What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness (ASC) in which a person is more receptive to suggestions and ideas from their environment. It is a technique that has been used for centuries in various cultures, including Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, to treat various mental and physical health problems.
The hypnosis process begins with relaxation, called “induction” in hypnosis. The practitioner guides the person into a state of deep relaxation, where they are completely relaxed and focused on their own body. His perceptions are then modified. Let’s take this example to illustrate this change in perception:
Léon Chertok, psychoanalyst, psychiatrist was extremely interested in hypnosis and its effects on the body and mind. He has conducted several experiments on hypnosis, including an artificial burn experiment under hypnosis with a woman. For the experiment, Chertok hypnotized the woman and placed a coin on her arm, while suggesting that the coin was hot. In reality, the room was perfectly cold, but due to the hypnotic suggestion, the woman began to develop a rash: until a light bulb formed in the exact same position in the room. Chertok succeeded in producing a burn under hypnosis.
This experiment, although it could probably not take place today for ethical and deontological reasons, shows the powerful effects of hypnosis on the body, and especially that physiology is also under the control of psychology, of the psyche.
In a state of hypnosis, the hypnotist has access to the person’s “unconscious” and can make suggestions that will facilitate the achievement of the goal.
Some myths about hypnosis
Even today, even though hypnosis is more and more widespread and many scientific articles talk about it, many myths and misconceptions persist about hypnosis. Here are some of them:
- Under hypnosis, you can be forced to do something against your will: this is a common myth, but in reality, under hypnosis, a person cannot be forced to do something he or she does not want to do. If it does not fit with their values, their “map of the world”, then the person will simply refuse the suggestion or come out of the hypnotic state.
- Only “weak-minded” people can be hypnotized: this is another very common myth. In reality, anyone can be hypnotized, especially through Ericksonian hypnosis. Some people are more receptive and suggestible than others, of course, but it is the form of hypnosis that counts. In performance hypnosis, only 20% are suggestible and receptive. If you want to learn how to hypnotize, all you need to do is get quality training.
- Hypnotists have magical powers: Hypnotists are trained professionals, but they do not possess supernatural or magical powers. They simply use specific techniques and suggestions to help people reach an altered state of consciousness. Just like making a good cake, you just have to follow the recipe.
How can hypnosis be useful for elderly people or seniors?
Hypnosis can be very useful for the elderly or senior citizens, especially to help relieve symptoms related to pain, anxiety and depression.
Hypnosis to relieve pain
Many seniors suffer from chronic pain, often related to conditions such as arthritis, joint pain, and back pain. There may also be knee or pelvic pain, sometimes related to or preceding the fitting of a prosthesis.
Hypnosis can help relieve these pains by changing the way the brain perceives pain and by helping to release muscle tension.
Hypnosis to reduce anxiety and depressive syndromes
We also know now that hypnosis is very effective in treating anxiety and depression. Unlike some medications, hypnosis has no side effects. Hypnosis can help reduce anxiety symptoms and improve mood by helping people relax and focus on positive thoughts.
In addition, hypnosis can help improve sleep quality in the elderly. Sleep disorders are common in the elderly and can lead to daytime fatigue (also known as daytime sleepiness), irritability and decreased attention. Hypnosis can help induce a state of deep relaxation that can promote restful sleep.
For elderly people who have difficulty falling asleep, there is nothing like a hypnosis or self-hypnosis session (audio or video) in order to slip quietly into a pleasant and restful sleep.
Although still suffering from certain “prejudices”, hypnosis has now been democratized, and is particularly popular for smoking cessation, weight loss or pain management.
We also know that the elderly or senior citizens may have difficulties that hypnosis can solve or relieve. It can, as we have seen in this article, help relieve chronic pain, anxiety and depression, as well as improve sleep quality. In addition, it can help cope with the emotional and physical changes associated with aging.
Hypnosis is therefore a relevant treatment option, with many advantages and very few disadvantages, at least not the side effects. If you wish to be accompanied by a hypnotherapist, consult a trained and qualified professional.
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