I’m sure by now you would have heard of the term Hypnosis and you may have even watched a stage show where the hypnotist got an audience member to do something silly as cluck like a chicken. Well, I’m here to tell you that in reality, Hypnosis bears little resemblance to those stereotyped images of stage shows. So let’s have a closer look at the practice of Hypnosis and clear away any misconceptions that you may have about it.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis, or trance, is a naturally occurring state that we all go in and out of frequently during the day. It is a state of deep relaxation, narrowed focus, heightened suggestibility and a process of active imagination. When we are daydreaming or ‘zoned out’ in a movie or in any state where we are in automatic pilot mode- we are in a state of trance. Just like that gentle feeling before you doze off to sleep.
When Hypnosis is used therapeutically as in Hypnotherapy, a person is guided into a ‘trance state’ to achieve a specific outcome. But they are awake and aware of what is happening at all times. The person in Hypnosis is in control throughout and can terminate the hypnotic trance at any stage. Hypnotherapy works by combining Hypnosis with precise, outcome-oriented suggestions processed through the unconscious mind which makes it capable of creating positive life changes on many levels. The state achieved by Hypnosis is no different from that of a guided visualisation, meditation or any of the other types of therapeutic or relaxation techniques. They are all simply different ways of accessing the same state; the innate human resource of trance.
The conscious and unconscious (subconscious) mind
The conscious mind is what you are aware of here and now at any point in time. The unconscious mind is everything else – it’s the powerhouse of our existence.
From the day we are born we are programming things into the unconscious mind. What’s good, bad, happy, sad, right, wrong, safe, dangerous etc. Once it’s programmed into the unconscious mind it is locked in with a barrier called the critical faculty barrier which is a huge part of our survival mechanism.
The prime purpose of the unconscious mind is protection and survival. It operates like the hard drive of a computer, it accepts what we program into it without analysing it and because we are surviving, it thinks that it is protecting us by holding onto and running the same programs.
Sometimes we can program things into the unconscious mind that we don’t want such as anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, negative beliefs, etc. Once we program something into the unconscious mind it is very difficult to change it consciously. If for example, you have a phobia, you can try to overcome it by consciously telling yourself that it’s OK, you’re safe but if the unconscious mind is running a program that’s screaming “terror” it doesn’t matter what you tell yourself consciously, the unconscious mind will go into action. Your stress hormones will start pumping, your heart will pound and your breathing changes. Anything you tell yourself will bounce off that barrier because it is your unconscious mind that is in control.
The unconscious mind controls all your body functions and the changes that are occurring originate in the mind but are felt throughout the whole body.
The unconscious mind also controls our habits. 90% of everything we do every day is habitual. We don’t have to think about how we dress or turn on a tap or walk. We just do it automatically as part of our survival mechanism. If we had to get up every day and think about everything and learn everything again, we couldn’t survive.
People don’t decide to blush or sweat profusely or become depressed. The part of our mind that does these behaviours is not the conscious part. They happen automatically which means it’s the unconscious mind that produces the response. Therefore it makes sense that seeking treatment for these conditions requires the therapist to work at an unconscious level.
In Hypnosis, we go into a state of relaxation and we relax away the critical faculty barrier so that we can talk directly to the unconscious mind. Just like putting a new computer program over an old one that is no longer serving its purpose. And once the two parts of the mind are in agreement, the body responds instantly and automatically.
What is Hypnotherapy used for?
Hypnotherapy can be used for weight loss, quitting smoking, addictions, phobias, confidence, stress, anxiety disorders and many other behaviours that the client would like to change. It will have an efficient, fast, reliable means of altering negative behaviours. Hypnotherapy produces the most immediate results for changing beliefs, habits, choices and behaviours.
Scientific evidence for the use of Hypnosis is plentiful. We now have so much study, research and growth in the field. With more understanding and methods developed over the past 100 years, many more people are discovering the value and power of Hypnosis. It is beginning to receive the positive recognition it deserves.
Statistically, at least 40% of people in western societies use some form of complementary or alternative medicine or therapy such as Hypnotherapy. This number is increasing as people are becoming more interested in natural healing modalities. Hypnotherapy is quickly becoming a profession with broad acceptance and exciting possibilities.
If you’d like to know how my Hypnotherapy skills can help you to lose weight for the last time, with anxiety disorders, to delete your phobias, to quit smoking easily and confidently or with any other habits or behaviours that you’d like to banish from your life – then contact me and we can have a chat.
Medical Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For medical advice always consult your physician. The information provided in this blog is based on the best knowledge of the author at the time of writing and we do not assume liability for the information within this blog, be it direct or indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages.