Thanks to on-stage brainwashing sessions and movies featuring disgruntled workers taking a baseball bat to the printer (Office Space, anyone?), hypnosis has a rep for being little more than pure entertainment.
Not true. Hypnosis was birthed from the brains of psychologists and researchers, and while its story was sullied by decades of disrepute, it’s now making its way back into the mainstream.
The British Psychological Society has now officially declared hypnosis a proven therapeutic medium to curb stress, anxiety, pain, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraines. “Improvements from hypnosis can be as specific as eliminating erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, remaining committed to a workout plan, delivering a dynamic sales presentation—or as broad as improving motivation and increasing confidence,” said psychologist and certified hypnotherapist Marty Lerman, Ph.D., author of Mindshift.
And while it’s strongly linked to the psycho-sciences, hypnosis is gaining popularity in broader mind-body arenas as well. In fact, one Harvard study found that patients who underwent hypnosis during surgery had fewer complications and required shorter procedures and less post-op medication .
Meanwhile, celebrities including Matt Damon, Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi, and Fergie have all been cited as using hypnotherapy for one reason or another: to stop smoking, improve focus, and lose weight.