Hypnosis Myths Most People Believe

July 11, 2013

Are those under hypnosis mentally weak or helpless, unable to lie or maybe asleep? It is true that hypnosis cures miraculously in one session? Misconceptions about hypnosis abound, thanks mostly to inaccurate portrayals in movies and fiction. Here are eight of the most common myths exposed.

Myth 1: Only the mentally weak can be hypnotised

This isn’t true. In fact the exact reverse is probably more true. The higher your intelligence and the stronger your self-control, the more easily you are hypnotised. That’s because entering a hypnotic trance is all about concentrating, so people with mental health problems can find it difficult. However finding it hard to enter a hypnotic state doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. People naturally vary in how susceptible they are to hypnosis. Studies have shown that around 30% of people are relatively resistant to being hypnotised. Although, with some practice, the state can easily be achieved.

Myth 2: The hypnotised are helpless

Also false. It’s difficult to get people to do things under hypnosis that they wouldn’t normally do. While hypnotised people are still in touch with their morals and normal standards of behaviour. That said, though, it is possible to reduce people’s inhibitions under hypnosis and they will more readily accept suggestions. Stage hypnotists rely on this heightened suggestibility, along with picking the types who, let’s say, don’t mind a little attention. That’s how they get people to quack like ducks and the rest. Don’t we all know someone who would quack like a duck if it meant everyone would look at them?

Myth 3: Hypnosis is sleep

Yes, people look like they’re asleep when they’re hypnotised because their eyes are closed and they’re peaceful. But they’re not asleep. The brain waves of a person who is hypnotised are nothing like those of a person who is asleep. In fact the hypnotic trance is a heightened state of concentration. A high level of alpha waves on an EEG show that a hypnotised person is awake, alert and very responsive.

Myth 4: Hypnosis takes one session  

The truth is that some do experience dramatic results in one session and often several sessions are required.  Change takes time. How much depends on the issue and the inividual

Myth 5: Hypnotists must be flamboyant or weird

That’s just fictional characters who have to be flamboyant and weird. Makes better fiction. In reality it would be distracting if the person trying to hypnotise you had swirling eyes, kept talking about black magic and wore very loud ties. Your average (and above average) hypnotist is much more likely to dress like any other professional.

Myth 6: Hypnosis can be used to retrieve long forgotten memories

If you believe this one then you’re in very good company. Many members of the public think this is true, as do some psychologists and some hypnotherapists. Except that it has been shown time and again that the hypnotic trance isn’t much good for accurately retrieving memories. Worse, hypnotists can easily implant false memories, because people in a hypnotic trance are easily suggestible. That scene in the movie where a hypnotist helps the victim see the killer’s face is pure Hollywood: entertaining but total fiction.

Myth 7: You can’t lie under hypnosis

Oh yes you can! Hypnosis is not some kind of magical state in which you can only speak the truth. This is a natural result of the fact that you are not helpless when hypnotised and your usual moral (and immoral) faculties are still active. Not only can you lie under hypnosis, but lying is not necessarily any more detectable hypnotised than when not (Sheehan & Statham, 1988).

Myth 8: You’ve never been hypnotised

Many people think they’ve never been hypnotised since they’ve never been to a hypnotherapist. In reality, most of us have experienced a state of mild hypnosis, at least. For example, when you drive a long distance and start to feel dissociated from your body and the car, that’s a mild state of hypnosis. Your unconscious is taking care of all the mechanical aspects of driving while you conscious mind is free to float around. Or if you’ve ever meditated then you’ve hypnotised yourself. Meditation is really a specific type of hypnosis.

RePosted from PsyBlog July 9, 2013


“Do I Look Fat In These Genes?”

February 3, 2013

This is an excerpt from the book, “Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever by Ray Kurzweil and Terrry Grossman MD about the intriguing possibility of gene therapy for fat loss.

 “Our genes are essentially little software programs, and they evolved when conditions were very different than they are today. Take, for example, the fat insulin receptor gene, which essentially says ‘hold on to every calorie because the next hunting season may not work out so well.’ That gene made a lot of sense tens of thousands of years ago, at a time when food was almost always in short supply and there were no refrigerators. In those days, famines were common and starvation was a real possibility, so it was a good idea to store as many as possible of the calories you could find in your body’s fat cells.

 

“Today, the fat insulin receptor gene underlies an epidemic of weight prob­lems, with two of three American adults now overweight and one in three obese. What would happen if we suddenly turned off this gene in the fat cells? Scientists actually performed this experiment on mice at the Joslin Diabetes Center. The animals whose fat insulin receptor gene was turned off ate as much as they wanted yet remained slim. And it wasn’t an unhealthy slimness. They didn’t get diabetes or heart disease, and they lived and remained healthy about 20 percent longer than the control mice, which still had their fat insulin receptor gene working. The experimental mice experienced the health benefits of caloric restriction — the only laboratory-proven method of life extension — while doing just the opposite and eating as much as they wanted. Several pharmaceutical companies are now rushing to bring these concepts to the human market.”

