It should be said far too many people underestimate hypnosis as a legitimate form of healing.
Many people tend to believe that hypnosis is nothing more than a cheap trick, a fancy party move that has no real place correcting actual issues.
They couldn’t be more wrong. Can Hypnosis help with anxiety and depression? yes, yes it can.
It started with a talent show
As some of you may have noticed, one recurring theme with my discoveries is that I tend to find out about things only after one of my friends encountered them.
Suffice to say, this time is no different.
A friend of mine was watching television, some sort of a talent show or something, I can’t really recall.
There came a hypnotist, claiming to be a “professional”.
Not knowing any better, I scoffed.
Hey, this happened a few years back, I was practically a kid at the time!
He called for a member of the audience and took about five to ten minutes to finish his preparations.
The judges, by the way, were not at all impressed by now.
What followed up next was pretty shocking to all of them.
The guy started singing, hopping and being pretty weird generally.
The judges were impressed, I wasn’t.
I told this immediately to my friend – Hypnosis was just a fancy trick.
Even if it was actually a real, researched, form of science, it’s wasn’t really helpful for anyone at all.
He just stared at me as though I was an idiot.
“Hypnotherapy is a thing, you know.”
I was pretty skeptical at first, but I decided to look into the subject in depth.
After all, I was pretty desperate at the time – with me suffering from multiple types of anxiety and depression.
As it turns out, hypnosis does have some merit to it.
But that just begs the question – what is hypnotherapy?
What is hypnotherapy?
Popular media tends to portray hypnosis as some sort of a cheap mind control schtick, and with this skill appearing on shows like America’s Got Talent this reputation is surely justifiable.
The whole clock on a chain thing doesn’t help either.
Unlike the more subtle manipulations of the spoken word, hypnosis affects your subconscious mind directly via precise suggestions and careful alteration of your perception.
Now, while an entertainer might use the power of suggestion to make random members of the audience do random things, a professional hypnotherapist uses it in a different manner altogether.
In medicine, hypnosis involves putting the patient into a trance-like state, making any and all suggestions that much more powerful and influential than normal.
Another great advantage to hypnotherapy is that it increases your focus and opens your mind.
This way, the therapist can ask you questions and navigate your through your thoughts with greater ease.
This method allows him to approach much more difficult subjects, such as trauma and panic disorders, and find what causes them.
Combining its ability to dig for information more easily and openly, as well as his ability to make changes that would normally take a very long time to make with just a few words.
So where’s the proof?
From what I’ve just described right now, hypnotherapy might sound too far-fetched for some of you, and for a good reason, too.
After all, I am yet to provide you with any data to back any of my stuff up.
The truth is, however, that hypnotherapy doesn’t only help with anxiety and depression, but it goes a long way in helping other types of disorders and addictions.
We all know that smoking is one habit that you are better off without, we also know how difficult it is to just stop smoking.
But did you know that hypnotherapy has shown the highest success rates among all forms of therapy against cigarettes?
One field study showed that out of 43 participants, 39 have reported having quit smoking, even reconfirming so during the 3 years following.
Now, that study is a bit irregular in terms of results, yet the average of 48 studies gave it an average conversion rate of 30%.
When compared to sheer willpower, it’s 5 times as effective.
But we aren’t here to talk about smoking, yeah? No problem, hypnotherapy goes a long way when it comes to anxiety and depression as well.
What does Hypnosis do to the brain?
Until recently, we didn’t know much about the way that hypnotherapy worked.
A recent study from 2016 has changed that, making us more aware than ever about the inner processes that accompany hypnosis.
So, what are we looking at?
There has been recorded a decrease in activity around the anterior cingulate, at part of the human salience network.
The Salience network is the system inside our brain which controls our attention.
Next, there has been shown an increase of connections between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the insula.
The study has dubbed them as a connection that helps the brain control your body.
Also, they have observed a decrease in connections between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the default mode network.
With them being responsible for awareness, something which you lack when hypnotized.
Not only that, but hypnosis alters the amygdala, the part of your brain that is responsible for emotions and anxiety.
Pretty straight forward, right?
But that just brings up the question – if hypnotherapy is such a useful, and proven, method then why won’t more therapists use it?
Hypnotherapy isn’t a thing, unfortunately
You would be shocked to discover how little research was put into the subject, making it barely passable as a form of treatment simply due to skeptics pointing at that obvious fact.
It might be due to it being a ‘questionable’ practice or something along those lines, but that doesn’t really matter.
The fact is that hypnotherapy isn’t popular, and for the entirely wrong reasons.
There is a certain bias here, aside from many people believing it to be a pseudo-science, some people think it’s a matter of trust.
Meaning that they don’t want a stranger to have the ability to mind control them, making them do things that they don’t want to.
Well, guess what? Hypnosis doesn’t work that way!
Hypnosis is a very similar process to therapy, with both coming off the assumption that some problems can’t be treated via rational thoughts.
Because of that, both Cognitive-behavioral Therapy and Hypnotherapy choose a much more subtle approach, planting suggestions inside your mind via habits/hypnosis.
That’s the thing though, they are just that – suggestions.
They won’t be able to do anything to you if you resist them far too much.
If that wasn’t the case, then all cases of addictions and mental disorders would have been solved effortlessly.
Only about 10% of the population are “highly hypnotizable”, and even they aren’t that susceptible to hypnosis
The fact is that as long as you don’t want to do something, then you won’t be doing it.
If the hypnotist tells you to sing in front a crowd, you probably won’t do it if you have social anxiety to get in the way of that.
The only real danger that you expose yourself to is having your memories somewhat changed, and that isn’t all that bad.
Due to a lack of research, however, many professionals consider it to be a gray area regardless.
As such, the subject might not be discussed in any meeting you might have with a therapist.
Can Hypnosis Help With Anxiety and Depression?
All of this talk is well and good, but can hypnosis help you with anxiety and depression?
Data points out that it can. Professionals, however, are somewhat partial to the idea.
Maybe they are just being close-minded, but that doesn’t really matter.
The fact that up to 90% of all people resist hypnosis easily doesn’t give the subject much credibility, either.
Either way, hypnosis is something that I would try assuming that therapy ended up being helpful.
Like I’ve said before, both are very similar in the sense that they work on your subconscious. That fact alone is noteworthy.
That being said, you shouldn’t skip CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) in exchange for Hypnotherapy.
While people will argue about the legitimacy of hypnotherapy, CBT is pretty much undisputed as a method for treating mental disorders.
That being said, using hypnotherapy to increase the effectiveness of CBT is that much more preferable.
Either way, my friend ended up being right, but he did so without understanding any of the implications of the practice.
I am not qualified to give you any medical advice, but if your condition is that much of a burden maybe you should give hypnotherapy a go.
Before you leave, here’s a question for you – What is your opinion of hypnosis?
The details about the practice aren’t all that well-known, and hypnosis isn’t all that popular, so I am curious about whether or not you might give it a go.
Make sure to leave your answers in the comment section below, I read every last one of them!
If you got any questions you would like answered then please hit me up on my email, I’ll be more than glad to help you out.