How Do People Get Hypnotized?

By: Adrian Cruce

Hypnosis is used by people all over the world, due to its medical effects. Historical evidences show that hypnosis has been used in India and China in antiquity in order to reduce the pain during surgeries. Over time, this practice began something common in Europe as well.

In a recent research, Harvard Medical School discovered in 2000 that hypnotized patients before surgery needed less drugs, suffered less complications and didn’t require shorter interventions. In 2002, the experts concluded that the use of hypnosis on patients who need heart surgery helps them reduce the drugs and spend less money on them.

Furthermore, hypnosis is used by many therapists to help their patients remember certain aspects of their lives. The psychologists observed that the patients get more receptive at certain suggestions, which makes their work easier and it also helps them quit certain bad habits, such as smoking.

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Basically, hypnosis changes the way our brain perceives reality. The data obtained through our sense: eyes, ears, nose and the rest of the body, are initially directed to the primary sensory cortical areas. From here, this information is sent to the superior regions of the brain, where they are being interpreted.

For example, the photons reflected by a flower get to the eye, where they are transformed in a code that is sent to the primary visual cortex. This is where the approximate shape of the flower is recognized and this code is sent to a superior region, where the color is analyzed and recognized, then to another superior region where you will find information about the flower and knowledge about that species.

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During this process, the data has an upward path, starting from the base (the senses) and getting to the most sophisticated regions of the brain. This is the interesting part: there are ten more nerve fibers that transmit the info reversely, in a process called “feedback”.

The same feedback process explains the efficiency of hypnosis as well. It consists of the conceptions of some suggestions that are so powerful, that the “feedback” process takes control. This explains the fact that hypnotized people could see in black and white.


People see the images, hear the sounds and perceive the touches from the exterior world. Actually, our brain builds what it perceives based on our experiences from the past. Most of the times, those expectations of our brain fit the data perceived by our senses. Experts find hypnosis interesting, because it creates something unusual: our brain imagines something different and this is why what’s happening is different as well.

Hypnosis doesn’t mean sleep. When you are hypnotized, you definitely don’t lose control and you won’t pretend you are a duck. Hypnosis doesn’t function for everyone – it actually depends what kind of person you are. If you are creative, you will be able to get into this state easier. Hypnosis is not dangerous. Researches showed that you will always be able to come back to reality. When you are hypnotized, you hear everything around you and you remember absolutely everything.