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Old 6th May 2012, 07:35 PM   #1
Johnny Brant
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Hypnosis: had any experience of it?

Has anybody here been hypnotised? I haven't and would like to know what it's like.
Do people enter a different state of 'reality' or what?
For example a stage hypnotist made one guy believe that an onion was an apple, and the guy happily ate it.
When they're brought out of it do they remember what they did and said while under it?
Any possibly harmful long lasting sde effects?
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Old 6th May 2012, 07:56 PM   #2
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You can do the apple / onion thing just by having someone put a clothespin on their nose(or hold their nose) and eat it with their eyes closed. Someone once attempted to hypnotise me many years ago. They thought they had for about 15 minutes. They were wrong.

I have heard that there are people susceptible to it, but most of the stage type is not real.
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Old 6th May 2012, 08:12 PM   #3
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Hypnosis is mostly ********.

Next?
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Old 6th May 2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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I was put under as part of a quit smoking therapy - very odd experience. The session went about 20 minutes but there was no sense of time passing. I felt like was in a strange dream state.

I had no nicotine cravings for about four days then began having these very lucid hallucination of things and people being around me who were not. At one point I thought I was at some festival and judging from the clothing it was sometime in the mid 1850's - instinctively I knew these flashes were related to the smoking - as soon as I smoked again the images stopped.

I can not claim they were caused by the hypnosis - Knowing what I know now I think it was some funky reaction by the nicotine receptors in my brain scrambling my head.

It was the first of three sessions of which I never completed, deep in the back of my mind I had this weird feeling of being violated

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Old 6th May 2012, 09:09 PM   #5
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The movie "Office Space" goes into some detail about the pitfalls.

I've been hypnotized, and for a little while, I was compelled to buy Coke or Pepsi.
I have since forgotten which.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:03 PM   #6
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Hypnosis is just consensual role-play that your brain convinces you is real to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that you had fun "playing pretend" with another adult.
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Old 7th May 2012, 08:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Stomatopoda View Post
Hypnosis is just consensual role-play that your brain convinces you is real to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that you had fun "playing pretend" with another adult.
Brilliant! Nominated.
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Old 7th May 2012, 08:50 PM   #8
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I don't care what all these naysayers claim, hypnosis is real and I've seen it first hand.

OK, so we were teenagers. I think I was about 14, my brother was 16. He and his friend went to a hypnotist show and I can't recall if just Ken (the friend) was hypnotized or both he and my brother. I recall they said someone in the front row was accidentally hypnotized along with the volunteers on stage. Those details are fading.

But they came back all excited about it and my brother taught himself how to do it. Since Ken was hypnotized once he actually was hypnotized more easily. And I don't care what you all think about eating the onion being so easy, I don't buy it. He ate the onion, no nose plug, no watery eyes, just like an apple, and he was angry with my brother later because he said he burped up onions all the next day.

OK, that's not the biggest deal but when my brother hypnotized my girlfriend, there is no way it was faked. I couldn't be hypnotized. I don't think I'm the type to let my mind relax. But Teri was another story. She went under easily. My brother told her she was naked and the rest of us weren't. She giggled but wasn't that freaked out. But then he told her she was on the ceiling looking down and she literally started screaming and kicking her legs. It was totally unexpected and out of character for anyone who was just faking it or going along like the Peter Popoff forehead push knock over. My brother had to bring her out of it right then.

We were high school kids. There was no 'pressure' to pretend. It was just the 4 of us. I wasn't under so if anything my friend would have had peer pressure not to be under either. If you'd witnessed how upset she was kicking and screaming you'd not doubt hypnosis is a real phenomena.
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Old 7th May 2012, 08:59 PM   #9
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Assuming the following is verifiable:
Quote:
In some studies, EEGs from subjects under hypnosis showed a boost in the lower frequency waves associated with dreaming and sleep, and a drop in the higher frequency waves associated with full wakefulness. Brain-wave information is not a definitive indicator of how the mind is operating, but this pattern does fit the hypothesis that the conscious mind backs off during hypnosis and the subconscious mind takes a more active role.

