Can meditation, hypnosis treat epilepsy and other brain disorders?

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Image: Thinkstock/Slate

Understanding more about how consciousness works could help us find treatments when things go wrong. Dr Prisca Bauer from the University Medical Centre Freiburg in Germany is specifically interested in self-awareness.

People with depression, for example, often overthink and can feel like people are judging them. On the other hand, people who have experienced trauma can become out of touch with the self. Meditation and hypnosis are two techniques that can help, since they modify our relationship with our sense of self.

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Changes in brain activity brought about by the two techniques have rarely been compared in scientific studies. Dr Bauer therefore wanted to pin down their similarities and differences.

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Finding that many people are equally able to meditate and be hypnotised should help better inform therapies. The two practices are usually quite separate but Dr Bauer says that their study showed that there is substantial overlap. She is interested in how they can be integrated and is now working in a clinic where she is developing a programme for people with epilepsy using both hypnosis and meditation to investigate whether this can help people better deal with seizures.

Read full, original post: Pinning down consciousness could improve mental health, brain disorder treatments

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