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Dutchess_III's avatar

Does hypnosis work?

Asked by Dutchess_III (26427 points ) December 19th, 2013

I’ve always assumed it was a bit of quackery. However I just read a thread where two jellies said they’d quit smoking via hypnosis, and the last time I went to my doctor he mentioned hypnosis. Would it work? And how would it work?

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19 Answers

janbb's avatar

I am getting sleepy…..

ibstubro's avatar

I think that deep down in your brain you have to be willing in order to be hypnotized. I, personally, do not believe that a truly unwilling subject can be ‘put under’. Perhaps it’s simply allowing yourself to relax mentally enough to accept the suggestions.

But I also believe that people will refuse to accept suggestions that are innately against their beliefs. For instance I don’t believe someone could hypnotize you and make you murder your husband.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I agree with @ibstubro, and it never worked for me in the slightest. My husband however claims to have stopped smoking with it once before and an entertainment hypnotist had him under on stage once, too (I saw that, it was too weird). He is much more trustful and susceptible than I, though.

Pachy's avatar

I’ll answer this the same way I did last time this question was asked (not long go)—YES, it absolutely it works. It’s NOT quackery. I know from experience. Years ago I was hypnotized by a medical student and watched him hypnotize several others, and I have never forgotten what an amazing experience it was.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ve had it tried with me and I wouldn’t let myself go all the way. I could feel the effects but I resisted “going under”. I’ve heard that’s not unusual.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Pachy What was it like?

gailcalled's avatar

I am a compliant patient and thus did benefit from the one session of hypnotherapy I used for some grief work. I can’t explain just why without taking too much time from my day that I cannot spare now.

ucme's avatar

Complete bullshit that exploits the power of suggestion.

Seek's avatar

We have not shown that hypnotherapy has a greater effect on six-month quit rates than other interventions or no treatment. There is not enough evidence to show whether hypnotherapy could be as effective as counselling treatment. The effects of hypnotherapy on smoking cessation claimed by uncontrolled studies were not confirmed by analysis of randomized controlled trials.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I have a couple friends who quit smoking after hypnotherapy. I don’t think the hypnotherapy did anything personally, but they believed it did. I think that’s the important part, believing. If you believe some thing you don’t quite understand is causing you to quit I think you tend to have a higher resolve to quit.

Seek's avatar

The study doesn’t say that it never works, it says it shows about the same efficacy rates of other cessation treatments. Basically – if you want to quit, you’re going to. The method of quitting assistance isn’t as important as the desire to quit.

downtide's avatar

I took hypnosis once to quit smoking. I don’t know what he did but when I “came round” after the session he offered me a cigarette and it made me gag.

Half an hour later I was waiting at the bus stop to go home and I realised I’d lit one up without thinking about it, and was enjoying it just as much as before the session.

What a bloody waste of money that was. I could have bought ten packs of cigs with what the hypno session cost.

Pachy's avatar

@Dutchess_III—I was sitting in a chair. My eyes were open and I was awake, but I was in a very relaxed state and able to do something I never would have attempted otherwise. The hypnotist told me to stand and extend both arms at my sides and to make them as solid as parallel bars. He then told two guys in the room to hang on them, which they did without moving my arms. I didn’t feel a thing.

In another experiment, he hypnotized a young man who was sitting in a chair and told him that with a minute the seat would turn as hot as a stove. With 30 seconds, the young man started squirming in the chair, and then suddenly he leaped up screaming that his butt was on fire.

I was an amazing experience, it really was.

Pachy's avatar

@ucme, I respect your right to believe what you will, but I assure you hypnotism is not “complete bullshit.” I’m sure there are people you can’t be hypnotized, but I was.

ucme's avatar

@Pachy I believe this is a classic case of agreeing to disagree, very amicably at that.

kritiper's avatar

Only if you want it to.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes. A girlfriend of mine has some sort of hypnosis certification. It’s not like what you see on TV where someone is going to quack like a duck every time she hears the word X. We all enter hypnotic states throughout the day. Driving down the road and we don’t remember passing the last three exits is a form of hypnosis.

I guess some people are more susceptible than others. My aunt tried hypnosis to quit smoking. Didn’t work. It does help some people though. A lot of people find hypnosis very relaxing. I think being relaxed can be very healing.

Hypnosis, prayer, meditation, I think all are in a similar category. None of it is magic, but it can be very positive and effective for some people.

Then there are those stories of past life regression through hypnosis. The stories are pretty incredible.

oncogene's avatar

Hypnosis is only a strong sugestion form. In medicine is not approved like a terapeutic option and is not teached in schools of medicine.

ibstubro's avatar

taught, @oncogene

But, I agree with you.

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