Public Therapy Research Evidence
LATEST MEDICAL RESEARCH RE CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPY PLUS ALSO CBT (COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY)
Below you will discover plenty of UK and world-wide published research, of Clinical Trials, plus also Clinical Studies of previous trials. Most of the evidence below relates to Clinical Hypnotherapy, however some also relates to the combination of Hypnotherapy and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). We have not included lots of research regarding CBT as this is already the most widely researched psychological therapy of all time, so CBT evidence is easy to find everywhere. This is why CBT is part of the UK's guidelines by N.I.C.E. as being a preferred psychological therapy to treat: depression, anxiety, panic, OCD, plus quite a few other symptoms and challenges. Here within our practice we combine CBT techniques with all our Clinical Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy. CBT can be effective at achieving long-term solutions, but Hypnotherapy can be effective at speeding up the therapy process saving client's time and money. Our experience proves that a combination of Clinical Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy and CBT speeds up results and saves our clients’ money. This approach is very important in private client-funded practice, saving you money and giving you much better cost-effectiveness.
Working with children, UK Hypnotherapy in Schools Programme (2014)
The following research information and data is from the CNHC Publication December 2014. CNHC registered hypnotherapist Caroline Dyson is the founder, director and lead clinical hypnotherapist for the Hypnotherapy in Schools Programme (HISP). The programme uses clinical hypnotherapy in educational settings to support the learning and general wellbeing of pupils and staff. HISP started in Coventry in early 2011 with a pilot project in a secondary school looking at using hypnotherapy to help pupils with exam anxiety. The results were so encouraging that the authority fully incorporated hypnotherapy as one of the many approaches that schools/colleges could choose to use with their pupils. Caroline, who has a background in teaching and local authority Behaviour Support Services, commented: “I set up the programme to try and make hypnotherapy accessible to a wide range of pupils and not just those whose parents could afford private sessions. I also wanted to help hypnotherapy become more ‘mainstream’ and accepted as an approach for children/young people, in line with other therapies such as counselling.” The programme developed and expanded so that just four years later, over 20 different schools (primary, secondary and special schools) have all chosen to use hypnotherapy, with many using it on a regular weekly basis. Caroline explained: “Some settings use hypnotherapy for individual pupils with specific issues such as anxiety/panic attacks, self-esteem/confidence, phobias, sleeping difficulties or pain control. Some use it on a group basis, for examples, for pupils experiencing significant anxiety around taking exams or assessments”. An evaluation held in December 2014 indicates that 74% of pupils achieved or exceeded at least one of their targets while 93% of pupils achieved at least ¾ progressions towards one or more of their targets. Some pupils were able to significantly reduce medication (with proper medical advice) or pass exams they had previously been too anxious to even attend. HISP is now being used by schools in other authorities and Caroline is training CNHC registered hypnotherapists to become HISP Practitioners so that this approach can be used across the country. Caroline commented: “CNHC registration is important to me as it ensures that a good standard of training must have been achieved and saves me checking each individual hypnotherapy training school/college course content and requirements.”
Breast Cancer Recovery, Saint-Luc University Hospital Brussels (2014)
It is official - according to a report in today’s Daily Mail newspaper (December 11th 2014), women undergoing surgery for breast cancer recover more quickly when hypnosis is used beforehand. These patients spend less time in hospital and if they need chemotherapy afterwards they will have fewer side-effects. The process works by having the anaesthetist talk gently to them before a local anaesthetic is administered. Women who do not have hypnotherapy and are given general anaesthetics take longer to recover and experience more unwanted side effects. At the Clinique’s Universitaires Saint-Luc hospital in Brussels, doctors claim that due to the success of hypnosis a fifth of their patients will now be given hypnotherapy. Research that was presented in Texas at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium compared 110 women who had been given hypnosis with the same number who had standard surgery and the result was that the hypnotized patient’s recovery time in hospital was reduced by more than 24 hours. A third of these who went on to have chemotherapy or radiotherapy experienced less severe nausea and fatigue than the group who had standard surgery. The hospital researcher, Dr Martine Berliere stated that the hypnotized patients were much more positive regarding their discharge from hospital and this is attributed to the possibility that hypnosis can boost the immune system.
