Does Hypnosis Work?

Hypnosis was first introduced for medical applications in the mid-1800s, as a way to sedate patients before major operations. Before hypnosis, the only other alternative – a couple of shots of strong alcohol – was quite barbaric. Since then, the use of hypnosis for medical requirements has evolved and it is now considered an accepted medical therapy to treat a broad range of health concerns. These range from childbirth pain all the way through to weight loss. How does hypnosis affect the human body? It’s believed that hypnosis improves health through physiologically changing mental processes. Neuroscientist Marjorie Woollacott defines the impact of hypnosis on the human body as follows: “our thoughts have the power to alter our physiology in many ways, including not only the function of the pain pathways in our brain, but also the manifestation of a genetically inherited disease.” Does hypnosis work differently in changing mental processes depending on the individual? Studies have revealed that hypnosis doesn’t have the same physiological effects on everyone, although the healing benefits are generally the same. A study on hypnosis, conducted by Halligan and Oakley in 2009, found that the same hypnotic procedure resulted in patients experiencing pain relief through different neural passageways. During the study some subjects had pain-reducing physiological changes in the anterior cingulate cortex (the area of the brain responsible for making decisions), whereas other subjects had the same pain reduction benefits, but these occurred in the somatosensory cortex, which is where the perception of touch develops. So it’s the individual’s mind that is able to decide what part of the brain will be used to block...

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...

Positive Thoughts Prevent Stress & Anxiety

Be Positive And Think Positive To Help With Stress And Anxiety I have previously blogged on thoughts which either create stress and anxiety or eliminate stress and anxiety. I want to use this blog to talk more about the power of thoughts. Basically, all we are, are thoughts and beliefs. Thoughts are more powerful than words. Also, thoughts travel. This is a fact that many people can’t get their minds around. If they can’t see, feel, hear, smell or taste it, they have difficulty in believing that it exists. I’m now going to relate a short case history of a client, which has compounded my belief in the fact that thoughts travel: they are more powerful than words. In addition, the power of thoughts helps to eliminate stress and anxiety. An elderly lady came to me to help her stop smoking. In many cases it’s straight forward: I always ask them what else is going on in their lives. If they are dealing with an emotional problem, I help them take the emotion away. The situation is not the problem, it’s the negative emotion of the situation that has created stress and anxiety. The lady’s son had got married and for some reason the son’s wife did not want the son to have any contact with his mother. They did not live very far away and also had a baby, which the son’s mother had never seen. Men might understand the trauma of the situation but for a mother it’s an extremely major issue and really only a mother can fully understand the stress and anxiety that the son’s...