Is Hypnosis Real ?

Hypnosis or hypnotic, or hypnotherapy is a state wherein your focus and concentration is heightened. It is done under the supervision of a therapist. To heighten your focus and concentration, the therapist will use mental images and verbal repetition.

When you are in the hypnosis state, you will feel calm and relax. The state of mind is put under the trance state. The attention of the patient can be focused on internal or external factor.

A trance state is having the same feeling of being absorbed in a great film or that feeling of being lost in a good book. It’s more like a feeling of daydreaming about something. (1)

How people perceive hypnotism?

Looking back, many people have a seedy perception about hypnotism and this is probably due to the guy who introduced hypnotism, Franz Mesmer. On the 18th century, he was kicked out of France because of some issues about him and his fraudulent healing practices.

Over the years, hypnosis’s genuine healing potential was discovered. Today, a lot of medical practitioners use it as an alternative therapy. It was in 1955 that hypnosis was recognized as a valid medical therapy in Great Britain.

Three years later, hypnosis became a mainstream alternative therapy in the United States. Surgeons and anesthesiologists are usually trained in hypnotherapy. The same thing goes for a huge number of psychotherapists, dentists, and nurses. (2, 3)

Why hypnosis is considered an alternative therapy?

While hypnosis has been proven helpful in various medical conditions, one must be aware that it does not work for everyone. As a matter of fact, even after now experts are debating whether hypnosis can really create an altered state of consciousness.

On the positive note, hypnosis has been beneficial to a lot of patients, which enticed many mainstream health practitioners to use hypnotherapy. (4)

a woman who uses hypnotherapy for weight loss.picture

Image 1 : A woman who uses hypnotherapy for weight loss.
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Hypnotherapy and its extraordinary benefits.image

Figure 2 : Hypnotherapy and its extraordinary benefits.
Picture Source :

Who can benefit from hypnosis?

  • Those people who are trying to lose weight
  • People who wants to control their substance abuse or those who want to quit smoking
  • People who want to overcome their phobia
  • Those who have medical conditions and are not satisfied with the outcome of their current treatment
  • Those who are under stressful situations
  • Those who are experiencing severe anxiety (5)

Specifically, hypnosis can help in the following areas:

  • Controlling pain – Hypnosis is very helpful in pain management, especially the pain related to cancer, dental procedures, headaches, fibromyalgia, and teporomandibular joint problems.
  • Management of hot flashes – hot flashes is common in menopausal women.
  • Fatigue – People with breast cancer feels weak, especially after a radiotherapy. Hence, hypnosis can be used to comfort and ease the feeling of the patient.
  • Behavioural change – Hypnosis has been proven helpful in the management of conditions related to behavioural problems like insomnia, smoking, bed wetting, and phobia.

Hypnosis may or may not work for anyone. Although there are a few studies suggesting that about 10% of the population is highly susceptible to hypnotic. Some of them can be hypnotized before undergoing surgical procedure. In other words, there is no need to induce anesthesia because the hypnosis alone can make the surgical operation painless.

In the modern words, this can be very puzzling. Only a few people would be willing to undergo surgical procedure without anesthesia and relying alone on the hypnotherapy. (6, 7)

The success of hypnotherapy is high in children and young adults because they have active imaginations and open to suggestions. However, the success of hypnotism primarily depends on the trust you have to the therapist as well as your belief about hypnotism. If you strongly believe that hypnotism can work, it probably will.

Are there any negative effects of hypnosis?

While there are a lot of good things about hypnosis, one should never underestimate the side effects it may bring. It can be potentially dangerous to people with serious psychiatric condition such as the one with antisocial personality disorder, psychosis, or organic psychiatric conditions.

Before undergoing hypnosis, make sure that you consult a psychiatrist who has vast knowledge about hypnosis. On the other hand, hypnosis is safe if it is conducted by a health care professional or a trained therapist. Hypnosis is a form of alternative medical treatment. (8)

Are there any adverse reactions?

Adverse reactions are rare, but could include any of the following:

  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Distress
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Creation of false memories

What to keep in mind?

Before undergoing hypnosis session, a special precaution should be observed. This is especially true when it comes to using hypnosis for age regression. This is for people who want to relive their earlier events in their life. It could lead to outburst of strong emotions and can somehow alter your memories. It could possibly lead to false memory creations. (9)

The ultimate goal of hypnosis

Hypnosis is used to building lasting, healthy, and sustainable control over the patient’s behaviour. If you have addiction over something or you have a bad habit you want to break, then you can rely on hypnosis therapy as an alternative treatment. It is like having a control over yourself.

It uses your will power to control your behavior and a hypnotherapist can help you do it. Is hypnosis real? The answer is a big yes. Numerous studies were conducted on the effectiveness of hypnosis. One particular study was conducted in 2013. Peter Halligan and David Oakley wrote a review about hypnosis and its effectiveness.

According to the outcome of their study, hypnosis makes use of the strong effects of focus and suggestion to produce, change, and enhance a wide range of compelling experiences and behaviors. Hypnosis is a powerful medium for healing and behavioural modification.

It is even more useful to neuroscientist and psychologist. It gives medical experts an insight as to how the brain functions. Those unexplainable neurological disorders can be somewhat remedied using hypnosis as an alternative treatment. No wonder hypnosis has gained so much popularity over the years. (9, 10)



Published by Dr. Raj MD under Uncategorized.
Article was last reviewed on August 6th, 2018.

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