The British Psychological Society has officially declared hypnosis a proven therapeutic medium to curb stress, anxiety, pain, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraines, Fox News reports.
And while it's strongly linked to the psycho-sciences, hypnosis is gaining popularity in broader mind-body arenas as well. In fact, one Harvard study found that patients who underwent hypnosis during surgery had fewer complications and required shorter procedures and less post-op medication.
Meanwhile, celebrities including Matt Damon, Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi, and Fergie have all been cited as using hypnotherapy for one reason or another: to stop smoking, improve focus, and lose weight.
Only about three-fourths of people can be hypnotized, though. And not just the most gullible or submissive, said David Spiegel, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford School of Medicine. Quite the contrary: A 2012 study from Spiegel's team found that in people who are easily hypnotized, the brain's executive-control network (responsible for making decisions) is activated.