How Does Hypnosis Work?May 19, 2023
When you picture hypnosis, you might see a swirling black and white optical illusion, a swinging pendulum, or a patient admitting some deep-seated secrets as if under a spell. Luckily, not all of these visualizations are entirely accurate. The truth is that hypnosis practices have unlocked the potential and power of the human subconscious for centuries. It wasn't until the 1880's that the term "hypnotism" was coined by scientist James Braid, but methods and practices are far, far older.
Regardless of our social view of hypnosis, significant scientific background suggests it has the power to relieve pain and anxiety. Not only an effective tool to reduce stress, but hypnosis is also used to treat weight problems, smoking and drug addictions, and other medical issues. Read on to learn about the power of hypnosis and what it can achieve for the human body, mind, and soul!
How Do You Enter a Hypnotic State
Not everyone is as susceptible to the methods of hypnosis. There is something called a "susceptibility scale" that will gauge how effective these types of practices are for you. To enter the trance-like state, visualization is critical. The hypnotherapist will talk with the patient and unearth what sensory experiences make them feel at ease. For example, a patient might suggest a lush forest makes them feel safe. The hypnotherapist will then conjure the imagery asking the patient to listen to the birdsong and the breeze, smell the scent of new leaves and wildflowers, etc., to help the patient visualize this scene. The result is a powerful combination of immersion and dissociation that will allow the patient to access the deepest wells of their subconscious with the aid of their hypnotherapist.
What Happens in a Hypnotic State
Once the patient is safe within a hypnotic state, the transformative work can begin. What happens next is called the "flow state," which is an altered state of consciousness. In a flow state, the patient will narrow their focus on a particular emotion, feeling, or memory while their sense of time shifts. While in a hypnotic state, the patient is far more open to the power of suggestion. What happens in a flow state is similar to what may occur during deep meditation. In this altered state, the hypnotherapist can guide the patient to reach their goals and unearth what they need to grow and heal.
What Does Hypnosis Do to our Brain?
Brain imaging and other research have shed light on hypnosis's physical and more scientific effects on the human brain. For example, studies have found that hypnosis can calm brain regions that control heart rate, blood flow, and breathing. Due to this calming effect, hypnosis leaves the patient relaxed and calm during hypnotic sessions.
Swinging pendulums and embarrassing secrets coming to light might be what we see in sensational movies and daytime TV shows; however, the power of hypnosis continues to be an effective practice for many to heal, grow, and reach unknown heights!