When you hear about hypnosis, the first thing that comes to your mind may be funny tricks by con artists, some supernatural phenomenon or people out there to play dirty tricks on you.
However, did you know that hypnosis is a clinical health tool the psychiatrist use frequently? Now scientists are trying to unravel how hypnosis affects the brain.
Two-thirds of the people that are exposed to hypnosis are found susceptible. This is why the technique is very common in treating anxiety and managing pain among other treatments.
Researchers from Stanford School of Medicine recently made use of brain imaging techniques to find out what happens when people are hypnotized. Fifty-seven patients were studied have been picked from people who have a high susceptibility to hypnotic trances and others that could not be hypnotized.
The participants were placed in brain imaging technologies and were made to listen to several sets of instructions that had been prerecorded. Two of the sets were made to induce hypnosis while the other two were some instructions.
The imaging machine was to capture changes in the brain activity when the participants were hypnotized. The imaging scanner was also to capture the regions that were most active at this time.
The research showed reduced activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex region. This is the region tasked with the role of evaluating contexts. The judgment aids in determining then things that an individual should worry about and things he or she does not worry about.
Decreased activity in hypnotized people shows that they get suspended judgment, which makes them be able to immerse themselves into an event without worrying about other things that require their attention.
The other change that was observed was the ability for the brain to separate thoughts from feelings. People who were hypnotized could come across things that were stressing but at the same time imagine that they were in peace and tranquility. Thus, they had better control on how their bodies responded to their thoughts.
The third change involved self-consciousness, which is controlled by a region deep inside the brain. During hypnosis, the people tend to be less self-conscious. This makes them do things that they would not attempt in their normal state. This is what is capitalized on during therapeutic sessions. People are trained to change the way they react to issues in life. They are then able to approach problems with a different point of view.