Hypnotic Suggestions: The Elements of Hypnosis Suggestions And How Hypnosis Suggestion Is Used

What Is Hypnosis: A Quick Overview of Hypnotherapy
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Hypnosis: What is it, and does it work?

Complications may occur due to faulty technique on the part of the hypnotist or because of misconceptions on the part of the subject regarding hypnosis. For a fuller discussion on the potential dangers of hypnosis read this section of Campbell Perry's discussion of hypnosis on the False Memory Syndrome's website.

A: The simple answer is no, you can't be made to do anything you don't want to do in hypnosis. In hypnosis you retain power over your ability to act upon suggestions, although if you do allow yourself to act upon a suggestion you may feel as though the effects are happening by themselves. They found that 5 out of 6 high hypnotizable participants did throw the 'acid', but that 6 out of 6 low hypnotizable participants who were asked to simulate being in hypnosis threw the 'acid' too.

This experiment shows that it's not something special about being in hypnosis which could make people perform antisocial acts, but rather something about the social situation the experiment was conducted in. The logic of the experiment is that if you can get people to commit antisocial acts without hypnosis the low hypnotizables who were being asked to pretend then there is no need to use hypnosis to explain what people are doing for more information on experiments involving authority read about Stanley Milgram's famous experiment here. A: The short answer is no.

Although the word hypnosis is derived from the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos, studies have shown that hypnosis and sleep differ. Studies of brain activity have shown that although there are characteristic patterns of brain activity associated with sleep the same has not been demonstrated of hypnosis. To observers hypnosis might appear to be like sleep because suggestions of relaxation are commonly given as part of a hypnotic routine, but hypnotised people are in a state more similar to wakefulness and hypnosis has even been induced in people riding exercise bicycles - so called 'active alert' hypnosis.

A: The answer is that hypnosis probably feels different for everybody. Different people have all sorts of bodily responses to relaxation instructions - some feel as though their body is very heavy, whereas some can feel very light, almost as if they were floating. Mentally, again people have all sorts of responses. People typically report feeling very focussed or absorbed, often effortlessly so. Since instructions for imagery are often used people can have very vivid imaginative experiences - many report feeling 'as if they were there'.

Erika Fromm wrote a great book on self-hypnosis , based up the results of extensive research, which contains a lot of interesting descriptions from participants in her studies.

Use of Hypnosis in the Treatment of Pain

A: There is no evidence that anybody can become stuck in hypnosis. The worst that might happen could be that you fall asleep - and wake up unhypnotised! The result was that participants spontaneously woke up, the high hypnotisables taking slightly longer to do so. A: Hypnosis isn't a treatment in its own right, but when used by a qualified doctor, dentist, or psychologist hypnosis can be helpful in treating: pain, anxiety conditions including phobia, panic, PTSD , depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and many more.

See the hypnotherapy section for more information. A: Different countries regulate hypnosis and psychotherapy in varied ways and in many countires no specialist training is required in order to call oneself a 'hypnotherapist'. The International Society of Hypnosis recommends that the only therapists using hypnosis should be those who are already qualified in a professional discipline such as medicine, dentistry, psychology or psychotherapy.

First you look for that professional certificate on the wall -- physician, dentist, clinical psychologist, or whatever. Then you look for the certificate of hypnosis. A: NLP, or Neuro-linguistic programming, is a set of techniques that are intended to promote personal development.

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Some of these techniques were developed from the work of successful hypnotherapists, notably Milton Erickson. NLP remains scientifically unvalidated and is not a part of mainstream academic psychology. There is a great account of NLP on Skepdic, the skeptic's dictionary. A: Careful use of language is certainly important when using hypnosis, but it's hard to say whether a particular word is more suggestive than another. It is now generally accepted that how well a person responds to suggestion is more to do with their individual characteristics suggestibility, willingness, absorption than to do with the power or authority of the hypnotist e.

Experiments have been carried out to compare the effects of these types of suggestion but results do not allow us to conclude that one is more effective than the other 4. Question submitted by an anonymous user. A: There's really not much evidence that hypnosis is an effective treatment for alcoholism. A: There are no recorded cases of hypnosis causing or playing a role in the creation of a sleep disorder.

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In fact, there is much evidence that hypnosis can actually play a useful role in treating sleep disorders such as insomnia Borkovec, , sleep-terror and sleepwalking Hurwitz, A: Science is a method of discovering knowledge: it's really a process of subjecting your ideas to an empirical test to see whether they are supported by evidence see the Wikipedia entry for a much more detailed description. Many researchers take a scientific approach to studying hypnosis: they generate research questions hypotheses , then they systematically test them to see whether they are supported.

Our knowledge of hypnosis advances because of this: people used to believe that the effects of hypnosis were due to a mysterious magnetic fluid; we now believe that the effects are the result of a communication between hypnotist and subject which can affect the way the brain processes information. Research psychologists are interested in what hypnosis is, and doctors and clinical psychologists are interested in what effects hypnosis can have upon medical and psychological conditions.

Their research is published in journals, and you can search the knowledge base using online tools like PubMed or Google Scholar. So there are certainly scientists interested in hypnosis, and you could say that there is a science of hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is the name we give to using hypnosis to treat psychological and medical conditions, and there is relevant research about using hypnosis to treat illness.

