It is growing in popularity and yet still, few actually have a good idea as to what hypnosis/hypnotherapy is.
Most have heard of or have seen hypnosis in the form of a comedy or entertainment stage show, where the hypnotist instructs the volunteer to quack like a duck or fall asleep instantly; but few have heard of hypnosis being utilized in a therapeutic setting and if they have it typically ends at the knowledge that hypnosis can be successfully used for smoking cessation or weight loss. Hypnosis in a therapeutic setting can help mostly anyone, with well, mostly anything; and yes, I understand that is a big claim but justifying that claim - along with opening your eyes to how hypnosis will help you - is precisely the point of this article .
As a hypnotist, I have asked many people what they think hypnosis is and am still shocked to hear the common misconceptions so prevalent. The most common responses I hear are that hypnosis is "mind control," or that it "can make you do things against your will." In a fully alert and conscious state, as well as in a trance like, hypnotic state, you cannot be made to do anything against your will or that doesn't align with your morals. Hypnotists do not have any special powers. And before I go into the science, beauty, and benefits of hypnosis let me just debunk what you may be thinking; "If hypnosis is not mind control, explain how the stage hypnotists can 'make' someone think they are and then act like a duck!"
Simply put, hypnosis's success relies heavily on belief, desire, and acceptance. The belief that the hypnosis is going to work, the desire for the suggestion, and the acceptance of the suggestion. In a stage show the one on stage is a VOLUNTEER, meaning they have the desire to be apart of the show and therefore believe that they will be hypnotized and therefore accept the suggestion.
Now, onto the matter at hand: What is hypnosis? How can it work therapeutically? The benefits of hypnosis, how you can implement hypnosis into your life, and so on....
What Is Hypnosis?
Just as when we talk about peanut butter we have to talk jelly, when we talk hypnosis we have to talk subconscious. Your subconscious is a part of your mind,
not a part with a specific location in the brain, (in this article when I refer to mind I am not referring to the actual brain) but with a specific job and that job is to host all of the things listed in the photo to the right --->
Those percentages show how much you use each part of the mind throughout the day, and you may say "WHAT, I think all day." Then think about this: sure you may think of and then consciously decide you need to drive to the store but once you get in the car, you go on autopilot. Your subconscious kicks in and your stored habit (driving) kicks in. You consciously decide to put on your gym shoes, but don't have to intensely remember how to tie them.
After the conscious decision is made, the subconscious kicks in and you operate from your stored habit or behavior, you automatically begin to tie your shoes the way in which you have always done it. This is why while you are driving you can daydream and then forget part of your drive, because your subconscious has taken over, you are in autopilot and do not need to use your conscious mind - your intellect - to drive. The same goes for beliefs, if you have a stored belief that you are a failure your subconscious mind will operate from that belief, if you have a core belief that you will succeed at anything, your subconscious mind will operate from that, if you have a core belief that you will die if you don't lock the door 10 times (OCD) you will operate from that belief. If you adopted a core belief that dogs attack people after you were attacked by a dog you will operate from that belief and when you see a dog you will have a panic attack (PTSD). OKAY! I DIGRESS. Onto Hypnosis...
In your everyday normal waking state, your conscious mind acts as a barrier or protector for your subconscious. If you have a belief that healthy grass is green, and someone comes to tell you that grass is purple, your conscious mind and its reasoning ability and intellect can say "nope, not adopting that belief, that is FALSE." And so your belief remains that healthy grass is green. During Hypnosis, just like when you go to sleep, the conscious mind is switched off and that critical factor of the thinking process is dulled. Therefore, the hypnotist can speak and suggest positive change directly to your subconscious mind for you to adopt.
How Can It Work Therapeutically?
With that being said, it may be easier now for you to see how hypnosis can positively effect so many different areas of your mind and life and beneficially change those same areas. Since hypnosis can access, change, and speak directly to the part that hosts your beliefs, habits, emotions, tendencies, etc, you can make some very quick, lasting, and beneficial alterations to your negative or limiting beliefs, bad or unhealthy habits, memories that have strong emotional attachments to them, and self sabotaging behaviors.
When someone comes to my office with a core belief that they are not confident we do two things: we address the first memories in which they felt that way and we suggest to the subconscious mind while the client is in hypnosis that they are indeed confident. HOW COULD IT BE THAT SIMPLE!? Well, remember that formula the stage hypnotist depends upon: belief, desire, and acceptance. This client has the belief that hypnosis will create the life altering change they seek, they have the desire to no longer lack confidence, and so they are now in the perfect state of mind to accept the direct suggestion.
