The Benefits of Hypnotherapy

Posted: 5th March 2018


By: Emma Harvey Lawrence

The Benefits of Hypnotherapy

The Benefits of Hypnotherapy

This article is intended to collate recent research in Hypnotherapy for a number of conditions and individual symptoms.

There is a wide array of research that supports the use of hypnosis in various settings within healthcare and it shows that there is, among many other therapies and practises, a key place for a mind-body approach to care and self-management.

This is of course just a snapshot of just a few areas where Hypnotherapy can be beneficial.

Hypnotherapy and Cancer

Hypnotherapy has been proven to be effective for people with cancer struggling with anxiety due to the disease itself and also the anxiety related to the procedures endured during conventional treatment. It has been seen to be more effective and cost effective, compared to some medications in the US, with breast cancer patients benefiting from relief of the following symptoms; nausea, fatigue, discomfort and emotional upset.

As yet, there isn’t a satisfying protocol within hospitals as a standardised practise, which is why recent research papers suggest that therapist-delivered hypnosis is still the best method for patients. However, it has been suggested that practitioners and nurses could be provided with the relevant skills for hypnosis as it serves as a safe adjunct in treatment for overall pain management.

Hypnotherapy and Pain

There is research that positively shows the benefit of Hypnosis in relation to the pain experienced related to bowel disorders which will be explained further in the next heading. However, Hypnotherapy can also help to reduce levels of anxiety and pain in situations such as childbirth, dental procedures and there is even some research that supports the use of Hypnotherapy in managing chronic pain conditions. A pilot study that measured participants level of IL-6 (that’s an inflammatory marker in the blood, to you and me) showed that after 12 weeks of a self-administered hypnosis stress relief programme via hypnosis recordings, it actually reduced the participants inflammatory markers considerably.

Of course, it’s not the hypnosis that’s solely responsible in that moment but it is what the hypnosis encourages a person to do – improve their self-esteem, make ‘healthier’ choices etc. And in turn, there was a notable reduction in inflammation.

Hypnotherapy and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Our emotions and stress have a profound impact on our physiological health as well as our psychological state. Perhaps one of the key indicators or symptoms of stress is that of IBS. The gut/brain axis has been a focus of research in recent years and it has been shown that those with high levels of emotional stress are susceptible to the very restrictive symptoms of IBS. Reducing quality of life and compounding the issues of stress and physical health. Studies have shown that Gut-directed hypnotherapy has beneficial short-term effects in improving gastrointestinal symptoms of patients with IBS, and the results in one study found that they are maintained after one year in half of the people that participated.

People with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) may also benefit from Hypnotherapy specifically in regard to emotional aspects of quality of life and also in reducing inflammation.

Hypnotherapy and Weight Management

Obesity or being overweight is a difficult and multifactorial issue. In other words, there are many aspects of an individual person that has to be considered. What has been proven is that self-monitoring behaviours (looking after ourselves) not only requires skill but also confidence and support. Hypnotherapy is a tool that can help change the way we think about ourselves. It can teach us to believe in our abilities to change habits or lifestyle for the better and learn to enjoy those changes.

If you would like to know more about Hypnotherapy or any other practise here at Woolpit Complementary, feel free to get in touch via our contact page or call 01359 408 011.


Chen, P.Y., Liu, Y.M. and Chen, M.L., 2017. The Effect of Hypnosis on Anxiety in Patients With Cancer: A Meta‐Analysis. Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing.

Montgomery, G.H., Bovbjerg, D.H., Schnur, J.B., David, D., Goldfarb, A., Weltz, C.R., Schechter, C., Graff-Zivin, J., Tatrow, K., Price, D.D. and Silverstein, J.H., 2007. A randomized clinical trial of a brief hypnosis intervention to control side effects in breast surgery patients. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 99(17), pp.1304-1312.

Kravits, K., 2013. Hypnosis: adjunct therapy for cancer pain management. Journal of the advanced practitioner in oncology, 4(2), p.83.

Schoen, M. and Nowack, K., 2013. Reconditioning the stress response with hypnosis CD reduces the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 and influences resilience: a pilot study. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 19(2), pp.83-88.

Surdea-Blaga, T., Baban, A., Nedelcu, L. and Dumitrascu, D.L., 2016. Psychological Interventions for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Journal of Gastrointestinal & Liver Diseases, 25(3).

Szigethy, E., 2015. Hypnotherapy for inflammatory bowel disease across the lifespan. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 58(1), pp.81-99.

Szigethy, E., 2015. Hypnotherapy for inflammatory bowel disease across the lifespan. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 58(1), pp.81-99.

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