Considering Hypnosis?

Considering a hypnosis session? Unclear as to what hypnosis really is or what to expect? Know this, you’re not alone, most people have the wrong ideas about hypnosis. Most of what the general public thinks they know about hypnosis comes from television shows whose sole purpose is entertainment. This has led to many misconceptions that need to be overcome in order to have a successful hypnosis session.

images (17)The term “hypnosis” has been around since the 1840s, however, healers have been using this technique, or some form of it, for centuries. We have records of hypnosis going back 2,500 years in ancient China and Egypt. In Greece, the physical remnants of the ancient sleep healing temple of Asklepios still exist. Although not known as hypnosis, this kind of treatment continued throughout history, from practitioners such as the Persian physician Avicenna around 1000 A.D., the Swiss physician Paracelsus in the 16th century, and others. The person who had the most influence on modern hypnotism was Franz Anton Mesmer, an Austrian physician who lived from 1734 to 1815. He created trance-inducing methods including touching and stroking patients, as well as staring into their eyes and waving magnetic wands that he believed would remedy the “cosmic fluid imbalance” in their bodies. He was convinced that these techniques could banish illness and suffering, and they often did if the patient was susceptible to this “mesmerism.”  Other French and British physicians in the mid-1800s who were interested in the excellent results Mesmer obtained with his patients studied his work and techniques. They eventually discovered that whatever healing occurred was not the result of anything magnetic but because of the power of suggestion. Mesmer’s patients, whom he was able to induce into a very relaxed, dreamy state, responded to his suggestions so that their bodies responded appropriately in some unknown way that healed their condition or illness. The modern study of hypnosis began with psychologist Clark Hull. In his book, Hypnosis and Suggestibility, published in 1933, he offered a rigorous examination of hypnosis. He determined that hypnosis was not sleep and had no connection with it. His work also reined in hypnotists’ extravagant claims and demonstrated the reality of pain reduction through hypnotic trance. He clearly showed that effects of hypnosis were the result of suggestion and motivation. Thanks to Hull’s work of training doctors, many wounded soldiers in World War II were treated for pain successfully with hypnosis on the battlefield when morphine was not available. We could go on in more detail for quite a while but I don’t want to bore you. What I want to do is show that hypnosis is nothing new and has many practical uses.

So what are some of these misconceptions?images (18)

Many movies and television shows, as well as hypnotist stage shows lead one to think that the hypnotist can take control over them and can make them do whatever the hypnotist wishes whenever he wishes. Remember, these shows are for entertainment only. Movies and television frequently exaggerate, or even make up, facts. And those participating in the hypnotists stage show only act the way they do because they are willing to. The hypnotist looks for people who naturally want to be in front of people and be noticed. These people are even willing to act foolish for their moment of fame. Here the hypnotists’ real talent is picking these people. When you are in a hypnotic state you are in 100% control at all times. In fact you can open your eyes and end the session at any time you desire. You cannot be made to do or say anything that you wouldn’t normally be willing to do or say or feel uncomfortable doing or saying.

Another misconception people have is that not everyone can be hypnotized. To a certain extent this is true, however most people can be hypnotized. Everyone has entered into or passed through the hypnotic state. We do this every time we go to sleep and wake up. If you’ve ever meditated then you know what it feels like to be hypnotized. The average person, these are people with an IQ over 70, who want to be hypnotized can be. It’s easier for some personality types to reach the relaxed hypnotic state than others. One of the jobs of the hypnotist is to understand this and use the appropriate hypnotic induction method for that personality type. The greater your imagination the more successful the session can be. The suggestions the hypnotist offers the client involves using the imagination, which varies from person to person, to help them effect the change they desire.

So when I’m hypnotized I’m asleep? Hypnosis has nothing to do with sleep. When you’re hypnotized your mind and your senses are three to four hundred percent more alert than your normal waking state. You will hear everything that goes on around you. But, just like that normal waking state, you only pay attention to what you select. In this case it’s the voice of the hypnotist.

Some people are afraid that they won’t “wake up” from hypnosis. Since you’re not asleep this is true, if you’re not asleep you can’t wake up. The term used to come out of a hypnotic state or trance is “emerge”. And since hypnosis is a 100% consent state, by you, you can emerge anytime you desire. All you have to do is have the slightest thought that you don’t want to be in this relaxed state anymore and instantly, it’s over and you’re back to your normal awareness.

