Another example of what the state of hypnosis looks like is when you’re playing video games. A player can sit in their chair in front of a computer for hours, and when somebody talks to them, they are able to respond. How we can describe this state? A player may experience time distortion – the feeling that instead of playing for many hours, it felt like just a couple of minutes. Time distortion also happens when you read books.
Hypnosis has more then one state, and the lightest is alpha, which you experience many times every day, for example, when you are driving for long distances, reading books or playing games. In some studies, hypnosis activity in the brain’s right hemisphere is often increased. The right hemisphere controls imagination and creativity.
In hypnosis studies based on EEG measurements showed that a boost in the lower frequency waves is associated with dreaming and sleep, and a drop in the higher frequency waves is associated with full wakefulness. This means that you can liken hypnosis to the state before sleep where you are between awake and asleep.
You don’t have to worry that you will fall asleep. Several researches showed based on EEG measurements that during hypnosis most people are awake. Only less then 10% of the population experiences deep trance or blackout such as when you are using anesthetics. In fact, when your eyes are closed, your ability to listen is up to 200 times more sensitive then in your wakeful state, also called Beta state. For example, when a sleeping mother is able to wake up when her baby cryies. This basically means that a part of your brain is always awake.
Hypnosis is a natural state. If you feel that nothing happened because you were consciously aware all the time, this is what hypnosis is – a natural state that you know well from your daily life. During hypnosis you are more focused, deeply relaxed, calm, more open to suggestions, and less critical or disbelieving. The purpose of hypnosis is to help you gain more control over your behavior, emotions, or physical wellbeing.
Some people think that they can’t be hypnotized for some reason, for example that their IQ is too high. This is not true. People with high IQ are more easily hypnotized then people with an IQ below average. However, because hypnosis is a deeply relaxed state, most people don’t have a problem with it.
Another mystery is that you can be under hypnosis without your consent. Successful hypnosis depends on your willingness to experience it. Without your will it is not possible to lead you into a hypnotic state.
People think that under hypnosis they surrender their free will. That is not true. In this state you are more focused, your concentration, attention, and imagination are heightened, so you don’t lose your personality, free will, nor personal strength. You can decide to interrupt the session anytime.
If you feel something unusual after a session, that’s fine – you have evidence that hypnosis had some influence. For example, clinical tests showed that training in hypnosis induces significant reduction in blood pressure that remains in effect six months after completing the training.
Between positive influences in specific treatments you can see that a distinct reduction of warts is reported after hypnotic treatment. After hypnotic treatment of haemophilia significant reduction can be observed in the medicaments needed compared to normal provision of medical care. Hypnotic treatment produced significant improvement even in asthmatic patients.
This was a short explanation of hypnosis and its truths and myths. If you still have questions, please ask.