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The Science Behind: Hypnosis

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Is hypnosis a real type of therapy? According to psychology today, hypnosis is indeed a therapy used to find information within someone's memory, treats anxiety, certain phobias, behaviors, and habits. It is also used to help resolve issues that someone might have, including relationships, physical issues, and medical conditions. 

What happens in the brain during hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is performed when a hypnotherapist talks in a soothing voice making the client feel relaxed. According to the Stanford Medicine news center, hypnosis alters the mind slightly because certain areas in the brain change. In the brain itself, there is a decrease in activity in a certain area called dorsal anterior cingulate which is part of the Salience Network, a group of regions in your brain which select the stimuli ( the part of our body that quickens action, feeling, thought, etc.) to pay more attention. A hypnotized patient tends to be more attentive to the hypnotherapist.

There was also an observation of the increased connection between two other parts of the brain, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the insula. This is a connection between the brain and the bod. It helps the brain command and process what’s happening in the body. Something else that was observed is a decrease in the connection between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the default mode system. This connection communicates someone's actions and their awareness of actions, so if the connection wasn't severe as it usually is, then the person would consciously act without thinking as much as they would otherwise. This allows the hypnotherapist to tell the client to search, memory, get rid of a habit, etc, and that they do without hesitation, no opposition. This means that the client is aware of most of the actions going on. Rather, they're focused on their hypnotized state. They follow commands blindly.

Being hypnotized can also be dangerous. The hypnotherapist could tell you to do something, you would normally do. Usually, this only happens in movies and T.V shows, but it could happen in real life.




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