Post-hypnotism

#45

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:02 am

Here is an interesting study...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3556367/

“Improvements of at least a 50% reduction in hot flashes and daily interference are considered clinically significant.27,28 As hypothesized, clinical hypnosis significantly reduced hot flashes in post-menopausal women, relative to structured attention control.”

And another good one that discusses two case studies...

http://www.asch.net/portals/0/journalli ... elkins.pdf

“We conclude that hypnosis is a mind-body intervention that may be of significant benefit in treatment of hot flashes and other benefits may include reduced anxiety and improved sleep.”
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#46

Postby jimmyh » Thu May 02, 2019 2:48 am

No, although I'd love to. You have a greater awareness of sensations in your body and you can distinguish and interpret them far better than I. I appreciate your trying to give me an example, but a fever is not like a hot flush; once it's passed there isn't a swinging in the opposite direction, so you can tell what the change was. It's up to "too hot", then back to normal. I'm sorry if I'm being dense here, but I still don't get it; I can't distinguish the difference.


Fevers are definitely different, and it’s actually the breaking of the fever that is the closer analogy to the feeling of a hot flush, but even that is likely different.

I wouldn’t call it a “being dense” thing, just “hadn’t noticed or paid attention to these things before” thing. If you’re still curious about it, you might find it interesting to pay attention and see if you can separate the two, conceptually. See if you can guess what the thermometer is going to say, separate from whether you feel “too hot”/”too cold”. See if you can locate those feelings in your memory of how you felt just *before* the hot flash came on, and if you can figure out what was going on.



Alright, I see what you mean. Yes, it’s the perception that changes rapidly, not spikes to legitimately unacceptable temps.

If you know that your body temperature actually doesn’t change much, then you can look back and forth between perspectives and start to see which one convinces the other. Would the “this is too hot” side, if presented to the “this is acceptable” side, bring upon the hot flash earlier? Or does remembering what it feels like to have that *exact same temperature* feel okay inspire a sense of doubt into the feeling of urgency that you need to cool off?

I was suggesting that maybe your temperature was climbing *slowly*, and that you just didn’t notice it until it was over the line. If this is the case, then maybe the solution is to notice sooner.
Are you saying, “set the intention to notice sooner” before I go to sleep?

Yeah, if it’s the case that you’re actually slowly getting too hot and then just not noticing until it becomes a “problem”.

If you’re happy you’re happy, and that’s great. I just want to make sure it’s clear that if you were to decide you wanted *less* hot flashes, this path continues further.

Just don’t go telling people that talking to me on the forum only got rid of *some* of your hot flashes, without mentioning that you chose to keep the rest :p

Anyone who knows you wouldn’t believe me and besides, What Do You Care What Other People Think?


It’s actually way easier to underestimate than you might think. Although Richard knows better and is being intentionally dense again (the silly goof :P), without pointing it out explicitly as I’ve done it can be really easy to miss.

Doing things the way I’ve been trying to show you gets you everything you want, as you become sure you want it, up to the physiological limitations. While that sure sounds hard to beat, it still does not live up to our fantasies of “get rendered unconscious via hypnosis, wake up in 15 minutes to never have a hot flash again!”.

It’s not until you actually open up the black box and look inside that you start to notice “sh**, this is actually a complex system of regulation, and it’s not clear what the right set point is, how much to weight individual sources/types of evidence, or anything”. It’s not until you find the right questions to ask that you get to the point of having to face the convincing sense of “this *is* too hot, and I wouldn’t want to allow this!” and your unwillingness to push a magic button that’d allow you to ignore that level of overheating.

However, even having gone through it and decided “No, I don’t want that, all things considered”, it doesn’t necessarily get rid of the fantasy “But I still want it to be as simple as waking up to no hot flashes ever!”. And it’s not necessarily an impossible fantasy either, that’s not the point. Maybe that turns out to be the right answer, it’s what you want, and what you get. Maybe it’s even an easy decision.

But in the cases it is not, it’s still an *extra* step to go back and put the pieces together about what just happened and why they happened that way. Just because you go through the process of debugging your control systems doesn’t mean you’ve also watched yourself going through the process of debugging your control systems and realized why it’s necessary to the point where “I wish I could just close my eyes and have everything magically regulate to the exact right set point with no error signals” feels just like an amusing thing to ever wish for.

I was just joking around about the “don’t tell anyone [...]” part of course, but I do want to make sure you’ve stopped to notice that this *is* “everything you wanted, as you’ve realized that you wanted it”, and that it’s the optimal solution given what you know. It may not be as quick and convenient as “‘get hypnotized’, wake up to never having a hot flash again”, but when you think about it, you’re not sure that it’d be a good thing if it means just ignoring overheating signals. Maybe it would be, and maybe such a simple approach really would be better. As soon as you know that though, you can then use that knowledge to just directly accept the necessary suggestions and cut right to the chase.



I hear you that this needn’t be the end of the road, but somehow it just doesn’t seem very important anymore. I’ve come a long way and I’m very happy with that. Thanks for all the help.


Awesome :)


The way you just implement direct suggestion is pretty unusual, though. Just “intending to do stuff” doesn’t just make it happen for me. Maybe my intention is not firm enough?


