James Braid who is regarded as the “Father of Modern Hypnotism” defined hypnosis as “a peculiar condition of the nervous system, induced by a fixed and abstracted attention of the mental and visual eye, on one object, not of an exciting nature.” Several theories have been proposed which explain how hypnotism works. According to the state theory, hypnosis is a mental state while non state theory considers hypnosis to be an imagined state, where one is actively engaged during the process of hypnosis. 
People are still unaware about it and often questions like “Does Hypnosis work?” and “How effective is hypnosis?” are the subject of several debates on the topic. 

Does Hypnosis Work and How Effective is Hypnosis? 

If hypnosis researchers are to be believed the answer to the question “Does Hypnosis work?” is YES and “How Effective is Hypnosis?” is VERY EFFECTIVE. 

Several hypnosis researches have proved the effectiveness of the technique. 

Hypnosis for Weight Loss 
The effectiveness of “hypnosis mediated weight loss” was the subject of a study done in the year 1985. For a period of 9 weeks, one out of the two weight loss groups was made to undergo hypnosis to test its efficacy. The results suggested that the group which underwent hypnosis made constant progress with their weight loss for 2 years while the other group had no further weight loss. 
In a research conducted the following year, 60 women were divided into two groups. Those who underwent hypnosis had a weight loss of 17 pounds as compared to only 0.5 pounds lost by the other group. 
Hypnosis for Pain Reduction 
Researchers at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the Technical University of Aachen, Germany, conducted a study to determine whether hypnosis can help reduce pain. Initially volunteers were administered painful heat by placing a heating device on their skin. The temperature that each could tolerate was then noted and rated on a scale of 0 to 10 where 8 emerged as the average rating. The group of volunteers was divided into two and both the groups underwent hypnosis but in different orders. The results were astonishing. All the volunteers experienced no or highly reduced pain when hypnosis was performed on them. 
Hypnosis and Healing 
Ginandes C.S., Rosenthal D.I. (1999). “Using Hypnosis to Accelerate the Healing of Bone Fractures”. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 5(2): 67-75. 
Ginandes and Daniel Rosenthal, professor of radiology at the Harvard Medical School, had published a report regarding the use of hypnosis to expedite the process of mending of broken bones. 12 people with broken ankles who had received general treatment at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston had volunteered to be a part of the experiment. They were divided into 2 groups and one group underwent hypnosis once every week for a period of twelve weeks while the other did not. The same doctor applied the casts and the same radiologist took the X-rays for both the groups. The radiologist who was assigned to monitor the progress of the concerned patients was unaware of the patients who underwent hypnosis. Six weeks later it was clear that those who underwent hypnosis had healed faster than the other group. Their recovery was similar to healing shown by the other group after a period of 8 and half weeks. 
Hypnosis is an effective and safe technique that can be used to help the masses in many ways. Hypnosis mediated weight loss and pain reduction are very popular. Hypnosis also aids in stress and anxiety management, confidence building, tackling phobias and much more. 
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