What do you think of when you think of a hypnotist? Probably some weird guy on stage convincing people to bark like a dog or act like a baby or something, right? I was surprised to find out that hypnosis is actually studied in psychology and has made its way into mainstream science. Hypnosis even has clinical applications. Are these treatments effective, though? And how does hypnosis work? (I found an article from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis that explains some of this.) Hypnosis has been being studied for decades, but there is no generally accepted definition of how it works. Hypnosis may work due to a patient's beliefs or expectations about hypnosis. For example, people convinced of the effectiveness of hypnosis are more likely to respond to it. It may also be result of a separation of functions that usually work together. Meaning, during hypnosis, a person has a "hypnotized" and an "unhypnotized" part of them that act, feel or perceive separately from each other. Clinical hypnosis has been around for over 200 years and was once used in place of anesthesia. Clinical hypnosis is used by psychologists, psychotherapists, physicians and even dentists. It may be used to break addictions, relieve pain or reduce anxiety in therapy, or, from a more medical standpoint, to reduce pain and discomfort in situations where anesthesia cannot be used. However, in most states, hypnosis isn't regulated, so watch out for phonies. The success of clinical hypnosis allegedly varies on the hypnotist and your level of comfort with them (according to sites that endorse clinical hypnosis- which makes a clear cut answer hard to find.) So, the next time you're at that festival or county fair, keep in mind that the stage hypnotist that performs every hour is probably full of it. But also know the facts; know that hypnosis is actually studied scientifically and used clinically, and, who knows, it may actually be helpful to you one day.
Heres a link to that article:
Oh, I can't figure out how to add a picture (mock me later), so heres a link to a creepy hypnotist man. seriously, just look at it, you wont regret it.