Researchers have also studied patterns in the brain's cerebral cortex that occur during hypnosis. In these studies, hypnotic subjects showed reduced activity in the left hemisphere of the cerebral cortex, while activity in the right hemisphere often increased. Neurologists believe that the left hemisphere of the cortex is the logical control center of the brain; it operates on deduction, reasoning and convention. The right hemisphere, in contrast, controls imagination and creativity. A decrease in left-hemisphere activity fits with the hypothesis that hypnosis subdues the conscious mind's inhibitory influence. Conversely, an increase in right-brain activity supports the idea that the creative, impulsive subconscious mind takes the reigns. This is by no means conclusive evidence, but it does lend credence to the idea that hypnotism opens up the subconscious mind.
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Old 7th May 2012, 10:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I don't care what all these naysayers claim, hypnosis is real and I've seen it first hand.

OK, so we were teenagers. I think I was about 14, my brother was 16. He and his friend went to a hypnotist show and I can't recall if just Ken (the friend) was hypnotized or both he and my brother. I recall they said someone in the front row was accidentally hypnotized along with the volunteers on stage. Those details are fading.

But they came back all excited about it and my brother taught himself how to do it. Since Ken was hypnotized once he actually was hypnotized more easily. And I don't care what you all think about eating the onion being so easy, I don't buy it. He ate the onion, no nose plug, no watery eyes, just like an apple, and he was angry with my brother later because he said he burped up onions all the next day.

OK, that's not the biggest deal but when my brother hypnotized my girlfriend, there is no way it was faked. I couldn't be hypnotized. I don't think I'm the type to let my mind relax. But Teri was another story. She went under easily. My brother told her she was naked and the rest of us weren't. She giggled but wasn't that freaked out. But then he told her she was on the ceiling looking down and she literally started screaming and kicking her legs. It was totally unexpected and out of character for anyone who was just faking it or going along like the Peter Popoff forehead push knock over. My brother had to bring her out of it right then.

We were high school kids. There was no 'pressure' to pretend. It was just the 4 of us. I wasn't under so if anything my friend would have had peer pressure not to be under either. If you'd witnessed how upset she was kicking and screaming you'd not doubt hypnosis is a real phenomena.
Exactly.

Explains the global success of carbonated sugar-water with caffeine, at a high cost.

And shampoo.
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Old 8th May 2012, 01:47 AM   #11
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Once, at an SF convention, a guy offered to hypnotize my girlfriend. She was reluctant at first, but curious, so she finally agreed, as long as I was there to make sure nothing untoward happened. So we went to his room, along with a couple of other friends, and he spent an hour or so trying his thing, but it didn't work. I'm not sure if it's because she was still nervous (the guy was a little creepy) or she just wasn't a good subject (his theory) or because he wasn't very good at it (my theory) or if the whole thing is nonsense. But that's my closest encounter with hypnotism.
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Old 8th May 2012, 03:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Stomatopoda View Post
Hypnosis is just consensual role-play that your brain convinces you is real to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that you had fun "playing pretend" with another adult.
My thoughts exactly.

And it isn't even the best kind of consensual adult role-play.
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Old 8th May 2012, 03:41 AM   #13
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Maybe fifteen years ago, I went to a hypnotist for an Unspecified Problem.

Long story short, second session, the guy said he'd throw in a bunch of suggestions for free. People want this, in his experience, he says.

So, as I lie there, he says, "You will achieve a durable erection..."

Durable makes me think of floor-mats and bricks and other goods -- which sort of spoiled the force of the suggestion.

