Discovery: How hypnosis actually works

July 2016

So I ran across this new article from CNBC. Now it’s not the first time I’ve seen imaging that shows at least some details as far as what happens when a person is hypnotized within the brain. However, this one is especially interesting and it’s very concise. It shows easily what happens in our brain that makes the process effective for us. I’m going to copy and paste the three main mechanisms that were noted:

  1. They saw decreased activity in a region known as the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, a region known to be critical for evaluating contexts, which aids in deciding what to worry about and what to ignore in a particular situation. Reducing that activity shows hypnotized people are able to suspend judgement and immerse themselves in something, without thinking of what else they could or should be attending.
  2. The second change appeared in some of the parts of the brain that give people the ability to separate the thoughts in their heads from the feelings in their bodies. People in hypnosis “can picture something that makes them stressed, but they can imagine that their bodies are floating and comfortable,” said the study’s senior author, Stanford psychiatry professor David Spiegel, in an interview with CNBC. “So, when you are thinking about something, you can better control how your body responds to that thought.”
  3. The third region affected is located very deep in the brain and involves self-consciousness. “People who are hypnotized tend not to be self-conscious, and so they will do things they wouldn’t normally do,” Spiegel said. “That has therapeutic potential. You can get people to shake up the way they react to problems and approach them from a different point of view.”

So there ya go! Pretty cool stuff! Times have certainly changed and opinions regarding hypnosis have changed for the better, but there are still some misunderstandings of it. Research like this really links up with the anecdotal evidence. We have well over a hundred years of evidence and I’d say at least forty years of very solid research to back it up. We’ve had plenty of research studies that, using various numbers of people, show that certain percents are helped. Such as weight loss hypnosis research. Now we have some of the best physical evidence out there to combine with the results seen. It’s really a window into the internal processes. We get to see into the engine that drives the car. We know the car moves, but what’s really happening in the engine area? Now we have a good idea, and that’s cool!  Here is the link to the article:

Please pass this along to anyone it may help! Thanks for reading!