People get hypnotized
Is Hypnosis Real? How It Works and What the Science Says
Is hypnosis real?
Hypnosis is a genuine psychological therapy process. It’s often misunderstood and not widely used. However, medical research continues to clarify how and when hypnosis can be used as a therapy tool.
Hypnosis is a treatment option that may help you cope with and treat different conditions.
To do this, a certified hypnotist or hypnotherapist guides you into a deep state of relaxation (sometimes described as a trance-like state). While you’re in this state, they can make suggestions designed to help you become more open to change or therapeutic improvement.
Trance-like experiences aren’t all that uncommon. If you’ve ever zoned out while watching a movie or daydreaming, you’ve been in a similar trance-like state.
True hypnosis or hypnotherapy doesn’t involve swaying pocket watches, and it isn’t practiced on stage as part of an entertainment act.
Yes and no. Hypnosis is a tool that can be used for therapeutic treatment. Hypnotherapy is the use of that tool. To put it another way, hypnosis is to hypnotherapy what dogs are to animal therapy.
During hypnosis, a trained hypnotist or hypnotherapist induces a state of intense concentration or focused attention. This is a guided process with verbal cues and repetition.
The trance-like state you enter may appear similar to sleep in many ways, but you’re fully aware of what’s going on.
While you’re in this trance-like state, your therapist will make guided suggestions designed to help you achieve your therapeutic goals.
Because you’re in a heightened state of focus, you may be more open to proposals or advice that, in your normal mental state, you might ignore or brush off.
When the session is complete, your therapist will wake you from the trance-like state, or you will exit it on your own.
It’s unclear how this intense level of inner concentration and focused attention has the impact it does.
- Hypnotherapy may place the seeds of different thoughts in your mind during the trance-like state, and soon, those changes take root and prosper.
- Hypnotherapy may also clear the way for deeper processing and acceptance. In your regular mental state, if it’s “cluttered,” your mind may be unable to absorb suggestions and guidance,
Researchers at Harvard studied the brains of 57 people during guided hypnosis. They found that:
- Two areas of the brain that are responsible for processing and controlling what’s going on in your body show greater activity during hypnosis.
- Likewise, the area of your brain that’s responsible for your actions and the area that is aware of those actions appear to be disconnected during hypnosis.
Distinct sections of the brain are visibly altered during hypnosis. The areas that are most affected are those that play a role in action control and awareness.
It’s possible, but hypnosis shows marked differences in brain activity. This suggests the brain reacts to hypnosis in a unique way, one that’s stronger than a placebo effect.
Like hypnosis, the placebo effect is driven by suggestion. Guided conversations or behavioral therapy of any type can have a powerful impact on behavior and feelings. Hypnosis is just one of those therapy tools.
Hypnosis rarely causes any side effects or has risks. As long as the therapy is conducted by a trained hypnotist or hypnotherapist, it can be a safe alternative therapy option.
Some people may experience mild-to-moderate side effects including:
- situational anxiety
However, hypnosis used for memory retrieval is a controversial practice. People who use hypnosis in this way are more likely to experience anxiety, distress, and other side effects. You may also be more likely to create false memories.
Some doctors aren’t convinced that hypnosis can be used in mental health or for physical pain treatment. Research to support the use of hypnosis is getting stronger, but not all doctors embrace it.
Many medical schools don’t train doctors on the use of hypnosis, and not all mental health practitioners receive training during their years of school.
That leaves a great deal of misunderstanding about this possible therapy among healthcare professionals.
Hypnosis is promoted as a treatment for many conditions or issues. Research does provide some support for using hypnosis for some, but not all, of the conditions for which it’s used.
Research shows strong evidence for the use of hypnosis to treat:
- irritable bowel syndrome
- post-traumatic stress disorder
Limited evidence suggests hypnosis may be used to treat:
- smoking cessation
- post-surgical wound healing
- weight loss
More research is needed to verify the impact of hypnosis on the treatment of these and other conditions.
You may not undergo hypnosis during your first visit with a hypnotist or hypnotherapist. Instead, the two of you may talk about the goals you have and the process they can use to help you.
In a hypnosis session, your therapist will help you relax in a comfortable setting. They’ll explain the process and review your goals for the session. Then, they’ll use repetitive verbal cues to guide you into the trance-like state.