Tinnitus, Berlin University of Medicine (2006)
Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) in Germany includes not only directive counselling and sound therapy but also stress management and facultative psychotherapeutic treatment. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of this modified version of TRT on certain tinnitus-related aspects of distress and variables that may predict treatment outcome. Clinical data from 92 patients undergoing outpatient TRT in the Charite Tinnitus Centre were evaluated retrospectively over 1 year. Treatment outcome was defined by changes in specific areas of tinnitus-related distress and assessed by the Tinnitus Questionnaire. Changes in audiometric frequency and loudness of tinnitus were examined by regular audiometric testing. The overall Tinnitus Questionnaire score was significantly reduced after 1 year. Severely affected tinnitus sufferers (decompensated tinnitus) profited more than less affected patients (compensated tinnitus). In cases of indicated psychotherapy, improvement was significant for the patients who took advantage of psychotherapeutic treatment during TRT but was not significant for those who interrupted or dismissed an indicated psychotherapy. Changes in tinnitus-specific areas of distress were most pronounced in the scales for emotional and cognitive distress and intrusiveness. Significant changes in sleep disturbances, auditory perceptual difficulties and somatic complaints were observed in patients with decompensated tinnitus. In patients with chronic tinnitus, modified TRT may lead to significant subjective improvement in certain tinnitus-related symptoms like emotional and cognitive distress and intrusiveness. Particularly patients suffering from severe tinnitus distress take advantage of therapy. Careful psychotherapeutic diagnostics and therapies and, if necessary, motivation to make use of psychotherapy seem to be essential preconditions for therapeutic success in patients with severe psychosomatic comorbidity.
Weight Loss, Connecticut University USA (2005)
An in-depth detailed study of Weight Loss / Weight Management from the Connecticut University analysed 18 separate clinical trials comparing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self-monitoring or goal setting with the same therapy plus also Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy. Those receiving also Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy lost more weight than 90 percent of the non-hypnosis, and still maintained the Weight Loss even 2 years after the treatment clinical trials ended.
Anxiety, Smoking, Pain, Konstanz University (2003)
A meta-analysis is formed from experts making conclusions, by comparing & combining many different earlier trials. In 2003, perhaps the most recent meta-analysis of the efficacy of hypnotherapy was published by two researchers from the University of Konstanz in Germany, Flammer and Bongartz. The study examined data on the efficacy of hypnotherapy across the board, though studies included mainly related to psychosomatic illness, test anxiety, smoking cessation and pain control during orthodox medical treatment. Most of the better research studies used traditional-style hypnosis, only a minority (19%) employed Ericksonian hypnosis. The authors considered a total of 444 studies on hypnotherapy published prior to 2002. By selecting the best quality and most suitable research designs for meta-analysis they narrowed their focus down to 57 controlled trials. These showed that on average hypnotherapy achieved at least 64% success compared to 37% improvement among untreated control groups. (Based on the figures produced by binomial effect size display or BESD). According to the authors this was an intentional underestimation. Their professed aim was to discover whether, even under the most sceptical weighing of the evidence, hypnotherapy was still proven effective. They showed conclusively that it was. In fact, their analysis of treatment designs concluded that expansion of the meta-analysis to include non-randomized trials for this data base would also produce reliable results. When all 133 studies deemed suitable in light of this consideration were re-analysed, providing data for over 6,000 patients, the findings suggest an average improvement in 27% of untreated patients over the term of the studies compared with a 74% success rate among those receiving hypnotherapy. This is a high success rate given the fact that many of the studies measured included the treatment of addictions and medical conditions. The outcome rates for anxiety disorders alone, traditionally hypnotherapy's strongest application, were higher still.
