Before the initial session of Hypnotherapy it is beneficial to explain what hypnosis is and how it works. This will give you a clear understanding of how your mind works and how it prepares to change using hypnotherapy.
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So, why hypnotherapy?
Here you’ll learn how hypnosis can help you tap the powers of your inner mind. We’ll remove common myths and misconceptions about hypnosis and explore some of its many uses. First of all, let’s dispel some of the common myths about hypnosis, correct some inaccuracies and learn the truth.
Myths & Misconceptions
Many people get their ideas about hypnosis from television, books or motion pictures. While the plot lines of these entertainment vehicles make for good stories, they are often inaccurate.
Many misconceptions about hypnosis are due to the fact that the term “sleep” is often used when discussing hypnosis. Hypnosis is not sleep but because many times, people experiencing hypnosis are very, very relaxed, it may outwardly appear like sleep. One difference is – in a hypnotic state – you can think clearly. You are actually more alert during hypnosis than you are in your normal state. This is due to your senses being heightened and the subconscious mind is super alert.
And did you know while in hypnosis, your morals and ethics remain intact? In other words, you won’t do anything against your will. You can reject or accept suggestions – it’s your decision. Scientific experiments have proven that, if someone were to give you suggestions that you disagreed with, you would simply reject them.
Some ill-informed people think it’s possible to become stuck in trance. In fact, if someone hypnotised you and then decided to take a trip to Tahiti, in the middle of a trance, you would simply continue to relax for a few moments and then choose to emerge when you felt like it. In hundreds of years of hypnosis this has always been the case.
Because hypnosis is not truth serum, people can lie while experiencing hypnosis. In hypnosis, the psychological “Law of Self-Preservation” is in effect. You can control what you choose to say. So while in a hypnotic trance you won’t “spill the beans” or tell your secrets.
Some people believe that in order to be hypnotised you must have a weak mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because hypnosis is not a contest of willpower, a highly intelligent, strong-willed and imaginative person can make a great hypnotic subject.
Many people think that in order to experience hypnosis, they must become unconscious. This is probably the most common misconception about hypnosis.
In hypnosis, you are aware and can hear clearly, in fact, hypnosis is a state of increased awareness. In a trance state your hearing may be sharper, you may feel subtler sensations and your imagination and memory are enhanced.
Hypnosis is a natural state, in fact, we are in hypnosis many times each day. We pass through hypnosis on our way to sleep and when we wake up each morning. Recent studies of ultradian rhythms, these are bio-rhythms that are less than one day long, conclude that every 90 to 120 minutes we pass into a state physiologically identical to hypnosis. So when people ask; Can I be hypnotised? The answer isYou already are.
Here are some other times in which people experience hypnosis naturally. If you’ve ever woken up, feeling very relaxed but not needing to be anywhere and thought something like “Maybe I’ll get up and brush my teeth,” but your body is too relaxed to move, you’ve been experiencing hypnosis. Becoming absorbed in a good book or movie is experiencing hypnosis. Driving on long trips on automatic pilot is known as highway hypnosis. Becoming bored or allowing your mind to drift away leads to hypnosis. Becoming extremely engaged in something and allowing your mind to focus means that you are experiencing hypnosis. Because of the rhythmic sounds and swaying, riding on the train is often a highly hypnotic experience.
Hypnosis is a state in which you can think clearly and your imagination is active. It’s a state where you could move if you wanted to or if there were an emergency but you would rather just remain delightfully relaxed. It’s a state in which beneficial ideas can more quickly and easily gain access to the inner mind. And because we all experience trance each day, we can understand just how safe it is.
What Is Hypnosis?
We all have a conscious mind, and what some people call either a subconscious or an unconscious mind. Hypnosis deals with your subconscious mind which, or your inner mind. Your conscious mind is responsible for logical, analytical, linear thinking. This is where you are for most of your time. Imagine your mind was like a computer. The screen would be like you conscious mind and this is where you would see and be aware of what is occurring.
The hard drive is the subconscious part and this is where the programs are running which command the conscious mind or the screen. If there is no program running there is nothing on the screen. Whatever programs are currently running will always operate until your update the program and then the old program no longer exists as a new one has taken over. Much the same way as reprograming the subconscious mind which in turn gives the conscious mind new ideas, behaviours and motivations.