Once you’re in a receptive trance-like state, your therapist will suggest you work to achieve certain goals, help you visualize your future, and guide you toward making healthier decisions.
Afterward, your therapist will end your trance-like state by bringing you back to full consciousness.
Although one session can be helpful for some people, most therapists will tell you to begin hypnosis therapy with four to five sessions. After that phase, you can discuss how many more sessions are needed. You can also talk about whether any maintenance sessions are needed as well.
Although hypnosis is slowly becoming more accepted in traditional medical practices, many myths about hypnosis persist. Here, we separate reality from falsehoods.
Myth: Everyone can be hypnotized
Not everyone can be hypnotized. One study suggests that about 10 percent of the population is highly hypnotizable. Although it’s possible that the rest of the population could be hypnotized, they’re less likely to be receptive to the practice.
Myth: People aren’t in control of their body when they’re hypnotized
You’re absolutely in control of your body during hypnosis. Despite what you see with stage hypnosis, you’ll remain aware of what you’re doing and what’s being asked of you. If you don’t want to do something you’re asked to do under hypnosis, you won’t do it.
Myth: Hypnosis is the same thing as sleep
You may look like you’re sleeping, but you’re awake during hypnosis. You’re just in a deeply relaxed state. Your muscles will become limp, your breathing rate will slow, and you may become drowsy.
Myth: People can’t lie when they’re hypnotized
Hypnotism isn’t a truth serum. Although you’re more open to suggestion during hypnotism, you still have free will and moral judgment. No one can make you say anything — lie or not — that you don’t want to say.
Myth: You can be hypnotized over the internet
Many smartphone apps and Internet videos promote self-hypnosis, but they’re likely ineffective.
Researchers in one 2013 review found that these tools typically aren’t created by a certified hypnotist or hypnosis organization. For that reason, doctors and hypnotists advise against using these.
Probably a myth: Hypnosis can help you “uncover” lost memories
Although it may be possible to retrieve memories during hypnosis, you may be more likely to create false memories while in a trance-like state. Because of this, many hypnotists remain skeptical about using hypnosis for memory retrieval.
Hypnosis carries the stereotypes of stage performances, complete with clucking chickens and daring dancers.
However, hypnosis is a genuine therapeutic tool, and it can be used as an alternative medical treatment for several conditions. This includes insomnia, depression, and pain management.
It’s important that you use a certified hypnotist or hypnotherapist so that you can trust the guided-hypnosis process. They will create a structured plan to help you reach your individual goals.
Risks, Side Effects, and Safety
Written by Alexandra Benisek
In this Article
- What Is Hypnosis?
- Side Effects of Hypnosis
- Risks of Hypnosis
- Getting Ready for Your Appointment
Doctors use hypnosis as a part of treatment to help people with anxiety, depression, pain, or unwanted behaviors, like smoking or overeating. It’s usually helpful. But in some situations, it can cause serious side effects or raise your chances for other health problems.
What Is Hypnosis?
Also called hypnotherapy, hypnosis is a treatment that allows you to focus heavily while in a dream-like state of mind. Your doctor or a professional licensed in hypnosis will use words and pictures to calm you down until you’re in a relaxed state.
Once you're in that state, they’ll begin to recommend ways for you to reach your goals through suggestion and mental images of success. After therapy, they'll wake you up. Unlike some portrayals of hypnosis in the movies or on television, you don't lose control of what you're doing, and you'll probably remember what happens during the session.
Side Effects of Hypnosis
Hypnosis isn’t for everyone. Some people can’t reach that full dream-like state. This makes the treatment less helpful. In rare cases, it can cause side effects, which can include:
Risks of Hypnosis
Hypnosis is usually safe as long as a trained professional does it. Not all states require people to have certification in hypnotherapy in order to practice it. As you do your research, make sure that anyone you consider has a license in hypnotherapy or that they're a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.
Hypnosis can be dangerous for people with serious mental disorders, including:
- Drug and alcohol misuse
Experts aren't sure if people with schizophrenia can reach total hypnosis. Some suggest hypnosis may cause other mental health problems for people who have it.