One doesn't wish to think of one's Johnson, one's unit, as something akin to what you buy at Home Depot.
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Old 8th May 2012, 03:57 AM   #14
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I used to be pretty interested in hypnosis since I was able to hypnotize myself (haven't tried in a long while). Some people are vastly more susceptible to the suggestions than others. I attended a stage hypnotist presentation once in college. The hypnotist narrowed down the audience little by little until he a had a group that was highly susceptible, then he 'made' them do all sorts of outrageous things. It was pretty impressive, so afterwards my buddies and I attended a seminar he held the following day. He went through all the 'problem-solving' aspects of hypnosis, all pretty straight-forward stuff. I'm unable to be hypnotized by others, probably because I don't like giving up any self-control. At the end of the seminar, the guy claimed he could also mind read. He left the room and had a girl hide an object (watch). He came back in, and using the girl to lead him around the room, he 'honed' in on the object very quickly. Everyone was amazed (except me) and thought he could really read minds. I suggested that he was actually grabbing the girl to either feel her pulse or ideomotor effect. He quickly denied this--but you've never seen someone pack their bags and run fast out of there!
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Old 8th May 2012, 04:37 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Assuming the following is verifiable:

Some problems with that include the fact that dreaming is not characterized by low frequency EEG waves. During REM sleep, the brain waves are similar to those of the waking brain. Dement showed that back in the 1950s.
Also, the left brain- right brain differences in function are not nearly as marked as the article would have one believe. That is one of the myths discussed in Lilienfeld's et al. 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology(2010).

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Old 8th May 2012, 05:11 AM   #16
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No, I can't be hypnotized even though I really wanted to be at one point.

It was a nice, relaxing experience, and it was quite 'playing make-believe' but I never went into another state of being.
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Old 8th May 2012, 05:30 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Assuming the following is verifiable:
Surely you'd expect the creative bit of the brain to be more active whether hypnosis is a real phenomenon or not? Part of the gig is getting people to act things out so, whether they're 'in control' or not, they'll certainly be being creative.

ETA: Reminds me of the bizarre conclusion of the EEG readings on the supposed baby psychic that showed that during a reading he used the 'picture' part of his brain and was therefore 'receiving images'. Er yeah, or imagining things, d'oh!

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Old 8th May 2012, 06:54 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Stomatopoda View Post
Hypnosis is just consensual role-play that your brain convinces you is real to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that you had fun "playing pretend" with another adult.
I don't think we know enough about hypnosis to say this with confidence.
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Old 8th May 2012, 08:11 AM   #19
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When I was in college I watched as a friend of mine, lying on his back on a bed, was being hypnotized by the dorm's "resident hypnotist", just another student who was known for his talents. This was the first time I had ever seen anyone in a hypnotic trance.

I don't recall everything that the performance included, but I was intrigued by two phenomena in particular. The subject was told that his right arm was light, being pulled up by giant weather balloons, etc, and that he could not lower his arm. When he was challenged to try to lower his arm, it seemed that he could not, and he exhibited what appeared to be a genuine effort and frustration in the attempt. When the hypnotist told him that he now was able to lower his arm, the subject quickly did so.

The hypnotist also told him his hand was covered by a large glove, and he would feel no sensation of pain, whereupon he pressed his thumbnail onto the cuticle of the subject's middle finger producing no reflex withdrawal from the pain caused by such pressure. He demonstrated with several of us how painful this could be.

I became quite interested in hypnosis, and ultimately tried his induction method on one of the guys in the dorm...it worked, and I was off and running on quite a long "career" as a hypnotist. It is pretty amazing how word of mouth results in a large number of people wanting to be hypnotized. All through college and for a few years during grad school, I gave various performances in dorms and among groups of friends. I'm guessing I have hypnotized well over one hundred people.

Much later on, I had a close friend who made a living as a "professional hypnotist" helping people quit smoking, recover from agoraphobia, and all sorts of other problems. They swore by him. He used hypnosis on his wife for painless delivery of three children. I personally never got into more than just the stage type silly stuff. He tried various times to hypnotize me, but to no avail. We did a few stage shows together in dorms until one night a girl went into hysterics over something. I lost interest and never again hypnotized anyone.

It was interesting to me that I got so that I could pretty well determine who would be a good subject, and who would not. It's kind of hard to explain, but it seems like people who are extroverts, impressionable, giggly, etc. make the best subjects.

