What hypnosis does to your brain?
The history of hypnotherapy is full of Hucksters, but it can offer real benefits - from weight loss to pain management. Why modern medicine takes it seriously
"To be honest, I wondered if I was actually in labor because it should certainly be more painful than this." This is Shona, who describes her daughter's recent birth. Your secret? Hypnosis. During pregnancy, she learned to hypnotize herself into a state of mind that allowed her to minimize the pain of work and, in her own words, "enjoy the whole thing."
The word hypnosis can be reminiscent of a swinging watch or entertainer that makes people think they are naked on stage to entertain the audience. His story is one of magic and magic, stories of the occult and exploitative charlatans. Practitioners are rarely doctors or consultants, clinical trials have difficulty funding, and there is still no regulatory body to monitor the practice.
Despite these problems, people are turning to technology to help with everything from labor pains to hot flashes to anxiety and chronic pain, and a growing body of research is beginning to confirm its benefits. We are also beginning to understand how it works and what happens in the brain during hypnosis.
The result is that the way we define hypnosis is changing and its use in conventional medicine is increasing. The British Royal College of Midwives is now accrediting and funding training in this technique. Some anesthetists are now adding hypnosis to their toolkit, and it is even touted as a solution to the opioid addiction crisis. Hypnosis is certainly not a panacea, but learning what works, why it works, and how to do it yourself can help us use the power of the mind
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"To be honest, I wondered if I was actually in labor because it should certainly be more painful than this." This is Shona, who describes her daughter's recent birth. Your secret?