What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of focused attention and concentration that empowers individuals to control both their thoughts and physiological (body) functioning.
What does hypnosis feel like?
Have you ever been so absorbed in a good book or movie that you blocked out what was going on around you? If so, you’ve experienced the focused attention or trance-like state that occurs during hypnosis. When you're under hypnosis, you can block out distractions and become more receptive to suggestions that may decrease your experience of pain and increase your ability to cope with pain.
Who benefits from hypnosis?
Hypnosis has been used successfully to treat a variety of conditions including asthma, nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy or pregnancy, certain skin conditions (including eczema, psoriasis and warts) and both chronic pain (e.g., headaches, abdominal pain, back pain), and acute pain (e.g., during dental procedures, childbirth, surgical procedures).
Hypnosis is one of many tools that your therapist may use to help you learn to manage your pain.
Myths and Facts about Hypnosis
When you think of the word “hypnosis,” you may think of the stage performer who appears to have the power to persuade people to do things that they seemingly would never do otherwise. But in reality, hypnosis only works on people who want to be hypnotized and who agree to follow the suggestions and instructions. You can't be made to do anything you don't want to do while undergoing hypnosis.
Myth: During hypnosis you lose control of your thoughts and actions.
Fact: Hypnosis is a heightened state of attention and concentration. Hypnosis cannot take away your control or your ability to make decisions. All hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis and can't be imposed on you. Instead of being out of control, learning hypnosis actually requires strong self-control and self-discipline.
Myth: You can be put under hypnosis without your consent.
Fact: Hypnosis depends on your willingness to participate. It is not something that is done to you, but rather, it requires your consent and engagement. Your therapist can only guide or facilitate the process.
Myth: During hypnosis you lose consciousness and don’t remember what happens.
Fact: A small number of people who enter a very deep trance have experienced spontaneous amnesia. But most people remember everything that happens under hypnosis.
Myth: Hypnosis only works on gullible or weak people.
Fact: Actually, the reverse is true. Hypnosis works best for people who are highly motivated and strongly committed to learn to cope with their symptoms.