CLOSE

You are getting pregnant ... very pregnant

If you thought hypnosis was just about making people quack like a duck when you snap your fingers, think again. Hypnosis is being used more and more frequently to help people get through stressful and painful ordeals -- like surgery and giving birth. You heard right: it's called hypnobirthing, and according to British doctors, the technique produces "really chilled babies." (Which is to say, cool, Daddy-o babies, not hypothermic ones.) What's more, the mothers -- who learn to induce self-hypnosis rather than having someone dangle a watch in front of their eyes and count backwards -- often sail through the birthing process in only a few hours, with fewer complications than usual -- and without so much as aspirin. One mother, who describes herself as "a worrier" who had been excessively nervous about giving birth, describes her experience with hypnobirthing this way: "I just breathed her out without drugs it was just great and I could not have wished for anything better."

Meanwhile, on our side of the pond, a recent study indicates that hypnosis can help women going through breast cancer surgery. 200 women were recruited to undergo just fifteen minutes of hypnosis before surgery -- during which they were instructed to relax, and given pleasant mental images to concentrate on -- the majority of which reported markedly fewer side effects, pain, nausea or emotional distress after the operation.

If that wasn't enough, doctors are also beginning to use hypnosis treat conditions as varied as hay fever, asthma, eczema, migraine headaches -- and even to aid in the success rate of in-vitro fertilization (studies in Israel have found that hypnotized mothers-in-hoping have twice the chance of becoming pregnant as those not hypnotized).

All that sounds great, but selfish as I am I find myself wondering if I couldn't use hypnosis to help get through more mundane trials, like having my teeth cleaned at the dentist or getting through a slower-than-molasses rush hour commute.

Have any of you ever been hypnotized? Did it work?

nextArticle.image_alt|e
arrow
video
What Koalas and Humans Have in Common
5664632945001

There's something strange about koala fingerprints. Read more bizarre koala facts here.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
fun
Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead
iStock
iStock

Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios