Hypnosis is one of the most mysterious concepts in the world and people have been known to act out what the hypnotist says instead of really being hypnotized. Hypnosis started in the 18th century in India and China, but eventually transferred over to Europe as a young boy named Jacob Grimm went in for surgery. The surgeons found a way to relieve pain during surgery. Anesthesia and ether were not invented as of this time, but were soon introduced afterward to replace hypnosis.
During hypnosis, the patient is in a trance. This trance can be so immense that the patient would have to be reminded to blink and breathe in case they were not paying enough attention to themselves. The brain lights up in an area called the precuneus, which is located at the front of the occipital lobe, the part of the brain responsible for vision. This part of the brain is also responsible for creating self-imagery, images one would see as if they were schizophrenic. Instead of creating self-imagery, the patient takes in what the hypnotist is saying and creates those images in their head. This is why some adults can act out while hypnotized, because they create more complex images in their head. Hypnotists could even be as dangerous as a criminal and influence a patient to do their dirty work such as steal, or even murder.
A study at Ohio State University brought attention to memory enhancement. People under the influence of hypnosis can recall past memories that never actually happened, depending on what the hypnotist tells them. Other parts of the brain spark, such as the hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus, and hypothalamus, which all contribute to the memory segment in the brain. Hypnosis also can cause temporary amnesia, which causes the patients to have short-term memory loss for an ample amount of time. This can be frightening to some because memories can be suppressed for a longer period of time, which can be daunting to some people. The memory segment works phenomenally as some patients that are told to forget simple things can still recall more complex ideas.
Going back to pain, scientists today believe hypnosis is extraordinary as it works as a suppressor of an extreme amount of pain, such as surgery. The brain is so focused on the hypnotics that it forgets everything else in its surroundings, including sights, sounds, tastes, and pains. Hypnosis could also be used as a stress reliever for people going through hard times, such as depression or the death of a loved one.
All of this just goes to show how powerful hypnosis can be. Essentially, hypnosis is a form of mind control that could potentially be used for anything the hypnotist wanted. It activates the occipital lobe and creates images inside the patient’s, or victim’s, head. Memories can be lost, or found, depending on the situation and pain feelings can be stimulated, or taken away. In my opinion, anesthesia and ethers have nothing on hypnosis!
Image from Wikimedia Commons
- “io9.” “What Hypnosis Really Does to Your Brain.” http://io9.gizmodo.com/5891504/what-hypnosis-really-does-to-your-brain. Accessed 15 December 2016.