Waco, Texas, U.S—New research by Baylor University reveals benefits of mindful hypnotherapy for stress.
Research conducted by Baylor University in Waco, Texas and published by International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, shows positive results of using mindful hypnotherapy for stress.
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing the mind on the present moment without judgment. Researcher Gary Elkins, Ph.D. [director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory, Baylor University] says “It can help people cope with stress, but can require months of practice and training.”
Hypnotherapy is a “type of alternative medicine in which hypnosis is used to create a state of focused attention and increased suggestibility during which positive suggestions and guided imagery are used to help individuals deal with a variety of concerns and issues.” [Source: Wikipedia].
As you can tell, there are numerous similarities between mindfulness and hypnotherapy. And according to Baylor University research, both practices can be used together successfully. “Combining mindfulness and hypnotherapy in a single session is a novel intervention that may be equal to or better than existing treatments, with the advantage of being more time-effective, less daunting and easier to use,” said Elkins, who sees the first applications of mindful-hypnotherapy being the treatment of stress and anxiety.
Elkins states that even though there is research showing the mindfulness can help with stress and anxiety, it usually takes up to eight weekly two hours sessions to see real results. Elkins states that many people cannot afford the necessary 24 hours of mindfulness therapy, either financially or in terms of time.
The Research into Mindful Hypnotherapy
Baylor University researchers recruited 42 individuals with self-reported high levels of stress. They gave them an hour of mindful-hypnotherapy per week (the hypnotherapy was used as a way to train the participants to be more mindful). Participants were given recordings that used hypnosis to promote relaxation and mindfulness. A second group did not receive this intervention.
The intervention focused on the following elements:
- Nonjudgmental awareness
- Sensory awareness
- Mindfulness of thoughts and feelings
- Self hypnosis
- Awareness of personal values
- Meaning in life
At the end of the intervention period, the group who had had the mindful-hypnotherapy intervention reported greater levels of mindfulness and less stress. The majority also reported being overall pleased with the intervention, and most practiced mindful hypnotherapy every day.
The group who did not receive the mindful hypnotherapy intervention reported no significant changes. The researchers state that to validate the research it would need to be repeated on a larger scale.