So OK what is hypnosis?
The Mosby Medical Encyclopedia 1992 edition defines hypnosis as a ‘passive trancelike state that resembles normal sleep during which perceptions and memory are changed resulting in increased responsiveness to suggestions’.
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind induced for during hypnotherapy through a technique we call ‘Induction’. There are various induction techniques - your practitioner will describe the process and select the most suitable one for you based on various aspects of your personality. This allows your hypnotherapy practitioner to guide you to a level of relaxation through the process of hypnosis which enables hypnotherapy. You will experience a deep relaxed trancelike state of mind and body which enhances your focus and concentration and increases your responsiveness to suggestions made to the subconscious mind. This reach out to the subconscious mind is required to begin making the beneficial changes you wish to make in your thought patterns, behaviors, habits or other physiological reasons. It is well researched that permanent changes to old undesirable habits or thoughts can only be achieved when the subconscious mind accepts it. Our conscious mind alone cannot do the job for us. It is the subconscious mind that is supreme in this aspect of your experience and is always one up over the conscious mind.
Not so long ago Hypnotherapy was often associated with the strange and the mysterious. Many viewed it as peculiar or 'stagey' inspiring the supernatural, used by stage performers particularly ‘magicians’ to entertain and hold the attention of their audience. To add to this there were and still are some 'hypnotherapists' who offer hypnotherapy without adequate training and qualifications which is also common in other professions. It is up to you to choose wisely when you decide on hypnotherapy to address your issues. Even to this day there are many people who view hypnosis and hypnotherapy with a sense of awe or even apprehension. Well it is but a natural normal reaction we usually have towards anything that is unfamiliar unknown or has an element of mystery to it. Hypnosis did fall in that category for a long time for most of us. However research and scientific findings shared publicly everywhere (online and books) have helped change these perceptions to a great extent. More and more people are now beginning to hear of its effectiveness and it’s importance in human lives.
Hypnotherapy is a scientific practice, a very useful and effective therapy that we can use in many areas of our lives and there is nothing strange or mysterious or peculiar about it and most definitely it is not limited to stage shows and entertainment. Hypnosis does not even remotely resemble the dramatic way that it is portrayed in films or described in novels or practiced unprofessionally or unethically by some.
People the world over have experienced the benefits of hypnotherapy in making them feel better and to live better lives. Social media has played a great role too in clearing misconception about hypnosis and hypnotherapy like it has done in so many other areas by providing information freely and abundantly to people of all walks of life. Research based findings have made it amply clear that Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy are a perfectly natural state of mind that we are naturally accustomed to as humans. It is a science like any other science but this one has a touch of art to it!
Hypnotherapy is very effective and helpful in addressing and eliminating bad habits, stress, anxiety, phobias, fears, support weight loss, pain management and addictions. Today more and more people turn to hypnotherapy to find a solution to these problems and many even do so as a last recourse when all else has failed. There is no need for medical drugs and chemicals to treat all of our health problems. Hypnotherapy is empowering, it provides us with additional support to keep hope alive gives us an alternative to turn to for help and puts the reins of our success in addressing our issues right back into our hands. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help guide us to use the Power of our own mind to our benefit - both conscious and subconscious.
'If my mind can conceive it, I can achieve it' - Mohammad Ali.
It is very important that the Practitioner you select to work with is professionally qualified but also equally important is that she/he embodies certain personality traits vital in this profession. (You will intuitively detect these at your very first meeting with your practitioner, well at least you should) Besides being qualified and certified you would do well if you also look for the following important qualities and traits in your practitioner. The first being an empathic caring nature and someone with an approachable personality that ensures and facilitates an easy rapport to begin and grow from the very start. These skills add immensely to the interpersonal reality of your therapy session, so its well worth every effort to look for these traits.
Even in the medical field as far as I am concerned I rather not waste my time with a cold mechanical doctor that lacks the ability to feel empathy and genuine care. Nothing positive results from such an encounter. Empathy cannot be learnt - you either have it or you don't.
What happens during therapy and how does it work?
Hypnosis begins in a safe comfortable environment. After the initial consultation where your practitioner makes an assessment of where you are in the here and now - a personalized plan is formulated specific to your requirements. Hypnotherapy primarily begins with a guided relaxation process. Your practitioner will steadily lead you to varying degrees of the same to achieve a desired level of brain waves, to positively relax your mind and body by a technique we call ‘Induction’. An Induction is a hypnotic process employed using a personalized screed to guide your body and mind into a deep relaxation. It works with your mind to take you into a trance like state, which helps lower the guard or barrier dividing the conscious and the subconscious and allows your practitioner to connect and communicate with your subconscious mind through your very own imagination to further guide you deeper into your subconscious to a desired level of hypnosis where therapy can begin and is most effective. This is where the process of transformation or change begins to take place.
Connecting with our subconscious mind is an everyday phenomenon. All of us experience it every day of our lives - it happens to us when we watch our favorite TV show, or read an interesting book, or watch a play at the theatre that mesmerizes us to focus on what is going on in front of us to the exclusion of everything else around us, it happens when we fall in love, day dream, fantasize any situation where we block everything else around us and allow the mind to focus or lull about that what is of interest to us in the moment … that what holds and enhances our focus, our senses, our touch, taste, hearing or visuals whilst still being present but lost in time transported elsewhere. It happens to us everyday when we are driving, writing, thinking, studying. It is a very pleasant feeling much like the one we experience when we are falling asleep...half awake half asleep... but not quite there yet.
