Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Hypnotherapy

By

Denise Millstine

, MD, Mayo Clinic

Medically Reviewed Oct 2021 | Modified Sep 2022
View Patient Education

Hypnotherapy, a type of mind-body medicine Mind-Body Medicine Five categories of complementary or alternative medicine are generally recognized: Whole medical systems Mind-body medicine Biologically based practices not usually used in conventional medicine... read more , is derived from western psychotherapeutic practice. Patients are put into an advanced state of relaxation and focused concentration to help them improve their health. They become absorbed and are relatively distracted from but not unconscious of their surroundings and the experiences they are undergoing. Some patients learn to hypnotize themselves.

Uses for Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is used to treat pain syndromes, menopausal symptoms, phobias, and conversion disorders and has been used with some success to manage smoking cessation and weight loss. It can reduce pain and anxiety during medical procedures in adults and children. It may be useful in irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, asthma, and some skin disorders (eg, warts, psoriasis). It may help lower blood pressure.

Hypnotherapy helps control nausea and vomiting (particularly anticipatory) related to chemotherapy and is useful in palliative cancer care. Some evidence suggests that patients with cancer or chronic pain who are open to hypnotherapy and its effects are more likely to see improvement in anxiety and quality of life (1 Reference Hypnotherapy, a type of mind-body medicine, is derived from western psychotherapeutic practice. Patients are put into an advanced state of relaxation and focused concentration to help them improve... read more ).

Reference

  • 1. Thompson T, Terhune DB, Oram C, et al: The effectiveness of hypnosis for pain relief: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 85 controlled experimental trials. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 99:298-310, 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.02.013

View Patient Education
NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: View Consumer Version
quiz link

Test your knowledge

Take a Quiz! 
iOS ANDROID
iOS ANDROID
iOS ANDROID
TOP