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Pubmed-Hypnotherapy as a medical treatment: Evidence-based or pseudoscience?

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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2024 Feb 12;55:101841. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2024.101841. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Hypnotherapy continues to be a controversial practice in medicine. It is surrounded by myth and misuses that instill doubts about its legitimacy and usefulness.

PURPOSE: In this paper, we will distinguish pseudoscientific claims from evidence-based uses of hypnotherapy.

RESULTS: The use and acceptability of hypnotherapy has varied over history. Pseudoscientific uses, based on outdated theories that it can access the unconscious mind, have delegitimized hypnotherapy. Modern theories that hypnosis uses common social, emotional, and cognitive processes combined with evidence-based methods have re-established the use of hypnotherapy in many physical and mental health disorders and symptoms. Currently it is a widely accepted and recommended treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, with evidence building for many other applications.

CONCLUSION: Hypnotherapy, as a pseudoscience, can become unethical and cause distress for the patient and their families. Hypnotherapy, as an evidence-based treatment, can be used as a powerful tool to treat physical and psychological symptoms related to medical ailments.

PMID:38387324 | DOI:10.1016/j.ctcp.2024.101841

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