Distinct changes do take place in the brain according to scientific research.
"Hypnosis was the first Western form of psychotherapy, but little is known about how it actually works, the authors say."
The article then looks at the the three major changes within brain functioning when undergoing hypnosis.
Looking at the Dorsal Anterior Cingulate which shows a reduction in activity. Also identified was an increase in connections between the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex and the Insula. Finally there was a decrease in connections between the Prefrontal Cortex and the brain's default mode network.
When these three specific changes are looked at together they match well known outer effects caused by hypnosis.
"Already, hypnosis has been proven to help people quit smoking or cope with pain and stress, the authors noted." It was also noted within the article that this study provides "important evidence" that could help convince sceptical patients of hypnosis' to make more informed choices.
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It is beneficial that more and more investigations are occurring to look into the phenomenon of hypnosis, aiming to identify exactly what is happening in the brain and the physiology as a whole.
The Dorsal Anterior Cingulate appears to be involved with a drop in activity, within hypnosis it seems to calm down, whereas when a person is worried it is heightened. Other areas of the brain also increase in intensity and the article highlights that the brain and the body within hypnosis integrate and work together much better than outside of hypnosis. Other areas of the brain for example self reflection reduce.
This article looks as well at the degree one goes into hypnosis and finds that over 90% of people are at a medium level or above, with only 10% having low susceptibility. Many Hypnotherapists would state that every single person can go into hypnosis, as hypnosis they contend is an everyday occurrence. My own view is that there are so called everyday naturalistic trance states of absorbed attention but the hypnosis carried out by a well trained Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist is significantly different from these naturalistic or everyday periods. A good Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist can create a state of magnified concentration and total absorption to the point at which they can help to alleviate pain or for example remove a phobia. These things are beyond the realm of most people who have not experienced that hypnosis which is called Hetero Hypnosis.
Obviously more testing on Hypnosis is being carried out all the time. In fact Hypnotherapy and the use of hypnosis within it, is one of the most researched Talking Therapies ever to have existed. I for one welcome testing on hypnosis as it provides more insight and credibility into it.
Douglas Clark Master of Hypnotherapy