What is Hypnosis?
Facts about Hypnosis
The short answer is: hypnosis works if you want it to. All Hypnosis is ultimately self hypnosis so its efficacy depends on whether you are adopting the hypnotic mindset and are motivated to change.
Anyone who wants to be can be hypnotised. All hypnosis is self-induced. The hypnotist is merely your guide.
It is useful to remember the following:
- Trance is a state people enter when they are sick, endangered or frightened or as a result of long-distance running, dancing, repetitive chanting, spinning and when remembering events or reviewing dreams.
- Hypnosis cannot make you do something against your moral values.
- It would impossible for hypnosis to make you do anything you didn't want to
- Anybody who is hypnotised retains total control of their own actions and healing process.
Whether a professional hypnotises you or you do it yourself, the results are the same: every muscle in your body becomes pleasantly relaxed and all tension disappears.
You feel this relaxation in various degrees from one hypnotic experience to another until it becomes an entrenched pattern. Eventually you are able to completely relax in ten to thirty seconds.
After your nerves and muscles relax, your mind also lets go, and although you can remain aware of the noises and activity around you, they do not disturb your tranquil, relaxed mood in any way.
You are able to think if you desire to do so, but only an emergency triggers such a desire because you prefer to continue enjoying the pleasant relaxed feeling of complete security and contentment.
It almost feels like being awake while sleeping, or watching yourself sleep ” in your mind’s eye”. You need not “pass out” or become unconscious, although you can if you want. In fact most people don’t believe they have been hypnotized.
They say they enjoyed the experience immensely but they expected something much different. You may remain conscious of where you are and what you are doing but generally feel too relaxed and comfortable to want to think about it.
You can come back to complete conscious awareness at any time you choose. For instance, if the telephone rings, you can discard the trance and answer the phone without remaining in hypnosis.
After the conversation you may re-hypnotize yourself if you wish. No one has ever been unable to come out of hypnosis and the sensational stories you hear about people you “can’t get back out of it” are completely unfounded.
A few neurotics have been known to enjoy the pleasant, relaxed state so much they refuse to awaken at another’s command, but they can do so at any time they wish.
If they refuse to return to the normal state of consciousness, they eventually go into normal sleep, and awaken as usual when rested, often wanting to be re-hypnotized.
If you wish you can be your own alarm clock and decide upon the time you want to return to normal awareness before you hypnotize yourself. You will always come out of it at exactly the time you specify.
During the ten- or fifteen minute trance, both your body and mind become revitalized, and you awaken feeling physically refreshed and emotionally serene. You will have renewed energy without tension, and you will find much easier to cope with the frustrations of daily living.
You will look forward to your next hypnotic experience with pleasure. One reason people have difficulty learning self-hypnosis is that they don’t know when they are hypnotized. Because they expect something much different, they believe they have failed when they have not.
There are various depth of trance which can be achieved, usually classified as the light trance, which is the feeling described above, the medium trance necessary for anaesthesia and age regression, and the deep trance which appears to be, but is not, deep slumber.
The light trance is easily achieved by self-hypnosis, and it is sufficient for reaching and planting suggestions in the subconscious.
The medium trance naturally follows with regular practice, and since it is a matter of degrees, you will find yourself in different depths during different sessions until you have been conditioned to the point where you are able to choose. With practice you can go into the depth you desire in ten to thirty seconds.
Here are some of the sensations you may experience while in hypnosis: your arms or legs may seem to float a few inches above the floor, or they may feel heavy, as though they were sinking into the floor.
They may seem to be in a different position than they actually are. YOU may lose conscious awareness of parts of your body, or all of it, and be conscious only of your mind.
You may see strange visions or beautifully coloured patterns of light. None of these sensations are harmful, and they are usually very pleasant.
Not long ago the medical profession was still practically unanimous in denying the possibility of mental healing. Then the doctors began to admit that such methods might occasionally relieve a few nervous and functional disorders.
Today many begin to acknowledge that even stubborn organic ailments such as cancer are sometimes cured by mental means without the use of drugs or surgery.
If sometimes, why not always? The honest answer to this is that there are certain rules by which mental powers are to be used. Some are understood, some are yet to be discovered.
Obviously the most important of them is to do with mental attitude. Subconsciousness is always easy to manage and never resists our efforts to control it.
The reason why sometimes it seems stubborn or resistant is that whenever you think of it as stubborn or resistant you are giving yourself the suggestion that it is and of course it immediately plays up to your suggestion until you give yourself a strong and definite counter suggestion.
The same can be said for expressing doubts regarding the effectiveness of hypnosis and of your suggestions.
To be in doubt , to be anxious about results, to indulge in many repetitions of your suggestions is to express a pattern of your fears instead of a pattern of your expectations.
So take care to always express perfect confidence in the powers of subconsciousness and to never try to “put it to the test”, for if you do you are bound to fail.
