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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 burn-
wound 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 study found that highly suggestible individuals experienced a greater reduction in pain from hypnosis compared with placebo. psoriasis. the overall conclusion of the study was that there was no evidence that hypnosis could be used for military applications. it would be necessary to hypnotise the source under essentially hostile circumstances. whether within the context of 'hypnosis' or not. clinical or experimental. The average hypnosis patient reduced treatment costs by an average $772. Ordinary non-hypnotic suggestion also caused reduction in pain compared to placebo.00.[55] However. To obtain compliance from a resistant source.[54] Military Applications A recently declassified document obtained by The Black Vault Freedom of Information Act archive. whereas less suggestible subjects experienced no pain reduction from hypnosis when compared with placebo. for example.X. ordinary suggestion and placebo in reducing pain. but was able to reduce pain in a wider range of subjects (both high and low suggestible) than hypnosis. Barber has produced “hypnotic deafness” and “hypnotic blindness.[53] Hypnosis may be useful as an adjunct therapy for weight loss. The study concludes: . and anxiety post-surgery.[50][51] The American Psychological Association published a study comparing the effects of hypnosis. 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. that is the main determinant of causing reduction in pain. The use of hypnosis in intelligence would present certain technical problems not encountered in the clinic or laboratory. shows that hypnosis was investigated for military applications. high motivation and subject expectancy. and also that there was no clear evidence for whether 'hypnosis' actually exists as a definable phenomena outside of ordinary suggestion. There is no good evidence. and atopic dermatitis. 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. that this can be done. The group that received hypnosis reported less pain. According to the document.[52] Treating skin diseases with hypnosis (hypnodermatology)has performed well in treating warts.” 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.cancer surgery. The results showed that it is primarily the subjects responsiveness to suggestion. Furthermore. nausea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

" 3. In this state. hence strives to straighten out his/her body between two chairs. Step 3 . or that thought is dissociated and not controlled by reason. or that motor function is dissociated. when someone puts himself in a trance-like state). reason is replaced by the hypnotist's command to make decisions or believes. eHow Contributing Writer There is a long-standing perception that hypnotists possess some uncommon or even magical ability. 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. Difficulty: Easy Instructions 1. 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.that some senses are dissociated. which is often referred to as "hyper-suggestibility. Step 2 It is important to know that hypnotism is not nearly as successful as urban myth suggests. A subject who does not believe in the ability of a person to hypnotize him. 2. No one can be hypnotized against his will." the subject is open to the suggestions of the hypnotist. and that they can cause people "under their spell" to do anything they want them to do. or someone who does want to be hypnotized. won't be. or that reason is dissociated and he/she obeys the hypnotist's orders. Hypnotherapy is also based on this principle. A command can also be acted out long after the hypnosis session. resulting in immobility. in the case of self-hypnosis. it should be understood for what it really is and is not. and will be very uneasy if he/she does not do things as decided or his/her belief is contradicted. How to Avoid Hypnotism Contributor By Lisa Dorward. resulting in hypnotic anesthesia. but when hypnotized. as follows: The subject obeys the voice of reason in normal state. Although hypnosis has nothing to do with magical powers. Step 1 The state of hypnosis is said to occur when a hypnotist induces a trance-like state of consciousness in a subject (or.

Step 7 Just as no one can make you trust them. 7. On the contrary. without mental relaxation. he won't achieve that level of "hyper-suggestibility" and the hypnotic state will not be achieved. no one can make you be hypnotized. If the subject does not trust the hypnotist or hypnotherapist or is unwilling to relax his mental defenses. His decreased awareness of what is going on around him focuses his attention on the voice of the hypnotist. 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. Step 6 Even if the subject does reach a hypnotic state. 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. If you do not want to be hypnotized. 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. Without trust. 6. there is no . 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. that does not mean that what is suggested during that state is irresistible. there is no mental relaxation. 5.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. 4. Step 5 The subject is then encouraged to relax so that mental and emotional resistance is relaxed along with the muscles in his body.