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Hypnosis is Used in Study of Emotions

Saturday, October 03, 2009 by: Steve G. Jones, Ed.S.
Tags: emotions, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) There is a lot still to be learned about emotions. Approximately 20 years ago, researchers were under the impression that emotions and feelings originated with the heart, not the brain. They also believed that emotions could not be measured with scientific research. In more recent years, researchers have found that emotions can play a major role in a person's overall health. A non-invasive way to study feelings and emotions is through the use of hypnotherapy and brain images (Brain & Emotions Research).

Feelings and emotions are created from one's own perception. When a person feels a specific emotion, it is usually triggered by a thought and this thought is triggered by a past experience. This process can occur consciously or unconsciously without a person realizing it. Examples of emotions include happiness, joy, and contentment which are all positive emotions. Negative emotions include fear, anger, and pain.

Basically, there are good emotions and bad emotions. Emotions reside in the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind tells the conscious mind how to feel. Of course, people would rather feel good emotions instead of bad emotions. The subconscious mind can be accessed using hypnosis to change negative emotions into positive emotions (Oso).

One study looked at hypnotic suggestion, emotions, and pain. Hypnotic suggestion was used to induce specific emotions. Then, the researchers looked at how the various emotional states affected pain. They found negative emotions such as fear and sadness increased the level of perceived pain in participants. However, when positive emotions were hypnotically induced, the positive emotions that resulted were static and did not continue to increase. The significance of this study is that certain emotions can be created with hypnosis without side effects. The induction of hypnosis gives more control to the researcher and does not create secondary emotions.

Other studies have used hypnosis on the study of emotions using both highly suggestible and low suggestible participants. When highly suggestible participants were given hypnotic suggestions to be 'emotionally numb' or unaffected by either positive or negative emotions, researchers found that they were not susceptible to the emotions and that the hypnotic suggestions were able to produce a numbing affect on their emotions. When comparing highly suggestible people to low suggestible people, the highly suggestible participants experience more emotional numbing (Rainville, 2002).

The study of hypnotic suggestions plays a positive role in studying the science of emotions. It gives researchers control over what emotions to induce. By studying both highly suggestible people and low suggestible people, it gives researchers greater insight into the study of emotion.


Brain & Emotions Research. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved on September 28, 2009: http://www.news.wisc.edu/packages/emotion/

Oso, M. Controlling your emotions through hypnosis. Retrieved on September 28, 2009: http://ezinearticles.com/?Controlling-Your-E...

Rainville, P., Hofbauer, R. K., Bushnell, M. C., Dunca, G. H., Price, D. D. (2002). Hypnosis modulates activity in brain structures involved in the regulation of consciousness. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 14(6), 887-901.

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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