Hypnosis has continued to be fiercely debated within scientific communities. On one hand, many people saw the value in the therapeutic process of self-hypnosis, noting how self-hypnosis has aided countless people in overcoming a variety of issues or problems. On the other hand, many people have dismissed these ideas as anecdotal – with no supporting scientific evidence.
However, a study Stanford Report, September 6, 2000 by Dr. David Spiegel from Stanford University has brought significantly more credence – and a much larger amount of legitimacy – to the issue of hypnosis. In fact, this research suggests the notion that it can have a direct and measurable effect on helping people transform their perceptions.
How Hypnosis Can Work to Alter Your Perceptions
Part of the research used a PET scan to monitor subject’s neural activity during hypnotic trance. What researchers determined – that it can help to transform your perception – has a significant impact on its therapeutic potential.
How It Works
The research took two groups of subjects who were hypnotised and un-hypnotised and showed them a group of coloured squares and patterns. Researchers noted that participants would visualise each image and determine whether it’s colour or black and white.
While participants were looking at these patterns, researchers were also reading PET scan results to better understand how perception changes while under hypnotic trance.
The most compelling piece of the data was how brain activity under hypnosis was different. Perceptions of black and white images while under hypnosis allowed participants to mentally perceive colour. As a result, this data suggests that perceptions within the mind can be altered using hypnosis. And this could directly aid in utilising hypnosis within the therapeutic process.
There are two primary areas where researchers noted how perception alteration can benefit people:
1. Reduction of Pain
By altering perceptions through hypnotic trance, researchers believe that the feeling and experience of pain can be reduced. This could help in a variety of applications, including patients who are receiving radiation treatment. Through a self-hypnosis process, the overall perception of pain could be significantly improved.
2. Improving Mental Performance
Altering perception through hypnosis could also help to boost mental performance in multiple situations. From test-taking and sports to writing, the suggestive power of hypnosis can allow for perception-changing focus across a variety of applications.
Self-Hypnosis: Here to Stay
As this study and many others have shown, self-hypnosis is a measurably real neurological change that can directly impact your perceptions. Because of this, utilising it within a therapeutic environment can yield an immense range of positive effects.