The Science of Hypnosis

Dear Friend,

Are you looking for help with Weight Loss, Quitting Smoking, Reducing Stress, Habit Control, Sports, or Performance Improvement? If so, you are in the right place. We specialize in utilizing the power of YOUR mind to help you achieve what used to feel impossible.

Hypnosis is among the most studied interventions in neuroscience – with over 12,000 peer-reviewed clinical research papers that demonstrate its profound, positive effects.

The earliest references date to the dawn of the Greek and Roman civilizations. Hypnosis was used as battlefield anesthesia, most notably during the U.S. Civil War.

Today, hypnosis is supported by renowned research institutions like the National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Clinic. It is safe and natural. It’s proven tool to resolve the concerns that lessen the quality of life for millions of people.

Numerous studies — covering everything from weight loss and smoking to pain control, stress management and accelerated learning — conclude that guided hypnosis is more effective and longer lasting than other methods to change behavior or responses to stress or pain.

Most people have questions about hypnosis. Hypnosis isn’t magic. It isn’t sleep. Real hypnosis isn’t much like you’ve seen it on TV or in the movies. You can’t be “made” to do anything, and you always have free will. You have to attend a free screening and demonstrate that you can pay attention and follow directions in order to be accepted as a client.


Most people have questions about hypnosis. Hypnosis isn’t magic. It isn’t sleep. Real hypnosis isn’t much like you’ve seen it on TV or in the movies. You can’t be “made” to do anything, and you always have free will. You have to attend a free screening and demonstrate that you can pay attention and follow directions in order to be accepted as a client.

Hypnosis is currently taught at many major medical schools including Harvard Medical School and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. All branches of the military, the secret service, and many law enforcement agencies have used hypnosis for decades. Hypnosis has been part of the healing arts since the 1800s. Olympic and professional athletes, and corporate executives use hypnosis and custom suggestions to sharpen their focus, increase self-confidence and overcome performance problems.

Hypnotists do not diagnose, treat or cure disease. A doctor of psychology treats psychological problems. A licensed counselor works with personal problems like marriage and family issues. A psychiatrist is an MD, can prescribe drugs and treats psychological conditions that require medical attention.

Hypnosis is not the practice of medicine or psychology. Hypnosis is the art and science of suggestion. Completely different, even though we frequently work closely with physician referral when requested.

Hypnotists have no need to diagnose, treat or cure disease. That’s because we don’t provide services for any psychological, medical condition or disease. In fact, being psychologically and medically sound is a prerequisite to participating in our programs.

Success using hypnosis assumes only that you lack a workable strategy to relax and achieve your goals. Hypnosis motivates and encourages you to overcome barriers and see your situation differently… maybe more differently than you ever have.


Mark Okopny

Master Hypnotist
Meridian Hypnosis

Call (208) 729-1111 for your Free Screening

Scientific Evidence of Hypnosis Success


Hypnosis has been accepted by the American Medical Association since 1958. Hypnosis has successfully been used for many years prior to that. I would invite you to go to the Topics page and read about specific issues of interest to you. Here are just a few of the statistics for the use of hypnosis:

Alfred Barrios PhD indicated the following statistics concerning effectiveness:

  • Psychoanalysis 35% recovery after 600 sessions
  • Behavior Therapy 72% recovery after 22 sessions
  • Hypnotherapy 93% recovery after 6 sessions

In 1995, a team of researchers from the University of Connecticut reviewed six weight loss studies that compared the effect of cognitive therapy-identifying eating triggers and defusing them with and without hypnosis. About 70% of the overweight people who got hypnosis lost more weight and kept it off longer than those who got only talk therapy.

In a 2002 look at 20 studies on hypnosis and surgical pain, Mount Sinai researchers found that adding hypnosis to standard post-surgical care sped recovery almost 90% of the time, in terms of levels of pain, anxiety and the need for painkillers.

Reported in the Los Angeles Times 1/5/2004: movie and TV actor Henry Polic II went to Marc Schoen of UCLA School of Medicine for treatment of a malignant skin cancer. Polic was also on a drug and radiation regimen that caused a paralyzing nausea, plus swelling blisters in his mouth so severe that he had trouble speaking and swallowing. It took a few sessions, but swelling dropped by about half and the blisters near the back of his throat disappeared.

The Wall Street Journal reports on 10/7/2003: numerous scientific studies have emerged in recent years showing that the hypnotized mind can exert a real and powerful effect on the body. The new findings are leading major hospitals to try hypnosis to help relieve pain and speed recovery in a variety of illnesses.

University of North Carolina is using hypnosis in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome by helping patients use their mind to quiet an unruly gut.

Doctors at the University of Washington’s regional burn center in Seattle regularly use it to help patients alleviate excruciating pain.

Several hospitals affiliated with Harvard Medical School are employing hypnosis to speed up post-surgical recovery time. In one of the most persuasive studies yet, a Harvard researcher reports that hypnosis quickened the typical healing time of bone fractures by several weeks.

“Hypnosis may sound like magic, but we are now producing evidence showing it can be significantly therapeutic”, say David Spiegel a Standard University psychologist.

