‘Look deep into my eyes’. Betting that is the first thing that comes to mind when we pronounce the word hypnosis? Many of us have no idea what hypnosis is, and whether it really works. Most likely that has to do with the image that films sketch about it. We went looking for what science says about the phenomenon of hypnosis.
Research from the University of Harvard shows that hypnosis can indeed have an effect in weight loss and pain management. For example, respondents who called in the help of hypnosis in their battle against the kilos would lose as much weight as those who did not. Hypnosis may also provide relief for patients suffering from pain after surgery. In addition, smokers might also find an ally in hypnosis when stopping the cigarette.
But what exactly is hypnosis? The image of the person who, during a magic show, walks across a stage like a chicken does not leave our retina. Yet it is somewhat more complicated (and fortunately less frightening) than that.
According to experts, the hypnosis process can be divided into two stages. First of all, there is the stage of the introduction. Here the patient is asked to focus his or her attention. In this way the therapist makes sure that it gets quiet in your head, and that your attention is focused on his or her voice and the guidance. This first stage can take a few seconds or several minutes. Then it is time for the phase in which suggestion takes place. The patient is guided through a number of hypothetical situations,
Yet there is a lot of controversy about how hypnosis works. According to Freud, hypnosis would weaken the connection between consciousness and the subconscious. That theory, however, has long been refuted. A more modern theory is that hypnosis brings people into a changed state of consciousness that makes them more open to hypnotic suggestion.
Not everyone benefits equally from hypnosis. Approximately 20% of the population would show a great response, the same percentage would not respond to hypnosis at all. The remaining 50 to 60 percent of the population is somewhere in between. This does not mean, however, that those who score low on the scale of hypnosis influenceability cannot benefit from it. In addition, it is especially important to see hypnosis as an addition to a pre-existing treatment.