Hypnotherapy

Modern hypnotherapy has been used in a variety of forms, such as regression hypnotherapy (or "hypnoanalysis") and Ericksonian hypnotherapy. Hypnosis has been studied clinically with varying success. Applications include:
• • • • • • •

pain management weight loss skin disease soothing anxious surgical patients psychological therapy habit control, a way to relax, sports performance.

Self-hypnosis is popularly used to quit smoking and reduce stress, while stage hypnosis can persuade people to perform unusual public feats.[37]

Medical applications
Relaxation techniques and suggestion have been used to reduce pain in childbirth (sometimes called 'Hypnobirthing')[38] Hypnotherapy has been used to treat irritable bowel syndrome. Researchers who recently reviewed the best studies in this area conclude:
The evidence for hypnosis as an efficacious treatment of IBS was encouraging. Two of three studies that investigated the use of hypnosis for IBS were well designed and showed a clear effect for the hypnotic treatment of IBS.[39]

Hypnosis for IBS has received moderate support in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance published for UK health services.[40] It has been used as an aid or alternative to chemical anaesthesia,[41][42][43] and it has been studied as a way to soothe skin ailments.[44] A number of studies show that hypnosis can reduce the pain experienced during burnwound debridement, bone marrow aspirations, and childbirth. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis found that hypnosis relieved the pain of 75% of 933 subjects participating in 27 different experiments.[45] In 1996, the National Institutes of Health declared hypnosis effective in reducing pain from cancer and other chronic conditions.[45] Nausea and other symptoms related to incurable diseases may also be managed with hypnosis.[46][47][48][49] For example, research done at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine studied two patient groups facing breast

the overall conclusion of the study was that there was no evidence that hypnosis could be used for military applications. nausea.00. clinical or experimental. To obtain compliance from a resistant source.[53] Hypnosis may be useful as an adjunct therapy for weight loss. psoriasis.cancer surgery. The group that received hypnosis reported less pain. Barber has produced “hypnotic deafness” and “hypnotic blindness. that this can be done. The study found that highly suggestible individuals experienced a greater reduction in pain from hypnosis compared with placebo. the document states that: It would be difficult to find an area of scientific interest more beset by divided professional opinion and contradictory experimental evidence…No one can say whether hypnosis is a qualitatively unique state with some physiological and conditioned response components or only a form of suggestion induced by high motivation and a positive relationship between hypnotist and subject…T. whether within the context of 'hypnosis' or not. it would be necessary to hypnotise the source under essentially hostile circumstances. but was able to reduce pain in a wider range of subjects (both high and low suggestible) than hypnosis. for example. A 1996 meta-analysis studying hypnosis combined with cognitive-behavioural therapy found that people using both treatments lost more weight than people using CBT alone. and anxiety post-surgery. ordinary suggestion and placebo in reducing pain. high motivation and subject expectancy. that is the main determinant of causing reduction in pain. The results showed that it is primarily the subjects responsiveness to suggestion. shows that hypnosis was investigated for military applications. The use of hypnosis in intelligence would present certain technical problems not encountered in the clinic or laboratory. The average hypnosis patient reduced treatment costs by an average $772. According to the document.[50][51] The American Psychological Association published a study comparing the effects of hypnosis. The study concludes: . and also that there was no clear evidence for whether 'hypnosis' actually exists as a definable phenomena outside of ordinary suggestion.” analgesia and other responses seen in hypnosis—all without hypnotizing anyone…Orne has shown that unhypnotized persons can be motivated to equal and surpass the supposed superhuman physical feats seen in hypnosis. Furthermore.[55] However.[52] Treating skin diseases with hypnosis (hypnodermatology)has performed well in treating warts.[54] Military Applications A recently declassified document obtained by The Black Vault Freedom of Information Act archive. Ordinary non-hypnotic suggestion also caused reduction in pain compared to placebo. and atopic dermatitis. whereas less suggestible subjects experienced no pain reduction from hypnosis when compared with placebo.X. There is no good evidence.

Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis in psychotherapy.[45] Controversy surrounds the use of hypnotherapy to retrieve memories. stating that "it is impossible.[57] The full paper explores the potentials of operational uses."[64] Past life regression. (Success rates vary: a meta-study researching hypnosis as a quit-smoking tool found it had a 20 to 30 percent success rate. who is supported by Dr. compulsions. Joseph Babiński. meanwhile. also conducted by the CIA. to distinguish a true memory from a false one.. certain types of memory loss. and posttraumatic stress. compulsive gaming. psychologists.[56] According to Congressional testimony. sleep disorders.It is probably significant that in the long history of hypnosis.using hypnosis. "Blanche" (Marie) Wittman.[58] Psychotherapy Professor Charcot (left) of Paris' Salpêtrière demonstrates hypnosis on a "hysterical" patient. false memories. eating disorders.[65] Self-hypnosis Main article: Self-hypnosis . without corroborative evidence. Many of these programs were done domestically and on participants who were not informed of the study's purposes or that they would be given drugs. is often viewed with skepticism.[57] the CIA experimented with utilizing LSD and hypnosis for mind control.[60][61] Certified hypnotherapists who are not physicians or psychologists often treat smoking and weight management.. there are no reliable accounts of its effective use by an intelligence service. Michael Nash wrote: .[63]) In a July 2001 article for Scientific American titled "The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis". anxiety. especially those from early childhood or (alleged) past-lives. and others. The American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association caution against repressed memory therapy in cases of alleged childhood trauma.[59] It is used by licensed physicians. Physicians and psychiatrists may use hypnosis to treat depression. scientists have temporarily created hallucinations.[62] while a 2007 study of patients hospitalised for cardiac and pulmonary ailments found that smokers who used hypnosis to quit smoking doubled their chances of success. where the potential application to intelligence has always been known. similar to other quitsmoking methods. and delusions in the laboratory so that these phenomena can be studied in a controlled environment. Research into hypnosis in military applications is further verified by the MKULTRA experiments.

many people believe that hypnosis is a form of mind control. stagecraft. suggestibility. before an expectant audience. Due to stage hypnotists' showmanship. These may involve requests to "play along" or fake hypnotic responses. the performer also tends to select the most extroverted members of the audience. the effects of stage hypnosis are probably due to a combination of psychological factors such as peer pressure. Self-hypnosis is claimed to help with stage fright. Okay? Swell. [The hypnotist whispers off-microphone:] “We are going to have some good laughs on the audience and fool them… so when I tell you to do some funny things.[68] [page needed] Books by stage hypnotists sometimes explicitly describe the use of deception in their acts. quit smoking. Deception of the audience. relaxation. People who practice self-hypnosis sometimes require assistance. or reduce stress.Self-hypnosis happens when a person hypnotises himself or herself. Stage hypnotists are performers who traditionally. Participants on stage tend to be compliant because of the social pressure felt in the situation constructed on stage. are usually used to select out the most suggestible and compliant subjects from the audience. participant selection. However. employ a variety of "sleight of hand" strategies to mislead their audience for dramatic effect. Participant compliance. some people use devices known as mind machines to assist in the process. but not always. social compliance.[67] The desire to be the centre of attention. The hypnotist lowers his microphone and whispers secret instructions to the participant on stage. By asking for volunteers to mount the stage.)[69] Stage hypnosis traditionally employs three fundamental strategies: 1. 3. physical manipulation. traditionally employed in a club or theatre before an audience. Participant selection. for example. . Off-microphone whispers. having an excuse to violate their own fear suppressors and the pressure to please are thought to convince subjects to 'play along'. The strategies of deception employed in traditional stage hypnosis can be categorised as follows: 1.” (Then deliberately wink at the spectator in a friendly fashion. Preliminary suggestion tests. 2. and trickery. such as asking the audience to clasp their hands and suggesting they cannot be separated. while others use hypnotic recordings.[66] Stage hypnosis Main article: Stage hypnosis Stage hypnosis is a form of entertainment. Ormond McGill's New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnosis describes an entire "fake hypnosis" act which depends upon the use of private whispers throughout. commonly involving the use of autosuggestion. outside of the audience's hearing. do exactly as I secretly tell you. and physical well-being. The technique is often used to increase motivation for a diet.

[83] A 2004 review of research examining the EEG laboratory work in this area concludes: .[74] [page needed] Neuropsychology Neurological imaging techniques provide no evidence of a neurological pattern that can be equated with a "hypnotic trance". in normal circumstances without hypnosis. The stage hypnotist pretends to challenge subjects to defy a suggestion. Hypnotic methods have been used to re-experience drug states. without any changes in the subjects' perception or experience. without real perceptual changes.[82] This may therefore indicate that highly suggestible hypnotic subjects are simply activating to a greater extent the areas of the brain used in imagination." However. These changes vary depending upon the type of suggestions being given. physical therapy and rehabilitation.[71] and mystical experiences. but simply depends on the fact that when subjects are positioned in the correct way they can support more weight than the audience assumes. The most famous example of this type is the "human plank" trick. 3.[72][73] Some people have drawn analogies between certain aspects of hypnotism and areas such as crowd psychology.2. which involves making a subject's body become rigid (cataleptic) and suspending them horizontally between two chairs.g. However. what these results indicate is unclear.[70] Hypnotism has also been employed by artists for creative purposes most notably the surrealist circle of André Breton who employed hypnosis. Stage hypnosis literature contains a large repertoire of sleight of hand tricks. Other uses Hypnotism has also been used in forensics.[80][81] However. religious hysteria. sports. "You cannot stand up out of your chair because your backside is stuck down with glue. They may indicate that suggestions genuinely produce changes in perception or experience that are not simply a result of imagination. Fake hypnosis tricks. at which point the hypnotist will often stand upon their chest for dramatic effect. This has nothing to do with hypnosis. None of these tricks require any hypnosis or suggestion. no specific cue is given to the participants to begin their effort ("Start trying now!"). This creates the illusion that a specific challenge has been issued and effort made to defy it. Changes in brain activity have been found in some studies of highly responsive hypnotic subjects. Another study has demonstrated that a color hallucination suggestion given to subjects in hypnosis activated color-processing regions of the occipital cortex. e.. of the kind used by professional illusionists. Failure to challenge. and ritual trances in preliterate tribal cultures. automatic writing and sketches for creative purposes. education. the brain regions associated with motion detection are activated both when motion is seen and when motion is imagined. depending on physical manipulation and audience deception.

called the Stroop task. but not when the highly hypnotizable individuals are passively relaxed. They said nothing about the water being cold or feeling pain. This area of the brain has been shown to respond to errors and evaluate emotional outcomes. The team screened subjects before the study and chose 12 that were highly susceptible to hypnosis and 12 with low susceptibility. The highly susceptible group also showed much greater brain activity on the left side of the prefrontal cortex than the weakly susceptible group. enhanced theta is observed during hypnosis when there is task performance or concentrative hypnosis. hypothesised that hypnosis causes the subjects to divide their consciousness voluntarily. Hilgard then asked the subjects to lift their index finger if they felt pain and 70% of the subjects lifted their index finger. But under hypnosis. who developed the "neodissociation" theory of hypnotism. and the individual would respond with autonomic. before hypnosis. Anna Gosline claims: "Gruzelier and his colleagues studied brain activity using an fMRI while subjects completed a standard cognitive exercise. somewhat sleepy and/or more diffuse in their attention.[84] The induction phase of hypnosis may also affect the activity in brain regions which control intention and process conflict. reflexive behaviour. During their first task session.Hypnosis is not a unitary state and therefore should show different patterns of EEG activity depending upon the task being experienced. This showed that even though the subjects were listening to the suggestive hypnotist they still sensed the water's temperature. Hilgard made subjects take an ice water bath."[85][86] [edit] Dissociation Pierre Janet originally developed the idea of dissociation of consciousness from his work with hysterical patients. Weitzenhoffer describes hypnosis via this theory as "dissociation of awareness from the majority of sensory and even strictly neural events taking place. They all completed the task in the fMRI under normal conditions and then again under hypnosis. whereby areas of an individual's behavioural control separate from ordinary awareness. Throughout the study. In our evaluation of the literature. This is an area involved with higher level cognitive processing and behaviour. He believed that hypnosis was an example of dissociation.[88] . achieving similar scores regardless of their mental state. there were no significant differences in brain activity between the groups. Gruzelier found that the highly susceptible subjects showed significantly more brain activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus than the weakly susceptible subjects. Hypnosis would remove some control from the conscious mind. both groups were consistent in their task results."[87][page needed] [edit] Neodissociation Ernest Hilgard. One part responds to the hypnotist while the other retains awareness of reality.

