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The Brain
Science Behind Hypnosis

What does hypnosis do to our brain?


Due to massive advances in brain imagery, researchers can now “peep” into a brain to see which parts are active during hypnosis. Dr David Spiegel, one of the most renowned experts in hypnosis and the brain, has used these advances to find how hypnosis affects the brain.

His groundbreaking research has shown that hypnosis acts on several brain regions, with some becoming active while other regions become less active or even disconnected! Here’s what his research discovered:

the region called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex becomes less active during hypnosis. This region helps people stay vigilant about their external environment, which means that people tend to get more relaxed and less worried about what’s happening around them while in a hypnotic state. Important for relaxation!

Is there a downside to hypnosis?

From a health and wellbeing perspective, there is no downside. None whatsoever.

But different people have different levels of susceptibility to being hypnotised. Researchers have found that about 20% of people show a “large” response to it, 20% don’t respond much at all, while the remaining 50% to 60% of people land somewhere in between.
There is a silver lining if you’re one of those who score low on hypnotic suggestibility. When used together with another form of therapy, e.g., CBT or coaching, the combined effect can be pronounced and beneficial. Do read my previous post about how I helped Anna with a combination of hypnotherapy and CBT. Also, watch out for my next post in a week where I share how I combine hypnotherapy with other therapies to help a person with insomnia.


That delightful quote by Dr Erickson is why I love hypnosis. It helps me create joy in the lives of others!

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