 

Author: Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, MD   

Title: Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever

Publisher: Rodale Inc

Date: Copyright 2009 by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman


Why Hypnosis?

January 8, 2013

 
There are a number of  increasingly indisputable facts regarding life in the modern world. One of the most repeated is the fact of chronic stress. Stress appears to cause or exacerbate pretty much everything. From depression to heart problems, to weight gain, to worry, to addictive behavior. The list goes on. The cure is to “just relax”. The thing is many of us really don’t know how. It is one thing to be told by your doctor or psychologist  to relax and another to  actually know how.  How to be able to intentionally rest for the body and mind.

Hypnosis and meditation give us the ability to deal effectively with stress and anxiety. Once learned the relaxation response is easy and automatic. Relaxed focused awareness is the best possible state for all kinds of learning.  From new behaviors like non smoking and lifestyle to improved athletic and academic performance.

There are simple elegant solutions to the problems of a worrying mind, anxiety, fears, habitual sadness and other issues that reduce quality of life.  The ability to release tension, focus awareness and think into alternative outcomes is available to every one.  If you have the ability to enjoy a good movie or story you have all the skill you need to enjoy the benefits of meditation and hypnosis.


“Is golf 90 percent mental?” Yes, other 10 percent is mental too.”

April 22, 2011

Are you tired of often losing out on playing the game you know you are capable of?  What if you could reliably create that sense of being in the zone? If you’re like most golfers you probably already know that once you‘ve learned and practiced the physical and technical aspects of golf it quickly becomes a mental game. The ability to focus under pressure, the ability to recover from a bad shot, the ability to play with confidence – all these factors are at least as important as the physical game.

You might be unsure that it’s just your mental game that needs work. There are a  few surefire ways to know with certainty. Think about the following questions. Are you able to shoot your best games when there’s nothing at stake and then, when the games is on, even easy shots can become your worst nightmare? Are you unable to shake the bad feeling of a misplaced shot, or a bad hole and does that cause your whole game to go down the tubes?  If you want to take your golf game to a whole new level, then golf hypnosis is the next logical step for you. A great mental game doesn’t just happen. You need to know how to get there.

Research has shown when athletes mentally rehearse their game the same parts of the brain are active as when they are actually playing the game. This is a great way to make use of the early spring and prepare for a great golf season  Take a little time each day, even just a few minutes to practice. Find a comfortable spot where you won’t be bothered, take a few deep breaths and allow the body to relax. Then imagine, in as much detail as possible, playing a few holes or even a complete round. Use all your senses what would you see, hear, smell and feel? Who are you with? Imagine yourself playing a great round. You can even imagine hitting a poor shot or two and then recovering. This practice alone, done on a consistent basis will have a huge impact on your game.


“Is hypnosis a required subject?”

March 4, 2011

Yes. There are a number of  increasingly indisputable facts regarding life in the modern world. One of the most repeated is the fact of chronic stress. Stress appears to cause or exacerbate pretty much everything. From depression to heart problems, to weight gain, to worry, to addictive behavior. The list goes on. The cure is to “just relax”. The thing is many of us really don’t know how. It is one thing to be told by your doctor or psychologist  to relax and another to  actually know how.  How to be able to intentionally rest for the body and mind.

What hypnosis and meditation do is give us the ability to permanently deal with stress and anxiety. Once learned the relaxation response is easy and automatic. Relaxed focused awareness is the best possible state for all kinds of learning.  From new behaviors like non smoking and lifestyle to improved athletic and academic performance.

There are simple elegant solutions to the problems of a worrying mind, anxiety, fears, habitual sadness and other issues that reduce quality of life.  The ability to release tension, focus awareness and think into alternative outcomes is available to every one.  If you have the ability to enjoy a good movie or story you have all the skill you need to enjoy the benefits of meditation and self-hypnosis.


“Can you make me cluck like a chicken?” Yes, but why…

January 26, 2011

You will cluck like a chicken, if you want to. Hypnosis is a state of heightened suggestion and usually deep relaxation. Generally, people won’t do anything which goes against their personal values or beliefs. What you have to remember about hypnosis is that it’s not sleep and you’re aware of everything that’s happening around you. If someone tells you to do something that is really against your values then you won’t do it. You’ll come out of the state of hypnosis, and in fact it would you’d almost be shocked out of hypnosis. It’s as simple as that!

