Hypnosis has been used for decades to help with anxiety, pain, addictions and so much more. About 80% of people that undergo hypnosis have had positive results. Everybody, a full 100% of people, actually CAN be hypnotized if they allow themselves to go into a light hypnotic trance. However, some people (around 20% according to studies) have trust issues and can’t seem to fully relax to allow a hypnotic trance.
What happens to the brain when you are in a hypnotic trance?
David Speigel, a psychiatrist at The Stanford University School of Medicine, ran an experiment where he scanned his patient’s brains while under hypnosis. An MRI was used while the 545 volunteers got relaxed listening to recordings that were designed to bring them into a hypnotic trance state.
During hypnosis, the scientists found a region of the brain called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex became less active while the participants were in a hypnotic state. Studies have found that the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex helps people stay vigilant about their external environment. By turning that region of the brain off through hypnosis one loses a lot of focus on physical reality. This is why hypnosis is an effective tool for exploration of consciousness.
The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex is highlighted in red
Can you be hypnotized?
Dr. Spiegel noted in his study that people that can lose themselves in a beautiful sunset or a good movie are very good candidates for hypnosis.
Have you ever sat in front of a crackling fire and let your eyes go a little unfocused? As you lose that focus on your physical environment you are relaxing your dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and going into a very light trance state on your own.
Now try this optical illusion to see if you are someone who can be easily hypnotized!
Stare at the hypnotic spiral below for about 30 seconds then look at the picture below the spiral.
If you enjoyed watching that beautiful abstract painting come to life then you are easily hypnotized. Optical illusions like this one only work if you are able to become slightly unfocused on your physical reality. You are an excellent candidate to allow hypnosis to benefit you!
Self-Hypnosis is an excellent tool for learning to explore consciousness. Through positive visualization and suggestion you relax and move gently into a theta state. Your dorsal anterior cingulate cortex becomes very quiet and you can move into your intended experience.