How hypnotherapy referrals can help improve patient compliance, outcomes and patient satisfaction

Hypnotherapy has been proven effective in the amelioration of several difficult, intractable conditions that frustrate many physicians. Referring such cases to a qualified medical hypnotherapist can improve patient outcomes and boost compliance, while increasing your patients' satisfaction with your practice. Hypnotherapy is an evidence-based modality that has been applied effectively in the relief of a wide range of medical, dental and mental health conditions and disorders. Among them, I work with the following:

  • Chronic pain relief
  • Stress reduction
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Smoking cessation
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea

  • Insomnia
  • Migraines
  • Bruxism and TMJ
  • Environmental allergies
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Hypnotherapy has also been proven effective for many clinical matters I often address, such as the management of emotional and behavioral issues including post-traumatic stress (PTSD), low self-esteem, phobias, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

According to hypnotherapy researcher and author Michael Yapko, Ph.D., hypnotherapists make use of naturally occurring altered states of consciousness and focused attention to help people amplify their existing strengths and abilities. Empowering people to alleviate their own symptoms can lead to better outcomes and lower healthcare costs overall. When your patients are more satisfied, of course your practice retention improves as well.

Patient nonadherence can be both costly and deadly

Patient noncompliance with lifestyle changes is a major factor in adverse outcomes. Hypnotherapy is particularly effective with the three most common lifestyle changes advised by healthcare providers:

  • Stop smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Reduce stress

According to a literature review study published in The Journal of Applied Research in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics, "costs as a result of patient noncompliance are estimated at $100 billion a year and are the result of adverse outcomes such as hospitalization, development of complications, disease progression, premature disability, or death." Only half of all chronically ill patients take medicines as directed, and many don't even bother to get the prescription filled, according to a 2003 World Health Organization study.

According to several studies, a lack of rapport with a healthcare provider, and lack of consultative time with patients, both contribute to nonadherence. This is often driven by the time pressures of managed care. Because hypnotherapy sessions typically last from 45 minutes to 90 minutes, hypnotherapists have more time to build rapport and educate patients about the importance of following their physician's instructions regarding medications and lifestyle changes.

Non-smoking, slender, low-stress patients are healthier

Physicians are often frustrated when patients ignore their advice to stop smoking or lose weight. Patients are just as frustrated, especially those patients who cannot afford expensive diet plans, weight loss surgery, or stop smoking medications. Side effects from medication, and complications from weight loss surgery, also discourage many patients from making the changes their physicians suggest.

Hypnotherapy is especially effective in helping patients make lifestyle changes most often prescribed by their doctors: lose weight, stop smoking, and reduce stress. In fact, when it comes to just one chronic condition — diabetes — stopping smoking and losing weight can reduce risk factors by about 40%, according to an NIH study.

Chronic stress — and associated presence of stress hormones like cortisol — interferes with the immune system, which makes your patients susceptible to other acute and chronic illnesses. Cortisol also interferes with blood sugar regulation, reproductive functions, digestive system functioning, and many other bodily functions. Hypnotherapy has been proven clinically effective to help people lose weight, stop tobacco use, and reduce stress. The effects of hypnotherapy persist beyond the end of sessions with the hypnotherapist, and hypnotherapy does not expose your patient to the risks of surgery or drug side effects.

Keeping patients satisfied helps you keep your patients, period

Satisfied patients are less likely to leave your practice, or worse, be so non-compliant that you are forced to dismiss them. Even if you're personally unable to help them resolve a particular issue, patients appreciate and respect your referral to other medical professionals who are able to assist them.

I welcome and appreciate referrals. Medical hypnosis begins with the patient's doctor or therapist - please print, complete, and fax me this hypnosis prescription form, and encourage your patient to add and message manifest_positivity on Skype, write me a note, or use the Viber app to call my mobile number from anywhere in the world +1 707-845-3749 for an appointment. At your request, I will provide you with a pad of hypnosis prescription forms so you don't have to print them in the future.

Professionalism and Ethics

I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or speak in terms of curing medical conditions. I offer medical hypnosis in conjunction with licensed medical, dental and mental health professionals to help your patients manage or eliminate symptoms, enjoy more successful outcomes, and successfully comply with your treatment plans. Hypnosis and NLP are considered “complementary care.”

A referral is required if the patient is or has been medically treated for a condition related to the services sought from me, or if the services sought relate to chronic pain, allergies or other condition deemed medical in nature. Doctor-recommended hypnotherapy may be initiated with a signed hypnosis prescription form that you can fax to me at the number on the form. Your patient is still responsible for contacting me about scheduling an appointment, after which my intake paperwork will secure permission allowing me to update you on their progress. I maintain patient confidentiality in compliance with the law at all times.

Dave Berman Hypnotherapy Prescription Form

Click to download .pdf.

Hypnosis News and Research

Hypnosis is evidence-based. This section presents research studies, journal articles and other forms of media that might be more easily digested by patients with reservations or misconceptions about hypnotherapy based on stereotypes from pop culture references or stage shows.


