This page is useful if you want to learn more about the science behind hypnotherapy.

What medical studies have been done on Hypnotherapy?

The value of hypnotherapy has been proven by peer-reviewed medical studies.
Studies show a reduction in the use of pain medications and earlier release of patients from hospital. A reduction in the severity of symptoms of many conditions has been observed.
In many hospitals, the clinical use of hypnotherapy is mainstream. Hypnotherapy was a standard protocol for IBS/IBD/Crohn's in the UKNHS for many years. Many hospitals in the US have clinical hypnotherapists on staff.
Hypnosis can benefit pre-surgical and post-surgical patients. However, there is no way to measure thoughts, so only anecdotal descriptions of healing by hypnosis are available, although different forms of hypnosis (using many other terms) have been used for healing for thousands of years.

What Medical Studies have been done on RTT®

RTT® is a new hybrid of hypnotherapy.   Many of the tools used in RTT® (such as parts of CBT or NLP - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Neuro-linguistic programming) have already been recognized in medical studies and by medical insurance plans.
The RTT® organisation is working with medical teams to develop Evidence-based Data.

I’ve been part of this project (FAST - Find a Specialist Therapist) that is collecting data on evaluating the effectiveness of RTT®.
RTT® is in negotiations with the NHS (National Health Services) in the UK to use RTT® as part of the protocol for various issues, including anxiety and diabetes.

What studies have been done to evaluate Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy?

Using medical scans such as MRI or PET, researchers have shown that hypnosis temporarily changes brain wave patterns, although different parts of the brain are affected in different ways.

Overall, during hypnotherapy, the brain produces alpha waves, which are the same waves as REM sleep. In deep hypnosis, the brain may relax into a state to produce theta waves.

There are also measurable changes in blood biochemistry and muscle reaction. Some studies have shown improvement in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep with hypnosis. It is only during the sleep paralysis (the medical term, not the nightmare version) of REM sleep that cells can regenerate.
[see Dr Stasha Gominak in Resources below]

Peer-Reviewed Clinical Studies on Hypnosis

PubMed is a free database of peer-reviewed (vetted by specialists in that field) articles published in journals indexed by the US National Library of Medicine.
Clinical studies on hypnosis or hypnotherapy in connection with many disorders, both emotional and physical can be found in this database.

A thorough search includes both British and American spellings [seeBritish/American spelling differences] and truncation [therap* = therapy or therapies or therapist].
I've complied a brief bibliography with abstracts from PubMed that may be of interest [Also see the Resource list below]: 

Download a brief Bibliography from a PubMed Search

The Mind-Body Connection

An analogy of your mind describes your conscious mind is the small part of your brain behind your forehead - the frontal cortex Your subconscious mind is in every other cell of your body.  Memories are held in all parts of your body. When you think of your mind as ALL of your body, not just your physical brain, it become easier to understand the connection of emotions to health This mind-body connection is basic to Oriental and Indian medicine.

In Western medicine, that belief was lost in the 1600s.  At the time of Galileo, when the Roman Catholic Church would execute heretics, anyone who dissected a body was considered a heretic. A medical-researcher philosopher, René Descartes, created a philosophical argument in the 1600s that changed history.

I THINK THEREFORE I AM  - cogito, ergo sum

Part of Descartes’ argument meant the mind/spirit is separate from the physical body.  So the Church could control the mind/spirit while allowing medical researchers to study the human body free of fear of execution. That paradigm shift allowed Western medicine to advance, but at the expense of believing the mind and body are separate.

FAQ Page, tab for Hypnosis - Q6: What is the history of hypnosis? (Mind/body connection)

Hatfield, Gary, "René Descartes", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)Damasio, Antonio R. 2005. Descartes' error: emotion, reason, and the human brain.

There are many recent books and speakers on the mind-body connection, including Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr Joe Dispenza and Dr. David R. Hamilton


I occasionally post new studies on my FB page:

New You with Dorothy Drew

"Hypnosis improves procedural pain and emotional distress and reduces medication consumption up to 40% —in short, if hypnosis were a drug, it would be standard of care. Internists should prescribe hypnosis particularly when it outperforms the current standard of care by safety and efficacy, as in the case of opioids and sedatives"

Kittle J, Spiegel D. Hypnosis: The Most Effective Treatment You Have Yet to Prescribe. Am J Med. 2021 Mar; 134(3):304-305. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.10.010 Epub 2020 Nov 8. PMID: 33171103.

This article by Vanhaudenhuyse is a complex, technical article that reviews studies on hypnosis and the brain.  It explains some of the studies that have been done to measure the effect of hypnosis on the function of the brain.

Vanhaudenhuyse A, Laureys S, Faymonville ME. Neurophysiology of hypnosis. Neurophysiol Clin. 2014 Oct;44(4):343-53. doi:10.1016/j.neucli.2013.09.006. Epub 2013 Oct29.

Textbooks also provide information on the history and clinical studies of hypnosis.

“As I did literature reviews and read many papers in preparation for the fourth edition of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy with Children, I was fascinated by the fact that we were able to review absolutely all papers about children and hypnosis available when preparing the previous three editions.  That is no longer the case.  This is good news”

Kohen DP and Olnes, K.  2011.  Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy with Children, 4th ed.  New York: Routledge p. vii (Note to FourthEdition)

Books about hypnosis and hypnotherapy can be found in a group in Goodreads:

Mind-Body Connection
Books by Marisa Peer

I highly recommend Marisa Peer's book I am Enough: Mark your Mirror and Change your Life to all new clients.

Dr. Stasha Gominak speaks frequently about her clinical observations about sleep, and the essential sleep paralysis that is the only time our cells can heal, and when children grow.

This process begins with you.
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Contact NEW YOU with Dorothy Drew to schedule your Hypnotherapy Strategy Session to set a plan for your success.