Doctors may use hypnosis to bring back memories or stressful events linked to your mental condition. There is some controversy around this practice. If the person giving the treatment isn't a trained professional, it could cause the creation of fake memories, which could further confuse a person's mental health issues and bring more problems.
If you're considering hypnosis for help with chronic pain, make sure a doctor has first checked you for other conditions that medication or surgery can help.
Hypnosis is safest for people with less serious mental or physical conditions.
Getting Ready for Your Appointment
If you and your doctor decide that hypnosis could work for you, there isn't much preparation needed before you have your treatment.
Who can be hypnotized?. HYPNOSIS. Hidden Depths: A History of Discovery and Use of
Who can be hypnotized?
American hypnotherapist Milton Erickson believed that if someone cannot be hypnotized, it is only the fault of the hypnotist. Anyone can be hypnotized. Who can resist the infectious enthusiasm of the crowd? Who doesn't get excited about military marches? Try not to tense up while watching an exciting thriller on TV and not slide down on the edge of your chair. We like to be conformists, we like it when others accept us. We do not like internal and external conflicts. The press of conformity is what makes us receptive. Some researchers define hypnosis as a state of heightened suggestibility. Even if this is not an entirely adequate and complete definition, there is a particle of truth in it: increased suggestibility is the most necessary component of susceptibility to hypnosis (hypnotizability). And since we all have some kind of suggestibility, therefore, any of us can be hypnotized. nine0003
Of course, we are not all susceptible to the same degree. The introduction said that there are three key components of hypnosis: perception (or focused attention), dissociation, and suggestibility. Highly hypnotizable people have all three parameters at a high level. The most interesting is the first of them - perception or the ability to immerse (figuratively - enter) into the task. It means - and this is very important - that people with high hypnotizability know how to control their attention. Everyone can be put into a light trance, but in ten percent of cases it will take so many attempts that the achievement of the effect will not justify the effort spent, and therefore, from a practical point of view, we can say that ten percent of the population is not subject to hypnosis. About thirty percent of the population easily achieves a light trance, about thirty-five percent can achieve a moderate trance, and the remaining twenty-five percent can enter a deep trance state (although some experts lower this figure to only five percent). nine0003
Scientists use "suggestibility scales" in psychological tests consisting of multiple questions designed to assess a person's hypnotizability by both objective and subjective criteria. I know eighteen such scales (the Stanford Hypnotic Receptivity Scale, the Harvard Group Hypnotic Receptivity Scale, and others) and I'm not going to consider all the pros and cons of each of them, I will only note that the main benefit from them is some stability of psychological experiments on hypnosis . That is, it is possible to make groups of subjects with equal suggestibility on any one scale, to prepare control groups with higher and lower rates, and so on. nine0003
If the hypnotist uses just one single introduction technique, then in some cases he may fail, because the same technique may not suit all people without exception. Therefore, the hypnotist must be flexible. Even reluctant patients, on whom all other techniques have failed, usually succumb to a confusing technique where suggestions are given at a fast pace to different parts of the body that feel heavy or light. I will touch briefly on other ways of overcoming resistance in another chapter when I talk about Milton Erickson because that was his special gift. nine0003
It is often said that, compared with adults, children between the ages of seven and fourteen are more susceptible to hypnosis, with the peak being at the age of nine or ten. Perhaps there is some truth in the modern notion that highly imaginative people who can completely immerse themselves in a book, a movie, or their own illusion, who played imaginative games as children, are more susceptible to hypnosis than anyone else. Hypnosis requires a detachment from reality, and fantasy-prone people make this easier: they easily isolate a part of themselves into an imaginary zone, while the outside world becomes less real for them. nine0003
Remarkably enough, it turns out to be difficult to hypnotize insane people. The better a person can concentrate on a particular sensory stimulus (for example, the voice of a hypnotist) and not be distracted, the easier it is to put him into hypnosis. Perhaps this is precisely what explains why the mentally ill are difficult to hypnosis. Don't worry, though: just because you're a difficult subject to hypnosis doesn't mean you're crazy!
