In 2015, a researcher from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill reviewed 35 studies on the use of hypnosis for gastrointestinal disorders including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The conclusion was that research shows unequivocally that for both adults and children with IBS, hypnosis treatment is highly efficacious in reducing bowel symptoms and can offer lasting and substantial symptom relief for a large proportion of patients who do not respond adequately to usual medical treatment approaches.
In 2003, researchers from the University Hospital of South Manchester and Withington Hospital in the United Kingdom studied 204 patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). They observed that 71% of the patients responded to hypnotherapy, and 81% of those maintained their improvement over time. Hypnotherapy resulted in improvements in patient symptoms, quality of life, anxiety, and amount of medication required.
In 1979, researchers from Guy's Hospital Medical School in London studied 18 patients who had suffered from insomnia for at least 3 months. They concluded that patients slept significantly longer with hypnosis alone than when they received a placebo. Also, significantly more patients had a normal night’s sleep when using self-hypnosis alone than when they received a placebo or Mogadon/Nitrazepam – a benzodiazepine drug.
In 1989, a Ph.D. from the University of Tasmania, Australia studied 45 subjects randomly assigned to one of three groups: hypnotic relaxation; stimulus control; and placebo. The data generated by the study suggested that only hypnosis was effective in helping the subjects go to sleep more quickly.
In 2006, researchers from the State University of New York Upstate Medical University studied 84 children and adolescents with sleep issues (such as insomnia, a delay in sleep onset, nighttime awakenings, and issues like pain that impedes sleep) who did hypnosis sessions and were taught self-hypnosis. 87% of the children reported that hypnosis had helped them either significantly improve or completely resolve their sleep problems.
In 2007, researchers from North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Massachusetts compared 67 people who wanted to quit smoking and were divided into 4 groups based on their method of smoking cessation treatment: (a) hypnotherapy; (b) nicotine replacement therapy; (c) nicotine replacement therapy plus hypnotherapy; and (d) quitting “cold turkey.” They concluded that a person may be more likely to quit smoking through the use of hypnotherapy than by using other smoking cessation methods. This study shows that smokers who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be nonsmokers after 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy alone or patients who quit "cold turkey.”
In 1992, researchers from the University of Iowa statistically analyzed the results of 633 smoking cessation studies involving 71,806 participants. They concluded that hypnosis was the most effective technique used to quit smoking. In fact, they found that a single session of hypnosis is three times more effective than nicotine gum and five times more effective than willpower alone.
In 2004, researchers from Texas A&M University’s Health Science Center studied 21 smokers who had failed in previous unassisted attempts to stop smoking. The participants were given three hypnosis sessions and also a tape recording with a hypnotic induction they could use on their own time. At the end of the program, 17 subjects (81%) reported that they had stopped smoking. A 12-month follow-up revealed that 10 of them (48%) remained smoke-free.
In 2015, researchers from the Faculty of Nursing at the Beni-Suef University in Egypt studied 59 male secondary school students who were smokers. These subjects were taught self-hypnosis for the purpose of quitting smoking. After nine weeks of doing the self-hypnosis, 65.4% of those studied had stopped smoking.
In 2013, researchers from the Department of Psychology at Lund University in Sweden studied the effect of participants’ use of hypnosis for two weeks (via audio recording). They found the hypnotic intervention had a medium-to-large beneficial effect on the participants’ experience of stress, burnout and wellbeing.
In 2013, researchers from the University of Delhi studied 7 college students pursuing a Ph.D. The study showed that hypnotherapy is an effective intervention strategy to help patients diagnosed with anxiety symptoms.
In 2006, researchers from Yale University School of Medicine studied the stress and anxiety of 76 patients before and after surgery. The 26 patients who received hypnosis were significantly less anxious post-intervention. Moreover, on entrance to the operating rooms, the hypnosis group reported a significant decrease of 56% in their anxiety level. The study authors conclude that hypnosis significantly alleviates preoperative anxiety.
In 1991, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studied 44 introductory psychology students who were given 4 sessions of hypnosis for exam stress compared to 50 similar students who did not receive any hypnosis. Those students who received hypnosis showed a decrease in exam anxiety as well as improvements in test achievement.
In 1994, researchers from the University of Tasmania studied 40 music students who experience considerable anxiety when they perform. Results indicate that hypnotherapy is likely to assist musicians in the reduction of their stage fright.
In 1989, researchers studied 56 medical students. Those students who received 9 hypnosis sessions improved significantly in coping with exam stress.
In 1986, researchers from the University of British Columbia studied 60 overweight women, which were divided into a group who received hypnosis and another group who did not receive hypnosis. They found that those women who received hypnosis lost an average of 17 pounds while the women who did not receive hypnosis lost an average of 0.5 pounds.
In 1985, researchers from the University of Northern Colorado Department of Psychology studied 109 subjects. All were given behavioral management to lose weight, but only half were also given hypnosis. Both groups had lost a significant amount of weight at the end of the 9-week program. When followed-up at 8 months and 2 years, the group that also received hypnosis had lost even more weight, while the group that had not received hypnosis remained unchanged.
In 1996, researchers from the University of Connecticut Department of Psychology analyzed the data from a number of studies that tested the effectiveness of adding hypnosis to cognitive behavioral therapy (“CBT”) for weight loss. They concluded that people who received hypnosis in addition to CBT lost more weight (a mean weight loss of 11.83 pounds compared to 6 pounds). They also found that those who used hypnosis continued to lose weight over time (up to 14.88 pounds) while those not using hypnosis remained at just a 6 pound loss over time.