Board of British Psychological Society, UK (2001)
The Professional Affairs Board of the British Psychological Society (BPS) commissioned a group of expert psychologists to publish a report: 'The Nature of Hypnosis'. Its aim was 'to provide a considered statement about hypnosis and important issues concerning its application and practice in the following contexts: clinical purposes, forensic investigation, academic research, entertainment and training.’ The report provides a sharp 20-page summary of the current scientific research on hypnosis, opening with the following introductory remarks: ''Hypnosis is a valid subject for scientific study and research and a proven therapeutic medium. With regard to the therapeutic uses of hypnosis, the BPS arrives at much more positive conclusions. Enough studies have now accumulated to suggest that the inclusion of hypnotic procedures may be beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy''. The working party then provided an overview of some of the most important contemporary research on the efficacy of clinical hypnotherapy, which is summarized as follows: ''There is convincing evidence that hypnotic procedures are effective in the management and relief of both acute and chronic pain and in assisting in the alleviation of pain, discomfort and distress due to medical and dental procedures and childbirth. Hypnosis and the practice of self-hypnosis may significantly reduce general anxiety, tension and stress in a manner similar to other relaxation and self-regulation procedures. Likewise, hypnotic treatment may assist in insomnia in the same way as other relaxation methods. There is encouraging evidence demonstrating the beneficial effects of hypnotherapeutic procedures in alleviating the symptoms of a range of complaints that fall under the heading 'psychosomatic illness. These include tension headaches and migraine; asthma; gastro-intestinal complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome, warts and possibly other skin complaints such as eczema, psoriasis and urticarial. There is evidence from several studies that its inclusion in a weight reduction program may significantly enhance outcome."
Stress & Immune System, Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, (2001)
Many well-published studies around the world concluded that periods of Anxiety or Stress can severely hinder the body's immune system. Now notable Researchers say people may be able to fight back with the stress-relieving techniques of Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy. Researchers analysed 33 medical and dental students during relatively low-stress periods then around the time of the first major exam. The investigators found that during exam time, the Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy students launched Stronger Immune Responses compared with students who did not learn the Stress-Reducing technique. And the more often students practiced the anxiety and relaxation strategy the stronger their immune response.
De-Stress, Relax and Live Longer with Cancer, Hull University (2001)
It was discovered that patients with Hodgkin's Disease or Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (Cancers) live longer if they receive anxiety-relieving relaxation with Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy treatment along with standard chemotherapy alone. Leslie Walker of Hull University studied 63 patients with newly diagnosed Cancers, all of whom were receiving Chemotherapy and standard Anti-Nausea drugs. "We found that the patients who had received relaxation with Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy lived significantly longer," he says.
Anxiety, Panic, Pain, Nausea, Sleep, The British Medical Journal, UK (1999)
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a Clinical Review of current medical research on hypnotherapy and relaxation therapies, it concludes: ''There is strong evidence from randomised trials of the effectiveness of hypnosis and relaxation for cancer related anxiety, pain, nausea, and vomiting, particularly in children. They are also effective for panic disorders and insomnia, particularly when integrated into a package of cognitive therapy (including, for example, sleep hygiene). A systematic review has found that hypnosis enhances the effects of cognitive behavioural therapy for conditions such as phobia, obesity, and anxiety. Randomized controlled trials support the use of various relaxation techniques for treating both acute and chronic pain. Randomized trials have shown hypnosis to be of value in asthma and in irritable bowel syndrome. Some practitioners claim that relaxation techniques particularly the use of imagery, can prolong life. There is currently insufficient evidence to support this claim."
Increased Healing of Bone Fractures, Harvard Medical School (1999)
Research on the use of Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy to enhance physical healing. One group had individual Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy sessions and listened to Self-Hypnosis audio tapes designed to increase Bone Healing, the other group did not have this. The results clearly showed a much faster healing for the Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy group. The group who had the benefit of receiving Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy also had much better Mobility and used far less pain killers.
Chronic Pain and Insomnia, National Institute of Health (1999)
An expert panel assembled by the National Institutes of Health found that the use of Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy, Biofeedback, Meditation, and other behavioural therapies should be used more widely for the treatment of Chronic Pain and Insomnia (Sleep Problems). Further, the panel said those therapies should be reimbursed by health insurance along with standard medical care.
