The Science Of Hypnosis: A Simple Tool for Treating Stress, Anxiety, Insomnia and Disease

Episode 813 1h 9m


When you hear the term “hypnosis,” what immediately comes to mind? Is it a clock-swinging magician or a comedy hypnosis show? What most people don’t know about hypnotherapy is that it’s actually an accredited science with tremendous healing power.

On today’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dr. David Spiegel, the world’s leading researcher and clinician in the field, is here to help us better understand the scientific power of hypnosis. Dr. Spiegel and I discuss the difference between clinical hypnosis and stage hypnosis. He explains that clinical hypnosis is a therapeutic protocol that induces a unique brain state—one that can be leveraged to improve everything from sleep states to high performance. It can also be a powerful tool against addiction and help alleviate stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and more.

Pain affects the lives of millions around the world, and several studies have shown that hypnosis can effectively reduce physical and emotional pain and may be a more effective and safer option than medication. Dr. Spiegel says, “The strain in pain lies mainly in the brain.” Hypnosis can reduce the amount of pain you feel by helping the brain change how you feel. It can also lessen the distress and negative emotions associated with experiencing pain.

Dr. Spiegel shares that in Reveri, the self-hypnosis app, users have experienced a 60% reduction in pain within the first 10 minutes of a session. Not everyone can be hypnotized as readily as the next, and Dr. Speigel explains what makes some people more hypnotizable than others and how to enhance your level of hypnotizability. We also talk about the difference between hypnosis, meditation, and EMDR, and the critical role that breath plays in hypnosis. I hope you’ll tune in to learn more.


This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health, Joovv, BiOptimizers, and Essentia. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • Dr. Spiegel’s entry into hypnosis


  • What is hypnosis?


  • The history of hypnosis


  • How hypnosis works in the brain


  • Is everyone hypnotizable?


  • A case study of using hypnosis to quit smoking


  • Hypnosis for pain control and insomnia


  • Hypnosis for stress management, trauma, and emotional health


  • Clinical vs self-hypnosis


  • The difference between hypnosis, meditation, and EMDR


1 of 10

Resources Mentioned

Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Introduction: Coming up on this episode of the Doctor's Pharmacy,

Dr. David Spiegel: That element of surprise is part of the power of hypnosis that you can change the way you relate to your body and the way your body relates to you.

Lauren Feighan: Hi, this is Lauren, one of the producers of the Doctor's Farmacy podcast. Before we begin, just to note that today's episode includes discussion of abuse and suicide and a depiction of sexual violence listener discretion is advised.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman. That's Farmacy with an F, a place for conversation that matter. And if you struggled with anxiety, if you have stress in your life on who doesn't, I..

Want to read the full transcript for free?

Enter your name and email to sign up for our newsletter and unlock the transcript

Back to Content Library
Ep. 813 - The Science Of Hypnosis: A Simple Tool for Treating Stress, Anxiety, Insomnia and Disease