The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below. Acne, aging, agoraphobia, alertness, Alzheimer's disease, amenorrhea, amnesia, anticoagulation (blood thinning), arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bleeding, blindness, blisters, breast enhancement, bruises, cancer, cerebral palsy, chronic diarrhea, chronic dyspnea (shortness of breath), chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain (in older adults), concentration enhancement, confidence boosting, congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma (skin disorder), constipation, cystic fibrosis, diabetes mellitus, diagnostic procedure (forensics), dissociative identity disorder (DID), driving performance, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), dyspareunia (pain with intercourse), endurance, enhanced immune function, enhanced vision, fear of flying, gag reflex, gastritis, gastrointestinal disorders (functional abdominal pain syndrome), gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux), gout, Graves' disease, grief, heart disease, hemolytic anemia, HIV/AIDS, Huntington's chorea/disease, hyperreflexic bladder, increased strength, infections, ischemic heart disease, lactation stimulation, law enforcement (recalling repressed memories), life transition support, memory enhancement, Ménière's disease, menstrual cramps, migraine, motivation, movement disorders, multiple personality disorder, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasm, musculoskeletal disorders, myasthenia gravis, nail biting, narcolepsy, neurodermatitis, neurological problems (periodic leg syndrome), oral hygiene, pain (heat detection/pain threshold), panic disorder, paralysis, Parkinson's disease, paruresis (psychogenic urinary retention), pemphigus vulgaris (a skin disorder), personality development, phobias, postherpetic neuralgia, postpartum care, postpartum depression, premenstrual syndrome, pruritus (itchiness), quality of life, Raynaud's disease, repressed memory recall, restless leg syndrome, restlessness, saliva production control, scoliosis, seizures (non-epileptic), self-esteem enhancement, sensory stimulation (sensory acuity), sleep terror disorder, speech disorders, stroke, study skill enhancement, stuttering (stammering), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), systemic lupus erythematosus, thumb sucking, tics, tongue biting, torticollis (neck spasms), trauma, trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling), tuberculosis, vaginismus (involuntary spasm of vaginal muscles).
Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
The safety of hypnotherapy has not been thoroughly studied. Practitioners sometimes discourage hypnosis in people with psychiatric illnesses such as psychosis/schizophrenia, manic depression, multiple personality disorder, or dissociative disorders, due to a proposed risk of exacerbation. Hypnosis is sometimes discouraged in people with seizure disorder, although study is lacking in this area. Disturbing memories may surface in those with post-traumatic stress disorder. It has been suggested that false memories (confabulation) may occur as a result of some types of hypnotherapy, although scientific research is limited in this area.
Hypnotherapy should not delay the time to diagnosis or treatment with more proven techniques or therapies and should not be used as the sole approach to illnesses.
This client information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): William Collinge (Collinge & Associates); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).