Thursday, March 20, 2014

Can I be hypnotized?

Many new clients call or visit and want to know if they can be hypnotized.   For the vast majority of people, the answer is "Yes".   According to the National Guild of Hypnotists, hypnosis depends on focus, desire to succeed, and the rapport between a client and a hypnotist.  There are a few notable suggestions of people with low or no success of entering the hypnotic state:  infants and children under the age of four, people who do not establish good rapport with others or who cannot concentrate, individuals with an IQ below 70, and people who are distrustful.

[Hypnotists use a variety of preliminary suggestibility tests that are non-invasive and simple to administer. Many of these methods "test" a client's ability to visualize.   Please visit my site Monroe Hypnosis to schedule a free consultation at our Pittsford, NY office.]

Physiologically stated, scientists at Stanford discovered that " Hypnosis works by modulating activity in brain regions associated with focused attention", specifically,  "highly hypnotizable participants showed greater co-activation between components of the executive-control network and the salience network. More specifically, in the brains of the highly hypnotizable group the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an executive-control region of the brain, appeared to be activated in tandem with the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which is part of the salience network and plays a role in focusing of attention. By contrast, there was little functional connectivity between these two areas of the brain in those with low hypnotizability". - See more at: Stanford School of Medicine

As a former school teacher, I spent a lot of time reading studies of brain development in children and adults. Specifically, I studied the physical development of the brain as it relates to education and behavior.   The left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a functional area that helps short term memory (Oxford Journal) and the dorsal anterior cingulate is an area of the brain that is activated with reward-based decision making (National Academy of Sciences).  These theories and the study by Stanford reinforce the National Association of Hypnotists' statement on the ability of people to be hypnotized.