Scientific Studies on Hypnosis
As of December 15, 2004 results from more than 3,000 clinical research studies are available showing positive benefits from hypnosis. (According to: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/)
According to studies done at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, suggestions given in a hypnotic state, even once, can produce actions in human beings that are the same type of actions that would have resulted from more long-term conditioning and practice.
In a research study on Self-hypnosis for relapse prevention training with chronic drug/alcohol users, (Am J Clin Hypn. 2004 Apr;46(4):281-97), individuals who played self-hypnosis audiotapes “at least 3 to 5 times a week,” at 7-week follow-up, reported the highest levels of self-esteem and serenity, and the least anger/impulsivity, in comparison to the minimal-practice and control groups.
In a research study done with 60 college student volunteers (Spring of 2004 at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona), using hypnosis with ego-enhancement suggestions showed “significantly dramatic effects” in brain-wave patterns, subjective sense of self-confidence, and test scores.
As reported by NewScientist.com news service: “Hypnosis is more than just a party trick; it measurably changes how the brain works,” says John Gruzelier, a research psychologist at Imperial College in London .
“Hypnosis significantly affects the activity in a part of the brain responsible for detecting and responding to errors, an area that controls higher level executive functions.” The finding is one of the first to indicate a biological mechanism underpinning the experience of hypnosis.
“This explains why, under hypnosis, help cancer patients deal with painful treatments.
Research using positron emission tomography (PET) scans, shows that hypnosis might alleviate pain by decreasing the activity of brain areas involved in the experience of suffering. Scientists have found that hypnosis reduced the activity of the anterior cingulate cortex, an area known to be involved in pain, but did not affect the activity of the somatosensory cortex, where the sensations of pain are processed.
Clinical trials of therapeutic hypnosis confirm its potential benefits. Christina Liossi, a psychologist at the University of Wales in Swansea, recently conducted a study of 80 cancer patients aged 6 to 16. She found that those under hypnosis experienced far less pain during treatments than control children, who simply talked to the researchers normally.