Hypnotic state of mind
Forget what you knew about hypnosis. Chicken clucking is out – and science is in
Want to lessen pain and reduce anxiety? Just look into my eyes…
Let’s be honest: despite decades of scientific and anecdotal evidence for hypnosis’ ability to help with everything from quitting smoking to conquering phobias, it’s still seen as, well, a bit ‘out there’. But, thanks to a recent spate of research, the method is gaining serious ground. Just one example? A study by Stanford University used MRI to observe the brains of 57 people under hypnosis and found it altered their brains in certain ways, one of which led to a disconnect between a person’s actions and their awareness of them. Intrigued? Us too! So what happens during a session? “It will typically last between one and two hours,” says Darren Marks, hypnotherapy instructor for The International Association of Counselors and Therapists. “Your hypnotherapist will ease you into focused concentration, similar to meditation, and, though people talk of ‘going under’, you won’t be ‘under’ for the whole session ... you’ll be deeply absorbed one minute, distracted the next.” To find out more, we spoke to four women who’ve seen results.