Hypnosis, apparently, cannot be called a homogeneous phenomenon; perhaps it is a combination of a number of characteristics, including the ability to fantasize and enter into a role, each of which makes a person more receptive. And if it is so complex by nature, then looking for a simple relationship between susceptibility and personality type is stupid. In Victorian times, it was believed that women were easier to hypnotize than men. But modern tests have not confirmed this finding; it arose out of the nineteenth-century prejudice that women were the weaker sex, and hypnosis required repression of the will. nine0003
Contrary to the facts is the popular notion that you must be stupid to succumb to hypnosis. On the contrary, hypnotizability is directly related to intelligence, or at least the ability to concentrate. The comic effect of Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karlov (1949) is based on this idea. Costello is suspected of killing people at the hotel where he works as a bellhop. The mystic Karlov tries to hypnotize him, but Costello, alas, is too stupid to succumb to hypnosis. In fact, there is a parameter more important than intelligence - a person's self-esteem: people with low self-esteem are more difficult to hypnotize, presumably because they are either more afraid for themselves, or less interested in self-exploration, or do not want to be studied. nine0003
In general, no matter how hard psychologists try, it is not yet possible to establish a relationship between susceptibility and personality type. It used to be believed that hypnotizable people differed from the rest by more stable connections with the right hemisphere of the brain. The right hemisphere, in short, controls the left side of the body, its integrity (left-handers represent an exception), as well as orientation in space, while the left controls the right side of the body plus verbal, logical linear thinking. One might therefore expect an artist to rely more on his right brain, and a university professor on his left. Most of us are dominated by the left side of the brain. Some recent experiments with highly hypnotizable subjects have shown that they perform significantly better on right-brain tasks than poorly hypnotic subjects. However, the events that take place in the brain during hypnosis involve much more than simply switching to the non-dominant hemisphere. By itself, the change in the leading role between the hemispheres does not seem to occur always, but mainly in easily hypnotized people. Moreover, the normally dominant hemisphere during hypnosis is also active, and the activity of one hemisphere or another at any particular moment apparently depends on the type of task assigned to the subject. It follows that switching between hemispheres may not be the cause of hypnotizability, it is only part of the general ability of people who are well susceptible to hypnosis to move from one state to another - to withdraw. Work on the study of the links between hypnosis and brain activity has not yet been completed. So, for example, early research seemed to indicate that highly hypnotizable people are those who easily enter the alpha state. Alpha waves (8–13 Hz) are “that noise produced by the brain when the brain is awake but does not work much,” for example, a person is already awake, but keeps his eyes closed. However, current data suggest that hypnotizable subjects, and perhaps hypnosis in general, are characterized by a slower theta rhythm (4-7 Hz), corresponding to a state of drowsiness. nine0003
Experimental data indicate that the sensitivity to hypnosis of each individual can be improved, as if it were some kind of skill available for learning. Although the experience of practicing hypnologists shows that the increase in the level of perception is rather associated with overcoming the initial resistance. It's not that patients learn something, it's just that they become less fearful and begin to trust the doctor more. There is another point of view - a rather strong and interesting theory - according to which it is easier to hypnotize a person when the natural rhythms of his body proceed in a relaxed state. Is it possible to resist hypnosis, as, for example, did Kim in the novel by Rudyard Kipling (1901), repeating the multiplication table to himself in order to prevent the hallucinations he was ordered to see? Of course. You must be willing to succumb to hypnosis, otherwise it is useless. There are ways to deal with your reluctance, and as I said, Milton Erickson was a master at that. But even for him, in order to successfully overcome the resistance of the patient, it is necessary that he subconsciously wants to be hypnotized, despite the protests of his mind.nine0024 Ilya Melnikov Is it easy to hypnotize you?
Ilya Melnikov Are you easily hypnotized? All rights reserved. No part of the electronic version of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including posting on the Internet and corporate networks, for
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Who is this book for? This book is intended for psychologists, priests, doctors and nurses, lawyers, personnel managers, salespeople, actors... A psychologist must know how people experience their emotions. He must have an idea of what he can say about feelings
Who raised whom and hownine0002 Who raised whom and how The same Eric Bern, in addition to game scenarios, singled out the types of players. How often do they meet in life? Every day. The most characteristic roles of childhood are carried over into adulthood, so the following two types of players appear who set the tone for
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Words can kill, words can save...
