Contrary to popular delusions that hypnosis is a form of consciousness like sleep, contemporary research shows that hypnotized subjects are completely alert and alert, with the corresponding reduction in peripheral consciousness.
The term "hypnosis" comes from the Greek word Hypnos, meaning "dream". Hypnotherapists use exercises that bring deep relaxation and changing a state of mind, also known as trans. A person in a deeply focused state responds unusually to an idea or image, but that does not mean that a hypnotist can control the mind and free will of a person. On the contrary, hypnosis can actually teach people how to overcome their state of consciousness. In this way, they can affect their physical functions and psychological reactions.
How does hypnosis work?
When something happens to us, we remember it and learn some behavior in response to what has happened. Every time something happens, our physical and emotional memory-related reactions are repeated. In some cases these reactions are unhealthy. In some forms of hypnotherapy, the therapist takes you to remember the events that led to the first reaction, separating memory from learned behavior, and changing unhealthy behavior with new, healthier.
During hypnosis, your body relaxes and your thoughts become more focused. Like other relaxation techniques, hypnosis lowers blood pressure and heart rate and changes certain types of brain waves. In this relaxed state, you will feel physically comfortable but you will be completely awake psychically and you can be very sensitive to suggestions. Your conscious mind becomes less cautious and your subconscious mind becomes focused. Some people react better to hypnotic suggestions than others.
Why can not everyone be hypnotized?
What is the difference between the brain and those who can not be hypnotized, shows us a new study from Standford University. This study uses data collected by functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging in an attempt to determine how brain areas associated with executive control and attention have less activity in people that can not be induced in hypnotic trans.
"So far there has not been a" sign "of the brain that is hypnotized, and we are on the verge of detecting one," states Dr. David Spiegel, professor of psychiatry and behavioral science and principal author of the study. Such advances will allow scientists to better understand the mechanisms of hypnosis and how it can be better and more effectively used in clinical settings.
Dr. Spiegel estimates that about 1/4 of the patients he sees can not be hypnotized, although someone's hypnotic sensitivity is not related to a particular feature, and estimates that "something must happen in the brain".
Hypnosis is described as a condition like a trance in which a person has elevated focus and concentration. It works by modulating activity in brain regions associated with focused attention, and this study offers powerful new details about the neural capacity for hypnosis.
For the study, Spiegel and his colleagues performed functional and structural MRI brain scans in 12 adults with high hypnotic adjustability and 12 adults with low levels.
The researchers looked at the action of three different brain networks: the network in the default mode, which is used when the brain is idle; then the network of executive control, involved in decision-making, that network of interests involved in decision-making that is more important than something else.
Study findings were clear: both groups had an active network for the default mode, but the participants in the first group showed a greater co-activity between the network components for executive control and the network of interests. More specifically, in the brain of people with high hypnotic tenderness, the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the brain region for executive control, activates in the tandem with the front dorsal cingular cortex, which is part of the network of interests and plays a role in focusing attention. On the other hand, there was a little functional link between these two brain areas in those with low hypnotic adjustability.
Spiegel is pleased with the fact that he and his team found something so clear. "The brain is complicated, people are complicated, and we were surprisingly able to get such a clear signature." He also noted that this work confirms that hypnotic adjustability is less dependent on personality variables and more about cognitive style, saying "We see neuronal features here".
The next step for these scientists is to further investigate how these functional networks change during hypnosis. Therefore, it will re-examine people with high and low hypnotic susceptibility for another research during which the fMRI assessment will be made during the hypnotic state.
Situations or diseases in which hypnosis can help
Hypnosis has been shown to aid the brain in controlling sensations and behavior and is used clinically to assist patients with pain, stress, anxiety and phobia control, especially in some people who feel it before medical or dental procedures. For example, studies have shown that patients undergoing hypnosis prior to dental interventions had a significantly higher threshold for pain than those who weren’t hypnotized. Hypnosis can improve recovery time and reduce anxiety and pain after surgery. Clinical trials in burning patients suggest that hypnosis reduces pain enough to replace pain medications and accelerate healing. Generally, clinical studies show that hypnosis can reduce the need for medication, improve mental and physical condition before surgery.
It can also be used in inflammatory bowel disease, alopecia, asthma, insomnia, bed-wetting, fibromyalgia, skin disorders (acne, psoriasis, and eczema), tinnitus, weight loss, eating disorder and digestion psychological traumas, depressed memories, phobias and PTSD.
Hypnosis also can help patients with hair loss, experts said on the basis of preliminary research results.