I know, I know. You probably think I’m crazy even saying that hypnosis pain relief might be possible.
Hypnosis is a very controversial subject in general…
But bear with me… You might think otherwise after you find out what a new study says about it.
Now, I have to confess… I wasn’t a big fan of hypnosis either.
The first picture that came to mind when I thought about it was a Vegas performer making someone cackle like a chicken. And while that’s admittedly funny and innocent, there’s a lot of stigma surrounding hypnosis because of this type of shows…
But here’s the thing… Hypnosis is actually an alternative treatment that many trust for medical problems.
And I’m starting to believe in it too…
Let me tell you why. Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to talk to a psychiatrist about her line of work.
At some point, Dr. Powell mentioned that she sometimes uses hypnosis to help patients deal with their past.
She saw my raised eyebrow and laughed. “Oh, you’re a skeptic?” she said.
“Maybe I don’t understand the whole gist of it,” I answered shyly.
You can guess what happened next. She gave me the full run-down.
She even told me about this brand new report that conclusively shows the link between hypnosis and pain. And I’ll tell you all about that study in just a second…
But first, I’ll give you the short version of our conversation. Then, you can make up your own mind about this “magical” treatment.
Let’s start with the first obvious question…
What Is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a trance state in which you are relaxed, free of worries and very susceptible to suggestions.
As per Dr. Powell’s words, hypnosis is often compared to daydreaming, as you’re still conscious but detached from what’s happening in the external world.
Actually, you’ve most likely experienced hypnosis before. Just in a milder form…
Reading a book or watching a movie is described by specialists as self-hypnosis. Because what you’re doing is tuning out external stimuli and emerging yourself in the story.
Much like conventional hypnosis, books and movies make you feel emotions that aren’t directly linked to your experiences. You can feel sadness, happiness and even fear.
But why does hypnosis have that effect on you?
Well, it’s because hypnosis taps into your subconscious. That’s the part of your mind that is in charge of your emotions, your creativity, and even your memories.
While your conscious mind is “the adult” – cautious, restrained, and analytical, the subconscious is “the child” – free of worries, creative, and emotional.
If you’re anything like me, by now you’re probably thinking: “Stop the mumbo jumbo. I want real proof!”
Well, Dr. Powell was kind enough to provide me with some research insights too.
So, of course, I’ll tell you what she told me…
Is Hypnosis Even Real?
As with many alternative treatments, there’s not nearly enough research on hypnosis…
However, the doctor told me about a study that I found extremely interesting. Some researchers performed EEGs to analyze the electrical activity in the brain for people under hypnosis.
The test results showed that a hypnotized person has a boost in the lower frequency waves (the same ones that appear when you’re sleeping) and a drop in the higher frequency waves (which show up when you’re fully awake).
You might be wondering how is this relevant. Well, it is. Because when we’re awake, our conscious mind is in control. On the other hand, when we’re asleep, the subconscious takes “the driver’s seat.”
So the explanation that hypnosis brings out our subconscious mind is much more believable. But how does that even happen?
It all sounds like a magic trick. And I guess you could say it is. Because there’s still so much we don’t know about the brain, the science behind hypnosis can’t be 100% explained… yet.
Until it is, we can talk about what we do know about it. Through deep relaxation and focusing exercises, the hypnotist quietens the conscious mind, bringing the subconscious to the surface.
Eek. That sounds scary, doesn’t it?
Well, lack of control is what scares most people into not trying hypnosis.
And the big question on their minds is…
Can A Hypnotist Make You Do Anything?
Short answer? No.
The hypnotist’s suggestions register as your own thoughts. Just like when you sometimes think about outrageous things, you don’t actually act on them. Hypnosis works the same way.
While your fear of embarrassment disappears, your sense of morality and safety do not. Your subconscious might be “a free bird,” but it still has a conscience and a survival instinct.
So, hypnotists can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do.
But why would you even want to get hypnotized in the first place? Just for kicks and giggles?
Well, not exactly…
Top Medical Uses For Hypnosis
1. Eliminates bad habits
Hypnotists can help you stop a bad habit (for example, smoking) either by amplifying your willpower to quit or by pairing it with a bad response (for example, nausea).
2. Gets rid of phobias
Hypnosis therapy can help people break negative patterns, which includes both bad habits and phobias. Irrational fears can be really damaging to your daily life. So, if you were looking for a way to “face your fears,” maybe hypnosis is the answer for you.
3. Helps you deal with psychological issues
Psychiatrists use hypnosis to help their patients deal with mental issues. More specifically, they try to access memories in the subconscious, which can help people understand and deal with their emotions.
4. Eliminates pain
This is where skepticism comes into play – is hypnosis pain relief actually real?
While many people don’t believe hypnosis can be used as an anesthetic, others swear by its ability to ease childbirth and chemotherapy pain. Thankfully, new research helps us understand this effect even better.
As I told you before, Dr. Powell advised me to check out a new review of over 85 studies published in the journal “Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.”
And after reading it, I knew I had to share it with you. So, let’s see the results…
Hypnosis Pain Relief: Is It Proven To Be Real?
The review included 85 previous studies that looked into the connection between hypnosis and pain relief.
More than 3600 people volunteered to receive a painful, lab-induced stimulus (cold, hot or pressure) in order to see if hypnosis can help reduce that pain.
According to the authors of the review, the results were positive. Yes, hypnosis did help!
Based on patient responses and lab tests, hypnosis eases pain by 29% to up to 42%, depending on the subject’s suggestibility to hypnosis.
What does that mean?
Well, you might have heard that certain people are not easily hypnotized. Some not even at all…
That’s probably because they’re skeptical of the procedure – and a prerequisite for hypnosis is to be willing to let go of control and have faith in its success.
But, the truth is that most people are at least moderately susceptible to hypnosis.
While the researchers didn’t study the effect on chronic pain, it is highly possible that hypnosis can help people with migraines or other forms of long-lasting pain.
It also depends on the source of the pain, Dr. Powell says. Some research shows that hypnosis pain relief works better for nerve-related pain rather than muscle or bone pain.
But why does it work?
Well, the reviewers talk about the bond between the mind and the body – which we don’t fully understand yet.
But it seems that hypnosis unlocks a secret power that our bodies have to ease pain.
This “supernatural” power of the human body has been noticed and studied before – you probably know it better as the placebo effect.
What that means is that when a person is given a “fake” treatment that he or she believes is real, the person’s symptoms actually improve. The result can’t be attributed to the medicine – so it must be the mind’s ability to relieve pain on its own.
The takeaway? Our minds are our most powerful tools.
And with the help of a professional hypnotist, we can get rid of pain and enjoy a normal life.
What do you think? Are you willing to try this bizarre but proven to work treatment?
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