However, 'hypnotherapy' is a controversial term. Professional organisations such as the ISH , ASCH , and ESH believe that only suitably qualified professionals such as doctors, dentists, psychologists should use hypnosis, and that they should use it as a tool alongside their other professional skills. People who call themselves 'hypnotherapists' don't in general tend to have any healthcare qualifications other than hypnotherapy training, and they don't tend to publish much research.

Given that, it might be fair to say that there is a science of hypnotherapy, but that 'hypnotherapists' don't contribute much to it.

A: The idea that we can learn while we are asleep, so called 'hypnopaedia', was popular during the 's. That is also the time when most of the research was done. Not much research has been done since which indicates that this is probably not a fruitful topic of research.

More contemporary research has examined whether it is possible for people undergoing general anaesthesia to learn. In these experiments very simple 'learning' is tested: much simpler than the kinds of deep level learning that you might want from a hypnosis CD. The indications are that it might be possible for very simple associations to be formed, but that the complex meanings of events are not truly learned Deeprose, In summary, the evidence so far seems to point towards hypnosis requiring the participant to be awake.

Question submitted by a reader. A: No more or less than they do when they are not under hypnosis. Hypnosis cannot compel people to do things they don't want to do, and it can't force them to be truthful either. Suggestions given during hypnosis can deliberately or inadvertently affect memories, and for this reason hypnotically-assisted memory recall is not admissable in court in most countries.

Question submitted by an anonymous reader. A: See the answer above about whether hypnosis can make people do things they don't want to do. The short answer is no: hypnotised participants generally have the ability to refuse a suggestion. A: I don't know what context you're working in, but unless you're properly qualified I would think it best not to ask questions about childhood memories or past lives while clients are hypnotised. Although hypnosis is often used to re-visit events from an individual's past, there is no evidence that hypnosis can help people to recall memories from childhood with any special accuracy.

When not done properly you run the risk of creating false memories, which can be especially unhelpful in patients with histories of trauma. There is no scientific evidence supporting the existence of past lives, and no evidence that it is helpful to introduce the concept in therapy.

The only time I ever give suggestions for past lives is as a teaching demonstration, to show how creative people's imaginations are. Unless you really know what you are doing I would urge you not to use regression techniques. A: The snappy answer is "people who don't want to be hypnotised", but it's worth clearing up a few misconceptions. Scientists measure hypnotisability on a continuum - it's not that someone can or can't be hypnotised.


A better question is "how hypnotisable is this person? Hypnotisablity follows a normal distribution, so a small proportion of people are 'highs', a small proportion are 'lows', and the majority can experience some effects of suggestion in hypnosis. It's easy to be 'un-hypnotisable', just don't allow yourself to be hypnotised - nobody can be hypnotised against their will. Interestingly some drugs such as nitrous oxide laughing gas and alcohol seem to increase hypnotisability. It depends on the drug though, others such as diazepam don't seem to have any effect.

See the page on modifying hypnotisability for more information. A: No more than it invalidates the concept of a 'broken leg' if someone pretends to be injured.

Q: Is hypnosis real?

The fact that CBT is recommended indicates that it is probably one of the most efficient treatments around: this judgement is also supported by treatment review bodies such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. University of Florida researchers explored how hypnosis could help patients could manage their conditions. There is no greater feeling than accomplishing the goals you set out for yourself—trust me! In the brain, ACC is responsible for processing emotion. Choose a therapist or health care professional who is certified to perform hypnosis.

The fact that it is possible to pretend to be hypnotised makes it a really interesting phenomenon. Stage hypnotists don't really care very much whether their participants are faking or not, as long as the audience are laughing.


Hypnosis is a human condition involving focused attention, reduced peripheral awareness, and Hypnotized subjects are said to show an increased response to suggestions. Hypnosis usually begins It could be said that hypnotic suggestion is explicitly intended to make use of the placebo effect. For example, in There are many ways to use suggestion in hypnosis, but what exactly is something of a music-hall joke, though it is still used by some – is the phrase: After that, we use suggestions for things to happen while a person is actually in hypnosis: . hypnotic suggestion, where we look at each of these elements in more detail.

Researchers have a harder time sorting out the real responses from the pretenders, but they have developed some interesting tools. In this design you deliver the same suggestions to people high and low in hypnotisability, with the lows told to act 'as if' they were hypnotised. If the two groups perform the same then your result is probably not due to hypnosis, but if the highs perform differently then it is assumed that some of the suggested effect was genuine.

Hypnosis can serve as a valuable adjunct to certain kinds of psychotherapy, Lynn said. But not everyone responds to it equally well. The research team tests subjects to determine how well each responds to hypnotic suggestions. Two years into the three-year project, the research indicates that instruction does indeed help people respond better to hypnotic suggestions. The team still needs to figure out, though, which elements of the training do the trick.

Formulating Powerful Hypnotic Suggestions and Asking Empowering Questions

Along with other traits, they want to determine if mindfulness correlates to strong hypnotic response. If the researchers can figure out what sort of instruction or encouragement helps subjects gain greater benefit from hypnosis, this knowledge could help therapists put hypnosis to better use for clients who want to manage anxiety, lose weight or make other positive changes. It might also settle certain theoretical controversies. Along with the general public, some schools of psychologists also contend that hypnosis is a state apart from ordinary consciousness, Lynn said.

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