Hypnosis, when mentioned in conversation, creates varied reactions in people. There are many misconceptions about hypnosis.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind simply characterized by a slower brainwave state. In this state there is an overlap between the Conscious and Subconscious mind, creating an expanded state of awareness.
Many of us enter a meditative or “trance” state while listening to music, driving a car, daydreaming, watching TV, or reading. In a hypnotherapy session there is extraordinary physical and mental relaxation. This enables the Conscious critical mind to become an observer, while the gateway for direct communication with the Subconscious mind opens. This allows the hypnotherapist to assist their clients to make changes at a deep Subconscious level needed for permanent change. Hypnosis is empowering.
Why does hypnosis work?
The Conscious mind is that part of the mind that allows us to reason, solve problems and make decisions; it accounts for only about 10% of our mind’s power. That explains why our “will power” so often fails us when we depend on it to help us make changes in ourselves.
The Subconscious mind defines us. It is the feeling part of us which contains all our emotions, memories, habits, belief systems, and controls all of our internal organs. It accounts for 90% of our mental power.
Our Subconscious mind is unable to reason or rationalize. It does not know the difference between right or wrong, but does what we instruct or “program” it to do. If it believes we are competent people, we will be. If it has become programmed to fear snakes or planes, we will. If we expect pain, we will perceive pain. The "reality" we perceive actually begins in our mind. Hypnotherapy enables us to directly access the Subconscious mind, and modulate or "replace" elements to create a "new reality."
How does my subconscious mind become "programmed"?
Most of our programming takes place during our childhood before we develop our ability to reason. This explains why some of our earlier belief systems no longer serve us as they once did. For example, if during childhood we are praised, encouraged and supported, we will develop a healthy self-esteem, but if we are put down and criticized we will develop a poor self-esteem. Fortunately, most of the programming we received as children serves us well as adults, but we also received negative programming, usually put there unknowingly by parents, teachers and peers. The negative programming is what holds us back as adults. It determines our self-esteem, our confidence level, whether we succeed in reaching our goals, and how we react to situations and stressors in life. This can potentially manifest as, or aggravate, any health condition.
Hypnosis allows us to go back and replace any negative programming with positive systems of our choosing. The process of hypnosis gives us the power to utilize 100% of our mental resources to make the changes in ourselves that we desire.
What does it feel like?
Hypnosis is always accompanied by an extraordinary sense of physical relaxation. Every muscle in your body becomes pleasantly relaxed and all tension disappears. Hypnosis is not sleep; your mind is quite aware of what is taking place. In fact, your mind is in an expanded state of awareness. Most people find the experience extremely pleasant.
Who can be hypnotized?
Hypnosis is simply a relaxation process. In fact, every healthy individual goes into and out of the same brain wave you are in while hypnotized, each and every day. You have experienced a form of hypnosis any time you have daydreamed, driven the route home “mindlessly”, or cried while watching a movie. If willing, anyone can be hypnotized.
Can I be made to do something against my will?
You maintain the ability to reject any suggestion given to you while in hypnosis. No one can make you do anything against your will. You are always in control of your own mind and body. The hypnotherapist is simply a facilitator.
Can I get stuck in HYPNOSIS?
No! Absolutely not! Remember, hypnosis is a perfectly natural state of mind. It is part of our brain wave cycle, as are sleep and fully conscious states. You maintain control.
Will I be unconscious?
No, you are simply in a dual state of mind where the Subconscious and Conscious minds overlap. It is similar to the brain states we are in just before falling asleep or waking from sleep.
How many sessions will I need?
Every patient has a unique personal profile so sessions are based on the depth and breadth of the issues that need to be addressed. In general, relatively simple problems such as smoking, nail biting, slimming, and pre-test anxiousness, usually only require a single session, and the success rate is very high. Session frequencies increase with the complexity of the problem and the degree to which underlying issues play a role.
Can hypnosis help control pain?
Absolutely! The clinical effectiveness of hypnotherapy is evident in pain conditions and its use in fact dates back to ancient Egypt. The field of neuroscience continues to expand as researchers explore the processes by which the mind and nervous system communicate. Pain really is all in the brain; 300-400 areas of the brain become active with the pain experience. Given that pain is a composite of not only an injury but also thoughts, feelings, context, beliefs, expectations, and past experiences, the subconscious mind is central to pain control.
What are some of the conditions or problems treated with hypnosis?
To name a few: pain management, smoking cessation, fears and phobias, behaviour modification, limiting beliefs, skin conditions, asthma, stress management, weight reduction, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, sports performance.