Hypnotherapy � 1990s, Medical Research and Findings

In 1995, the US National Institute for Health (NIH) established a Technology Assessment Conference that compiled an official statement entitled "Integration of Behavioral & 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. (NIH, 1995)

In 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 randomized trials of the effectiveness of hypnosis and relaxation for cancer related anxiety, pain, nausea, and vomiting, [side effects of chemotherapy] 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 behavioral therapy for conditions such as trauma, fear, 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 also claim that relaxation techniques, particularly the use of imagery, can prolong life. There is currently insufficient evidence to support this claim."