About Hypnosis and How It Works

Though many people associate hypnotism with second-rate magicians, the practice is, in fact, supported by a large number of clinicians and neuroscientists who see it as a powerful tool to access the minds of patients suffering from psychological and psychosomatic disorders. Yet, in order to get the best results out of this strange and apparently effective therapy, it’s vital to know exactly how it affects the brain, which is why a team of researches from Stanford University has conducted a new study looking at which brain regions are most altered by hypnosis, publishing their findings in the journal “Cerebral Cortex”.

To conduct their research, the team screened 545 people in order to determine their susceptibility to being hypnotized, using the Harvard Group Scale for Hypnotic Susceptibility. This enabled them to identify 36 people with particularly high hypnotizability scores, who were all selected to take part int the study along with 21 controls who returned extremely low scores.

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the researchers scanned the brain of each participant while at rest, while, at the same time, recalling a memory and being hypnotized by listening to a voice recording specially designed to place listeners into a hypnotic trance state.

Explaining the need for this type of research, study co-author David Spiegel claimed in a statement that “hypnosis is the oldest Western form of psychotherapy, but it’s been tarred with the brush of dangling, swinging watches and purple capes… In fact, it’s a very powerful means of changing the way we use our minds to control perception and our bodies.”  Therefore, it’s the choice of methods or therapies to change behavior for self-improvement such as tobacco smoking cessation, eating healthy to promote weight loss and better health, increase self-esteem, etc.

Because the default mode network (DMN) is largely responsible for a sense of self-awareness and episodic memory, the executive control networks would appear to explain how hypnosis enables people to remain conscious and able to act yet with no ability to reflect on their involvement in these actions. 

The second major finding was an increase in connectivity between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and a brain region called the insula which is associated with somatic function, pain processing, emotion, empathy and a sense of time. This, the researchers say, could explain how hypnosis enables people to overcome or manage pain.  Women are being hypnotized to birth their baby free from any pain. Burn victims who cannot be given pain relief drugs are hypnotized to feel no pain during burn wound cleaning, applying sterile dressing, and during recovery from their burns. See photo of a burn victim in hypnosis being debrided (burnt flesh removed from her body) by a surgeon and feels no pain! Also see the photo of a patient undergoing brain surgery without use of anesthesia, is awake, aware and talking to the surgeon completely free from pain!


Finally, the research team noted a decrease in activity in a brain region called the dorsal interior cingulate cortex (DACC), which forms part of the salience network and is involved in “context evaluation”, helping us decide what to focus on and what to ignore. This finding is highly consistent with the strange behavior of people in hypnotic trances who often appear totally unaware of certain elements of their environment.

Summing up, the study authors claim that no brain areas are actually shut down during hypnosis. Instead, the patient’s connectivity is safely altered while the patient is in a state of hypnosis with some connectivity becoming separated and some becoming integrated. As such, they claim that their research “reinforces the idea of hypnosis as a different state of consciousness, rather than a reduced level of arousal.”  This is why hypnosis, when used as a therapy, hence “hypnotherapy”, works and is safe when the patient is induced into a proper level of hypnosis by an experienced, Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist or Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy. 

Prepare For Success

Hypnosis, properly done at your computer or mobile device is a cooperative effort between you and I, or your therapist.  We both must do our assigned parts for you to achieve a hypnotic state and acquire the subconscious programming necessary to cause desirable results.  I’ll honestly do my part.  Your part is easy.  Here is what I ask you to do before every session begins:

1.     Be alone for your session unless another is sharing it with you at the same time.

2.     Make your environment quiet.  Turn off your cell phone and landline ringers, cell vibrator, answering machine, TV, radio, hi-fi, and anything else that makes a “distracting noise”.  Ask those in adjutant rooms to remain quiet for 20 minutes and not to disturb you unless it is very important.  This site should be on your computer screen, or mobile device, ready for you to click on the streaming or downloaded hypnosis session you selected.

3.     Do not smoke.  Snuff out anything you may now be smoking.  Make your environment safe.

4.     GO TO THE BATHROOM NOW!  I want you comfortable for the 20 minute session.

5.     Close the blinds, shade, drapes, etc., to darken your room and provide privacy.  If it’s dark, turn on only one light in your room, keeping the brightness to a minimum.

6.     If children are about, have a competent adult watch over them during the session.  No one under the age of 18 may legally listen to any hypnotic session.  It’s for adults only

7.     Put any pets you have out of the room where they will be quiet for 20 minutes.

8.     Loosen your clothing for comfort.  Remove your erring’s.  Remove your hat if wearing one.

9.     Sit at your computer on a sturdy chair with a solid back and arms.  It should be fairly comfortable.  Face your computer where you can operate ti and be able to clearly hear my voice from your computer’s sound system.

10. If you have earphones or ear buds, use them for superior sound quality.  Plug them into your computer’s earphone outlet now.

11. When all above is done, sit up in your chair.  Put on your earphones if using them.  Put both feet flat on the floor about a foot apart.  Press the play button to start listening to me.  Quickly adjust the sound volume.  Remove your glasses.  Put them in front of your computer.  Put both palms of your hands flat down on top of your thighs.  Take a deep breath, let it out and completely relax.  Gently close your eyes and keep them closed until the session is finished.

12. Listen and focus only on my voice and what it is saying to you.  When I give you a direction or a suggestion it’s IMPORTANT that you act out with your mind and body the direction or suggestion given to you.  If I ask you to let your hands go limp, then make it so.  Don’t question or analyze.  Stay focused on me.  If you drift off thinking of something else other that what I am saying to you, refocus back to my voice.  Quickly act out every direction and suggestion your way.

Safety instructions if you are using a mobile device to listen to be hypnotized.

People can be hypnotized over a cell phone or other mobile device on which one can clearly hear me.  Provided they pay close attention to me while I am speaking.


All of the instructions I gave you still applicable.  Please re-read them before you are hypnotized while listening to me on your mobile device.

The difference between listening to me at your computer and using a mobile device is the sound system quality.  While clear high-quality sound of my voice is ideal, it is not mandatory to achieve a proper sate of hypnosis.  Hypnosis is words. If you can clearly hear me and understand every word I say you will achieve a hypnotic state and enjoy the benefits of the session you selected.

If you are going to listen to my hypnotic session on a mobile device, you may listen to me by activating your speaker phone feature or plug into it ear buds or ear phone (preferred) which work with your device.  You may not listen to be hypnotized by me on your mobile device by holding it to your ear.  If you do, you may drop it because you become so relaxed.  That’s why engaging the speaker of your mobile device or listening to it over ear buds or earphones are necessary.

Proper Positioning of your device

Put your device in front of you on a table with its speaker pointing up.  If using ear buds or earphones, put them on.  When you are ready (after you have prepared properly to be hypnotized as directed earlier, click play.  When you hear my voice, quickly adjust the volume to hear me clearly.  Finally, assume the proper seating position to be hypnotized, relax and listen carefully.  Be certain to act out in your mind and body every suggestion or direction I give to you during the session to achieve hypnosis.  You will find the session extremely relaxing.  After the session, the mood or feeling you selected will be evident and last as long as is appropriate.  Enjoy!

Close Menu