Research Results For Hypnosis Studies

If you want to know how hypnosis really works, it is important to look at the research results for hypnosis studies that have been done in recent years.  Many times people will ask what kind of research has been done on hypnosis and they want to know what kinds of things it can be used for. I've found a short list of different studies that focused on several important uses for hypnotic suggestion. The Guide to Hypnosis put this information together. 

Research Results for Hypnosis Studies

Over the years there have been many research studies completed that show that hypnosis does indeed work. There have also been many that show how effective hypnosis is for a wide variety of specific treatments. Here are just a few examples of some of these studies.

Real Brain Effect

Recently (2009) Hull University researchers found that hypnosis has a ‘real brain effect’ when analysed doing certain activities on brain scans under hypnosis. One psychologist, Dr. Michael Heap concluded that the study backed the theory that hypnosis "primes" the brain to be open to suggestion. The study leader Dr. William McGeown reflected that "This shows that the changes were due to hypnosis and not just simple relaxation. Our study shows hypnosis is real."




Weight Loss

A study showed that, when comparing the results of adding hypnosis to other weight loss treatments across many different methods, adding hypnosis increased weight loss by an average of 97% during treatment. It also showed that hypnosis increased the effectiveness after the treatment by a whopping 146%. This shows that hypnosis works even better over a period of time.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1996

A study of 60 women divided into hypnosis and non hypnosis control groups, found that the groups using hypnosis lost an average of 17 pounds, while the non-hypnosis group lost an average of only 0.5 pounds.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1986


In a recent review of available controlled studies in the field of gastroenterology conducted at the University Hospital of South Manchester, scientists discovered that hypnotherapy is clearly beneficial for patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and peptic ulceration.

Whorwell PJ.Use of hypnotherapy in gastrointestinal disease. Br J Hosp Med (ENGLAND) Jan 1991, 45 (1) pg.27-9

Scientists at the Gastroenterology Unit, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol came up with similar results. 33 patients with irritable bowel syndrome were treated with four 40 minute sessions of hypnotherapy over 7 weeks. Twenty of the group improved, and eleven of these were shown to be completely free from all symptoms. The researchers concluded that hypnotherapy in groups of up to 8 patients was as effective as individual therapy in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Meaning that sessions did not need to be specifically tailored to each individual – giving more credibility to effectiveness of pre recorded sessions.

Harvey RF et al. Lancet (England) Feb 25 1989, 1 (8635) pg.424-5


I think it's important to do your own homework when you begin a new project such as learning how to use hypnosis. Take some time to look at these studies and when you decide to learn hypnosis techniques for yourself check out our home page for the best courses.

Another site Hypnosis also has an extensive list of hynosis studies to explore. 

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