popular.
  • Another professional stage hypnotist of the same genre is Dr. Edwin Baron, whose ethical demonstrations received extensive coverage from Time, Life, Gaze, Reader’s Digest and various other media popular in the 1950s and early 1960s.
  • The American Medical Association approved the use of hypnosis in 1958.

Hypnosis is receiving massive acceptance as society looks for ways to lose weight and quit smoking. The success of everyday applications of hypnosis leads to the acceptance of hypnosis in fields including business, law enforcement, sports, and academics. Hypnosis is a treatment of first choice rather than last hope for many hypnotic applications. More simply, hypnosis has arrived. Today’s public sophistication combined with modern scientific hypnosis has created a perfect storm for you and most people to achieve significant improvement in overall physical and psychological well-being. Hypnosis helps you discover who you really are so you can be who you want to be.

Does hypnosis work? Approximately 12,000 psychologists, dentists, law enforcement officers, physicians, hypnotherapists, and social workers hypnotize some 10,000 Americans every day for a wide range of applications.

Harvard, Stanford, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and other leading institutions of higher learning offer various degrees of education in the science of hypnosis.

The US military, police, professional sports teams, and businesses have documented the use of hypnosis.

Chicago sun times (March 2006) submitted an article that, in my professional opinion, hit the nail on the head: “Hypnosis is safe, natural, and effective.” What more could you want? A winner even by the most critical standards.

Psychology, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are some of the modern sciences born from the appearance and subsequent study of hypnosis.

Hypnosis is the art and science of suggestion. Suggestion is the uncritical acceptance of an idea.

To answer your question, does hypnosis work? Yes! A resounding yes backed by studies and documented results. It is indisputable. The value of hypnosis in various fields has been well documented and studied for decades.

Does hypnosis work for everyone for everything? No. And it would be naive to believe that he would.

There are no magic wands or miracle cures. No replacement for your commitment and desire to succeed. Hypnosis cannot make decisions for you, it can only influence them.

Almost everyone can enjoy the many benefits of hypnosis with the exception of the very old, the very young, and the intellectually challenged. Personal commitment and cooperation are required for success.

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