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.

Myth:

  • 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.

Realty:

  • 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.

Thank you for signing up!

Tell us what you think!
If you'd like to comment on this article, become a member of Gaiam Life.
Click here to create your account.