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Originally published September 18 2008

The Effects of Hypnosis on Gastric Acid Secretion and the Central Nervous System

by Steve G. Jones, Ed.S.

(NaturalNews) Hypnosis has been found to be beneficial as a treatment or in conjunction with other treatment in many illnesses from irritable bowel syndrome and pain relief, to post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. Many studies have been performed on patients suffering from pain and results have shown that hypnosis plays a role in helping people reduce pain. The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord and controls the body.

In the journal Gastroenterology, two studies were performed using hypnosis and the effects it had on gastric acid secretion were measured. The first study performed was to stimulate gastric acid with hypnosis. At the start of the study, all participants had their baseline gastric acid level measured so that there was a number for comparison. Each participant was then hypnotized and under hypnosis, they were told to picture themselves eating many satisfying meals. After the hypnosis, their acid level was measured again and it increased by 89%.

The second study also consisted of healthy volunteers. The participants each had two random sessions with the researchers. In one session, they received no hypnosis at all. In the other session, under hypnosis they were told to focus their attention away from hunger and were suggested to become deeply relaxed. Their acid levels were measured after each session and researchers found that the average gastric acid level after the hypnosis group was 39% lower compared to the level after no hypnosis was received.

The first study showed that with specific suggestions involving food, gastric acid levels can be stimulated and increased with hypnosis. The second study suggests that invoking relaxation and steering thoughts away from hunger can inhibit production of acid. Levels of gastric acid in the body are controlled by the central nervous system. These studies showed there is much to be gained through further study of the influence hypnosis has on the central nervous system.


Gastroenterology. 1989 Jun; 96(6):1383-7.

About the author

Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980s. He is the author of 22 books on Hypnotherapy. Steve is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, president of the American Alliance of Hypnotists, on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association, and director of the Steve G. Jones School of Clinical Hypnotherapy.
Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. is a board certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Florida (1994), a master's degree in education from Armstrong Atlantic State University (2007), and is currently working on a doctorate in education, Ed.D., at Georgia Southern University. Learn more at:

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