Different Theories on How it Works
Ericksons definition of hypnosis is a state of intensified attention and receptiveness to an idea or set of ideas. The term is derived from the Greek word for sleep. Hypnosis or trance is normally a pleasant state of heightened awareness that creates an openness to learning. Suggestion is the presentation of an idea, feeling or concept that can be frequently facilitated by hypnosis. It is generally acknowledged that hypnosis will rarely make someone do something that they do not want to do. Hypnosis can be a powerful tool for self-regulation and capable of assisting clients reach their goals in rapid, reliable and safe ways.
Suggestibility or susceptibility is the degree of the patients acceptance. There is a wide range of susceptibility and capability in achieving trance states. The capacity for rapid and deep hypnosis occurs in about 1/3 of the population; about 1/3 obtain lighter and 1/3 obtain medium trance. Many factors influence the capacity to make use of hypnosis. These include cooperation, imagination, creativity, intelligence, rapport, faith in the practitioner and most importantly the motivation and persistent effort on the clients part.
There are physiological and psychological theories as to how hypnosis works.
|Some physiological theories advanced the idea that there was a suspension of activity in the white substance of the cerebral lobes with an overactivity of the remaining parts. Others speculated that the trance resulted from an inhibition of the ganglion cells of the brain, or believed that voluntary attention withdrawn from the outer world could be concentrated in force upon the vasor-motor system, producing changes not possible in normal consciousness.|
|Still others thought that hypnosis was a physiological sleep-like state because both sleep and the hypnotic state were dependent upon areas of inhibition spreading over the cerebral hemisphere.|
|Some psychological theories consider hypnosis to simply be a conditioned response or a form of suggestibility.|
|Others see it is a psychological form of regression, as if a mother or father is lulling a child to a sleep-like state.|
|Still others believe that change is created by bypassing the conscious mind and calling upon the unconscious mind to make changes through subtle shifts in learning.|
Conditions it Works Best For
Clinical hypnosis has been used therapeutically for a wide spectrum of physical and psychological symptoms.
Based on medical society clinical guidelines and recommendations, hypnosis is now accepted as part of a therapeutic regimen for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, nicotene dependence, and cancer pain management.
Research suggests that hypnosis may also be clinically effective for the treatment of anxiety and post-operative nausea and vomiting, asthma, anxiety and depression.
Federally funded research studies are currently being conducted on the use of hypnosis for pain control and cancer survival.