That depends upon what you mean by “science”. My understand of hypnosis is that it’s an interesting psychological phenomenon. Some people say that it involves putting the mind into an altered state so that you can talk to the unconscious directly. Others say that there is really no such thing as an “altered state”, and it’s merely a method of focusing the subject’s attention. I’m sure that it does have therapeutic uses.
Weird, they say:
science and hypnotherapy
One systematic review of studies on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome found that the effectiveness “is uncertain.”
But the link they offer of the study says this
To systematically review the literature evaluating hypnotherapy in the management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Electronic databases were searched (Cochrane Library, Medline, CINAHL, AMED, Embase, PsycINFO, CISCOM, TRIP and the Social Science Citation index), bibliographic references scanned and main authors contacted. No restrictions were placed on language or publication year. Eligible studies involved adults with IBS using single-component hypnotherapy. All studies, except single case or expert opinion, were sought and all patient-related outcomes eligible.
Out of 299 unique references identified, 20 studies (18 trials of which four were randomized, two controlled and 12 uncontrolled) and two case series were eligible. These tended to demonstrate hypnotherapy as being effective in the management of IBS. Numbers of patients included were small. Only one trial scored more than four out of eight on internal validity.
The published evidence suggests that hypnotherapy is effective in the management of IBS. Over half of the trials (10 of 18) indicated a significant benefit. A randomized placebo-controlled trial of high internal validity is necessary to establish the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the management of IBS. Until such a trial is undertaken, this form of treatment should be restricted to specialist centres caring for the more severe forms of the disorder.
Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Sep 1;24(5):769-80.
Systematic review: the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the management of irritable bowel syndrome.
Wilson S1, Maddison T, Roberts L, Greenfield S, Singh S; Birmingham IBS Research Group.
I don’t pretend to know anything about hypnosis, I don’t. Always been curious to have someone hypnotize me, see what it’s like, but its never happened and guess it’s not that important to me, though it remains a fascinating notion from my distant visage.
Looking a little further I found this
American Psychological Association - Monitor on Psychology
Hypnosis continues to show promise in reducing pain and soothing anxiety, although the research is still inconclusive about its success in smoking cessation.
By Brendan L. Smith
January 2011, Vol 42, No. 1
... Even though stage hypnotists and TV shows have damaged the public image of hypnosis, a growing body of scientific research supports its benefits in treating a wide range of conditions, including pain, depression, anxiety and phobias.
“Hypnosis works and the empirical support is unequivocal in that regard. It really does help people,” says Michael Yapko, PhD, a psychologist and fellow of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. “But hypnosis isn’t a therapy in and of itself. Most people wouldn’t regard it that way.”
Hypnosis can create a highly relaxed state of inner concentration and focused attention for patients, and the technique can be tailored to different treatment methods, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Patients also can become more empowered by learning to hypnotize themselves at home to reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, or alleviate some symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Hypnosis has been used for centuries for pain control, including during the Civil War when Army surgeons hypnotized injured soldiers before amputations. Recent studies have confirmed its effectiveness as a tool to reduce pain. Among the leading researchers in the field is Guy H. Montgomery, PhD, a psychologist who has conducted extensive research on hypnosis and pain management at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he is director of the Integrative Behavioral Medicine Program. ...
Reading that ‘skepdic.com” was rather depressing. Reinforces my feeling many skeptics fail at critical thinking. Perhaps not near as many or as much as the God crowd who have totally demolished all vestiges of Critical Thinking Skills, but still very disappointing. Although it’s my stint at the so-called Skeptics Forum that demolished my illusions regarding the advocates of skeptical thinking, many who seem more mission focused than process focused. That would be the objective critical thinking process.