Hyp­notic state of mind

For­get what you knew about hyp­no­sis. Chicken cluck­ing is out – and science is in

Women's Health Australia - - APRIL 2018 - By Jenny Everett

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.

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