Hypnosis has interested the masses for as long as it first showed up. Just the simple fact that it’s something that you’ll only see in two very specific contexts (a circus or a mental institution) perfectly prove the weird position hypnosis is currently in. Is it scientific and can the results be reproduced, or is it nothing more than a party trick? You’d think we’d know by now, but the jury’s still pretty much out. People usually firmly stick to one side of the spectrum and dismiss whatever the other group says.
Just to help you out a bit on making up your mind on which side of the spectrum you’re on, here’s a few facts about hypnosis. Also, it’s a fun read.
Earliest Recordings of Hypnosis Go Back To 1500 B.C.
Imhotep actually used “sleep temples” to help people heal mentally and physically. People were put into a trance-like state there with music and singing, after which a physician (or what was considered as such at the time) would pretty much suggest what the Gods needed to do in the patient’s sleep to fix their ailments.
During Hypnosis, People Stay Completely Awake
While you may appear to be in a sleep-like state, your brain is actually still quite awake for the entire ordeal.
Memory Loss Only Happens If It’s The Goal of The Hypnosis
Despite movies always making it seem like people don’t remember what happens when they are hypnotized, memory loss will actually only occur if it’s explicitly said.
It’s An Accepted Form Of Medical Treatment
Hypnosis can be used as anesthesia but it can even be used to suggest people into giving up smoking or whatever bad habit they may have!
You Can Self-Hypnotize
While it’s a relatively new technique, there is in fact a valid method to hypnotize yourself! That doesn’t entirely seem necessary since hypnosis usually has another goal that requires a second person anyway, but it’s good to know.
Hypnosis Doesn’t Work On Everyone
In order to be successfully hypnotized, you need to be somewhat suggestible and you need to be open to the experience. High mental resilience and/or resistance means that the hypnosis will probably fail.
Hypnosis Changes The Way Your Brain Works
More specifically: hypnosis turns off the conscious parts of your brain. That sounds scarier than it is, really. We actually go into a hypnotic state several times a day (for example when you “phase out” when reading a text) without problems.
You Can’t Get Stuck In Hypnosis
Well, it’s somewhat easier to get out if someone tells you you’ll wake up after the count of three, but it’s theoretically impossible to get stuck in a hypnotic state. That’s probably a relief, right?
Stage Hypnosis And Clinical Hypnosis Are Very Different
Actually, they aren’t even anywhere near the same ballpark. The stage hypnosis that we all know from the Vegas magicians is a form of mentalism, where the clinical form of hypnosis is a form of psychology.