What happens when you sit all the way down in this comfortable chair and hear a voice saying, “Now, close your eyes…”
You can feel your body gradually relaxing, your could sense that your conscious mind starts loosing its grip on reality as you go down, down, down… But what specifically happens to your mind?
Now we can to some extent answer this question.
According to researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine both left and right hemispheres are involved in a hypnotic process. For example, a hypnotic induction typically includes some specially selected phrases. This verbal communication is first processed by the left hemisphere – the one that is responsible for language processing and function. By using carefully selected language patterns, a hypnotherapist creates hypnotic reality – images, sensations, emotional memories, which are processed by the right hemisphere. One of the phenomena noticed in trance is gradual decline of the left hemisphere activity and activation of the right hemisphere. What started as a language processing task, continues as an emotional, sensory experience.
For example, you need your left brain in order to process a sentence, “Now, imagine going down a set of stairs.” But you also need your right brain in order to translate these words into images. As your right brain starts creating an image of going down, it also creates a sensation of going down, because you probably experienced this sensation on many occasions when you had to actually go down real stairs. This sensation coupled with your relaxed position in the chair triggers a sensation of loosing your grip on reality. You have to either interrupt the process in order to reconnect with your reality of sitting in the chair or just allow your mind detach from your body experience and fully engage in a play of imagination.
As practice of hypnosis and NLP shows, this state of engagement in a sensory/visual/memory experience enables us to reprogram some unconscious processes which ordinary are beyond our reach. For example, a person may be regressed to an earlier age where a traumatic event occurred. At the same time, a hypnotherapist may summon this person’s adult perspective and insight to help reframe and re-evaluate what happened. As a result, an emotional impact of this event as well as associated automatic responses may be changed.
Sometimes the change is so dramatic it looks like a miracle. Having experienced such change myself I can attest that the effect may be quite shocking. What looked like an insurmountable obstacle or block goes away with a puff of smoke.
Science is still a long way away from fully validating hypnosis and NLP as life-changing modalities. However, from what is already known and from experience of many people who benefited from this methodology, we can predict new fascinating discoveries. And of course, it is easy to start making these discoveries for yourself. You do not need a research lab or a team of volunteers – all you need is your mind, a skilled hypnotist and a willingness to go on a journey.
© 2014, Anna Margolina. All rights reserved.