Studies have shown that when hypnosis is used to deal with pain, it has a different effect then a placebo, because rather than simply allowing you to tolerate more pain (as happens with a placebo), hypnosis will actually prevent you from feeling pain in the first place. That is, it somehow prevents the pain from reaching the bra
In order for a drug to be approved for use, the drug must be measured against the Placebo Effect. Numerous studies have shown that slightly more than 30% of those receiving a placebo show an improvement (and this number is closer to 50% when dealing with pain control). This means that for a drug to be approved it must have a significantly greater effect. This is the gold standard of science and fortunately, numerous studies have been conducted on the power of hypnosis to relieve pain, and they have conclusively demonstrated that its ability to relieve pain is much greater than it would be if it were merely the result of the Placebo Effect.
One scientific study on hypnosis noted that pain causes a specific area of the brain to be activated (the anterior cingulate cortex). When subjects were then hypnotized and zapped with a small electrical current, PET scans revealed that there was a significant decrease in the activation of this area of the brain. In other words, hypnosis was able to affect the circuits that relayed the pain signals to the brain. And this backs up the old saying: “there is no pain until it reaches the brain.”
PET scans of the human brain have revealed that different parts of the brain are activated when we hear a sound, while other parts are activated when we imagine we hear a sound. Scientists have also found that when a hypnotized subject is given the suggestion to hear a sound, the area of the brain that hears real sounds becomes activated, and not the area one would expect if the subjects were simply imagining the sound. This accounts for one of the many powerful therapeutic effects of hypnosis, because what we imagine in hypnosis somehow gets encoded into our brain as if it were a real memory.
PET scans of the human brain have shown that when we see an image in colour, specific areas in our brain are activated. Whereas, if we see that same image in black-and-white, other areas, become active. Scientists have found that when hypnotized subjects were shown a colour image, and then given the hypnotic suggestion to only see black and white, there was decreased activity in the part of their brain that perceived colour. A fact that clearly demonstrated that hypnosis involves something more than just pretending.
There is a growing body evidence involving Positron Emission Tomography, or PET scans, that have clearly demonstrated remarkable things happen in the brain of people who are hypnotized. Things that can transform your life.
Hypnosis is an amazing tool that has real and measurable effects on the body and the brain. Ones that have been measured by scientists and have been proven to help people achieve deep and lasting change.