Changes in brain activity have been found in some studies of highly responsive hypnotic subjects. reasoning … etc. reason is replaced by the hypnotist's command to make decisions or believes. somewhat sleepy and/or more diffuse in their attention.[83] A 2004 review of research examining the EEG laboratory work in this area concludes: Hypnosis is not a unitary state and therefore should show different patterns of EEG activity depending upon the task being experienced. hence strives to straighten out his/her body between two chairs.D. Hypnotherapy is also based on this principle. They may indicate that suggestions genuinely produce changes in perception or experience that are not simply a result of imagination. enhanced theta is observed during hypnosis when there is task performance or concentrative hypnosis. These changes vary depending upon the type of suggestions being given. or that motor function is dissociated. moving.[84] The induction phase of hypnosis may also affect the activity in brain regions which control intention and process conflict. and will be very uneasy if he/she does not do things as decided or his/her belief is contradicted.[edit] Mind-dissociation This surprisingly simple theory was proposed by Y. Anna Gosline claims: . as follows: The subject obeys the voice of reason in normal state.[80][81] However. the brain regions associated with motion detection are activated both when motion is seen and when motion is imagined. but not when the highly hypnotizable individuals are passively relaxed. Another study has demonstrated that a color hallucination suggestion given to subjects in hypnosis activated color-processing regions of the occipital cortex. or that some senses are dissociated. it might be that his/her imagination is dissociated and sends the imagined content back to the sensory cortex. resulting in dreams or hallucinations. in normal circumstances without hypnosis. imagining. sensing. When a person is hypnotized.[82] This may therefore indicate that highly suggestible hypnotic subjects are simply activating to a greater extent the areas of the brain used in imagination. or that reason is dissociated and he/she obeys the hypnotist's orders. resulting in hypnotic anesthesia. what these results indicate is unclear. but when hypnotized. In our evaluation of the literature. Tsai in 1995[89] as part of his psychosomatic theory of dreams. However. without any changes in the subjects' perception or experience. Neuropsychology Neurological imaging techniques provide no evidence of a neurological pattern that can be equated with a "hypnotic trance". such as thinking. or that thought is dissociated and not controlled by reason. without real perceptual changes. resulting in immobility. Many bizarre states of consciousness are actually the results of dissociation of certain mental functions from "I". "I" also supervises memory. Inside each brain. A command can also be acted out long after the hypnosis session. there is a program " I " (the conscious self) which is distributed over the conscious brain and coordinates mental functions (cortices).

before hypnosis. such as thinking. reflexive behaviour. They said nothing about the water being cold or feeling pain. imagining."[85][86] [edit] Dissociation Pierre Janet originally developed the idea of dissociation of consciousness from his work with hysterical patients. it might be that his/her imagination is dissociated and sends the imagined content back to the sensory cortex."[87][page needed] [edit] Neodissociation Ernest Hilgard. Inside each brain. or . "I" also supervises memory. Hypnosis would remove some control from the conscious mind. Tsai in 1995[89] as part of his psychosomatic theory of dreams. Many bizarre states of consciousness are actually the results of dissociation of certain mental functions from "I". This area of the brain has been shown to respond to errors and evaluate emotional outcomes. whereby areas of an individual's behavioural control separate from ordinary awareness. This showed that even though the subjects were listening to the suggestive hypnotist they still sensed the water's temperature. achieving similar scores regardless of their mental state. and the individual would respond with autonomic. Weitzenhoffer describes hypnosis via this theory as "dissociation of awareness from the majority of sensory and even strictly neural events taking place. both groups were consistent in their task results. Throughout the study. The team screened subjects before the study and chose 12 that were highly susceptible to hypnosis and 12 with low susceptibility.D. called the Stroop task. He believed that hypnosis was an example of dissociation. They all completed the task in the fMRI under normal conditions and then again under hypnosis. hypothesised that hypnosis causes the subjects to divide their consciousness voluntarily. Hilgard made subjects take an ice water bath. During their first task session. But under hypnosis. When a person is hypnotized.[88] [edit] Mind-dissociation This surprisingly simple theory was proposed by Y. One part responds to the hypnotist while the other retains awareness of reality. there were no significant differences in brain activity between the groups. there is a program " I " (the conscious self) which is distributed over the conscious brain and coordinates mental functions (cortices). This is an area involved with higher level cognitive processing and behaviour. moving. who developed the "neodissociation" theory of hypnotism. Gruzelier found that the highly susceptible subjects showed significantly more brain activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus than the weakly susceptible subjects. The highly susceptible group also showed much greater brain activity on the left side of the prefrontal cortex than the weakly susceptible group."Gruzelier and his colleagues studied brain activity using an fMRI while subjects completed a standard cognitive exercise. reasoning … etc. Hilgard then asked the subjects to lift their index finger if they felt pain and 70% of the subjects lifted their index finger. resulting in dreams or hallucinations. sensing.

