Can Your DNA Prevent You From Being Hypnotized?

This blog may not put you in a trance, but your genes might!

When you hear the word "hypnosis," what comes to mind?

Perhaps a pocket watch ominously swinging back and forth in front of someone's face. Maybe a swirling black and white spiral converging at a central point. Perhaps even a disembodied voice whispering "you're getting veryyy sleepy."

Popular culture has painted hypnosis in a number of different ways, but its true methodology and applications are still shrouded in mystery to the average person.

How does hypnosis hold a place in psychological therapy?

And can your genes influence influence how easily you can be hypnotized?

Keep reading to find out!

what is hypnosis and how does it work?

What is hypnosis anyway?

The word comes from Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep. Hypnosis is an induced sleep-like state where you remain unconscious, but are prone to suggestions.

Although controversial, it's been used successfully in a form of therapy known as hypnotherapy to help people unlearn bad habits and recall previously forgotten memories.

When someone is in a hypnotic trance, their internal attention may be intensified. At the same time, external awareness melts away. When you are in this state, you may have an increased receptiveness to new ideas. These new ideas can rewire and reframe certain ideas and beliefs you hold.

Hypnotherapy can be used to reduce the effects of traumatic memories or boost confidence. However, there is a catch. You must first believe you can be hypnotized for hypnosis to be induced.

How does hypnotherapy work?

A trained hypnotherapist triggers a state of focus using a guided process that involves verbal cues and repetition. When you're in a trance-like state of hypnosis, the hypnotherapist then makes guided suggestions designed to reach whatever therapeutic goal you decided on. To end the session, the hypnotherapist either wakes you up from the trance-like state or you can exit it on your own. 

Keep in mind, guided hypnosis is still a nascent field of psychology and its effects are still being studied.

Are you more susceptible to being hypnotized?

The answer lies deep within your cells. Your DNA contains your OXTR gene, which codes for a receptor that recognizes the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin, commonly known as the "love hormone," is responsible for social, maternal, and relationship bonding. Talking to others, holding a baby, and physical intimacy with a romantic partner are all activities in which oxytocin plays a role. Oxytocin can also increase your ability to trust another person.

A change in your OXTR gene, also known as a gene variant, at a specific location in your genetic code may create a change in your oxytocin receptor. In turn, there may be a change in how receptive you are to a hypnotherapist's directions. Thus, your DNA can tell you whether you may have a higher likelihood of being hypnotized (or not) than other people.

Knowing your likelihood of hypnotizability can help you learn whether you are open to influence by suggestion, which is a key component in hypnosis. Those who have a higher susceptibility to hypnosis may be more likely to benefit from therapeutic hypnosis interventions.

Use Your DNA to Explore Your Hypnotizability

If you're a CRI Genetics customer, you can access your Hypnotizability Report in your CRI Genetics account right now and find out your own propensity for being hypnotized.

Not a CRI Genetics customer yet? Go check out any current promotions and find out how you can get the Hypnotizability Report (and many more).