It’s also believed that it’s somehow weak minded people (what ever that means), that are easily hypnotized. In fact the opposite is true. It’s those who can concentrate well and have a creative imagination that are, if you want to use the term, the best ‘hypnotic subjects’. These types of people go into hypnosis easier and deeper than anyone else.

We’re all susceptible to suggestion, but it’s just a matter to what degree. If someone is offering me something which is useful, then I will work towards achieving it. It would be really silly to work against something that will give you benefit. So it’s really not true that people who are hypnotized are gullible or weak minded.

Let the clucking commence.

 

 


“Is it true I only use 10% of my brain?” Uh, no Henrietta you use the whole thing.

January 18, 2011

From The Scientific American

By Robynne Boyd | Thursday, February 7, 2008 | 44

The human brain is complex. Along with performing millions of mundane acts, it composes concertos, issues manifestos and comes up with elegant solutions to equations. It’s the wellspring of all human feelings, behaviors, experiences as well as the repository of memory and self-awareness. So it’s no surprise that the brain remains a mystery unto itself.

Adding to that mystery is the contention that humans “only” employ 10 percent of their brain. If only regular folk could tap that other 90 percent, they too could become savants who remember π to the twenty-thousandth decimal place or perhaps even have telekinetic powers.

Though an alluring idea, the “10 percent myth” is so wrong it is almost laughable, says neurologist Barry Gordon at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Although there’s no definitive culprit to pin the blame on for starting this legend, the notion has been linked to the American psychologist and author William James, who argued in The Energies of Men that “We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources.” It’s also been associated with to Albert Einstein, who supposedly used it to explain his cosmic towering intellect.

The myth’s durability, Gordon says, stems from people’s conceptions about their own brains: they see their own shortcomings as evidence of the existence of untapped gray matter. This is a false assumption. What is correct, however, is that at certain moments in anyone’s life, such as when we are simply at rest and thinking, we may be using only 10 percent of our brains.

“It turns out though, that we use virtually every part of the brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time,” Gordon adds. “Let’s put it this way: the brain represents three percent of the body’s weight and uses 20 percent of the body’s energy.”

The average human brain weighs about three pounds and comprises the hefty cerebrum, which is the largest portion and performs all higher cognitive functions; the cerebellum, responsible for motor functions, such as the coordination of movement and balance; and the brain stem, dedicated to involuntary functions like breathing. The majority of the energy consumed by the brain powers the rapid firing of millions of neurons communicating with each other. Scientists think it is such neuronal firing and connecting that gives rise to all of the brain’s higher functions. The rest of its energy is used for controlling other activities—both unconscious activities, such as heart rate, and conscious ones, such as driving a car.

Although it’s true that at any given moment all of the brain’s regions are not concurrently firing, brain researchers using imaging technology have shown that, like the body’s muscles, most are continually active over a 24-hour period. “Evidence would show over a day you use 100 percent of the brain,” says John Henley, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Even in sleep, areas such as the frontal cortex, which controls things like higher level thinking and self-awareness, or the somatosensory areas, which help people sense their surroundings, are active, Henley explains.

Take the simple act of pouring coffee in the morning: In walking toward the coffeepot, reaching for it, pouring the brew into the mug, even leaving extra room for cream, the occipital and parietal lobes, motor sensory and sensory motor cortices, basal ganglia, cerebellum and frontal lobes all activate. A lightning storm of neuronal activity occurs almost across the entire brain in the time span of a few seconds.

“This isn’t to say that if the brain were damaged that you wouldn’t be able to perform daily duties,” Henley continues. “There are people who have injured their brains or had parts of it removed who still live fairly normal lives, but that is because the brain has a way of compensating and making sure that what’s left takes over the activity.”

Being able to map the brain’s various regions and functions is part and parcel of understanding the possible side effects should a given region begin to fail. Experts know that neurons that perform similar functions tend to cluster together. For example, neurons that control the thumb’s movement are arranged next to those that control the forefinger. Thus, when undertaking brain surgery, neurosurgeons carefully avoid neural clusters related to vision, hearing and movement, enabling the brain to retain as many of its functions as possible.

What’s not understood is how clusters of neurons from the diverse regions of the brain collaborate to form consciousness. So far, there’s no evidence that there is one site for consciousness, which leads experts to believe that it is truly a collective neural effort. Another mystery hidden within our crinkled cortices is that out of all the brain’s cells, only 10 percent are neurons; the other 90 percent are glial cells, which encapsulate and support neurons, but whose function remains largely unknown. Ultimately, it’s not that we use 10 percent of our brains, merely that we only understand about 10 percent of how it functions.


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