Science Catches up with Practice: How Hypnosis Works on the Brain

Hypnosis dates all the way back to the 18th century, when a charismatic healer called Franz Anton Mesmer – who believed in the link between the heavenly bodies and human health – set about curing illnesses with an array of fancy theatrics and magnets. But what we now know, with much more certainty, is that real science is at the heart of hypnosis, whether it was Mesmer and his interest in Paracelsian astrological principles, or modern day hypnotherapy on the Gold Coast. Hypnosis is real What has always been relatively clear, even over those hundreds of years, is that hypnosis is something. It’s real. People stop smoking, get over phobias, cope with extreme stress and trauma and deal with pain and a huge list of other things, all with the brain rather than medication. That much and more is crystal clear. But scientific arguments about what is really happening in the brain during hypnosis have always raged, because the mind is deeply mysterious and even the very latest 21st century science has been unable to properly explain it. Indeed, it’s still not clear exactly how hypnosis works on the brain in this strange, conscious-yet-trance-like, non-sleep state of relaxation, with heightened imagination and extreme concentration and suggestibility. Scientists have not even been able to agree if it really is a separate neuro-physiological state or whether the subject is kind of just ‘playing the game’. But that science is finally catching up with hypnosis A study conducted by Stanford University has found evidence that something fundamentally different really is happening in the brain beyond a subject’s mere expectations. MRI scanners found actual...

Smoking Causing Financial Stress

Why Smokers are Becoming More Stressed I have been helping smokers to quit for several years.  Although I personally am a non-smoker, I fully understand how smoking can become addictive and the power of nicotine. My brief experience of smoking goes back to my time spent in the Royal Marines.  I was in the commando division in the terrorists campaign in Cyprus.  This was way back in 1955 (this has really given away my age now!).  Our division had two smokers, the remainder non-smokers. On Christmas Day we were on duty and the CO brought us cigarettes and beers.  Persuaded by others, I had just one cigarette.  I didn’t enjoy it.  The following day was our Christmas Day.  After our dinner there was nothing else to do except go to the NAFFI, smoke and drink. Our camp was way up in the mountains with no way to leave. I started a smoke and before I was even half way through the cigarette, we were called out on duty.  I forget the reason –  probably an ambush or some other emergency.  I put the cigarette out and never picked up another.  It was not long before I was the only non-smoker in the section.  That is the history of my personal smoking experience. I think it ironical that my main clients are smokers.  Just think of the money and stress I have saved myself.  Although back in those days, being on active service, we could buy cigarettes for a shilling per packet.  I will not go into the conversion, I think a rough calculation would be a fraction of a dollar per packet....