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How not to be hypnotized and robbed
"Pit" - an open amphitheater in Moscow, like the Spanish Steps in Rome, now everyone knows. But in addition to tourists and Muscovites, scammers have also chosen it. The ease of getting to know them, which turned into poisoning with cocktails of the gullible, migrated to Chistye Prudy, to the Gorka and Sokolniki parks. In the regions, crooks have taken a fancy to transit buses from Krasnodar, Anapa and Sochi to the Crimea. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Krasnodar Territory, about 50 people (usually tourists) became victims of a series of habitual contact tricks - "look after my things", "change a thousand" or "let me tell a fortune." nine0003
- Events show the growth of the "suggestibility parade", - says Alexei Skrypnikov, a psychophysiologist at the Research Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. - It's a delusion to think that cheaters are just tricksters. They are practicing psychologists. But if earlier "gypsy credit" or primitive hypnosis was used by "candidates" and "doctors" of their "sciences", today more and more often - amateurs. They learned to isolate and "catch" both negative neurotic states (anxiety or stress) and positive ones (euphoria of rest or holiday) by their faces.
However, the experts are not lenient towards the victims. Yes, crooks put sleeping pills in their drinks. But why drink them? nine0003
- This is an old kind of carelessness, - says Sergei Petrov, professor of the security department at Moscow State Pedagogical University. - Previously, they bought into the tricks of crime because of naivety, they traveled a little, today - because of self-confidence and distrust of video cameras and gadgets. And you just have to not take anything from strangers, especially "free". And don't go anywhere with them.
According to the investigators, the victims of the Moscow poisonings both went into seclusion with strangers and saw that "something was wrong" with their drinks: gray foam or flakes were on the cocktails. The turbid liquid sometimes bubbled. But they drank. "I don't know why," confessed one of the poisoned. According to the Research Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, the number of easily suggestible people has increased from 12 percent to 90s to 19 in 2018. Petrov calls the temptation of "treats with cereal" the "rest syndrome" to which the suggestible are subject. By the way, at the stations of Sochi, Anapa and Krasnodar, the "Let me tell a fortune" scheme is still working. But more often the crook pretends to be a "tourist" and asks, for example, to look after his things, and when he returns, he offers food to the "fellow traveler". And he takes out a bottle with a "trick" - a double cork. He pours himself an ordinary drink, the victim through another part of the cork - with poison. The same scheme is used by taxi drivers. nine0003
Summer is a "suggestibility parade". The number of easily suggestible people has grown from 12 to 19 percent
- Moscow refused the services of firms in which migrants or visitors "taxed" - shares the chairman of the security commission of the Moscow City Duma Inna Svyatenko. - They catered to rich clients, as a bonus they offered coffee, water or oranges, pumped up with tranquilizers. Even the "sealed" bottle did not save.
Another method is to treat you to a cigarette with poison. "Cigarette taxis" Anapa - Crimea and Krasnodar - Crimea gave the largest number of incidents. There dodgers from three places in the car "free" leave two. One thing is occupied in advance by a girl-accomplice as a "tourist". Two free ones - cheaper than the others - are offered to a single lady or two friends. nine0003
- Everyone can get out of the networks of a scammer, - Aleksey Skrypnikov, a psychophysiologist at the Research Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, is sure. - The first skill is not to deviate from the intended goal. Distracted - "benefactors" throw out streams of unnecessary along with the necessary information. This is a technique of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), when the essence is replaced by the form of presentation at such a speed that nothing is remembered except "freebie". The one who was seduced must understand: the spirit of money-grubbing has been awakened in him. In this case, stick to the second rule: do not look into the eyes of a stranger - a tool of hypnosis. Have you looked? The third rule - do not scatter your attention and trust your intuition. If you are anxious, you still have a choice - make it. Relaxed and "floated"? Here you have the "Pit" knee-deep. nine0003
Recently, prosecutors from Ivanovo, Vladimir and a number of other regions turned to Skrypnikov through the threat department of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs with complaints that “specialists” from the pyramids sold people unnecessary goods and services or lured out money. When the expert examined the hidden camera recordings, transcripts and notes of the classes of managers and network marketers, he noticed that the lectures and instructions were written like a carbon copy. Later, he proved that the craft of manipulation, including through NLP technologies, is taught in fragments and already en masse.