Science recognizes hypnosis
Hypnosis: Help with fear and pain
When people think of hypnosis, they think of spectacular stage shows in which seemingly mindless people are put into a trance. In reality, however, trance is not, as is often feared, synonymous with a loss of control over one's own actions. Rather, it is a state of heightened awareness, combined with a strong focus on inner images and processes. And that can be used for therapy.
Sick people must voluntarily allow hypnosis
Anyone with a healthy brain can be hypnotized if they willingly and are willing to follow the therapist's instructions. The ability to be put into a trance state by means of suggestion, however, varies greatly from person to person. The depth of the trance is therefore also different. Under hypnosis, the consciousness is focused inwards or on certain things, similar to meditation, praying or daydreaming. Hypnosis can lower blood pressure and pulse rate, stimulate the immune system and influence brain waves.
Hypnosis session can be canceled at any time
Many people think that in a trance one is switched off and controlled by others. But that's not true for clinical hypnosis. The client can interrupt the session at any time. The therapist leads and the sick person decides where to go in his inner world. No one can be induced by hypnosis to reveal something that they do not want to reveal. Because even in a trance nobody goes further than in a conscious state.
The effect of hypnosis can be measured
What exactly happens in the brain during hypnosis is not fully known. Neuropsychological examinations using imaging methods show that the activity of certain brain areas is reduced during hypnosis:
- For example, the regions responsible for the perception are responsible, switched off, while the areas responsible for feelings and imagination are very active - as if you were actually seeing, feeling or experiencing something.
- The areas where anxiety or pain are processed, however, are not active under hypnosis. Measurements of the brain waves show that pain stimuli are passed on to the brain under hypnosis. The stimulus is processed differently in the brain and does not penetrate consciousness.
Researchers suspect that the brain regions are not only differently active under hypnosis, but are also linked to one another differently. Hypnosis can change stored, learned pain perception, alleviate pain or even delete it.
Hypnosis is used in these areas
Serious therapists can do a lot with hypnosis. For example, it is often used in these areas:
- Diseases with a strong psychological component, such as anxiety disorders
- Diseases of the stomach, intestines, skin or respiratory tract
- Addictions such as smoking
- Support in losing weight
- Trouble sleeping
- Autoimmune diseases
- chronic pain
- unfulfilled desire to have children
- in childbirth preparation
- to treat side effects of chemotherapy
- in certain operations as a substitute for general anesthesia, for example in a brain operation
Hypnosis in Psychotherapy
Another area of application of hypnosis is psychotherapy (hypnotherapy): while the person concerned is in a trance, the therapist offers him ways and solutions to eliminate his problems.
If the sick person in a trance finds a symbol for his symptom that he can change, this leads to a kind of feedback in the brain and a change in the symptom. Success persists for a time, sometimes forever, after the state of trance has ended.
Hypnosis at the dentist: treatment possible without anesthesia
Some dentists are now trained in hypnosis. At the dentist, hypnosis can hide pain and take away deeply rooted fears. For hypnosis, the person concerned chooses a place where he feels comfortable, for example a beach. In a trance state he hears the sound of the sea next to the dentist's drill, pain no longer penetrates his consciousness.
To make sure that the trance is stable, the dentist checks so-called trance signs before the actual dental treatment. A small anesthetic, only a fraction of the usual dose, is then sufficient so that the patient does not feel anything from the drilling and grinding. Sometimes anesthesia is no longer necessary. At the end of the treatment, the dentist brings the patient back out of the trance.
Find reputable hypnosis therapists
The term hypnotherapist is not protected. The German Society for Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy and the German Society for Dental Hypnosis can help you find a reputable therapist.
Hypnosis as an alternative to anesthesia
Can hypnosis replace conventional anesthesia? At the Jena University Hospital, hypnosis is used for operations on the brain - and the successes prove the doctors right. more
Experts on the subject
Dipl.-Psych. Ortwin Meiss, psychologist and hypnotherapist
Milton Erickson Institute
Eppendorfer Landstrasse 56
(040) 480 37 30
Dr. Steven Laureys, neurologist
Coma Science Group
Center Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège
Domaine Universitaire du Sart Tilman
Bâtiment B 35
B-4000 Liège (Liège)
Dr. Ewald Naumann, academic director a. D.
Department of Clinical Psychophysiology
Research Institute for Psychobiology
University of Trier
German Society for Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy e. V.
Daruper Strasse 14
German Society for Dental Hypnosis e.V.
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Visit | 08/27/2019 | 8:15 pm
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