hence strives to straighten out his/her body between two chairs. and that they can cause people "under their spell" to do anything they want them to do. or that reason is dissociated and he/she obeys the hypnotist's orders. which is often referred to as "hyper-suggestibility. eHow Contributing Writer There is a long-standing perception that hypnotists possess some uncommon or even magical ability. or that motor function is dissociated. but when hypnotized. How to Avoid Hypnotism Contributor By Lisa Dorward." 3. This belief has been fueled by the stage hypnotist who brings people out of an audience and apparently gets them to do things that they would seemingly never do. A subject who does not believe in the ability of a person to hypnotize him. Hypnotherapy is also based on this principle. In this state. Difficulty: Easy Instructions 1. in the case of self-hypnosis. Step 3 . it should be understood for what it really is and is not. No one can be hypnotized against his will. Although hypnosis has nothing to do with magical powers. as follows: The subject obeys the voice of reason in normal state.that some senses are dissociated. resulting in immobility. Step 1 The state of hypnosis is said to occur when a hypnotist induces a trance-like state of consciousness in a subject (or. reason is replaced by the hypnotist's command to make decisions or believes. or someone who does want to be hypnotized. when someone puts himself in a trance-like state). Step 2 It is important to know that hypnotism is not nearly as successful as urban myth suggests. The success of a stage hypnotist depends upon his ability to spot extroverts in a crowd and those who have a natural inclination to "go along. resulting in hypnotic anesthesia. or that thought is dissociated and not controlled by reason. and will be very uneasy if he/she does not do things as decided or his/her belief is contradicted." the subject is open to the suggestions of the hypnotist. A command can also be acted out long after the hypnosis session. 2. won't be.

If you do not want to be hypnotized. the mere fact that someone is trying to get you to do something you don't want to do is sufficient reason for you not to trust the person. that does not mean that what is suggested during that state is irresistible. 6. 7. there is no mental relaxation. without mental relaxation. 4. On the contrary. Step 7 Just as no one can make you trust them. he won't achieve that level of "hyper-suggestibility" and the hypnotic state will not be achieved. His decreased awareness of what is going on around him focuses his attention on the voice of the hypnotist.Even most hypnotists say that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis because the subject is always in control and always has the choice to follow or not follow the hypnotist's suggestions. If the subject does not trust the hypnotist or hypnotherapist or is unwilling to relax his mental defenses. there is no . no one can make you be hypnotized. Step 4 The process of hypnotism begins with the subject closing her eyes so that she has a decreased awareness of what is going on around her through physical and peripheral perception. Step 6 Even if the subject does reach a hypnotic state. 5. Without trust. Step 5 The subject is then encouraged to relax so that mental and emotional resistance is relaxed along with the muscles in his body. it may take many sessions before even the willing subject is able to quiet her unwanted fears and impulses and rely on the suggestions she's listened to while under hypnosis. The reason that hypnotherapy can be successful is that the subject wants to follow the suggestions of the hypnotherapist but has been unable to quiet her own doubts or fears by herself effectively enough to replace them with the desired attitudes or behavioral impulses.