Antenatal self-hypnosis for labour and childbirth: A pilot study - Anaesthesia and Intensive Care (.pdf)

Improved obstetric outcomes using hypnotic analgesia and skill mastery combined with childbirth education - Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (abstract)

Medical Hypnosis for Hyperemesis Gravidarum (and common morning sickness) - Birth (abstract)

Hypnosis and NLP Can Turn Breech Babies - Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (.pdf)

Birth Bliss: HypnoBirthing Eliminates Labor Pain; Shortens Labor - TIME Magazine

HypnoBirthing: Painless Labor Without Drugs - (video)

Cancer Care

A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Brief Hypnosis Intervention to Control Side Effects in Breast Surgery Patients - Journal of the National Cancer Institute (.pdf)

Hypnosis For Cancer Care - CA Cancer Journal For Clinicians (.pdf) NOTE: Click here for a free CME/CNE credit quiz based on this paper.

Medical Hypnosis Assists With Surgery and Medical Procedures - MD Anderson Cancer Center (audio podcast)

Mind-Body Treatments of Pain-Fatigue-Sleep Disturbance Symptom Cluster in Persons With Cancer - Journal of Pain Symptom Management (.pdf)

Integrative and Behavioral Approaches to the Treatment of Cancer-Related Neuropathic Pain - The Oncologist (.pdf)

Efficacy of Clinical Hypnosis in the Enhancement of Quality of Life of Terminally Ill Cancer Patients - Contemporary Hypnosis (.pdf)

Hypnosis and Cancer - A Collection of Fully Cited Abstracts (.pdf)

Hypnosis for nausea and vomiting in cancer chemotherapy: a systematic review of the research evidence - European Journal of Cancer Care (abstract)


USC School Of Dentistry Teaches Hypnosis As An Alternative To Needles And Novocain - Medical News Today

Hypnotic Dentist Removes Teeth With Only Hypnosis (video)

Hypnosis Eases Dental Fears -

Could hypnotism be the future of surgery? This dental patient certainly thinks so - Daily Mail


Hypnosis in Dermatology - American Medical Association (.pdf)

Psychological Interventions In the Management of Common Skin Conditions - Psychology Research and Behavior Management (.pdf)

Hypnosis in a Case of Long-Standing Idiopathic Itch - Psychosmatic Medicine ( .pdf)

Reduction in Skin Reactions to Histamine After a Hypnotic Procedure - Psychosomatic Medicine (.pdf)

Manage the Mental Side of Skin Disorders - Family Practice News

Hot Flashes

Randomized Trial of a Hypnosis Intervention for Treatment of Hot Flashes Among Breast Cancer Survivors - Journal of Clinical Oncology

Clinical hypnosis in the treatment of postmenopausal hot flashes - Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society (abstract)

Mind Control of Menopause - Women’s Health Issues (abstract)

Hypnosis Halts Hot Flashes For Some Women - WebMD

Hypnotherapy Reduces Hot Flashes - The Atlantic

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Hypnosis Reduces Sensory and Motor Component of IBS - Psychosomatic Medicine (.pdf)

Hypnosis Treatment of IBS - International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (.pdf)

Hypnotherapy Compared to Education for IBS - Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (.pdf)

Hypnosis for Nausea and IBS - UNC Center For Functional GI & Motility Disorders (.pdf)

Facts and Myths of Treating IBS - Gastroenterology & Hepatology (.pdf)

Long-Term Success of GUT-Directed Group Hypnosis for Patients With Refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial - American Journal of Gastroenterology (abstract)

Hypnotherapy Helpful For Irritable Bowel Syndrome - BBC

Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome with hypnotherapy - Medical News Today

Pain Relief and Surgery

The Mind Prepared: Hypnosis in Surgery - Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Hypnotherapy for the Management of Chronic Pain - International Journal of Clinical Experimental Hypnosis (.pdf)

Effects of Age on Pain, Surgery Prep - Psychosmoatic Medicine (.pdf)

Retrain the Brain to Reduce Pain - The Doctor’s Channel (video - free registration required)

Hypnosis for the Relief and Control of Pain - American Psychological Association

Hypnosis Relaxation Technique Cuts Time and Cost in Angiography, Angioplasty - WebMD

Hypnosis Before Surgery Dulls Pain Later - MedPage Today

The Efficacy of Hypnotic Analgesia in Adults: A Review of the Literature - PubMed

Review of the efficacy of clinical hypnosis with headaches and migraines - International Journal of Clinical Experimental Hypnosis (abstract)

Hypnosis Eases Breast Cancer Surgery Pain - BBC News


Deepening Sleep by Hypnotic Suggestion - Sleep Journal (abstract; two doctors discuss in RadioMD podcast here)

Hypnosis for treatment of insomnia in school-age children: a retrospective chart review - BioMed Central Pediatrics

Hypnotherapy For Sleep Disorders - Annals Academy of Medicine (.pdf)

Hypnosis, An Alternative Approach to Insomnia - Canadian Family Physician (.pdf)

Insomnia and Hypnotherapy - Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (.pdf)

How Hypnosis Helped Me Sleep - MORE Magazine


Cognitive Effects on the Neurophysiology and Biomechanics of Stroke Recovery - Harvard Thesis of Solomon Gilbert Diamond (.pdf)

Hypnosis For Rehabilitation After Stroke: 6 Case Studies - Contemporary Hypnosis (.pdf)

Hypnotherapy: an effective treatment modality for trichotillomania - Acta Paediatrica (abstract)

Hypnotherapy in adolescents with trichotillomania: three cases - American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis (abstract)

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