Hypnotism

What is it, how it works, and does it work for everyone?

What is hypnotism?

People have been pondering and arguing over hypnosis for more than 200 years, but science has yet to fully explain how it actually happens.  It is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination. It's not really like sleep, because the subject is alert the whole time. It is most often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling of "losing yourself" in a book or movie. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the stimuli around you. You focus intently on the subject at hand, to the near exclusion of any other thought.

How does hypnotism work?

The predominant school of thought on hypnosis is that it is a way to access a person's subconscious mind directly. Normally, you are only aware of the thought processes in your conscious mind. You consciously think over the problems that are right in front of you, consciously choose words as you speak, consciously try to remember where you left your keys.But in doing all these things, your conscious mind is working hand-in-hand with your subconscious mind, the unconscious part of your mind that does your "behind the scenes" thinking. Your subconscious mind accesses the vast reservoir of information that lets you solve problems, construct sentences or locate your keys. It puts together plans and ideas and runs them by your conscious mind. When a new idea comes to you out of the blue, it's because you already thought through the process unconsciously.

Famous Hypnotists

Does it work for everyone?

While many people think that they cannot be hypnotized, research has shown that a large number of people are more hypnotizable than they believe. Fifteen percent of people are very responsive to hypnosis. Children tend to be more susceptible to hypnosis. Approximately ten percent of adults are considered difficult or impossible to hypnotize. People who can become easily absorbed in fantasies are much more responsive to hypnosis. If you are interested in being hypnotized, it is important to remember to approach the experience with an open mind. Research has suggested that individuals who view hypnosis in a positive light tend to respond better.