Hypnosis, also called hypnotic suggestion or hypnotherapy, is a trance-like state that causes individuals to have heightened concentration and focus.
The technique is usually accomplished with a therapist’s help. They use mental images and verbal repetition to bring patients into the state.
During hypnosis, patients generally feel relaxed and calm, and they may be more open to suggestion. Hypnosis is used to allow clients to cope with pain or anxiety, or to gain a better sense of control over undesired behavior.
It’s rare to experience adverse reactions to hypnotherapy, but some individuals might have headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety, or the creation of false memories.
Learn about all the facts regarding hypnosis now.
Hypnosis is a technique that brings individuals into a point of heightened focus and increased suggestibility.
The therapist will use soothing verbal repetition and mental imagery to ease the patient into a state similar to a trance. When the mind relaxes, it becomes more open to transforming messages.
Though many individuals believe hypnosis puts patients to sleep, they actually remain fully awake during a session. Actually, the average human will enter a hypnotic state at least twice each day without noticing.
Research has shown not everyone can be hypnotized, and there are some ethical questions about the practice researchers are still aiming to answer.
Mental Benefits of Hypnosis
There are multiple documented mental benefits of hypnosis. The therapy can help treat mental health conditions like generalized anxiety, phobias, and post-traumatic stress.
This can sometimes be achieved by using the hypnotic state to form a positive emotional association with triggering concepts or images. In many cases, hypnosis is used to help change behaviors individuals want to stop.
It’s showed some success with treating insomnia, helping individuals quit smoking, minimizing overeating, and stopping bed-wetting in the middle of the night. The hypnotic state is very relaxing for the patient while they’re in it.
Because of this, hypnosis might also be used to relax someone immediately prior to an uncomfortable medical procedure, such as a breast biopsy.
Physical Benefits and Goals of Hypnosis
Research indicates hypnosis can have physical benefits as well as mental ones, though the reason for this isn’t well known. It might be related to the body’s ability to repair itself when the parasympathetic nervous system is activated.
This portion of the nervous system becomes active during rest and relaxation. Hypnosis might help relieve menopause-related hot flashes, and it might also ease the side effects of radiation or chemotherapy treatment for cancer.
One of the most common physical goals of hypnosis is to treat and control pain. In fact, it has the potential to help pain caused by headaches, dental procedures, joint problems, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, childbirth, cancer, or burns.
Controversy Surrounding Hypnosis
There is a certain amount of controversy surrounding hypnosis, though much of this controversy seems to stem from misunderstanding. Most individual’s only experience with hypnosis is stage hypnosis, a theatrical performance.
The clinical practice, it is important to note, bears very little resemblance to this. Many individuals believe those who are hypnotized don’t have control over their own actions or thoughts.
However, research indicates patients under hypnosis have complete control of their bodies and will not partake in any activities they’d normally object to. One of the most important parts of clinical hypnosis is that it’s a collaborative, consensual process.
The patient outlines the goals they wish to achieve, and the therapist uses positive suggestions to help them meet those goals.
How Hypnosis Works
Hypnosis draws a patient into a relaxed state where their concentration and suggestibility are both heightened. There are dozens of studies showing hypnosis does have a positive effect on both physical and mental health conditions.
However, researchers have yet to pinpoint an exact reason as to why. There are a number of theories, ranging from placebo effect to changes in brain activity.
Regardless of the mechanics, most theories seem to agree hypnosis has an influence over an individual’s unconscious mind. The conscious mind is where conscious thought processes, emotions, and senses of self-exist.
But the unconscious mind comprises everything else, including autonomic bodily processes, memories, accumulated experiences, habits, and instinctive reactions to the world.
Normal therapeutic techniques only connect to the conscious mind, but hypnosis may affect the unconscious mind and cause fundamental shifts in functioning.