Tinnitus, Uppsala University, Sweden (1998)
Meta-analysis is a technique of combining results from different trials in order to obtain estimates of effects across studies. Meta-analysis has, as yet, rarely been used in audiological research. The aim of this paper was to conduct a meta-analysis on psychological treatment of tinnitus. The outcomes of 18 studies, including a total of 24 samples and up to 700 subjects, were included and coded. Included were studies on cognitive/cognitive-behavioural treatment, relaxation, hypnosis, biofeedback, educational sessions and problem-solving. Effect sizes for perceived tinnitus loudness, annoyance, negative affect (e.g. depression) and sleep problems were calculated for randomized controlled studies, pre-post-treatment design studies and follow-up results. Results showed strong to moderate effects on tinnitus annoyance for controlled studies (d = 0.86), pre-post designs (d = 0.5) and at follow-up (d = 0.48). Results on tinnitus loudness were weaker and disappeared at follow-up. Lower effect sizes were also obtained for measures of negative affect and sleep problems. Exploratory analyses revealed that cognitive-behavioural treatments were more effective on ratings of annoyance in the controlled studies. It is concluded that psychological treatment for tinnitus is effective, but that aspects such as depression and sleep problems may need to be targeted in future studies.
Preparing for Surgery, Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery (1997)
A controlled study of 32 Coronary Bypass (Heart Surgery) patients showed that those taught self-Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy pre-operatively, were much more relaxed after surgery and had far less need for pain medication.
Erectile Dysfunction, British Journal of Urology, UK (1996)
A detailed controlled study of 79 men with Impotence (difficulty maintaining an erection) from no known organic cause, only Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy proved more effective than a placebo (empty tablet), boosting sexual function by 80%.
Tinnitus, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta 30912, USA (1996)
One out of every five individuals experiences tinnitus. Tinnitus is the tenth most common presenting complaint among the elderly in primary care. Although tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, chronic noise exposure, and medications, its etiology frequently goes undetected. Diagnosis of subjective idiopathic tinnitus is established by a comprehensive health history, physical examination, and office and laboratory diagnostic assessments. Patients who suffer from this chronic symptom report a dwindling in their quality of life, primarily because of the annoyance factor associated with tinnitus. Activities of daily living are affected in proportion to the intensity of the tinnitus. Examples of non-pharmacologic management include hearing aids for those with hearing loss, hypnotherapy, counselling, and masking. A number of medications have demonstrated some efficacy in the treatment of tinnitus. Ultimately, the practitioner is concerned with helping the individual live with subjective idiopathic tinnitus by promoting self-care activities to improve both physical and mental-emotional health.
Tinnitus, European Journal of Clinical Hypnosis (1996)
Two comparing cohorts were assembled in order to judge the efficiency of therapy: The first cohort was composed of 30 patients (18 women and 12 men) with an average age of 49.6 + – 13.6 (from 26 up to 74 years). They had been suffering for 7.6 + – 5.4 years (from 1 to 25 years) from therapy-resistant tinnitus: (n=9 right-sided, n=17 left-sided and n=4 bilateral). Possible reasons were: N=10 acute deafness, n=3 acute deafness more than once (recurrent attacks of acute deafness), n=8 whiplash injuries of the cervical column, n=4 after head injury, n =2 otosclerosis and n=3 suspicion of local infection. This study is of pilot character and is meant to give an impulse to doctors, especially to neuro-otologists, otolaryngologists and neurologists, to study hypnotherapy in order to apply it to patients. Although the statistics for this controlled parallel group study show significant results, they should be judged only as “good trends”, because the control group was not interviewed all the time and the assessment of tinnitus intensity was carried out subjectively. Objective measurements (e.g. synthesiser technique) should be included in future. The author believes hypnotherapy in groups should be funded by insurance companies and that psychoanalysis is not useful in the therapy of neuro-otological diseases.
Tinnitus, Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, UK (1996)
In this study we prospectively analysed 41 patients, 15 females and 26 males with a mean age of 54, who underwent three sessions of client-centred hypnotherapy for their tinnitus. Of these patients, 28 (68%) showed some benefit for their tinnitus 3 months after completing their hypnosis, and 13 (32%) showed no evidence of improvement for their tinnitus. Hearing loss was associated with a non-beneficial outcome for tinnitus treated with hypnotherapy. Of the non-beneficial group, 46% had a hearing loss of 30 db or more in their better-hearing ear compared to less than 15% in the beneficial group, a significant difference (X2 = 6.34, df = 1, p < 0.02). Client-centred hypnotherapy can be offered to anyone who wants to have therapy for their tinnitus; in those with significant hearing loss the benefit may be less. Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 1996 Mar-Apr;46(3-4):147-52.
