Does Hypnosis Work?

Due to the immense power of hypnosis, and the apparent ease by which hypnotists appear to bring about changes in their client’s way of thinking, many people are sceptical about whether hypnosis really works. In addition, many movies and shows often exaggerate what can be achieved by hypnosis, further adding to the cynicism surrounding this art.

However, hypnotism is now accepted as mainstream by the medical and scientific community and this is in part due to the fact that in recent years, scientific tests and equipment have been developed that can actually detect changes brought about by hypnosis and measure brain activity during the hypnotized state. Thousands of scientific papers in reputable journals have been published which verify the powerful abilities of hypnosis, and new research keeps uncovering even more benefits and therapeutic applications for hypnosis.

Mainstream psychologists agree that hypnosis does work and is an effective treatment for conditions such as phobias and addictions – like smoking, alcoholism and drug use. It has also been shown, using EEG studies, that hypnotherapy can remove the emotional aspect of pain, even if the sensory sensation remains. In fact, many hypnotherapists use hypnosis to alleviate pain caused by chronic conditions, such as arthritis.

On the other hand, there are some myths that still surround hypnosis. For example, some people believe that hypnosis will cause the hypnotized person to lose all his/her free will and do whatever the hypnotherapist tells them to do. This is simply not true – hypnosis will make the subconscious mind more open to suggestion, but the person’s own moral judgement and personal beliefs will never be overridden. Another myth is that hypnotized persons are sleeping or unconscious; in actual fact, hypnotized persons are extremely alert and attentive, and will remember all parts of the session very well. If you have never been hypnotized, a very similar experience would be if you have ever been reading a book or watching a film and you became so immersed into it that you lost awareness of time and of other things which were going on around you. Everyone has experienced this at some point – ever been watching a soccer game and didn’t realise someone was calling your name? Well, that’s exactly what hypnosis is like – you become extremely focused on one task.

So to the question of does hypnosis work?, the medical and scientific community is now in agreement that it does indeed work, and that it is perfectly safe and can be extremely beneficial to the individual.

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