When doesn't hypnosis work? Well just as when you miss an ingredient while baking your treat doesn't turn out, it is when one of the contributors of the formula is missing that people do not gain from the experience. If you do not believe it will work, it will not. Just as the saying goes "Whether you believe you can or you cant, you're right."If you do not desire the change you are coming to hypnosis for, then the suggestion given during hypnosis will not stick. Your mind and that suggestion to, for example, lose weight wont connect because your mind does not desire to. Similarly, if a man or women comes to me to stop smoking, if they are only coming because their spouse is pestering them, they are not coming because THEY desire to not smoke.
What is a Session Like?
First you discuss with your hypnotist exactly what it is you want from the experience. The hypnotist can then choose the techniques that will work for you and come up with a 1-3 session plan to get you to where you want to be. At times it can take more than one session because their may be a past influence or trauma or conditioning that must be worked out before the positive suggestion for the future can successfully be given. I say, "choose the techniques" because yes, there is more than one way to hypnotize a person and certain people are more susceptible to some forms of hypnosis than others. For example, if the client is more of a visual learner some guided imagery may be worked into the session or if the client is more of a logical, t
type A, personality then getting straight to the point of the session may be the most beneficial way to get through to that persons subconscious.
As far as what hypnosis feels like, hypnosis leaves one feeling utterly and completely relaxed - in fact, many clients tell me it is the most relaxed they have ever felt. It is when we are this relaxed - like during sleep - that the mind and body feel there is no reason to think critically or over analyze, therefore the subconscious is open for suggestion.
Being hypnotized is very similar to a guided meditation; you sit or lay back and listen to the hypnotists voice. At times your mind may wonder, but more often than not you will hear everything being said and you will always have full control over yourself and your actions.
What is The Science Behind Hypnosis?
Hypnosis gains more and more credibility each and every year. Famous sports teams use it to increase performance, public speakers use it to speak confidently, actors and actresses use it to enhance their focus when getting into character. Each year more medical and scientific studies are published as to the benefits of hypnosis to reduce and manage pain in chronic pain sufferers, relieve, reduce, or conquer depression and anxiety, and more. Google can show you all of this, but I will provide a brief explanation of the science behind the magic.
To the left is an image showing the types of brain waves we experience throughout our day. The higher on the scale, the more frantic the mind, the more we are using our thinking, conscious mind, and the lower you go, the more relaxed you are. The more relaxed you are the more available your subconscious mind becomes. Hypnosis relaxes the mind, relaxes the body, and in turn allows the subconscious to become susceptible to desired suggestion.
Correction & Maintenance
You do not need to have anxiety, smoke, be overweight, have a traumatizing memory, or have self sabotaging behavior to benefit from hypnosis. Hypnosis is fabulous for things such as increased performance, maintaining a healthy, positive, and forward thinking mindset, self development, etc. You do not need to take something negative away in order to add betterment.
Remember, the subconscious runs your life for you 90% of the time aka you are on autopilot 90% of the time so maintaining a healthy, optimistic subconscious will certainly aid or boost your overall success internally and externally. Fill your subconscious with positivity and specific goals so that when you are on autopilot you operate from a positive place and your goals are naturally being accomplished.
Why is it so important to maintain a healthy mind? Well because EVERYTHING is derived from the mind. The invention of the chair, once once just a thought. That person only nailed that presentation because of the core belief that they would. A fit and healthy person goes to the gym 5 times a week because of the adopted habit and whether or not you are open to life and its opportunities is dependent on your comfort-ability and mindset around change, comfort zone expansion, and optimism.
Now is the time, now you decide. Do you want to experience change with ease? Do you want to experience what it is like to not have that limiting belief, unhealthy habit, self sabotaging behavior, or traumatizing memory? Do you want to better yourself in a natural and empowering way? Even if you are still on the fence and just curious, reach out to your nearest hypnotist, set up a free consultation and ask as many questions as you can. And while you're at it, ask them to teach you self hypnosis! If that one person doesn't 'match your vibe" look for another who does. Just like a home renovator, a doctor, a therapist, etc, you want to feel some sort of connection and trust in your hypnotist.
This tool helped me change my life to the extent
that I became a nationally certified hypnotist. I now
am able to create such changes in peoples lives,
both in person and virtually.
I wish you a healthy mind
Because frankly, you deserve it.