Of course I have had people try to "fake it", as it were, but generally it is very easy to determine that they are not in a trance. One method is to suggest that the outstretched arm is rigid. Then, if I push down on the arm and quickly release it, the arm of the hypnotized individual will barely move upward. In a waking state, or faking hypnosis, the arm will jump up, indicating that the subject is countering the downward pressure. Of course the test for pain is also pretty convincing. I never used needles, but many hypnotists do. Also, the various types of post hypnotic suggestions that appear to genuinely dazzle the subject's sense of his own abilities were, to my mind, not something that could be so convincingly faked.

Not until I became a member of JREF did I ever doubt that hypnosis was a real phenomenon. I have a completely open mind on this subject, and I am more than willing to believe that hypnosis is some trivial sort of suggestion or role playing scenario, if the evidence for this notion there, but it sure did not seem that way to me during my time as a hypnotist.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:24 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by NeilC View Post
I don't think we know enough about hypnosis to say this with confidence.
Anyone who witnessed my friend's reaction kicking and screaming, would know it was not faked. No matter how or why it occurred, she was truly terrified. The three of us watching were taken by surprise at her reaction. No one expected it.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:26 AM   #21
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I think it's all pretend. Some people want it to be true to the point they will relinquish control completely.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:28 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Anyone who witnessed my friend's reaction kicking and screaming, would know it was not faked. No matter how or why it occurred, she was truly terrified. The three of us watching were taken by surprise at the reaction. No one expected it.
I don't think it is any different than people in church who collapse in absolute emotional ecstasy or fall to their knees sobbing uncontrollably. It's all connected with permitting yourself to enter such a state.

*which happens to people who profess non belief and denial of being religious all the time. And it happens with cases of possession as well.

Last edited by Halfcentaur; 8th May 2012 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:31 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Olowkow View Post
....
Not until I became a member of JREF did I ever doubt that hypnosis was a real phenomenon. I have a completely open mind on this subject, and I am more than willing to believe that hypnosis is some trivial sort of suggestion or role playing scenario, if the evidence for this notion there, but it sure did not seem that way to me during my time as a hypnotist.
This is much like my brother's experience. He really mastered the technique quite easily. I know why I'm not a good subject. I can't even stand the exercise where one relaxes an inch at a time: "Relax your toes, relax your feet, relax your ankles" ... etc. It was a fad for the professors in my nursing program and I groaned every time another one of them decided to show this wonderful thing to the class.

My brother used the 'floating on a cloud' story to hypnotize people. What did you use? Just curious.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:33 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
I don't think it is any different than people in church who collapse in absolute emotional ecstasy or fall to their knees sobbing uncontrollably. It's all connected with permitting yourself to enter such a state.

*which happens to people who profess non belief and denial of being religious all the time. And it happens with cases of possession as well.
I've seen the Pentecostal performances up close and Popoff on the TV pushing people over. It may be a related phenomena but it is not the same. I don't believe the trances people go into are the same at all.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:35 AM   #25
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People have had surgery under hypnosis. That would appear to stretch the "they're just going along with it for kicks" hypothesis beyond credibility.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:35 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
I think it's all pretend. Some people want it to be true to the point they will relinquish control completely.
What does this even mean? If you truly relinquish control to the point where when someone says you are on the ceiling looking down, you actually believe you are, how is that pretending?
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:37 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Ethan Thane Athen View Post
Surely you'd expect the creative bit of the brain to be more active whether hypnosis is a real phenomenon or not? Part of the gig is getting people to act things out so, whether they're 'in control' or not, they'll certainly be being creative.

ETA: Reminds me of the bizarre conclusion of the EEG readings on the supposed baby psychic that showed that during a reading he used the 'picture' part of his brain and was therefore 'receiving images'. Er yeah, or imagining things, d'oh!
I don't "expect" anything except to see a change in brain activity in someone hypnotized. What change occurs is what occurs.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:55 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Tatyana View Post
No, I can't be hypnotized even though I really wanted to be at one point.

It was a nice, relaxing experience, and it was quite 'playing make-believe' but I never went into another state of being.
Precisely the same for me, Tatyana. I believe SkepticGinger and the others, but I participated in a program at my college, and later for "therapy" for 10 sessions with a psychologist, and never once could I "go under" even tho I tried so hard to be co-operative. I really wanted to go under and reach that state, but I just couldn't.