So yes Hypnosis is a perfectly normal state of mind that all of us already experience naturally and there is nothing strange, unknown or mysterious about it. During hypnosis/hypnotherapy you will be in control and aware throughout the whole process.
A true guide and professional in the art of hypnosis is a practitioner who works professionally and intuitively to your best interest. There are hypnotherapy practitioners and there are hypnotherapy practitioners and not all of them are artistically inclined. Hypnotherapy whilst it is a science it is also an Art and when artistically delivered it can deliver amazing results. Imagine this: ''You are at a musical concert - the musician is performing with precise accuracy and yet somehow you feel there is something missing and find it difficult to fully enjoy the experience". That could be a concert you just watched performed by a performer that lacked passion and feelings. We know that music performed even with the most precise accuracy often seems empty and mechanical if it lacks passion and feelings - you come out of the auditorium with a sense of dissatisfaction. Well it is the same with hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
All hypnosis is also self-hypnosis. You are an important active participant throughout your therapy sessions. You will have to be engaged in your own therapy from the very start. Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy cannot make you do anything you do not want to do or do not agree with or you find objectionable. You are always in control. If you don’t participate you cannot experience hypnosis or experience the benefits of hypnotherapy.
If you participate, be fully committed, and believe in its effectiveness you will succeed in achieving positive results. Furthermore you will be able to use self-hypnosis to maintain your positive results long after your hypnotherapy sessions with your practitioner are completed.
Hypnotherapy is effective comfortable and safe and it is one of the most pleasurable relaxing state of mind and body you can experience. It is a natural phenomenon and it can help you with a number of issues without the use of chemicals drugs other medications or invasive surgeries however without your participation, commitment and trust nothing can happen.
How Can Hypnotherapy Help You?
Hypnotherapy can help you in a number of issues. It can help you remove mental obstacles that are either holding you back, and preventing you from achieving your goals or keeping you in a cycle that you want to break free from. Hypnotherapy can also help you tap into your dormant powerful hidden energies to achieve more either at work or business or personal life. It is very effective to increase work related performances and increase productivity and drive. It can address issues with weight loss and weight management, bad habits such as smoking, reduce stress, phobias, health problems, pain control, improve self esteem, improve learning experience, enhance your creativity, sleep disorders, anxiety and panic healing the adult survivor of child abuse, loss and separation, surgery, depression, and professional performance such as live stage performances athletic performances and public speaking. It can even free you from ineffective prescription medications that sometimes only work on a temporary basis.
It's well worth a try to experience the relaxation that follows a hypnotherapy session.
Tip - Book for a session of Hypnotherapy every once in a while to distress or take a healthy break from a busy work life and experience a deep pleasant relaxed rejuvenating experience.
Recent Expert Findings
Studies claim that there is a link between the human mind and the human physical self. In a fantastic more recent discovery made by the university of Virginia - School of Medicine – researchers have also established now that there is a direct relationship between the brain and the immune system. These findings show how our thoughts and feelings (neurochemistry) can impact our physical health. This could have important implications and support researchers to understand how the brain and the immune system work together and thus enable focus on the immune system for the benefit of the brain and vice versa. For example- we know that when the immune system is not at its best the body becomes vulnerable to inflammation and diseases associated with inflammation in turn get triggered or made worse. The study also claims that “Even our personalities may just be highly dictated by the immune system” - Jonathan Kipnis, Chair of OVA‘s Department of Neuroscience.
Hypnotherapy works at our subconscious level – this is following the elevated state of being, which is brought about by a process called ‘induction’. 'These new findings could help explain scientifically why there are healings with hypnotherapy.
It might help us understand more clearly the link between the brain and the body and that one of the big player in this regard is our immune system’s link to our brain as well'. The journey for positive change and cure begins in the subconscious and it is at the subconscious level that hypnotherapy endeavors to help you make the desired changes to old undesirable stored matter with new and healthy alternatives.
Give Hypnotherapy a chance to help you - You got nothing to lose but maybe something positive to gain!
Hypnotherapy and Counselling can help you address many issues but I cannot emphasize enough how important your wholehearted participation, commitment and trust is to experience its benefits. Nothing can happen without your involvement. This is not your usual GP visit. Here our business is with our minds. Your participation plays a big role in determining your progress and the results you achieve. When you have all of that in place you will see dramatic results. Hypnotherapy has proved time and again that medication and pills aren't the answer always - getting to the root cause is …your ability to follow through is and this is where hypnosis can step in to help you.
Hypnotherapy changes thought patterns at a subconscious level. As addressed above we know now that we cannot bring changes in our habits or other issues we want to address with our conscious mind alone. We need the subconscious mind to be involved - it is the big player that holds the key...it is real and very powerful, more powerful than the conscious mind and when in conflict with each other the subconscious mind always wins. That is why getting rid of old bad habits that impact your health or the quality of your life is difficult and sometimes even next to impossible to cure just by deciding about it consciously - (it is why 'new year resolutions' never succeed!) We need to work with the subconscious mind to make permanent positive changes. Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy is one very effective scientifically proven way that facilitates the crucial engagement of the subconscious mind.