Are you having trouble letting go while lying on the hypnotherapist’s couch? Know that this lack of sensitivity is not irremediable. Researchers have discovered how to increase an individual’s “hypnotizability”. Explanations.
It’s in the magazine Nature Mental Health, that the researchers revealed the solution. To hypnotize patients suffering from chronic pain, they used… Electrical stimulation.
Hypnotizability varies depending on the individual
While about a third of adults are not hypnotizable at all, researchers have attempted the impossible: using brain imaging to temporarily increase the hypnotizability of certain individuals.
But before starting this research work, professor of psychiatry David Spiegel and his team noticed that “highly hypnotizable” people had stronger connectivity between the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (involved in information processing and decision making) and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (involved in the detection of stimuli).
Fact, “It made sense that people who naturally coordinate activities between these two regions could focus more“, declared Professor Spiegel.
800 electrical impulses transmitted to the brain
Based on these discoveries, the professor and his team recruited 80 volunteers suffering from fibromyalgia – “a form of chronic diffuse pain, associated with painful hypersensitivity and various disorders, notably sleep and mood“, relate l’Inserm.
Candidates deemed easily hypnotizable were immediately excluded.
Those selected, however, had to pass a battery of tests.
Half of the selected participants thus received a “transcranial magnetic stimulation” ; which sent nearly 800 electrical impulses to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
The other half benefited from a placebo treatment.
If the testing process was always the same, the area treated could vary slightly. And for good reason :
“A novel aspect of this trial is that we used the person’s own brain networks, based on brain imaging, to target the right place“, reveals Professor Nolan Williams, co-lead author of the study.
Faced with the tests carried out, the results are clear:
Participants who received neurostimulationshowed a statistically significant increase in their hypnotizability, with a score approximately one point higher“, relate le site Eureka.
As for the group of candidates who received the placebo treatment, no specific effect was reported.
For scientists, these results are, in fact, very promising.
“We were pleasantly surprised to be able, with 92 seconds of stimulation, to modify a stable trait of the brain that people had been trying to modify for 100 years.“, reveals Professor Williams. “We finally cracked the code on how to do this.”
Excellent news for all people suffering from chronic pain, who could see hypnosis as a great alternative to medication.