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Hypnosis: a brief history

https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/how-hypnosis-works-stanford-university?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

bigthink.com

Hypnosis: a brief history
Hypnosis refers to a trance state that is characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation, and heightened imagination. According to a recent Stanford University School of Medicine study, there are three areas of our brains that change during a state of hypnosis.

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Hypnosis

Hypnosis

It has been around for hundreds of years, and yet it is a sidelined subject, not fully understood even by the brightest minds.

  • It refers to a trance-like state in which there is imagination, extreme suggestibility and relaxation. It is a sort of daydream that makes good use of the power of suggestion.

  • The word Hypnosis has its roots in ancient Greece and Egypt, and after the Greek God ‘Hypnos’ who was the personification of sleep.

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Modern Hypnotism

Modern Hypnotism

Austrian physician Franz Mesmer is the modern father of hypnosis, instrumental in coining the word ‘mesmerism’ which refers to the hypnotic state.

James Braid, an eye doctor, accidentally discovered the power and usability of hypnotism when one of his patients got into a trance-like state starting at a lamp.

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Auto-Suggestion

  • In the 1900s Emile Coué, worked on affirmations and auto-suggestions, as a form of self-hypnosis therapy. His famous phase was “Day by day, in every way, I am getting better and better.”

  • Milton Erikson, a psychotherapist, was fascinated by this psychological hack and devised many innovative techniques to utilize hypnosis in various clinical practices.

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Anxiety And Pain Relief

Benefits of hypnosis are gaining traction, with many researchers finding that it can treat anxiety, pain and trauma, making it gain respect among medical and psychological professions.

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How Hypnotism Works

  • Hypnosis works by first decreasing activity in the brains ‘dorsal anterior cingulate’ area, responsible for decision making and evaluation.
  • Secondly, it connects two regions of the brain, the insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that increases the brain-body connection, making our body more receptive to our raw thoughts and emotions.
  • Finally, it reduces connections between two different regions of the brain (medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex) reducing our cognitive tasks and neural activity, reducing our awareness of actions.

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Great Potential of Hypnosis

The new research for hypnosis and the labelling of the brain regions that get affected can help device further tools and ways to help patients with various addictions, psychological problems, and depression issues.

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