Attempting to be “firm” is usually counterproductive, since it usually means “trying to shut out doubts” and it’s hard to NOT think of a pink elephant just because you try to be firm about it.

If there’s doubts, they often have to be addressed in some way or another. Sometimes they don’t though, and you can just do it anyway. For me, at the time, just saying “I am going to lucid dream tonight” in a matter of fact sort of way and then moving onto other things was enough for it to work. When it was intentional, I did have to distract myself away before I reflexively added “but just because I said that doesn’t mean it’ll work!”. When I didn’t even notice that I was self suggesting (because I thought I was just describing how I did it), I didn’t have to distract myself because there was no awareness that there was anything to reflexively negate in the first place.

speaking of wake induced lucid dreams, I’ve been wondering if they have any mechanism in common with “waking” trance, like I experienced in our previous thread? I had another such waking trance just a few days back and it was fascinating to experience it again. I was very focused, in a distinctly altered state of mind, was describing how it felt, from inside it, with a theory of how I had got there, even, and was told I was animated, lucid and making sense. I know I was in trance. Or are they two entirely different things? I’m wildly speculating. I can’t compare since I’ve never lucid-dreamt.


The relationship between hypnosis and dreaming is an interesting one, and I never really got around to experimenting with it the way I wanted to. For example, it would be really cool to try using hypnosis to walk someone into a Wake Induced Lucid Dream, and then try to see what differences show up both in comparison to “normal” hypnosis and to “normal” WILDs.

The one time I had one myself it was very different than any “waking trance” I’ve ever heard of. I was “in another world”, so to speak, and with absolutely zero connection to the reality around me.

I was laying in my bed trying to slip into a lucid dream, paying attention to the various hypnagogic hallucinations that were beginning to arise, when all of a sudden my entire visual field turned into a “blue screen of death”, and there was this loud low frequency beating sound that was pretty overpowering. Next thing I knew, I was back in my bed, thinking “Dammit! I was so close!”. I examined my surroundings and stuff a bit just to make sure I wasn’t actually dreaming, but none of the signs of dreaming were there. Everything was 100% as vivid as normal waking life, and it wasn’t at all like normal dreams where you might *assume* you’re not dreaming only because you never stop to think. I decided to do a “reality check” just in case, so I went to check the time on my watch, but the backlight wasn’t working and it was dark, so I just gave up and went to sleep. And woke up realizing that I wasn’t actually wearing my watch, and that I had actually succeeded at jumping the gap from normal waking life to complete and utterly detached dream world without losing consciousness.

And to judge by what you said in the “freaked out” thread, you may not have experienced this kind of trance, or have you?


What kind, exactly? “Focused and lucid, but ‘altered’”?
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#47

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu May 02, 2019 12:26 pm

Why might we learn about the limits of hypnosis from this very thread?

Previously posted, there is plenty of research on the benefits of hypnosis on reducing hot flashes.

To add even more to the discussion, here is yet another study in support of hypnosis;

“Factors associated with the use of complementary medicine and non-
pharmacological intervention in symptomatic menopausal women”


A study including 563 women, it was found that meditation, yoga, and even prayer reduced hot flashes. Of all the complementary methods reported, hypnosis was the least effective. Yet, I argue the sample across all methods was too small. And, it did support that hypnosis is effective in reducing hot flashes, just not to the same degree as yoga.

With the previous studies, hot flashes were sometimes greatly reduced and this was in a period of 12 weeks or less. We must conclude from the evidence that even for those previously hypnotized, that this significant reduction was a welcome relief in as little as 12 weeks.

Yet we must ask, why is yoga a better remedy, why is it not reduced 100% in those that have practiced and dedicated themselves to thousands of hours of study of the art?

Enter our case study here. The explanation, which any reader is welcome to entertain as they wish, is that the individual “chooses” to have some hot flashes and not others. It isn’t that hypnotism is limited...it isn’t that they would have been better off practicing yoga, but rather it becomes a convenient way to side step the evidence based limits of hypnosis.

The sunk cost fallacy or escalation of commitment adequately, while different, describe this case adequately.
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#48

Postby James_Lee » Sun May 05, 2019 10:27 pm

Are these sort of treatments effective at all? I have heard a lot of people practice hypnosis and boast by their results, but I have to say, I do not know how it works or anything
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#49

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun May 05, 2019 11:08 pm

James_Lee wrote:Are these sort of treatments effective at all?


Yes, they work to some degree. Like any form of treatment there are certain limits or thresholds. And often it is relative to another form of treatment.

Example, in the study above 563 participants rated the effectiveness of various treatment options. In that study, hypnosis came in dead last for effectiveness, yet at the end of the day it is still effective. Heck, there is even the placebo effect which can be more effective than a no treatment control group.

In other studies posted above, hypnosis was effective in comparison to no treatment control groups.

