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You're Getting Sleepy: Hypnosis Myths and Truths
As a kid I would swing a yo-yo in front of my best friend's face in hopes that she would fall under my power. I imagined that her eyes would glaze and she would be in my control until I was good and ready to snap her out of it. This is what I imagined.
Today hypnosis is a controversial treatment that is respected by some and seriously questioned by others. Pauline Thivierge, a Canadian hypnotherapist, looks into the myths and realities of hypnosis therapy.
- The hypnotist has complete control over the hypnotized. Not really. According to Thivierge, a hypnotized person will only act on suggestions that facilitate the goal that she is trying to achieve and will refuse anything that strays from that goal.
- A hypnotized person will reveal secrets. Thivierge says that judgment is still active while under hypnosis. Even when hypnotized, a person will only reveal what she wants revealed.
- Hypnosis is only effective for quitting smoking and losing weight. Supposedly hypnosis also works in treating physical ailments, mental and emotional problems, and creative blocks.
- Hypnosis can reduce stress. Thivierge says that stress reaction hormones are temporarily disengaged during hypnosis and that prolonged hypnosis treatment allows the “flight or fight” reaction to simmer into neutral.
- Hypnosis is a an effective pain manger. According Thivierge, hypnosis can reduce or stop pain when performed in conjunction with a patient's regular health practice.
- Hypnosis can help treat insomnia. Hypnotic relaxation may help to restructure ineffective sleep patterns.