New Research Shows Brain Stimulation Can Temporarily Boost Hypnotizability Stanford University researchers have discovered a technique to increase responsiveness to hypnosis in individuals with low to moderate hypnotizability. The study, published in Nature Mental Health, used a non-invasive brain stimulation method called SHIFT to target areas of the brain involved in hypnotizability.
The study focused on 80 participants with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition that could potentially benefit from enhanced hypnotizability for pain management. Participants received either real or sham brain stimulation for around 90 seconds.
Those who received the real stimulation showed a significant short-term increase in hypnotizability scores compared to the sham group. However, the effects decreased after about an hour. There were no major changes in perceived depth of hypnosis.
While promising, the transient effects indicate further research is needed before clinical applications. The researchers suggest exploring protocols with longer or more intense stimulation. They also recommend studying this technique’s effectiveness for other conditions treatable with hypnosis.
The researchers conclude that with further optimization, this brain stimulation approach could boost hypnotizability to improve outcomes of hypnosis-based therapies. This could increase access to drug-free pain treatments for conditions like fibromyalgia.