Hypnosis is effective in decreasing the fear of cancer treatment[127] reducing pain from[128] and coping with cancer[129] and other chronic conditions.[116] Nausea and other symptoms related to incurable diseases may also be managed with hypnosis.[130][131][132][133] Some practitioners have claimed hypnosis might help boost the immune system of people with cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, "available scientific evidence does not support the idea that hypnosis can influence the development or progression of cancer."[134]

So when I was offered the opportunity to receive hypnosis from a woman named Grace Smith (who goes by Grace Space Hypnosis on her website and app), I was both skeptical and afraid. Smith specializes in “virtual hypnotherapy”—she conducts sessions over video chat, and offers recordings that subscribers can listen to on their phones or computers. Even though I’d be in my own home, being hypnotized over Skype instead of onstage, and even though Smith would be aiming to help me rather than embarrass me, I still felt defensive about the prospect. Something about having to close my eyes made it feel so much more vulnerable than a regular therapy session.
Using ambiguous speeches is a common way many power-hungry leaders, dictators, and other political leaders hypnotize the masses. Many so-called great political leaders are nothing more than skilled orators. Next time there’s an election campaign in your area, I want you to pay attention to the kind of words that different leaders use to garner vote and support.
After hypnosis, participants’ memories were tested twice while the fMRI scanner recorded their brain activity. For Test 1, they were asked 40 questions about the content of the movie (for example, the actress knocked on her neighbor’s door on the way home) and 20 questions about the context in which they saw the movie (for instance, during the movie, the door to the study room was closed). These questions required a “yes” or “no” response. For Test 2, participants were asked the same 60 recognition questions, but first they heard the cue to cancel PHA. So Test 1 measured memory performance and brain activity while the PHA suggestion was in effect and Test 2 measured memory performance and brain activity after it was cancelled.
All of the models and techniques of NLP are based on the combination of these two principles. In the belief system of NLP it is not possible for human beings to know objective reality. Wisdom, ethics and ecology do not derive from having the one 'right' or 'correct' map of the world, because human beings would not be capable of making one. Rather, the goal is to create the richest map possible that respects the systemic nature and ecology of ourselves and the world we live in. The people who are most effective are the ones who have a map of the world that allows them to perceive the greatest number of available choices and perspectives. NLP is a way of enriching the choices that you have and perceive as available in the world around you. Excellence comes from having many choices. Wisdom comes from having multiple perspectives.
The philosopher Robert Todd Carroll responded that Grinder has not understood Kuhn's text on the history and philosophy of science, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Carroll replies: (a) individual scientists never have nor are they ever able to create paradigm shifts volitionally and Kuhn does not suggest otherwise; (b) Kuhn's text does not contain the idea that being unqualified in a field of science is a prerequisite to producing a result that necessitates a paradigm shift in that field and (c) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is foremost a work of history and not an instructive text on creating paradigm shifts and such a text is not possible—extraordinary discovery is not a formulaic procedure. Carroll explains that a paradigm shift is not a planned activity, rather it is an outcome of scientific effort within the current (dominant) paradigm that produces data that can't be adequately accounted for within the current paradigm—hence a paradigm shift, i.e. the adoption of a new paradigm.

In developing NLP, Bandler and Grinder were not responding to a paradigmatic crisis in psychology nor did they produce any data that caused a paradigmatic crisis in psychology. There is no sense in which Bandler and Grinder caused or participated in a paradigm shift. "What did Grinder and Bandler do that makes it impossible to continue doing psychology...without accepting their ideas? Nothing," argues Carroll.[38]


At the outset of cognitive behavioural therapy during the 1950s, hypnosis was used by early behaviour therapists such as Joseph Wolpe[71] and also by early cognitive therapists such as Albert Ellis.[72] Barber, Spanos, and Chaves introduced the term "cognitive-behavioural" to describe their "nonstate" theory of hypnosis in Hypnosis, imagination, and human potentialities.[35] However, Clark L. Hull had introduced a behavioural psychology as far back as 1933, which in turn was preceded by Ivan Pavlov.[73] Indeed, the earliest theories and practices of hypnotism, even those of Braid, resemble the cognitive-behavioural orientation in some respects.[69][74]
A community of psychotherapists and students began to form around Bandler and Grinder's initial works, leading to the growth and spread of NLP as a theory and practice.[39] For example, Tony Robbins trained with Grinder and utilized a few ideas from NLP as part of his own self-help and motivational speaking programmes.[40] Bandler led several unsuccessful efforts to exclude other parties from using NLP.[41] Meanwhile, the rising number of practitioners and theorists led NLP to become even less uniform than it was at its foundation.[18] Prior to the decline of NLP, scientific researchers began testing its theoretical underpinnings empirically, with research indicating a lack of empirical support for NLP's essential theories.[14] The 1990s were characterized by fewer scientific studies evaluating the methods of NLP than the previous decade. Tomasz Witkowski attributes this to a declining interest in the debate as the result of a lack of empirical support for NLP from its proponents.[14]
Automatic learning procedures can make use of statistical-inference algorithms to produce models that are robust to unfamiliar input (e.g. containing words or structures that have not been seen before) and to erroneous input (e.g. with misspelled words or words accidentally omitted). Generally, handling such input gracefully with hand-written rules—or, more generally, creating systems of hand-written rules that make soft decisions—is extremely difficult, error-prone and time-consuming.
Experiments by researcher Ernest Hilgard demonstrated how hypnosis can be used to dramatically alter perceptions. After instructing a hypnotized individual not to feel pain in his or her arm, the participant's arm was then placed in ice water. While non-hypnotized individuals had to remove their arm from the water after a few seconds due to the pain, the hypnotized individuals were able to leave their arms in the icy water for several minutes without experiencing pain.
Their first discovery was that Satir matched her predicates (verbs, adverbs, and adjectives to those of her clients without being aware of doing so. Some clients would use visual predicates mainly, while others used auditory or kinesthetic predicates. This led to the proposition that for any person, one of the senses (seeing, hearing or feeling) is more highly valued and is reflected in the words that he or she selects. When Satir matched her words with the predicates her clients used, the clients appreciated that Satir understood them. This created rapport, which made her interventions more acceptable.

Hypnosis is normally preceded by a "hypnotic induction" technique. Traditionally, this was interpreted as a method of putting the subject into a "hypnotic trance"; however, subsequent "nonstate" theorists have viewed it differently, seeing it as a means of heightening client expectation, defining their role, focusing attention, etc. There are several different induction techniques. One of the most influential methods was Braid's "eye-fixation" technique, also known as "Braidism". Many variations of the eye-fixation approach exist, including the induction used in the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale (SHSS), the most widely used research tool in the field of hypnotism.[33] Braid's original description of his induction is as follows:
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