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Use Hypnosis to Research Conversion Disorder

Saturday, September 12, 2009 by: Steve G. Jones, Ed.S.
Tags: hypnosis, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) Research has been conducted to learn more about the benefits of hypnosis. Hypnosis has also been used to research neurological and psychological disorders such as conversion disorder. Hypnosis is a natural method that can be used with no side effects. Hypnosis can be used as a tool to help research areas of the brain that are not understood.

According to the Mayo Clinic, conversion disorder is diagnosed when people show psychological signs of distress in physical ways. The disorder often occurs after a traumatic or stressful experience. An example of conversion disorder would include becoming paralyzed after a fall, without actually experiencing an injury. Conversion disorder usually affects one's senses or movement such as sight, hearing, and ability to walk. For most people, the disorder lasts a few weeks after a traumatic event, but for others it can be more severe.

Conversion disorder often occurs along with other underlying psychological problems. The disorder is more common among women, children, and young adults. Along with counseling and physical therapy, the Mayo Clinic lists hypnotherapy as a form of treatment for conversion disorder. Hypnosis helps people with conversion disorder resolve psychological problems.

A series of studies have been conducted that used hypnosis to learn more about conversion disorder. Participants in the studies reported experiencing blindness, deafness, or paralysis. All had been diagnosed with conversion disorder without any apparent cause of the symptom. Researchers believe that there are similarities between conversion disorder symptoms and hypnotic phenomena (Oakley, 2006). Other studies were then conducted to research the link between hypnosis and conversion disorder.

In one of the studies, half of the participants consisted of people with leg paralysis who had been diagnosed with conversion disorder. The other participants consisted of healthy individuals who were made to believe they had leg paralysis under hypnosis. Participants then received a PET scan of their brain. The results showed that those who had hypnotically-induced paralyses showed different patterns of brain activity compared to those who were deliberately feigning (Halligan, Athwal, Oakley, & Frackowiak, 2000).

This series of studies show that hypnosis can serve as a research tool. The studies were able to determine who actually had conversion disorder and who was faking the disorder, all with the help of hypnosis. Hypnotherapy can be used as a treatment in helping people who suffer from conversion disorder and it can also help diagnose the disorder. Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool with no side effects. Its ease of use can help aid researchers in learning more about physical and psychological disorders.


Conversion Disorder. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved September 4, 2009: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/conversion-...

Halligan, P. W., Athwal, B. S., Oakley, D. A., Frackowiak, R. S. J. (2000). The functional anatomy of a hypnotic paralysis: implications for conversion hysteria. The Lancet, 356: 986-7.

Oakley, D. A. (2006). Hypnosis as a tool in research: experimental psychopathology. Contemporary Hypnosis, 23(1): 3-14.

About the author

Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980s. He is the author of 22 books on Hypnotherapy. Steve is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, president of the American Alliance of Hypnotists, on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association, and director of the Steve G. Jones School of Clinical Hypnotherapy.
Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. is a board certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Florida (1994), a master's degree in education from Armstrong Atlantic State University (2007), and is currently working on a doctorate in education, Ed.D., at Georgia Southern University. Learn more at:
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