Will I remember anything about the session after I emerge from it? Sometimes, during hypnosis, memories awaken that you have suppressed. Your subconscious mind considered these memories painful enough that it was better for you to forget them. Since it’s the subconscious mind that the hypnotist is working with these memories may surface. If, after the session, the subconscious still feels you need protected you won’t remember them. That’s not to say that they won’t be revealed a few days later. It’s just that you’re conscious mind needs to be ready to accept them. Otherwise you will remember everything that happens during your hypnosis session.

images (7)So what is hypnosis? Hypnosis is officially defined by the U.S. governments’ education department as “The by-pass of the critical factor of the conscious mind and the establishment of acceptable selective thinking”. Although somewhat confusing this is a fairly accurate definition. Hypnosis is nothing more than a very deep state of physical and mental relaxation where the client is in a very suggestible state. In our normal daily life we operate in the conscious mind. It’s the working part of the mind. The conscious mind is where the short term memory and will power are housed. It’s the rational, analytical part of our mind. It’s the part of the mind that we use every day for such things as finding our way to work, choosing to open a door, etc. The critical factor, which also resides in the conscious mind, acts as a gate keeper preventing things from reaching the subconscious mind. We are bombarded with suggestions every day of our life. Without the critical factor of the conscious mind every one of these suggestions would get into the subconscious mind, the end result would be chaos. Fortunately we have the critical factor as a safe guard to our sanity. However, there are suggestion that we do want to get to the subconscious mind where they can help us make the changes in our life that we need. You see the subconscious mind is the home of the permanent memory, the imagination, and all our habits (good and bad). It protects us from any danger, either real or imagined, but it’s lazy and it doesn’t like change. That’s why we find it so hard to do things like quit smoking and lose weight. These are habits formed in our past for a variety of reasons, but all with an emotional attachment. Normally it takes a minimum of 21 days to change a habit. That time is also dependent upon the person and the habit they’re trying to change. Some habits can take months to affect true change. In order to permanently change a habit we must get to the cause or reason that the habit was established in the first place. Once we understand these reasons we can then establish a plan of action to either eliminate the old habit, change it or create a new one. With hypnosis we are able to go directly to the subconscious mind where these habits reside, regress to the cause and create a new script or thought pattern to make these changes in a much shorter period of time. In some instances in as little as one hypnosis session. But, as with the longer method, these changes will only take place if you truly want them to. The hypnotist only makes suggestion and you will follow only those suggestion that you feel are appropriate and for which you have the correct mental attitude. What do I mean by the correct mental attitude? If, when you hear a suggestion made, you have the attitude that “I like this suggestion, I know it’s going to work,” then it will. However, if your attitude is any of the following; “I’m neutral about it, I don’t care if I get it or I don’t”, or “I don’t know; it sounds a little uncomfortable to me. It just doesn’t fit me”, or “I like that suggestion, I hope it works”, then it won’t work. Any form of doubt about the suggestion removes its ability to work. In a hypnosis session the hypnotist will offer the client suggestions that the client deems appropriate to help the client achieve the goals they set for themselves.

So what are these goals? Look at the following list and see what stands out to you;

  • Stop Smoking
  • Weight Control
  • Stress Management
  • Increase Self Confidence
  • Enhance Sports Ability
  • Improve Memory/Concentration
  • Eliminate Fears
  • Enhance Creativity
  • Instant Relaxation
  • Eliminate Unwanted Habits
  • Regression Exploration
  • Improve Sales Skills
  • Stimulate Motivation
  • Set and Achieve Goals
  • Develop Positive Attitudes
  • Learn Creative Visualization
  • Study More Effectively
  • Stop Teeth Grinding
  • Stop Nail Biting
  • Enhance Public Speaking Skills
  • Reduce Fatigue and Increase Energy
  • Promote Restful Sleep
  • Raise Self Esteem
  • Hypno-Anesthesia
  • Complement Medical/Dental Treatment
  • Increase Abundance
  • Forgive Yourself and Others
  • Make Better Decisions
  • Increase Motivation
  • Conquer Your Fears
  • Control Chronic Pain
  • Release Painful Emotions
  • Enhance Talents
  • Release Grief
  • Improve Your Relationships
  • Enhance Your Beauty
  • Learn Self-Hypnosis
  • Meet Your Higher Self
  • Attain Spiritual Goals
  • Relieve Allergies
  • And more!

If you still have questions about hypnosis and have scheduled an appointment with a hypnotist, write your questions down. Take these questions with you to your appointment and present them to your hypnotist. Remember, if you have any doubt or fears about hypnosis then it won’t work for you. Success happens when you have faith in your hypnotist and believe in the system. If you’d like more information on hypnosis or want to schedule an appointment feel free to contact me.

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