Hypnotizing the Stress Away

October 27, 2010

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What do you think of when you hear the word hypnotism? Do you envision a person fluttering around stage like a butterfly? Or how about a person on stage that sees everyone in the audience as being naked? Comic hypnotists have shaped our opinions and ideas when it comes to hypnotism and the hypnotic state. What many don’t realize is that hypnotism can actually be used as a stress reduction technique.

This week in my Stressed Out class we had a guest speaker who is a local hypnotist that came in to our class to clear up some common misconceptions about hypnotism and to show our class how hypnotism can be used to reduce stress levels. Many people believe that hypnotism is an unconscious state where the individual loses control of his or her body and is at the beck and call of the hypnotist. This is not the truth. Sure, hypnotists use their techniques to have volunteers act out funny situations on stage, but hypnotism is actually a conscious state of brain function.

When using hypnotism for stress relief an individual should start concentrating on an image, such as a kaleidoscope of colors on an enlarged computer screen. The individual should then begin to relax the various parts of his or her body, focusing primarily on relaxing the muscles around the eyes and moving outwards to all parts of the body. If an individual wishes to change a habit, such as to stop smoking or eating healthier, he or she should focus on that idea while in the hypnotic state, so the conscious brain can communicate with the subconscious state to make your goals more attainable and first-hand. The idea behind hypnotism for stress relief is to simply relax the body for a few minutes and to clear the mind. When we experienced the hypnotic state during class, I used a distal finger thermometer to compare my initial pre-hypnosis temperature to my post-hypnosis temperature. What I found was that my temperature actually increased approximately two degrees fahrenheit, which suggests that I was in a more calm/tranquil state after the hypnotic event.

Following my hypnotic state, I felt like a completely new person. I was relaxed, worry-free, and ready to take on the world. I was absolutely amazed at how well the hypnotism worked on me and look forward to participating in more hypnotic states in the future. To try some simple hypnotic techniques on your own time, visit these online videos.  

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