Hypnotherapy Future

Hypnotherapy has been in existence for centuries, acquiring a large number of both supporters and skeptics. As medicine progresses, so do the mechanisms used to research the question: “Does hypnotherapy work?” In studying the future of hypnotherapy, most of the contemporary medical community agrees that hypnotherapy may ease some conditions in some individuals. For example, hypnotherapy may help people manage pain, quit smoking, reduce stress levels and more.

Opinions from the Medical Community: Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Many reputable organizations support hypnotherapy, including the National Institutes of Health, Mayo Clinic, American Cancer Society and Arthritis Foundation. Since researchers have started using tools like heart monitors, imaging and electrophysiologic studies to measure physiological responses to hypnosis, the future of hypnotherapy has broadened. Although not every healthcare professional espouses the benefits of hypnotherapy, the practice has gained mainstream acceptance.

Recent Research: Does Hypnotherapy Work for Pain Management?

Pain management is one of the most widely studied uses of hypnotherapy. A report published by the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia (2007) reviewed scientific studies measuring the positive effects of hypnotherapy on surgical patients. Researchers found measurable results indicating that hypnotherapy alters pain perception, suggesting that hypnotherapy is an inexpensive, effective solution to pain management.

Hypnotherapy: Types of Approaches to Cancer Care

Some cancer patients have reported success with hypnosis for treating pain, anxiety, chemotherapy-related nausea and hot flashes. The American Cancer Society (n.d.) recognizes the use of hypnotherapy for patient care, but warns against using it in lieu of other medical treatments.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) (n.d.) found that hypnotherapy can be effective in reducing anxiety and pain for women undergoing breast biopsy. In another NCCAM study (n.d.), hypnotherapy appeared to reduce hot flashes in breast cancer survivors, as well as improve mood and sleep patterns.

Future of Hypnotherapy as a Cost-Effective Healthcare Option

The cost of health care remains a constant topic in politics, the media and even at our kitchen tables. In some cases, hypnotherapy presents a viable, inexpensive healthcare solution. As a preventative measure, hypnotherapy may aid smoking cessation, weight loss and anxiety and blood pressure management, as well as avert costly health problems.

For people who live with chronic pain, hypnotherapy may offer a drug-free solution, and thereby limit the costs and residual side effects of long-term medication use.


American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Hypnosis. Retrieved September 3, 2010, from http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/MindBodyandSpirit/hypnosis

Mayo Clinic. (2007). Hypnotism gaining a legitimate role in health care treatments. Retrieved September 3, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2007-mchi/3992.html

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (n.d.). Hypnosis may reduce hot flashes in breast cancer survivors. Retrieved September 3, 2010, from http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/102308.htm

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (n.d.). Self-hypnosis beneficial for women undergoing breast biopsy.Retrieved September 3, 2010, from http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/122606.htm

Wobst, A. (2007). Hypnosis and surgery: Past, present and future. Retrieved September 3, 2010, from http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/content/104/5/1199.long