I always like to share new information about hypnosis that I run across. This one is from a London on line article from the "News Shopper"
A quite peculiar mental state
By Laura-Jane Filotrani
According to John Gruzelier, a psychologist at Imperial College, London, hypnosis measurably changes how the brain works.
Using functional brain imaging he says his research shows hypnosis significantly affects the activity in a part of the brain responsible for detecting and responding to errors.
This is the first time a biological mechanism has been suggested for underpinning the experience of hypnosis and, if true, would account for the 60 per cent of people trying to give up smoking citing it as the method which worked best for them.
Last year there was the case of 46-year-old Pippa Plaisted who went through a 45-minute breast cancer operation under hypnosis alone.
The operation would normally have needed a general anaesthetic but instead, hypnotherapist Charles Montigue stood at the operating table, his thumb resting on Plaisted's forehead, monitoring the hypnotic trance he had put her in minutes before the operation began.
Eyes closed but awake, Plaisted could hear the surgeon calmly telling her, at each stage of the operation, what was going to happen next.
This is nothing new. The hypnotic state can be traced back to the middle of the 18th Century, although the reasons for the trance of an individual were then linked to supernatural intervention.
The hypnotic experience combines concentration with relaxation. The consciousness of the individual concerned separates into two streams the conscious and the unconscious.
Daydreaming is considered a form of self-hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy is well suited to the treatment of anxiety and, since anxiety takes an array of forms, hypnosis can be usefully applied to a wide variety of conditions
Smoking and overeating are the commonest ways of trying to alleviate feelings of anxiety, so it is not surprising hypnotherapy is best known for its effectiveness in these areas.