Clinical Hypnosis, when used by trained healthcare professionals, can help clients create desirable psychological and physiological change. Research has shown that hypnosis can be a safe and effective therapeutic tool. Hypnosis often involves the use of visualization to induce a natural trancelike state of heightened awareness and attention in which the client is in full control. When in this state of concentrated attention, the client’s brain is more open to ideas and suggestions that will help them in reaching their goals. It can be used to help alter perceptions, sensations, thoughts and behavior. It can also be used to explore the unconscious mind to better understand barriers to change and how past experiences may be associated with current symptoms.
Hypnosis can be used to:
- Improve IBS
- Improve self esteem
- Reduce anxiety
- Increase motivation
- Improve mood
- Process trauma
- Improve attention
- Change habits and behaviors
- Manage pain
- Prepare and recover from surgery
- Reduce stress
- Improve athletic performance
What happens in the brain during hypnosis?
Brain scans have shown measurable changes in three areas of the brain while in a hypnotic state.
These changes might help explain how hypnosis works.
First, there is a decrease in the dorsal anterior cingulate. This area is involved in worrying and the emotional evaluation of errors. It is also involved in effortful performance.
Secondly, there is an increase in connections between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the insula. This is the mind-body connection and is involved in how the brain senses and regulates internal bodily processes.
Lastly, there are reduced connections between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex. These areas involve self-awareness and the planning of actions and might explain the reduction in self consciousness and increased spontaneity.