Is hypnoses a science or just pseudo-science?

Hypnoses is the technique which an expert uses to suggest new ideas to an individual.
And what is exciting is that Neuroscientists have proved, through countless research the efficacy of hypnosis of such method.

Clinical hypnosis, which can be understood as an induction of focused state, aims to remove distractions from our conscious mind, which leads us to accepting direct information more easily.

Neuropsychologists and psychologists benefit from hypnosis in behavioural therapy and others.

In one particular experiment, researchers used fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to monitor a group of individuals whilst being hypnotised. And they found out that people with larger rostrums, a part of the brain involved in attention, were more susceptible to hypnotisation – which generally means that those individuals were more likely to accept suggestion than others.

I (unfortunately) might have a small rostrums, as on this particular occasion, the BBC invited me and other participants to appear in this TV show with a famous hypnotherapist – but I failed in being hypnotised, and they had to say to me they were sorry. Oh, dear. I, nonetheless, assumed I just “knew too much” on how suggestions travel from sound waves to neuron connections, hence my incapability to let myself relax so easily there. Anyway, sticking to the point…

Neuroscientists used EEG (Electroencephalogram) to measure brainwaves and brain electricity during hypnotic states, and they discovered that the brains were functioning mostly in Theta waves – related to attention and visualisation.

In another study, which merely used the power of suggestion rather than proper hypnoses, a group of people was divided in 2. The first group had to drink a glass of cheap wine and then a glass of expensive wine. The second group had the expensive wine first, and the cheap one. In fact, the wines were absolutely the same, but the participants did not know about that.

When asked about their opinion on the wines, the great majority of them attested that the “expensive” wine tasted better. And that happened because they were expecting the more expensive one to do so.

Apart from the placebo effect, the medial orbitofrontal cortex, linked to pleasure processing in the brain, became more active when they tasted the more expensive wine. The study then reaffirmed that the power of suggestion is a scientific fact.

Scientists also say that hypnosis (plural of hypnoses) may change our perception of the world around us.

This was shown in study where the same of colours were written in a different ink colour, which caused conflict in the brain, so when asked to actually say the name of the colour, the participants would struggle to bypass the written word.

So the team of neurologists used fMRI to monitor them during the task. But at this time after sessions of hypnosis. The hypnosis were done making sure that the participants saw the name of the colours (their spelling) as gibberish.

Then, after hypnoses, having their brain scanned during the task, the participants were faster at saying the colour (rather than what was written). Their brain activity also changed, and the extrastriate cortex, a region responsible for decoding words didn’t become activated, hence helping the individuals not recognise words as words.

Also, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex region didn’t show any conflict in the brain.

Hypnosis can block memories too. In another study, people watched a random movie. A week later, they were hypnotised to forget about the movie when they heard a certain cue, and have their memories restored after hearing another cue.

All the participants had their brains monitored using fMRI scanner. When the participants had to answer obvious questions about the movie, they couldn’t recall them, though they could recall the room they watch the movie at. So hypnotism caused what we call “post-hypnotic amnesia”.

Hypnosis is a scientific fact. Tick! Maybe you can’t be hypnotised, perhaps you could to a certain degree. Possibly, you’re not going to act like a chicken trying to lay an egg, but certainly you can be aided in quit smoking or overcoming a trauma.