What Really Happens When You Are Hypnotized Revealed

What you thought you knew might not be true after all.

Source: What Really Happens When You Are Hypnotized Revealed

August 31, 2015
By First to Know

There is a lot of myth and misunderstanding that surrounds the practice of hypnotism and hypnotherapy. From fear of mind control to becoming lost in a trance, and of course the classic trope of being made to “cluck like a chicken” in front of an entire audience, it’s hard to sort fact from fiction for those new to the world of hypnosis.

For an outsider, the world of hypnotism sounds kind of scary! So we’re going to break it down for you, and explain what really happens when you are hypnotized.

In reality, hypnosis refers to a trance-like state into which a person can enter. Hypnotherapy is a calming, soothing practice that can reap a multitude of benefits to those who practice.

Hypnosis heightens the senses and focus of the individual. Often times this helps the patient get in touch with their subconscious mind. This aids in many things, including dealing with major physical and psychological struggles.

Frequently hypnotherapy is used by patients to cope with anxiety, pain, or to better control bad habits and sleeping disorders, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Usually the experience is guided by a trained hypnotherapist. The hypnotherapist will guide the subject into the trance and through the session using verbal cues, repetition, and mental imagery. It’s actually quite similar to meditation.

Then at the end of the session the patient is simply asked to awaken themselves from that state.

So here are a few common myths that are actually wrong, and instead what actually happens during hypnosis that prove it’s not so scary after all.

A person can be hypnotized against their will, or fall under “mind control” and do things they do not want to do.

According to the Hypnosis Help Center, this is simply not true. A person must be a willing participant in order to be hypnotized. Someone who has been hypnotized will not do something that they wouldn’t do while in a “waking state.”

So what happens during a hypnotism at a stage show, when a hypnotist make audience members do some really weird stuff?

While under hypnosis, a person may be more open to suggestion, but they always have control over their own behavior. A participant at a stage show may go along with “performance” commands—like clucking, or barking—but only if they are willing to do so.

Being hypnotized just means you fall asleep.

This is also not true, mostly. Entering into a state of hypnosis will make the subject more in touch with their subconscious. This heightens their senses. However someone who is already tired may fall asleep—like how someone might doze-off during meditation. At that point the person is no longer in hypnosis, simply a relaxed sleep.

You can get “stuck” in hypnosis.

Because you do not lose control of yourself when hypnotized, it is not possible to become stuck in a state of hypnosis.

Hypnosis Seems To Offer ‘Therapeutic Value’.

For some time now, medicine has had an interest in the potential of hypnosis. Existing for hundreds of years, hypnosis has always seemed to have an intriguing and almost unbelievable hold on the mind, suggesting its capability to help the human psyche and body alike. But as hypnosis seems to become more relevant in medicine, used in psychological settings, as an alternative anesthetic and a way to reduce symptoms of disease, researchers are wondering if there is a way to test its efficacy. In a new study by researchers from INSERM, a team under lead author Bruno Falissard looked into how effective hypnosis has been in some of its popular applications. Among its many uses, researchers looked at hypnosis involving women’s health, digestive ailments, surgery, and psychiatry. They also looked into the potential risks associated with hypnosis.According to the researchers, hypnosis exists in between sleep and wakefulness as a state of altered consciousness. When examining the effect hypnosis has on the brain, imaging techniques like MRIs have found that hypnosis creates a change; past researchers have observed differences in brain activity of certain regions of the brain when someone is undergoing hypnosis.As of now, there are a few common uses of hypnosis in a medical setting. The first is hypnoanalgesia, or using hypnosis as a potential pain reliever. Others include hypnosedation, which uses both anesthesia and hypnosis to sedate a patient, as well as hypnotherapy which utilizes hypnosis in a psychiatric setting. Along with hypnosis, the researchers looked at Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EDMR), a form of therapy developed from hypnosis used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.Falissard and his team faced several obstacles when conducting their research; because hypnosis training in France can be offered both by universities and private organizations, the qualifications of hypnotists and who can be certified to become a hypnotist are not fixed. Keeping this in mind, researchers selected the conditions they sought to evaluate and looked at the results of 52 clinical trials, along with 17 trials involving EDMR therapy.When examining the trials, the researchers first observed that hypnotherapy often yielded an improvement in symptoms for patients with irritable bowel syndrome; many reported the reduction of abdominal pain, bloating, and episodes of diarrhea. It then examined the results of hypnosis used in conjunction with anesthesia. Specifically, the team looked at surgical procedures like wisdom tooth extractions, breast biopsies, transcatheter procedures and pregnancy terminations, which were often accompanied by the use of painkillers. Overall, they found that when hypnosis was used along with surgeries, patients’ use of painkillers afterward was reduced.Even though hypnosis’s benefit for PTSD patients is still questionable, many have previously found that EDMR therapy can be very effective. Out of all the other applications of hypnosis-based therapies, the researchers found that EDMR targeting trauma-centered cognitive behavioral therapies showed the most beneficial outcome. But, so far the team has only observed the potential of EDMR therapy in adults, because very few trials have examined children and adolescents.Though the team had planned to examine how hypnosis impacts other medical practices, the trials they examined could not produce conclusive data. The INSERM team thus could not determine whether hypnosis was effective in pain management during childbirth, preventing post-partum depression, and helping those with schizophrenia.When searching for safety repercussions, the researchers found some promising results in the trials; there were no serious, negative effects associated with hypnosis in these environments. They warn, however, that adverse effects are still a possibility, even though the incidence of them was observed to be low.Though researchers found that medical practitioners are interested in hypnotherapy, the legal standards as they are now must be reexamined. Currently, French laws regarding hypnosis allow health professionals and non-health professionals alike to practice hypnosis. As hypnosis is already an unconventional practice, it is important that it be professionally and safely executed in a medical setting, especially when used in conjunction with anesthesia.Study: Falissard B, Barry C, Hassler C, et al.  Assessment of the effectiveness of hypnosis. 2015.

Source: Hypnosis Seems To Offer ‘Therapeutic Value,’ But Experts Still Can’t Say For Sure