“Hypnosis has been used in Western medicine for more than 150 years to treat everything from anxiety to pain, from easing the nausea of cancer chemotherapy to enhancing sports performance,” says researcher Carol Ginandes of Harvard Medical School. A list of applications she provides includes treatment of phobias, panic, low self-esteem, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, stress, smoking, colitis, warts, headaches, and high blood pressure. “All these functional uses may help a person feel better,” Ginandes continues. “I am also interested in using hypnosis to help people get better physically. That means using the mind to make structural changes in the body, to accelerate healing at the tissue level.” Two small experimental studies by Ginandes and her colleagues have indicated that hypnosis does seem to help the healing of broken bones and recovery from wounds after breast reduction surgery. Ginandes says more research is needed into the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic tool.