We all experience the hypnotic trance state over the course of the day when we go on ‘automatic’. For example, driving a car and arriving at our destination without conscious awareness of the roads we have driven down, absentmindedly getting the dinner or becoming so engrossed on social media sites that we are unaware of hours slipping by. Hypnosis is the doorway to our unconscious mind where all these automated processes work away unnoticed until they produce results that we don’t want.
At last there is scientific evidence to support the genuine effect of hypnosis on the functioning of the mind, as well as the body. One of America’s leading psychiatrists, David Spiegel from Stanford University scanned the brains of volunteers who were informed they were looking at coloured objects when, in reality, those objects were black and white. Spiegel told delegates from the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science that ‘(There) is scientific evidence that something happens in the brain when people are hypnotised that doesn’t happen ordinarily’. A scan showing areas of the brain used to register colour highlighted increased blood flow, indicating that the volunteers genuinely ‘saw’ colours, as they had been told they would. He added that there were ‘tremendous medical implications’ and envisaged people being able to manage their own pain and anxiety.’
You can read more about the research here. https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2016/07/study-identifies-brain-areas-altered-during-hypnotic-trances.html
What does it mean? Well, it means we can re-programme our minds to respond to situations differently. One of the reasons I studied hypnosis was to overcome my phobia of needles. And sitting in the car outside a clinic where I had to have a blood test confronted me with the question ‘Does hypnosis really work?’ Thankfully, a quick round of self-hypnosis saw me safely through what could have been a panic ordeal. In the majority of cases, it works!