A positive mental expectation, positive thinking, and faith are all good ways of making sure you are going to make hypnotherapy work.
There is nothing supernatural or magical about hypnotism, and there is not one documented case of harm coming to anyone as a result of its therapeutic use.
Although its benefits are well established, it remains a misunderstood and often-dreaded subject in the minds of the general public.
This resistance stems from our natural fear of any powerful force we do not understand. Ironically, there is a much greater danger in not understanding it.
This force does not come from the hypnotist, but from your own subconscious mind, and if you do not control it, it controls you.
Most of our physical ailments and mental depressions are the result of this uncontrolled power working against us when we could easily be using it to our advantage.
Hypnotism is neither metaphysics nor religion, although it does explain the miraculous cures effected by sincere faith healers. It is not contrary to the teachings of any major religions, and is in fact, used in most of them.
Any thought or idea repeated at length in solemn surroundings deepens faith by subconscious affirmation, and this is hypnosis.
You are hypnotized to some degree every day of your life. While reading an interesting book, while watching TV, or any time when your conscious mind is absorbed, your subconscious is more vulnerable.
Fear of hypnotism is gradually giving way to acceptance by a more enlightened society. Doctors are finally accepting it as a valuable therapy in the treatment of the symptoms of psychosomatic diseases.
Psychiatrists are supplementing psychotherapy with hypnotherapy, often reducing the therapeutic process to less than one eight of the time formerly needed for similar results.
Since most doctors do not have time to teach self-hypnosis to their patients, they utilize qualified hypnotherapists to do the job.
Dentists who use hypnosis to relax apprehensive patients find they need little or no anaesthetic for painless drilling or extraction.
How to use Hypnosis effectively
Hypnosis is a natural state of deep relaxation and inner focus that we experience more often than we realise. When we fall asleep when we are engrossed in a movie, when we are involved in long distance running or when we experience a deeply emotional or traumatic event we are in a state of non-guided hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy is really just an externally aided and guided form of self-hypnosis where the hypnotherapist gives you directions and shows you the map of the foreign land of your subconscious mind.
Hypnosis can also be used together with coaching techniques to help you find answers that are more easily accessed bypassing the analytical mind and accessing deeper knowledge. Whether you are using hypnosis for confidence, fast weight loss, or you are interested in addressing issues important to your happiness, well-being or professional success, it is still you who takes the credit for making the changes needed to achieve your full potential.
While other therapists might use sensationalist techniques to draw you in and keep you dependent, I do not promise you a miracle cure that fits all but I offer to teach you tools that will allow you to harness the power of your own mind.
Alongside other holistic health treatments, I use Cognitive Medical Hypnotherapy and Clinical Hypnosis in combination with Life Coaching, which focuses on the present and the future rather than the past. This allows you to effectively help you shift your perspective so that even the most difficult problem in your life can be dealt with successfully.
What is the subconscious?
Hypnotherapy works because it harnesses the power of the subconscious in a direct way.
The subconscious mind is called subconscious because it regulates all the phenomena that happen below the level of our conscious awareness. Before you start considering to make changes in your subconscious mind, it is necessary you explore and understand its nature and functions. Here follows a list of the six major functions of the subconscious:
None of the marvels that our bodies perform daily depend on our conscious knowledge. To fully realise what this means just think of the complex series of commands and interactions required to raise one’s leg to walk. Even using the most sophisticated of machines it would take thousands of pages to make a list of what can be recorded concerning the chemical, mechanical and physiological transformations involved in such an apparently simple performance. The subconscious on the other hand knows all about it.
Subconsciousness is capable of making adjustments that are finer than any machine devised by man. No chemist can duplicate some of the wonders that a baby’s glands perform daily. The subconscious can restore your body to health and keep it well, and in so doing cures every disease.Medicines are certainly useful but in themselves they do not cure.
They merely set up a chemical action to which the healing subconscious intelligence reacts. Surgery or mechanical adjustments simply remove obstacles that stands in the way of the hidden self-healing power.
The good news is that this healing power can also be aroused by purely mental methods which often succeed where drugs and surgery have failed. This by no means implies that other systems of therapy should be abandoned, but undoubtedly self hypnosis is a practical and safe way to use the mental curative force to help yourself heal and stay healthy.
How does hypnotherapy work?
Our every contemplating act is the result of a choice that most often happens without us being fully aware of it. When confronted with a choice we always do the thing we most want to do, that is what we want to do subconsciously.
If we have conflicting desires, our subconscious desire will always win over the conscious one and this accounts for its domination of the conscious mind. Since the emotions govern the strength of our desires and since these govern our behaviour, we are at the mercy of our subconscious unless we learn to control it.
In the subconscious mind there is little difference between emotions and thoughts. The two are woven together in an inextricable mass. While we tend to think analytically when the conscious mind dominates our consciousness, in subconscious mode we understand and see things in a way that is very different. Mostly we tend to become aware of the emotions that are attached to the perceptions we have of ourselves and the world.
