Over the decades, there has been much debate on whether hypnosis really exists. More than that, does it really work on fields where it is advertised to produce results? According to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, hypnosis is a state of mind that a person undergoes where his attention is intensely focused. In addition, someone who is under this state becomes highly susceptible to suggestions and less aware of his or her surroundings.
Clinical experiments have disproved skeptics’ claims that hypnosis is merely another way of calling the placebo effect. The placebo effect tricks the mind into thinking something else that would otherwise be not present.
Possible applications of hypnosis
Because of the breakthrough quality of hypnosis, it has been historically used to bring about changes in the body that would otherwise be impossible with a fully conscious state of mind. In other words, it largely uses the power of the mind over the physical self, often producing notable results.
There is, of course, no clear-cut success rate with the use of hypnosis in all the fields where it was tested. Clinical researchers have revealed that hypnosis works in varying degrees of success. In any case, the most common applications of hypnosis are:
- As a painkiller
- As additional help for weight loss
- A treatment for certain skin diseases
- A way to calm surgical patients
- A way to control a habit, such as smoking
- A tool to enhance performance in sports
- A way to relax, in general
Case study: Hypnosis as an adjunct to weight loss
As early as 1985, a study that came out in the Journal of Clinical Psychology has revealed a relationship between hypnosis and weight management. In the experiment, 109 17- to 67-year-olds underwent a 9-week weight loss program via behavioral treatment, with one group going through additional hypnosis sessions.
After 9 weeks, both groups showed a significant drop in weight. Initially, it was thought that hypnosis did little or nothing to affect any trend in the subjects’ weights.
Yet during the follow-ups, which were made after 8 months and 2 years, the hypnosis subjects showed significant additional weight loss, while most in the non-hypnosis group barely lost more weight after the experiment. The same trend was proven true in terms of maintaining their weight, as some of those in the non-hypnosis group were not able to keep the weight.
Case study: Weight loss via hypnosis over time
As affirmed by the above study, hypnosis tends to manifest its effect on weight loss over time. In fact, another study, this time published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996, showed that examining patients after initial assessments, “the mean weight loss was 6.00 lbs. (2.72 kg) without hypnosis and 11.83 lbs. (5.37 kg) with hypnosis, and after another assessment period, the mean weight loss was 6.03 lbs. (2.74 kg) without hypnosis and 14.88 lbs. (6.75 kg) with hypnosis.”
Figures cannot lie, and the set-up in which these experiments were conducted was highly scientific and objective. Losing weight with the aid of hypnosis is not only more consistent, it stays that way through time.
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