Maybe some of us are just immune no matter what? Regardless, the idea fascinates me and I can't help but feel a bit cross that I am left behind when others have been successful.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:58 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
What does this even mean? If you truly relinquish control to the point where when someone says you are on the ceiling looking down, you actually believe you are, how is that pretending?
That's the gist of it. It's pretending to the point that in some sense it's actually working. You could call that real hypnosis if you want. I think calling it hypnosis is just semantics. The process to achieve the act of BS'ing yourself into accepting just about anything is called hypnosis to my thinking.

That's not to say this process is without tangible result, but I do not think it's an altered state of consciousness. It's more like an exercise of focus. If you want to call that a trance, I guess that's fine. But to me words like trance are just fancy words for relaxing the mind completely or focusing intently.

There's nothing unexplained about it. But I think it's nothing more than totally relinquishing the skeptical mind.

No different than an intense religious experience during a prayer revival. One person uses something like a deity as an excuse to enter such a state, another uses the suggestions of a hypnotist.

Saying hypnosis is real is a can of worms for me. What are you proposing hypnosis is?
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Old 8th May 2012, 12:05 PM   #30
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This guy says the naysayer position is naive. I would merely call it out of date regarding the brain science involved.

The state of hypnosis: evidence and applications
Quote:
Whilst there is no doubt that in the clinical context a patient must be a willing participant in hypnosis, recent work suggests that to say that the influence of hypnosis on pain, blood coagulation, inflammatory responses, removal of warts, etc. is simply the result of role-playing or other psychosocial dynamics, is naive.

This recent change in orientation of hypnosis theories is largely a consequence of more informed approaches to the complexities of brain systems, and greater rigour in the application of scientific methodology and experimental design. Individual differences in hypnosis susceptibility, glaringly obvious since the technique's discovery a century ago, have been of particular use here, as responder and nonresponder groups can be selected a priori. We can be thankful in this selection for the development of reliable and valid scales of hypnotic susceptibility such as those from Harvard and Stanford. The state and trait nature of hypnotic susceptibility means, however, that it is essential to establish the retest reliability of group assignment; in our studies we now do this on three occasions, including one that is concurrent with electrophysiological recording.
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Old 8th May 2012, 12:13 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Minarvia View Post
Precisely the same for me, Tatyana. I believe SkepticGinger and the others, but I participated in a program at my college, and later for "therapy" for 10 sessions with a psychologist, and never once could I "go under" even tho I tried so hard to be co-operative. I really wanted to go under and reach that state, but I just couldn't.

Maybe some of us are just immune no matter what? Regardless, the idea fascinates me and I can't help but feel a bit cross that I am left behind when others have been successful.
I'm pretty sure I was especially unable to trust letting my brother control my mind, even ever so briefly.

But the literature I just reviewed looking for evidence for the thread definitely notes people differ significantly in their susceptibility to hypnosis.

Perhaps there is a physical difference: Increased anterior corpus callosum size associated positively with hypnotizability and the ability to control pain.
Quote:
This is the first MRI study to report differences in brain structure size between low and highly hypnotizable, healthy, right-handed young adults. Participants were stringently screened for hypnotic susceptibility with two standardized scales, and then exposed to hypnotic analgesia training to control cold pressor pain. Only the highly hypnotizable subjects (HHs) who eliminated pain perception were included in the present study. These HHs, who demonstrated more effective attentional and inhibitory capabilities, had a significantly (P < 0.003) larger (31.8%) rostrum, a corpus callosum area involved in the allocation of attention and transfer of information between prefrontal cortices, than low hypnotizable subjects (LHs). These results provide support to the neuropsychophysiological model that HHs have more effective frontal attentional systems implementing control, monitoring performance and inhibiting unwanted stimuli from conscious awareness, than LHs.
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Old 8th May 2012, 01:40 PM   #32
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Belaboring my point, advertizing works. We buy crap that is counter to our self-interests.