Tinnitus, Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, UK (1995)
The aim of this study was to assess whether Client Centred Hypnotherapy (CCH) which required three sessions with a trained Hypnotherapist was superior to a single counselling session in reducing the impact of tinnitus. Patients were randomly allocated to receive either counselling (n = 42) or CCH (n = 44). The outcome measures were: tinnitus loudness match, subjective tinnitus symptom severity score, trend of linear analogue scale, request for further therapy and whether the patient had an impression of improvement in their tinnitus after treatment. CCH was no better than counselling in reducing the impact of tinnitus using the three quantative measures of tinnitus, and requests for further follow up. The only significant difference between the two therapies was that 20 (45.5 per cent) of the CCH group reported a general sense of improvement compared to six (14.3 per cent) in the counselling group, this is significant p < 0.01. The study did not demonstrate whether this was a genuine hypnotic effect or simply a response to the additional attention from the therapist.
Tinnitus, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis (1995)
Forty-two patients, suffering from chronic tinnitus, participated in our psychological orientated treatment consisting of hypnosis relaxation therapy with autogenic training according to J. H. Schultz. The results of individual therapy are compared with group therapy. Using visual analogy scales the therapeutical efficiency can be tested. The individual estimated loudness and annoyance of tinnitus are registered as well as a general emotional status. The results show a positive short-time effect in most cases. A reduction of tinnitus loudness and annoyance after individual and group therapy is seen directly. A positive effect throughout the whole treatment is only found in individual therapy. Concerning the group therapy, many of our patients reported an increase of the pre-therapeutical estimation of tinnitus loudness and -annoyance. We believe that the permanent confrontation with the tinnitus problem may advance the psychological conflict in many cases. Therefore psychological management of tinnitus should be concentrated on a temporary limited support aiming to the neglect of tinnitus sensation.
Pain and Insomnia, The National Institute for Health, USA (1995)
The National Institute for Health (NIH), in the US, established a Technology Assessment Conference that compiled an official statement entitled "Integration of Behavioural & Relaxation Approaches into the Treatment of Chronic Pain & Insomnia". This is an extensive report that includes a statement on the existing research in relation to hypnotherapy for chronic pain. It concludes that: 'The evidence supporting the effectiveness of hypnosis in alleviating chronic pain associated with cancer seems strong. In addition, the panel was presented with other data suggesting the effectiveness of hypnosis in other chronic pain conditions, which include irritable bowel syndrome, oral mucositis [pain and swelling of the mucus membrane], temporomandibular disorders [jaw pain], and tension headaches'.
Tinnitus, Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, UK (1994)
In this study we prospectively analysed 41 patients, 15 females and 26 males with a mean age of 54, who underwent three sessions of client-centred hypnotherapy for their tinnitus. Of these patients, 28 (68%) showed some benefit for their tinnitus 3 months after completing their hypnosis, and 13 (32%) showed no evidence of improvement for their tinnitus. Hearing loss was associated with a non-beneficial outcome for tinnitus treated with hypnotherapy. Of the non-beneficial group, 46% had a hearing loss of 30 db or more in their better-hearing ear compared to less than 15% in the beneficial group, a significant difference (X2 = 6.34, df = 1, p < 0.02). Client-centred hypnotherapy can be offered to anyone who wants to have therapy for their tinnitus; in those with significant hearing loss the benefit may be less.
Tinnitus, Sheba Medical Centre, Tel Aviv (1993)
The efficacy of self-hypnosis (SH), masking (MA) and attentiveness to the patient's complaints (AT) in the alleviation of tinnitus was evaluated. Forty-five male patients close in age with chronic tinnitus related to acoustic trauma were assigned to three matched subgroups: SH, AT or MA. The therapeutic hypnosis stimuli in the SH and MA sessions, recorded on audio cassettes, were given to the patients for use when needed. Self-hypnosis significantly reduced the tinnitus severity; Attentiveness partially relieved the tinnitus; Masking did not have any significant effect.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), The Lancet, UK (1992)
A supervised British study of 18 adults with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) published in The Lancet (UK), found that Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy "strikingly" reduced colonic motility, thus decreasing diarrhoea, cramping and the severe and continuous abdominal discomfort felt by sufferers.
