Does Hypnotherapy work?

In the past science used to think that hypnosis was all just an act, but now with advances in brain scanning imagery we are actually able to see how hypnotherapy can help us, as clinical hypnotherapist Garry Webster explains, there’s much more to it than first thought.

Our technology has come on in leaps and bounds over the last decade or so, and with it we can start to see how hypnotherapy can help people with all kinds of issues. Depression, stress, anxiety and panic attacks, ego strengthening are just a few of the main mental health issues that a good qualified hypnotherapist can treat. Of course there are also things like weight loss, phobias and sleep issues, to name a few.

With these technological advances, we now know that hypnosis is an altered brain state. Various studies have repeatedly showed McGeown et al. (2009) showed in a brain imaging study, that hypnosis “is a distinctive and unique pattern of brain activation…”, Oakley and Halligan (2013) say new brain imaging findings do support the contention that “hypnosis is a distinct form of consciousness...”. All our lives start and end in our heads, in the realm of our brains is where everything really exists.

Therapists often tout the phrase that we can adapt to our environment, and there is clinical evidence to support this. Woollett & Maguire (2011) show that London cab drivers brains have been shown to develop larger hippocampi as a result of working as taxi drivers. The researchers studied the size of the posterior hippocampus on cabbies both before passing the entrance exam known as ‘the knowledge’ and afterwards. They also measured the same regions in those who did not pass the rigorous test to qualify as a taxi driver. The results clearly showed that those who had qualified, and were working as taxi drivers had developed much larger posterior hippocampi than those who did not qualify. The researchers note that this “does not help clarify which, if any, of the qualifed taxi drivers had a genetic pre disposition to have a more ‘plastic’ brain and therefore to learn the knowledge more easily…” (cited in Brierley 2011). There is evidence that children who learn to play instruments “showed changed anatomical features in brain areas known to be involved in the control of playing a musical instrument…” Hyde et al. (2009).

This change is known as neuroplasticity. the brain is in a constant state of change, everytime we learn something our brains change to accomodate this new information. The good news about this for people with life long problems is that - we are never stuck with these problems. And for decades, therapy has been changing the way our brains see things, and its taken us until now to actually know this. This insight means that anything is possible. Anyone can overcome pretty much anything with a little help.

If you are thinking of trying hypnotherapy, make sure you only sue a hypnotherapist who is properly trained and a member of leading organisations. A good hypnotherapist will be happy to answer any questions you may have before you start. Ripley Hypnotherapy have helped people all over the world via Skype so if you want to know more, get in touch today.