Is Hypnosis Real?

Short answer: You can see the hypnotic state on a brain scan, so yes, hypnosis is real. Long answer … read on!

Hypnosis is Real: It Shows Up on Brain Scans

As you can see in the picture, the normal waking state, hypnosis, and faking the result all use different parts of the brain, and this can be picked up on a brain scan. Even without a brain scan, you can usually tell a hypnotized person from someone who isn’t.

From Science News

Your Brain on Hypnosis. Science News, “The Mesmerized Mind,” Sept. 25, 2009.

Is That Other Person Hypnotized?

Since most of us don’t have a brain scanner handy, we rely on other ways of telling if someone is hypnotized.

The hypnotist who does a stage show at the Benton County Fair, Tammy Harris Barton, is good, and you can learn the difference between someone who is really hypnotized and someone who is not just by watching her. During the first part of the show, she does things that deepen the hypnosis of the volunteers, and excuses the ones who aren’t going as deep as she’d like, until she’s left with the ones who are deeply hypnotized.

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Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. Robert's publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of reprinted classics, including Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, which covers treating PTSD in veterans. Robert and his wife Karen sell free-range chicken and eggs at the Corvallis farmers' markets. Robert's hypnotherapy office is in downtown Corvallis.

Hypnosis for Alien Abductions? Is That a Thing?

The first time someone asked me about hypnosis for alien abductions,Cow being abducted by aliens in a UFO I was a little taken aback. “You want to abduct an alien? With hypnosis?”

But they explained to me that it’s more like, “I think maybe I was abducted by aliens. Can I find out in hypnosis?”

First, let me level with you: I have no training at all in forensic hypnosis. There really is such a thing as forensic hypnosis, with an idea of helping people remember things in a way that’s clean enough to help an investigation. But I have no training in it. And I’m no expert in aliens, either.

A True Story On a Related Theme

A client came to me and felt that her troubles lay in a past life. Well, past-life regression happens to be one of those things that we hypnotists do. I told her that this is done with no guarantees. I’m pretty confident that you’ll have an interesting hypnotic experience, and likely it will be moving and powerful as well. Will the things you remember be literally true? They often feel that way, but I can’t make any promises, because I don’t know! (But if a past-life experience leads you to buried treasure, please send me a post card.)

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Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on PinterestRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. Robert's publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of reprinted classics, including Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, which covers treating PTSD in veterans. Robert and his wife Karen sell free-range chicken and eggs at the Corvallis farmers' markets. Robert's hypnotherapy office is in downtown Corvallis.

Hypnosis-Like Techniques

Guided imagery and progressive relaxation are forms of hypnosisThanks to Hollywood and pulp fiction, hypnosis tends to bring to mind a villain with a pencil-thin mustache and possibly an opera cape. That’s really a stage hypnosis thing. So far, I’ve never met a hypnotherapist who greets clients in evening dress  and a silk hat or a turban with a jewel in the center. That’d be weird!

Some clinicians are put off by the Hollywood thing, so the first thing they do is stop using the word “hypnosis” when they do hypnosis. The second thing they do is to drop most of the hypnotic techniques from their repertoire, focusing on just one or two. Eventually, these subsets of hypnosis  get accepted by mainstream practitioners as stand-alone interventions, or even as stand-alone modalities. I call these hypnosis-like techniques.

So there are a lot of doctors and therapists out there who are using hypnotic techniques without admitting it, and sometimes without knowing it!

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Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on PinterestRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. Robert's publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of reprinted classics, including Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, which covers treating PTSD in veterans. Robert and his wife Karen sell free-range chicken and eggs at the Corvallis farmers' markets. Robert's hypnotherapy office is in downtown Corvallis.

Mind-Body Self-Hypnosis

I use self-hypnosis every day. It’s pretty easy, and I’ve recently discovered a particularly elegant shortcut to success, based on the idea that every thought in our mind creates some kind of reaction in the body. Actually, two shortcuts:The mind is not a machine, and neither is the body

  • Mind-body feedback during direct suggestion.
  • Focusing on discomfort until it changes.

These aren’t original with me, but I think I may have found their simplest possible forms.

When Good Suggestions Feel Bad: That’s Useful Mind-Body Feedback

While there are a lot of ways of using self-hypnosis, the simplest is to use direct suggestion, with a list of positive suggestions that you repeat to yourself over and over during the session. The rules are pretty simple:

  • Say it the way you want it: “I’m a valuable human being,” not “I’m not worthless.”
  • Put it in the present or present progressive tense, since the unconscious mind may choose to procrastinate forever if you use the future tense. “I am a nonsmoker,” not “I will be a nonsmoker.”
  • Specify the desired outcome, and leave the method of achieving it completely unspecified: “I am confident,” not “I get confidence from my lucky rabbit’s foot.”
  • When in doubt, use general suggestions: “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better” is traditional. I’m also rather fond of the childlike, “I am good. I am great. I love me.”
  • Repeat them many, many times, exactly as written. One advantage of hypnosis is that it allows you to tolerate and even enjoy verbatim repetition. Sometimes you’ll feel like each repetition is opening another door.

You can write them on a card and open your eyes if you want: self-hypnosis works fine if you open your eyes for this purpose.

Anyway, if you’re like me, suggestions like “I am good. I am great. I love me” will initially spark some internal resistance, which you will feel in some way, somewhere in your body, or through some kind of internal dialog or imagery. This is good!

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Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on PinterestRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. Robert's publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of reprinted classics, including Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, which covers treating PTSD in veterans. Robert and his wife Karen sell free-range chicken and eggs at the Corvallis farmers' markets. Robert's hypnotherapy office is in downtown Corvallis.

Are the Holidays Stressing You Out?

Are the holidays stressing you out? Too much to do, too many demands, gloomy weather, annoying relatives, high expectations?Stressed out by the holidays

You can’t change the weather, or your relatives, or the timing of the holidays (and neither can I), but hypnosis can help! The very first thing hypnosis does for you, besides giving you a time to put your feet up, close your eyes, and relax, is to put you back in touch with you sense of centered, calm relaxation, and take it with you when you leave the office. There’s nothing like it for relieving stress. And hypnosis is easy. With modern techniques, everyone is a good hypnotic subject; you’ll do just fine, no matter how rushed and stressed and jangled you might feel at the start.

Hypnosis is a brief therapy, so it’s not like you have to start during summer vacation to get ready for the holidays. You can start during the holidays and it’ll work just fine. Perfect for last-minute shopping for that hardest-to-please person: you.

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Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on PinterestRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. Robert's publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of reprinted classics, including Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, which covers treating PTSD in veterans. Robert and his wife Karen sell free-range chicken and eggs at the Corvallis farmers' markets. Robert's hypnotherapy office is in downtown Corvallis.