Wellness Institute Blog

Does Hypnotherapy Work? The American Medical Association (and More) Say “Yes.”

Posted by Jesse Hartman  Jan 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

One of the top questions we’re asked at The Wellness Institute is, “Does hypnotherapy work?” With more than 30 years’ educational experience offering hypnotherapy training to masters- and PhD-level students, we know it does.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Many world-renowned medical and psychological organizations have endorsed hypnotherapy again and again as a credible, effective treatment. Beginning in the late 19th century and continuing through today, the chorus of supporters for this heart-centered therapy continues to grow.

Here’s what some of those associations are saying.

British Medical Association

The British Medical Association was among the first professional organizations to investigate hypnotherapy as a potential treatment. In 1892 (you heard that right...1892!), the association released the findings of a committee of nine doctors who had performed experiments involving hypnosis. That committee found that hypnotism “is frequently effective in relieving pain, procuring sleep, and alleviating many functional ailments.”

But despite their endorsement, medical professionals continued to dismiss hypnosis until the mid-20th century. Despite the use of hypnosis in comedy stage shows, clinical hypnosis was quietly becoming more and more commonly used behind closed doors by medical and psychological professionals.

In 1955, the BMA’s Psychological Medicine Group convened to ask itself the same question: “Does hypnotherapy work?” And once again, the 1892 committee findings were confirmed.

Two years later, their final paper was published in the British Medical Journal, one of the United Kingdom’s most established publications for the medical field. They published a paper titled “The Medical Use of Hypnotism” in June 1957, whose introduction read as follows:

If there is a future for an objectively oriented training in psychotherapy, hypnosis might well play a useful though by no means exclusive part. … It is on the whole a method which leaves few scars and makes no fundamental change in the personality that would not have occurred in the course of individual development. In responsible hands it is a safe method of treatment which can be combined with others and seems rarely to prejudice their use later in other hands.

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Topics: hypnotherapy, does hypnotherapy work?