Dr. Gary Elkins' areas of specialization are clinical psychology, health psychology, and hypnotherapy. He is a licensed psychologist and is board certified in Clinical Health Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. He is also board certified in Psychological Hypnosis by the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis (ABPH). He has served as the President of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and is the president-elect of Division 30 (Society for Psychological Hypnosis) of the American Psychological Association. He is the author of the book, Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy: Principles and Applications. In the past, Dr. Elkins served on the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Dr. Elkins hobbies includes fly fishing and exercise.
Industry Expertise (1)
Areas of Expertise (7)
Hypnotherapy for Hot Flashes
Breast Cancer Survivors
Sleep Problems and Stress Management
Texas A&M University: Ph.D. 1980
Henderson State University: B.A. 1975
- Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis : President
- International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis : Incoming Editor
Media Appearances (3)
Is Hypnotherapy More Than Hype?
“Other things fade into the background, so you can more easily respond to therapeutic suggestions,” says Gary Elkins, Ph.D., the director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Afterward, you don’t suddenly “come to,” wondering where you’ve been and what you did. Most people recall sessions clearly.
Men’s Hot Flashes: Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy May Ease the Discomfort that Guys Don’t Like to Talk About, Baylor Study Finds
Baylor Media Communications online
“Men are more reluctant to report hot flashes, and it’s not as prevalent. There are fewer ways to deal with it,” said study author Gary Elkins, Ph.D., director of Baylor’s Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory and a professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. “If a guy has hot flashes, you can’t say, ‘Well, why don’t we put you on estrogen?’ But it’s a pressing problem."
Clinical Hypnosis Can Reduce Hot Flashes After Menopause, Baylor Study Shows
Baylor Media Communications online
"This is the first study in which we compared both self-reporting and physiological monitoring -- not just a change in tolerance or ability to cope, but the hot flashes themselves decreased," said Gary Elkins, Ph.D., professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences and director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory.
Research Focus (2)
Research submissions in review
- A brief survey study to identify optimal intervention delivery criteria for under-served primary care patients
- Self-administered hypnosis treatment for the management of hot flashes in women: A randomized clinical trial
- Hypnosis for fibromyalgia: determination of dose and method
Hypnosis for sleep in menopause: determination of optimal dose and method
The need for effective nonhormonal treatments for hot flash management without unwanted side effects continues. The primary aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effect of combining a nonhormonal pharmacologic agent with a behavioral treatment for hot flash reduction.
The use of estrogen and progesterone to manage vasomotor symptoms (i.e., hot flashes, night sweats) has declined due to concerns over their risks and there is an increased interest in alternate, effective, and low-risk treatments. This study reports the results of a randomized, controlled trial of clinical hypnosis in treating vasomotor symptoms among post-menopausal women.
Hot flashes are a highly prevalent problem associated with menopause and breast cancer treatments. The recent findings from the Women's Health Initiative have important implications for the significance of a non-hormonal, mind-body intervention for hot flashes in breast cancer survivors. Women who take hormone therapy long-term may have a 1.2 to 2.0 fold increased risk of developing breast cancer. In addition, it is now known that hormone therapy with estrogen and progestin is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Currently there are limited options to hormone replacement therapy as non-hormonal pharmacological agents are associated with only modest activity and many adverse side effects. Because of this there is a need for more alternative, non-hormonal therapies. Hypnosis is a mind-body intervention that has been shown to reduce self-reported hot flashes by up to 68% among breast cancer survivors, however, the use of hypnosis for hot flashes among post-menopausal women has not been adequately explored and the efficacy of hypnosis in reducing physiologically measured hot flashes has not yet been determined.
There is growing interest in mind–body therapies as adjuncts to mainstream cancer treatment, and an increasing number of patients turn to these interventions for the control of emotional stress associated with cancer. Increased research funding has enabled many such interventions to be evaluated for their efficacy, including studies of mind–body interventions to reduce pain, anxiety, insomnia, anticipatory, and treatment-related nauseas, hot flashes, and improved mood. Mind–body treatments evaluated for their utility in oncology include relaxation therapies, biofeedback, meditation and hypnosis, yoga, art and music therapy, tai chi, and qigong...
Hot flashes are a significant problem for many breast cancer survivors. Hot flashes can cause discomfort, disrupted sleep, anxiety, and decreased quality of life. A well-tolerated and effective mind-body treatment for hot flashes would be of great value. On the basis of previous case studies, this study was developed to evaluate the effect of a hypnosis intervention for hot flashes...
This article reviews controlled prospective trials of hypnosis for the treatment of chronic pain. Thirteen studies, excluding studies of headaches, were identified that compared outcomes from hypnosis for the treatment of chronic pain to either baseline data or a control condition. The findings indicate that hypnosis interventions consistently produce significant decreases in pain associated with a variety of chronic-pain problems...