In a randomized, controlled study published in the Journal of Rheumatology involved 40 patients with refractory fibromyalgia who were given treatment either with hypnotherapy or physical therapy for 12 weeks and then followed up 12 weeks later. The study showed that the patients who underwent hypnotherapy showed “a significant better outcome with respect to their pain experiences, fatigue on awakening, sleep patterns” and their overall assessments of their own conditions. The researchers concluded that “Hypnotherapy may be useful in relieving symptoms in patients with refractory fibromyalgia”.

Timothy Trujillo of Hypnosis Health Service has been awarded the UN Medal of Honor for his pioneering use of hypnotherapy in offsetting the symptoms of HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Ewin with Occupational Health Center indicates burns heal faster and healing time is cut up to 2/3 of normal period.
British Journal of Urology indicates erectile dysfunction was improved by 80%.

Some studies indicate that hypertensive patients may lower blood pressure by 80%….and 16% are able to discontinue medications.

Open heart surgery patients have fewer post operative complications as indicated by Behavioral Medicine 1989.

Insomnia patients reported improved sleep by 100% and 91% either eliminated or reduced sleeping medications.

Infertile women have a 41% conception rate per Journal of American Medical Women’s Association 1999.

PMS symptoms are reduced by 57% per Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1990.

Dr. Andrew Weil recommends hypnotherapy to alleviate pain, lessen the side effects of chemotherapy, alleviate symptoms of autoimmune disease, counter-act anxiety and sleep disorders, and get rid of warts. He says, “In general, I believe that no condition is out of bounds for trying hypnotherapy on.”

Athletes from Olympians to professionals to weekend warriors have found hypnotherapy is a great tool to focus and improve their performance. indicates that hypnosis is a non drug treatment now widely used to help manage cancer pain. This technique may be used alone or along with medicine. Some people find they can take a lower dose of medicine with such techniques. (Please keep in mind that Meridian Hypnosis strongly urges people to remain on their prescribed medical protocols and will require a referral from your physician. Any change in medication should be made between you and your physician.)

A 1995 consensus statement from the National Institutes of Health cited strong evidence that hypnosis can reduce chronic pain associated with cancer and other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and tension headaches.

American Psychotherapy & Medical Hypnosis Association Cochrane Review Abstracts, Oxford, 1999 reports: Hypnotherapy is a process by which a person, with the assistance of a trained hypnotherapist, has his/her subconscious mind opened to suggestion for the purpose of changing one or more behavior patterns. When the subconscious is spoken to directly, it may be possible to reprogram old behavior patterns and introduce new ideas and positive suggestions. These positive suggestions may then be used to help make the changes you desire.

Blue Cross of California, one of the state’s largest health care providers, breaks new ground with the launch of their new “Hypnotherapy Network” at The goal of the program is to introduce Blue Cross customers to the idea of using hypnotherapy to prevent illness by reducing stress, and to lead more productive and rewarding lives. Helping people to sleep better, to stop smoking, to be motivated to exercise and learn to release the tension of their job, those are just some of the ways they see Hypnotherapists helping Blue Cross customers develop healthier lifestyles.

In the June 21, 2001 issue of eMedicine Consumer Journal that medical hypnosis has been used to successfully reduce nausea and vomiting and that some people have also used self hypnosis to control their symptoms. Nausea and vomiting are normal in pregnancy. Up to 70% of all women get mild to moderate symptoms during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Hypnotherapy has been successfully employed with sleep disorders such as nightmares and anxiety associated with falling asleep as well as night terrors. There is general agreement that relaxation based approaches, including hypnosis, are “effective treatments of insomnia”, according to a 1996 National Institutes of Health Technology Assessment Panel report published in JAMA.

The Mayo Clinic reports on their web site: According to preliminary studies, hypnotherapy can be used to: Treat pain during childbirth and reduce labor time; control bleeding and pain during dental and surgical procedures; relieve cramping and other symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome; reduce blood pressure and regulate blood flow; enhance the body’s immune system and ability to fight infection; control nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy; reduce the intensity of frequency of migraine headaches in children and teenagers; treat and ease the symptoms of asthma; hasten the healing of some skin diseases; improve psoriasis and atopic dermatitis; change negative behaviors such as smoking, bedwetting and overeating; reduce fear, stress and anxiety; eliminate or decrease the intensity of phobias. 80% of patient visits to their doctors are stress related. Almost 60% of all employee absences from work are related to stress. The World Health Organization calls stress a global epidemic. Stress kills over 1 million people a year in the U.S. Heart disease and high blood pressure; suppression of the immune system; deaths from smoking; deaths from obesity. Stress is also a contributing factor in arthritis, herpes, fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraines, chronic pain, and infertility.

American Gastroenterological Association accepted hypnotherapy as a successful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome in 1996.

National Cancer Institute currently lists hypnotherapy as a method to manage cancer pain and studies have indicated that people involved in therapeutic support groups have better quality of life and may extend their survival rate.

Kaiser and Blue Shield endorse guided imagery for pre and post surgery to facilitate more rapid healing, reduce stress, and patients require less pain medication. Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery reports concur.

Dr. Rossman and Dr. Bresler, both of UCLA Pain Control Unit, endorse guided imagery as a way to reduce pain.

Hypnotherapy offers the highest success rate of approximately 75% for smoking cessation.

A Dateline NBC experiment on weight management indicates hypnotherapy was more successful than other methods.


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