Stage Fright

The mind is made up of two parts; the conscious mind and the sub-conscious mind. The conscious mind is the rational, discerning portion of the mind and the sub-conscious portion is the emotional, protective mind. The protective portion of the mind will protect you against everything, real or imagined. Once the sub-conscious mind identifies a threat it goes into the “fight, flight, and freeze response”. Once the sub-conscious mind perceives a threat, it starts to pour adrenaline into the body causing the body to begin to shake. Blood is diverted to the muscles in preparation for defending itself. The body begins to sweat profusely in order to cool itself down as it struggles with whatever is threatening it. As the sub-conscious mind is really in control, the sub-conscious mind will only release a person from this mode once the threat has been removed.

Sometimes the sub-conscious mind is conditioned to perceive threat incorrectly and stage fright is a perfect example of this. Imagine walking out onto a stage. As you walk up to the podium time seems to slow down and your body feels like lead. In front of you are hundreds of people staring at you intently. You try to open your mouth to say something but your whole body has frozen. You realize your knees are shaking and this shaking starts to spread to the rest of your body. The sweat starts to pour down your forehead and you are powerless to do anything. Your body has been slammed into the “fight, flight, and freeze response”.

Using hypnosis, it’s easy to rapidly re-condition the sub-conscious mind so that it no longer perceives an audience as a threat. It’s easy to train the sub-conscious mind to enjoy public speaking.

Adele uses hypnotherapy to manage stage fright

Singer suffering panic attacks and sleepless nights ahead of her Oscars performance

Adam Tait

3rd February 2013

Adele has turned to hypnoptherapy in an attempt to cure her stage fright, which has crippled the star during her career.

The singer has reportedly been having treatment in LA with a hypnotherapist to help her conquer her stage fright, The Sun reports.

The award-collecting popstar is set to perform her critically acclaimed James Bond theme ‘Skyfall’ at the Oscars ceremony later this month (February 24) but is apparently so nervous about it that she’s suffering from panic attacks and sleepless nights.

Adele’s friends say that her nerves have got worse since she heard that Barbra Streisand will also be performing at the event.

A source told the newspaper: “A friend in LA recommended the hypnotherapist because Adele was getting so nervous about the gig.

“She has been rehearsing for the show with an orchestra, but all the preparation in the world isn’t enough to keep her calm.

“She was so nervous before last year’s Grammys that she was sick before going on stage. She doesn’t want a repeat of that.”

Adele has said she’s eager to get out on tour when her next album’s released.

Randomized controlled study indicates that hypnotherapy is the most effective treatment for stage-fright

7th July 2017

During the EUROPEAN CONGRESS OF HYPNOSIS 2017 in Manchester in August, Professor Ulrike Halsband from Germany will present the results of an investigation into the effects of a five-week hypnotherapy treatment in subjects with music performance anxiety compared to a cognitive training. Multiple aspects were assessed including physiological measures such as heart rate and heart rate variability as well as subjective ratings on standardized anxiety questionnaires. Results indicated that hypnotherapy was the most promising treatment for stage-fright.

Ulrike Halsband is a Neuropsychology Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Freiburg. She teaches psychology students the use of hypnosis and combines this with research projects on the efficacy of hypnosis and meditation in normal subjects and in patients with specific phobias and anxiety disorders.

Functional Changes in Brain Activity after Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy: The Science of Hypnosis and Its Application to Patients with Anxiety Disorders

A hypnotic session can be seen as a guided induction of various states of consciousness. We looked at brain plasticity changes in hypnosis using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron-emission-tomography (PET), and electroencephalography (EEG) in healthy subjects. In summary, these studies provide an illustrated proof for the detectability of physiological state changes as correlates to different states of awareness, consciousness or cognition during hypnosis.

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are considered to be powerful interventions against anxiety. Therefore, in a second series of experiments we investigated patients with a specific phobia or music performance anxiety (stage-fright). Using fMRI we analysed the effects of a brief hypnosis in patients with a disproportional fear of dental procedures. During hypnosis, these dental phobic patients showed a significantly reduced activation in the left amygdala, bilateral ACC, insula and hippocampus.  In a separate project. we performed a randomised controlled study to investigate the effects of a five-week hypnotherapy treatment in subjects with music performance anxiety compared to a cognitive training (FrEuropean Congress of Hypnosis Minder). Multiple aspects were assessed including physiological measures such as heart rate and heart rate variability as well as subjective anxiety ratings on standardised questionnaires. Results indicate that hypnotherapy was the most promising treatment for stage-fright.  Taken together, we found evidence that hypnosis is a most powerful and successful method for inhibiting the reaction of the fear circuitry structures.