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Originally published July 14 2009

Hypnotherapy Plays Various Roles in Stress Management

by Steve G. Jones, Ed.S.

(NaturalNews) Hypnotherapy has long been useful in stress management. Hypnosis gives a person the ability to target their subconscious mind and control their psychological thoughts and feelings. Stress causes both psychological and physiological symptoms so it is important to get stress under control so that it does not have a negative impact in your life. Hypnosis has been shown to be very helpful in reducing various types of stress experienced by people.

A common type of stress people experience is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This occurs after a traumatic event; people tend to experience the frightening thoughts and feelings associated with the event, long after experiencing the event. Spiegel, Hunt, and Dondershine (1988) tested the effectiveness of hypnosis on Vietnam War veterans. The study included 65 veterans diagnosed with PTSD.

The researchers found that the participants were more hypnotizable compared to control subjects who did not have PTSD. This means that those who have PTSD are more suggestible and are more likely to benefit from hypnotherapy. The study showed that because PTSD symptoms involve dissociation and imagery, these patients are better able to use hypnosis to manage their stress.

Women who are pregnant are often under a great deal of stress. They are undergoing physical, psychological, and hormonal changes in their body. Stress also occurs from fear and anxiety about the health and delivery of the baby. They are also undergoing changes in social, occupational, and financial areas. Tiran and Chummun (2004) have shown that an alternative therapy such as hypnosis can greatly reduce the amount of stress pregnant women experience and thus reduce physiological symptoms of stress.

Enqvist, Von Konow, and Bystedt (2006) found that when preoperative hypnosis was used on patients before undergoing maxillofacial surgery they were able to use suggestion to reduce stress and anxiety. This resulted in reduced bleeding, swelling, and use of medication during and after the surgery. This study shows that reducing stress before surgery can have a profound effect on recovery after the surgery.

All three of these examples of stress come from different factors, but hypnotherapy can be used to reduce stress and thus reduce many psychological and physiological side effects. We have seen the negative impact of stress and it is important that we incorporate natural methods of treating stress so that negative psychological and physiological symptoms can be diminished and eliminated. These are just three examples of different ways hypnotherapy can help manage stress. More studies should be conducted to realize the full effect hypnosis has on stress.


Enqvist, B., Von Konow, O.L., & Bystedt, O.H. (2006). Stress reduction, preoperative hypnosis and perioperative suggestion in maxillofacial surgery: Somatic responses and recovery. Stress and Health, 11(1), 229-233.

Spiegel, D., Hunt, T., & Dondershine, H.E. (1988). Dissociation and hypnotizability in posttraumatic stress disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 145, 301-305.

Tiran D., & Chummun, H. (2004). Complementary therapies to reduce physiological stress in pregnancy. Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery, 10(3), 162-167.

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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