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Hypnotherapy

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Updated December 26, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition:

Hypnotherapy is a mind-body treatment involving hypnosis. A practitioner induces a state of extreme relaxation and then uses the power of suggestion to trigger changes in the brain. These changes are believed to have a real impact on your physical and mental health.

Hypnotherapy is probably best known for helping people lose weight or quit smoking, but it's also commonly used to treat things like phobias, anxiety, high blood pressure, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome.

Some research has shown that hypnotherapy may be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia. Studies show that it may improve multiple symptoms, including:

One study showed that hypnosis may enhance the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy.

However, a review of studies determined that some research was poorly designed and recommended further studies of higher quality.

Learn more about mind-body treatments for fibromyalgia: Biofeedback, Hypnosis & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Sources:

Bernardy K, et al. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 2011 Jun 15;12:133. Efficacy of hypnosis/guided imagery in fibromyalgia syndrome—a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials.

Castel A, et al. Journal of pain. 2012 Mar;13(3):255-65. Muticomponent cognitive-behavioral group therapy with hypnosis for the treatment of fibromyalgia: long-term outcome.

Goldenberg, Don L. "Treatment of Fibromyalgia in Adults". UpToDate. Accessed: January 2009.

Picard P, et al. International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis. 2013 Jan;61(1):111-23. Hypnosis for management of fibromyalgia.

Also Known As: Medical hypnosis
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