I know you say you suffer from anxiety. Hypnosis has shown success in reducing anxiety. It generally is no less effective than CBT.
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#50

Postby jimmyh » Sun May 12, 2019 7:38 am

Are these sort of treatments effective at all? I have heard a lot of people practice hypnosis and boast by their results, but I have to say, I do not know how it works or anything


What approaches, for what, and relative to what standard of effectiveness? The answer changes quite a bit depending on the specifics. Hypnosis can range from “very effective” when in skilled hands for tractable problems to “not at all” when in less skilled hands and directed at more difficult problems. Even what appears to be the same kind of problem ("quitting smoking", for example) can have very different structures and difficulties as embodied by different individuals, so what may work great for one person might fail miserably with another.

Picking hot flashes as one example (since that’s what we’ve been talking about in this thread), studies using a simple minded “one size fits all” script and a naive “if the problem is hotness let’s try suggesting coolness?” approach tend to show about a 70% reduction in hot flashes. The control groups saw a lot less reduction, and hypnosis also beats out “structured attention” methods (whatever that means) and gabapentin in actual reductions in the number of hot flashes. (yoga, when you actually do a randomized controlled study, fails to produce *any* statistically significant change over the control group).

The approach I’m advocating and elucidating here is emphatically *not* hypnotism though (hence the title of the thread), and the cool thing is that not only do you get to see the results you get to see the actual process that produced the results.
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#51

Postby James_Lee » Fri May 17, 2019 1:25 am

Hypnosis seems to be one of the most misunderstood practices in all of psychiatry.
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#52

Postby James_Lee » Fri May 17, 2019 1:26 am

jimmyh wrote:
Are these sort of treatments effective at all? I have heard a lot of people practice hypnosis and boast by their results, but I have to say, I do not know how it works or anything


What approaches, for what, and relative to what standard of effectiveness? The answer changes quite a bit depending on the specifics. Hypnosis can range from “very effective” when in skilled hands for tractable problems to “not at all” when in less skilled hands and directed at more difficult problems. Even what appears to be the same kind of problem ("quitting smoking", for example) can have very different structures and difficulties as embodied by different individuals, so what may work great for one person might fail miserably with another.

Picking hot flashes as one example (since that’s what we’ve been talking about in this thread), studies using a simple minded “one size fits all” script and a naive “if the problem is hotness let’s try suggesting coolness?” approach tend to show about a 70% reduction in hot flashes. The control groups saw a lot less reduction, and hypnosis also beats out “structured attention” methods (whatever that means) and gabapentin in actual reductions in the number of hot flashes. (yoga, when you actually do a randomized controlled study, fails to produce *any* statistically significant change over the control group).


Ok. So, a quick question, does hypnosis have any effect on severe panic and anxiety problems? Problems like guilt, health anxiety etc?

The approach I’m advocating and elucidating here is emphatically *not* hypnotism though (hence the title of the thread), and the cool thing is that not only do you get to see the results you get to see the actual process that produced the results.
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#53

Postby jimmyh » Sat May 18, 2019 12:58 am

Ok. So, a quick question, does hypnosis have any effect on severe panic and anxiety problems? Problems like guilt, health anxiety etc?


Hypnosis can absolutely reach such things. However, so can other forms of therapy. The more simple and isolated the problem is ("yeah, everything is completely fine, I just have this weirdly intense fear response whenever I see baked beans. I know they're not actually dangerous and it's not a *huge* deal, but I'd rather not have this response"), the more likely hypnotic type approaches are to be somewhat of a "magic pill". The more messy and enmeshed-with-everything the problem is, and the less you're even sure what you want ("I'm afraid of everything. I'm afraid of my cat, of forgetting to put pants on, of not being liked by coworkers. I don't want to be afraid, but I can't say these fears aren't reasonable either"), the less relevant the "hypnotic" part is going to be, as it starts to become more about disentangling things such that you can actually find a solution you'd be happy with.

When you abstract away all the details about your specific case and the specific therapists, it doesn't really seem to matter what theory they say they're basing their approach on. I'd focus less on modality and more on the competency of the person helping you through them. If the person offering their services seems like some incompetent fool trying to sell you on something and you're not really convinced (whether some "hypnotist" at the local farmers market or some credentialed psychologist telling you that he uses "Evidence Based Medicine(tm)", you should probably trust your instincts and find someone else.

I wanted to double check and find a citation before I made the additional claim that the most important determinant for success was stuff along the lines of "rapport with the therapist" (which I think I had seen before) and "actually seems like they're going to be able to help you" (which I hadn't seen before, but which shows up as #2 and #6 below), and I found this:

https://www.apa.org/education/ce/effect ... apists.pdf

At a glance, it seems to be a pretty cool little document, and echos what I was saying above:

"Despite the strong evidence that some treatments are efficacious for particular disorders, one issue
remains hotly contested: Are some treatment more effective than others? A number of early metaanalyses seemed to indicate that no particular psychotherapy was more effective than any other
psychotherapy (see Wampold, 2001 for a summary)."

"are there other factors that do have an influence on the effects of psychotherapy? The answer is yes—the
therapist who is providing the psychotherapy is critically important. In clinical trials as well as in practice,
some therapists consistently achieve better outcomes than others, regardless of the treatment approach
used (Wampold, 2006)."

You might want to read through their list of traits of an effective therapist and then cast a wide enough net that you can actually find someone that meets these criteria for you.
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