Buy my crap. Buy my crap. You are getting sleepy. When I snap my fingers, you will buy my crap.
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Old 8th May 2012, 02:03 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
This is much like my brother's experience. He really mastered the technique quite easily. I know why I'm not a good subject. I can't even stand the exercise where one relaxes an inch at a time: "Relax your toes, relax your feet, relax your ankles" ... etc. It was a fad for the professors in my nursing program and I groaned every time another one of them decided to show this wonderful thing to the class.

My brother used the 'floating on a cloud' story to hypnotize people. What did you use? Just curious.
Well, I had quite a few, but the principal technique was "Your eyes are getting heavier and heavier...." "Walking down a staircase, counting 10, 9, 8, etc." "You feel very calm, relaxed, peaceful..."

I had a good voice for it, a radio voice. Unfortunately every time someone tried to hypnotize me, I did too much analysis of his technique and never could achieve any trance. Someone telling me to relax my toes and feet (WTF?) would have just made me giggle.

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Old 8th May 2012, 02:24 PM   #34
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From SkepticGinger -

-This is the first MRI study to report differences in brain structure size between low and highly hypnotizable, healthy, right-handed young adults. Participants were stringently screened for hypnotic susceptibility with two standardized scales, and then exposed to hypnotic analgesia training to control cold pressor pain. Only the highly hypnotizable subjects (HHs) who eliminated pain perception were included in the present study. These HHs, who demonstrated more effective attentional and inhibitory capabilities, had a significantly (P < 0.003) larger (31.8%) rostrum, a corpus callosum area involved in the allocation of attention and transfer of information between prefrontal cortices, than low hypnotizable subjects (LHs). These results provide support to the neuropsychophysiological model that HHs have more effective frontal attentional systems implementing control, monitoring performance and inhibiting unwanted stimuli from conscious awareness, than LHs.-

Hmmm...I would like to think it's a physical difference in me rather than the fact that I could, albeit unconsciously, be uncooperative.

But the last sentence eludes me a bit. It seems to say that Highly Hypnotisable subjects have MORE effective control over unwanted stimuli and MORE effective control over attention? That sounds like it should be the other way around, to me. ?

Ack...it seems I really have an ineffective brain today... Wait...maybe THAT's my problem...
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Old 8th May 2012, 02:29 PM   #35
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Before I became a skeptic, I received hypnosis from my psychologist.

It did nothing. I felt nothing. Utter nonsense.
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Old 8th May 2012, 02:41 PM   #36
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Buy my crap.

Repetition works.

Um, half price sale, today only, on my crap.)
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Old 8th May 2012, 03:20 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Olowkow View Post
...Someone telling me to relax my toes and feet (WTF?) would have just made me giggle.
Well it keeps going all the way until you get to the top of your head. I used to get seriously bored.
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Old 8th May 2012, 03:21 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Greedo View Post
Before I became a skeptic, I received hypnosis from my psychologist.

It did nothing. I felt nothing. Utter nonsense.
Sample size of one, I'd keep that in mind.
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Old 8th May 2012, 03:24 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Minarvia View Post
From SkepticGinger -
-[snip] These results provide support to the neuropsychophysiological model that HHs have more effective frontal attentional systems implementing control, monitoring performance and inhibiting unwanted stimuli from conscious awareness, than LHs.-

Hmmm...I would like to think it's a physical difference in me rather than the fact that I could, albeit unconsciously, be uncooperative.

But the last sentence eludes me a bit. It seems to say that Highly Hypnotisable subjects have MORE effective control over unwanted stimuli and MORE effective control over attention? That sounds like it should be the other way around, to me. ?

Ack...it seems I really have an ineffective brain today... Wait...maybe THAT's my problem...
It would seem HHs are better at tuning stuff out of their stream of consciousness. I'm pretty sure mine doesn't even ever stop multitasking let alone shut down altogether.
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Old 8th May 2012, 05:24 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It would seem HHs are better at tuning stuff out of their stream of consciousness. I'm pretty sure mine doesn't even ever stop multitasking let alone shut down altogether.
Oh, that makes sense! I read it quite a different way.
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