Tinnitus, American Journal Clinical Hypnosis (1991)
A group of 14 patients with unilateral tinnitus were selected because of the constant nature of their tinnitus, and its resistance to all other forms of therapy. They were subjected to hypnosis in three forms in random order. The induction of a trance state alone formed the control arm of the trial. Compared to this were the effects of 'ego boosting' and active suppression of tinnitus whilst in a trance state. One of the 14 patients showed a highly significant response to the latter treatment as judged by visual analogue scales. Five of the 14 patients (36%) found the induction of a hypnotic state of value. This seemed to help them tolerate their tinnitus better, although its loudness and quality were unaltered.
Anxiety, Tinnitus, Depression, Scandinavian Audiology (1990)
Client-therapist collaboration in the preparation of hypnosis interventions: case illustrations Cochrane GJ. Therapists can use hypnosis in a variety of situations to help clients utilize their own resources effectively. In both hetero-hypnosis and tape-assisted self-hypnosis, the respectful collaboration of therapist and client in the development of specific intervention strategies can be effective. I have described four cases to illustrate the collaborative aspect of hetero-hypnosis in a surgical setting and tape-assisted self-hypnosis for anxiety, tinnitus, and situational depression. In each case the clients were willing and able participants.
The American Medical Association, USA (1958)
A report was commissioned which endorsed the 1955 BMA's report (UK) and concludes, ''That the use of hypnosis has a recognized place in the medical armamentarium and is a useful technique in the treatment of certain illnesses when employed by qualified medical and dental personnel.'' The AMA approved this report rendering hypnotherapy an orthodox treatment, The Committee are of opinion that as a therapeutic agent hypnotism is frequently effective in relieving pain, procuring sleep, and alleviating many functional ailments [i.e., psycho-somatic complaints and anxiety disorders]. This report was approved by the general council of the BMA, thereby forming BMA policy and rendering hypnotherapy a form of "orthodox", as opposed to complementary or alternative, medicine. Subsequent research on hypnotherapy tended to highlight 4 main areas in which its efficacy as a treatment has been demonstrated being: (1) Anxiety, (2) Insomnia, (3) Pain Management, (4) Psycho-somatic disorders, i.e. stress-related illness.
Medical Use of Hypnosis, The British Medical Association, UK (1955)
The Psychological Medicine Group of the BMA commissioned a Subcommittee, to deliver a second, and more comprehensive, report on hypnosis. The Subcommittee consulted several experts on hypnosis from various fields, including the eminent neurologist Prof. W. Russell Brain, and the psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion. After two years of detailed study and clinical research, its final report was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), under the title ‘Medical use of Hypnotism’. The terms of reference were: To consider the uses of hypnotism, its relation to medical practice in the present day, the advisability of giving encouragement to research into its nature and application, and the lines upon which such research might be organized. This is a much more thorough and extensive report, and constitutes one of the most significant documents in the history of hypnotherapy research. With regard to efficacy, it concludes from a systematic review of available research that, The Subcommittee is satisfied after consideration of the available evidence that hypnotism is of value and may be the treatment of choice in some cases of so-called psycho-somatic disorder and psychoneurosis. It may also be of value for revealing unrecognized motives and conflicts in such conditions. As a treatment, in the opinion of the Subcommittee it has proved its ability to remove symptoms and to alter morbid habits of thought and behaviour. In addition to the treatment of psychiatric disabilities, there is a place for hypnotism in the production of anaesthesia or analgesia for surgical and dental operations, and in suitable subjects it is an effective method of relieving pain in childbirth without altering normal childbirth. According to a statement of proceedings published elsewhere in the same edition of the BMJ, the report was officially ‘approved at last week’s Council meeting of the British Medical Association.’ (BMA Council Proceedings, BMJ, April 23, 1955:1019). In other words, it was approved as official BMA policy. This statement goes on to say that, for the past hundred years there has been an abundance of evidence that psychological and physiological changes could be produced by hypnotism which were worth study on their own account, and also that such changes might be of great service in the treatment of patients.