Though our belief systems and behaviours reside in the inner mind, the conscious mind is responsible for guarding them. So, when someone tells you something that you think is not true, your conscious mind may reject the idea or suggestion. This is like Anti Virus in a computer.
Your inner mind is more symbolic and holistic in nature. Emotions are the domain of your inner mind as are perceptions, habits, beliefs and automatic bodily functions such as breathing and digestion.
Often times we learn something consciously, then the inner mind takes over that learned behaviour. So behaviours that we once learned step-by-step, like tying our shoes, are now second nature or automatic, unconscious behaviour. These are things we’ve learned to do so well we don’t have to think too much about them.
Habits are another example of this automatic behaviour.
And what about ideas that our conscious mind accepts? Once an idea is accepted by the conscious mind it can pass through to the inner mind. Once accepted by the inner mind, the mind behaves as if it is true. If the conscious mind is willing to play along, is not paying attention, is in shock or is not yet fully formed (as in the case of a child) new ideas can establish themselves in the inner mind. This is why it is so important to be positive with children.
So, in order to get new, beneficial ideas to be accepted by the inner mind, we must relax the conscious mind and communicate directly with the inner mind. If this idea is accepted by the inner mind, the whole mind is focused and tuned in to making that idea true. Since the inner mind runs the body, our perceptions and emotions, as well as habits, it can line up all those resources to make things happen. Deep in your mind, changes can take place that allow you feel different emotions, have different habits, learn things quickly and respond with a more thoroughly resourceful physiology.
In hypnosis, we temporarily relax the conscious mind and gain access to the powerful inner mind. In this beneficial, relaxed state, we can more easily get positive ideas across to the most powerful parts of our minds.
So one definition of hypnosis is this; Hypnosis is a temporary relaxing of the conscious mind allowing positive and beneficial ideas to become accepted by the inner mind. When these ideas are presented with sufficient skill and connected to an individual’s motivations they become powerful permanent allies for healing, personal development or habit control.
I as your hypnotherapist, act only a guide to bring you to these deeper level of relaxation. You are always in control so therefore it is all self hypnosis, isn’t it?
What is hypnosis like?
People describe the experience of hypnosis as highly pleasurable and often comment upon emerging that they feel like they’ve had a refreshing nap. You might feel any number of sensations while in trance. Most people’s muscles grow loose and relaxed. Many report pleasant feelings. Often the breathing grows deeper and slower as a result of increased relaxation. Feelings of warmth or tingling are common. Often people report an increased ability to visualize much like daydreaming. Some people’s perception of time is altered – the trance state may seem much longer or shorter in duration than it actually is.
While some continue to listen to the words of the hypnotist, others report that the mind drifts away to some pleasant memory or imagined scene. Because the conscious mind may drift away, some report only a general sense of what was said in the trance- just like seeing a movie but not perfectly remembering every scene. Each individuals experience of trance is unique.
The Uses of Hypnosis
- In the hands of a qualified and skilled person, hypnosis can be a valuable ally for healing, self-improvement, pain management, habit control and much, much more…
- Though many people are familiar with the success of hypnosis in smoking cessation and weight loss, most are unaware of its powerful uses as an anesthetic and to speed healing.
- Hypnosis has long been used to help people suffering from trauma and to overcome roadblocks originating from past experiences.
- Hypnosis can be used to overcome anxieties fear and phobias such as driving, exam, needle, public speaking phobias.
- Hypnosis is a powerful tool for performance enhancement and goal setting. The hypnotic state is a great stress buster and incredibly effective for increasing self-confidence and self-esteem. Every situation can benefit from having the powerful inner mind on your side.
I hope you now better understand how hypnosis can help to improve your life. You’ve learned that in trance you can hear clearly and your morals are intact. You’ve learned that no one has ever gotten stuck in trance. You’ve learned that having a strong mind can actually help you to enter hypnosis easily. You’ve learned just how safe and natural hypnosis is. Perhaps now you’re feeling more comfortable about experiencing hypnosis. If you are about to be hypnotised and you have any further questions, feel free to contact me.
Enjoy your trance experience.