Hypnosis an altered state of consciousness is not in a new fad as some may suggest. The truth is that hypnosis can be found in almost all cultures and dates back to past few centuries. It is quite prevalent in China and India where it was used as a form of therapy to reduce pain during surgeries and traumatic treatment.
It later moved to Europe when in 1974, young Jacob Grimm was put under hypnosis during surgery to relieve pain. He later recaptured his experiences in a book where additional stories were written in his brother’s book of fairly tales. Recent research studies have disputed the flourishing myths on hypnosis and what it is believed to yield.
Some have even though of it as a scam that conmen use to perplex the streets and attract masses. However, the hovering question still remains whether hypnosis is real and what powers it has over the mind.
With introduction of anesthesia and ether, hypnosis gradually moved out of the scene while Hollywood took the opportunity to embrace it in their plots. They also included extreme properties that rendered hypnosis quite outlandish to the public eye. It has since resided in the entertainment industry where it is purported to make people do silly things and recap lost memories.
In movies, people under hypnosis can suddenly have photographic images of events that took place a long time in their life and even trace down to the face of the murderer. What’s accepted is that hypnosis improves memory and can be used to trace lost valuable items and remember activities and scenes that have been forgotten in the conscious memory.
Studies on hypnosis
However, a large study done at Ohio State University cast heavy doubts on the extent of the power of hypnosis and its ability to expand memory. Two groups of students (one hypnotized and the other just relaxed) were asked about dates of certain historic events, they performed equally well. The noticeable difference was that hypnotized group was able to change a few errors in their answers. Nonetheless, this has not prevented a thing and there now exist more forms of hypnosis than ever before. Some include the following;
Self hypnosis – This form of hypnosis does not require any extra help. Traditionally, people were hypnotized by a second party, someone who understood the process of getting one to that state of altered consciousness. In involved whispering specific words in a specific tone and performing unique maneuvers to hypnotize the subject. Self hypnosis only requires one to learn the techniques of how to trick their mind and fall into the altered consciousness. It still involves unique “power words” and various relaxation steps but they can now be learnt and performed by anyone.
Weight loss hypnosis – This is a profound form of hypnosis that leads to drastic loss in weight. It brings the body to a trance and triggers different metabolic reactions that initiate fat burning. However, the weight loss does not happen at once but rather requires several hypnosis sessions to finally reach your fitness goals.
Hypnotherapy – This is the popular form of hypnosis in town and has been used for many decades. It involves putting subjects into the altered state for specific goals that range from pain relief to relaxation, recuperation from accidents and recovery from traumatic experiences. Hypnotherapy affects the brain in a unique way that focuses on yielding required goals.
There are several other forms that include sexual and gay hypnosis and other profound variations. It basically leads to a state of consciousness where one can be vulnerable to act in different ways and making decisions they would otherwise be incapable of in their conscious memory.
Hypnosis and altered consciousness
Hypnosis an altered state of consciousness is really what it is; different form of consciousness from the normal one. A person hypnotized will appear quite tuned-out. One of the conspicuous symptoms of hypnosis is reduction in involuntary eye movement to a point where subjects are often reminded to blink.
From an observers point, subjects will seem like they are not paying any attention. In contrast, they are actually intensely attentive and focused and many areas of the brain that sleep on normal consciousness are awakened to hyper-activity in hypnotic trance. The trance allows subjects to concentrate on mental imagery which is self-created based on what is suggested to them.
They simply stop thinking of themselves as part of the imagery an have entirely lost the memory of what they are doing and decisions they make thus exposing them to an unlimited scope of imaginary solutions. It perfectly explains how adults react under hypnotic influences.
Does hypnosis work and is it real?
It is debatable whether hypnosis works yet the fact that it is real cannot be disputed making this statement ambiguous. Hypnotized subjects will act, think, breath and talk different. Their ideas, suggestions and actions are a thing they would never achieve in a normal consciousness which only proves that hypnosis is real and powerful.
The issue is that people have come up with many stories and overhyped Hollywood movies depict extreme properties that render hypnosis surreal. Only the hypnotizers and subjects have the true fact on the realness of hypnosis and what it can achieve.
As aforementioned, self-hypnosis is one of the various forms available today. It is also possible to learn how to hypnotize others. The technique is all about choice of words, tone and different moves. Hypnosis affects the brain in a specific manner that throws away normal consciousness and brings other areas to life.
This technique has been passed down many generations and will still be handed down to future hypnotists. Moreover, the internet contains many websites that teach people how to go about learning the various forms of hypnosis.
Although many dispute its realness, none can oversight the fact that hypnosis does have a unique power to tap into memories that no other technique can get to. For instance, it has the power to induce temporary (reversible) amnesia, which is extremely rare to a point that some unlucky amnesiacs may never make new memories.
Subjects can also be told to suppress a memory like say, forget a film they have just watched. It does not entirely obliterate the memory but rather simply shuts off retrieval for a short period. You only need the right subject and correct steps to get one into that altered state of consciousness.