How Hypnosis Does It Work?

There is no explanation for the mechanism behind hypnosis or, at the very least, an explanation that is satisfactory and answers many of the questions asked regarding the phenomenon.

One fascinating area of inquiry is the interplay between top-down and bottom-up phenomenon. The first describes the route the stimulus travels before it reaches consciousness. Anything that is received from outside like an image passes through various levels, or areas in the brain, which become larger in terms of functional. The image is scanned through the cerebral cortex, and then different regions, which eventually encode the image, until it gets a particular significance. Similar pathways are found in the case of sound, touch as well as other sensory information. Due to the fact that it is moving from the particular stimulus, or stimulus, to the general perception of the stimulus the mechanism is referred to as”bottom-up..

The second argument is for the opposite position, i.e., perceptions originate by a larger object such as a concept, idea, or idea before gaining more specific details. The process moves between the broad and the particular. It is a sign that impressions influence the sensory information that is collected, and interpret it in a particular way. In essence, perceptions are dependent on beliefs, expectations and even knowledge. In certain instances, one is aware of this, while in other cases, the process happens completely without conscious thought and in complete autonomy. A good example of this working is the ability to read a text that has missing letters. Top-down processing fills in the gaps.

Regarding hypnosis in general it is believed that one theory of the phenomenon is to appeal to both of these interpretational frameworks to better understand the complexity of the unconscious and how it works. In a more general sense, it is possible to say that it’s becoming increasingly apparent the interplay between the mind and the peripheral, which includes tissues, cardiovascular system , and the immune system.

In the realm of mind-body practices, we could consider hypnosis, biofeedback, guided imagination and progressive relaxation, meditation and more.. They have been proven useful in solving a huge range of issues ranging in severity from sleeplessness to IBS syndrome from chronic discomfort to hyperhidrosis.

Because of these potential advantages, which can be achieved through a non-invasive and simple method, complementary medicine is growing in popularity. However, this doesn’t suggests that they fall within or are recognized by medical professionals. The mind-body connection is de facto unsuitable, since the mechanisms behind the interaction aren’t clearly described and it is not possible to determine prior to time the probability of success of an intervention.

Interaction between the Mind and Body

The notion that the mind’s thoughts can significantly and directly influence the body’s health is by no means a new idea. It is likely that the idea that health and emotion are in some way connected is well-known since the beginning of time. For millennia there have been techniques for meditation as well as relaxation, concentration, and breathing techniques to control the body-mind connection. It’s no surprise that many of the contemporary techniques are based upon methods that were used for hundreds decades in Far East. One of these is one is “relaxation reaction” of Benson is a good example, which suggests body-mind connection through a decrease of cortical activity with an the function of reducing stress.

But the concept to which Benson is referring to can be expanded and extended beyond the stress-relaxation system suggested by Benson. Spencer Jacobs and Jacobs (1) refer to mind-body therapy as the “group of treatments that focus on the application of the mind combination with the body to aid in recovery process.”


The mind-body connection can take place either bottom-up or top-down. In the first situation, stimulation starts by engaging in a voluntary activity (hypnosis or meditation, guided imagination etc.) on the level of the brain’s cerebral cortex. The fact that the brain is a part of it in the first activity does not rule out the possibility of having at least unconscious processes stimulated through the stimulation.

The same kind of interaction can occur when starting with a sensation such as the case of the progressive relax that is the hallmark of Jacobson as well as”relaxation response” of Benson “relaxation reaction” that is the work of Benson. In these instances there are pathways that begin from the peripheral and then recall more specialized regions of brain activity up down to the cortex of the brain.

It is true that things are not as easy as they appear, since communication between the center and peripheral isn’t only a one-way road. Both routes, one leading up to the brain’s central activity, and the other downwards to the peripheral region, communicate information and influence each the other.

In the scenario of relaxation progressive

The stimulation of the peripheral cortex is affected by the activities of the cortex which draws attention on the stimuli to diminish them until reaching the state of relaxation.

It is essentially that we describe a dual-channel mechanism with top-down and bottom-up which interact to create the desired results and in turn, reflect the mind-body connection.

Mechanisms of activation for Hypnosis

Bottom and top mechanisms discussed above are linked to nerve pathways. The amount of cells dedicated to the top-down process is 10 times greater than the number of nerve fibers carrying the bottom-up interactions.

This is crucial from an operational perspective, as it suggests that the top-down response could interfere with the bottom-up response. This is basically reducing the stimulus of the bottom-up reaction. This is essentially substituting them with the stimuli of the top-down reaction. The ability of the mind to create reality could explain the effects of placebo and nocebo and offer an interpretive framework for the word-based therapies, such as meditation or hypnosis. This is the reason how suggestion can replace reality.

A way to prove this was developed by the Dr. Amir Raz of Columbia University who conducted research on the most hypnotizable subjects by using The Stroop effect. The test involves presenting words that indicate a color, e.g. the words red, brown and purple. Each word is that are written in a different color. The test is simply marking the color with which words are written. However, reading is an automated process that you spend time trying to identify the color when it doesn’t match what is written in the word written. In the case where the words “green” has been written with red ink, it will take longer to recognize the color than if you read the words “green” appears in green.

Sixteen people were involved in the test, half were extremely hypnotizable and the rest were non-responsive subjects. The subjects were each hypnotized, and then given the same suggestions for post-hypnotic hypnosis.

“Pretty near you’ll be playing an online game connected to the brain scanner. When you hear my voice over the intercom, you’ll be able to see strange symbols appear on the screen. They’ll look like the words of the language of a foreign country you aren’t familiar with and you will not try to find any meaning in these symbols. This trash can be printed with one of the three colors such as blue, red and green, or yellow. The goal is to swiftly and precisely press the key in the same color as the one shown. This game can be completed without difficulty.”

After the inductions, the subjects went through the brain scanner. The highly hypnotized subjects the part of the brain that normally interprets written words didn’t get active. The same was true for the brain area the brain that is used to decode conflicts was not active.

The top-down process obliterated the circuits that were able to detect and decode conflicts, even though the mechanism by how this occurred isn’t understood. This is as evidence that the top-down system can block the bottom-up one and it is able to be done so by using suggestions in the process of hypnosis.

While this may be the explanation for the idea of suggestion, and specifically the hypnotic method There are many questions left unanswered and unanswered. Actually suggestions could be highly specific. Tests on warts have revealed that it is possible to act on warts that are selected by making a circle. Allergies can be eliminated within a small number of finely defined regions. This is a specificity that requires an extremely finely controlled bottom-up level in order to be effective by eliminating the bottom-up reaction.

It is also important to determine if and under what type of situations this response could be activated solely by suggestions made in the hypnosis state or if similar results is possible to achieve in the wake state.


Results of the test show that if we have the ability to imagine something, we are able to transform it into reality just as Bernheim declared at the close of the 19th centurythat “Suggestion refers to an idea that can be implemented.”


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