Emotions like fear or, its opposite, faith, are factors that will direct our thought patterns into specific directions which in turn will create the attitude eventually makes the difference between a positive or a negative outlook and thus success or failure (whatever these may be for you).
The other important thing to know about subconscious reasoning is that it works differently from analytical reasoning. The former is in fact restricted to deduction, that is to drawing conclusions from premises, and it tends to always elaborate every logical conclusion from a given premise. This deductive process, however, will elaborate conclusions from false premises just as logically as it will elaborate conclusions from true ones.
This is crucial in understanding how misconceptions are created, since however logical a series of deductions may be, its correctness depends solely on whether the initial premise is correct. As a consequence whatever the subconscious is told it will believe.
Since the conscious mind ( which functions as a filter for the subconscious mind in that it decides which premises are correct and which aren’t) starts to develop only in adolescence, most beliefs that are deeply rooted in adults are a result of childhood suggestions involuntarily given by parents and friends.
If such beliefs go unquestioned they will shape the self understanding of the future adult whether he or she likes it or not. Such subconscious beliefs can therefore cure you or kill you depending on whether they are based on positive and true premises or on negative and false ones. Luckily with the use of hypnosis a revision of destructive misconceptions is possible and can make the difference between a lifetime of slavery to negative emotions and a lifetime of freedom to choose one’s own beliefs.
Can Hypnotherapy help change bad habits?
Not only negative habits such as smoking, biting nails, etc, are controlled by our subconscious., but also automatic activities such as driving a car, dressing yourself, or playing tennis. This means that after learning to perform them, you no longer have to direct them with your conscious mind.
Your subconscious takes over and usually does a better job of it, as you’d discover if you tried to consciously think of which leg to move next while you’re running down the stairs.
Whether you need to get rid of a bad habit or you need to let your subconscious guide you in sports and all other sorts of automatic activities, with the help of hypnosis you can reach your subconscious to restore normal balanced functioning.
Those who say they have no imagination have only suppressed it. It is still there, often working against their best interest and well-being. Children have lively imaginations. But as they emerge into adulthood and experience a number of painful confrontations with reality, they become afraid of imagining, fearing disillusionment or disappointment.
Still their imagination continues to work, but because it is undirected, it may turn them into extreme pessimists who imagine only what they hate or fear. Since the subconscious is a goal striving mechanism it will strive toward whatever image you present it with. If you only have images of failure and disappointment that’s what you will get. Uncontrolled negative imagination can destroy you.
For example, if you imagine your partner to be unfaithful you will act towards him or her in a way that will facilitate the occurrence of his or her unfaithfulness. If you imagine people don’t like you, your responses to them will be such that they won’t. Creative imagination on the other hand, is one of the great secrets of success, and that is what we harness when we use hypnosis.
Can hypnotherapy help me achieve goals?
Once you have chosen your goal all you need to do is to formulate a clear distinct image of the result you desire, without concerning yourself with the process.
If you focus on the outcome and you work positively to achieve it you most likely will get it. So, if you imagine yourself as a likeable loving friendly person who expresses herself well to others you will be liked and will find making friends easy.
Whether you choose to use your imagination creatively or you let it run you, it is up to you. In one case you will see it help you achieve what you want, in the other you will see it be your worst enemy.
The energy that directs our behaviour cannot be destroyed or created, it can only be directed. If its direction isn’t controlled, it will be directed by chance, circumstance, or possibly negative beliefs. Since the subconscious constantly and automatically uses this energy to proceed towards a goal, unless you set a goal for it to achieve, it will either choose a goal based on its own (negative or positive) beliefs or it will proceed towards a goal someone else has suggested.
Without your direction it may strive toward illness, failure, or some other destructive goal, and it always achieves what it sets out to accomplish. Sometimes we think we have no energy at all. We feel depressed and miserable.
The amount of energy we get is more or less the same, yet negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, fear, resentment etc. may be robbing us of double the amount of energy that would be necessary to work toward a positive goal. Unless we are malnourished, it would not be a case of a decrease of energy we are experiencing but of its being improperly channelled.
The man who always gives up when he gets to a certain point has failure as a goal and its energy is directed towards failure. He was probably “programmed” as a child to believe he wasn’t capable of amounting to much, or that he was incapable of handling responsibility.
Once an idea, whether positive or negative becomes fixed in the subconscious, it is fed back into your daily behaviour and it makes you what you are. So you can choose whether to guide your energy in the specific direction you have decided to give it or you can choose to let it go whether it will. You can direct it towards success, whatever form that may take, or anything else you may desire, and it will help you achieve it; or you can chance it go towards destructive goals. Since the energy itself is neither positive nor negative it is up to you to direct it to work for or against you.