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What is Hypnosis and is it Safe?

Hypnosis is best described as a very deep state of relaxation, in other words, a normal, natural, healthy state of mind.

Some will say that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Our bodies experience what are known as ult-radian rhythms. These rhythms form the basis of common, everyday trance or hypnotic states, when we may find ourselves daydreaming or just taking a break.  Here are 2 examples of a hypnotic state —

1.Have you ever been in a room full of people, feeling as though you are taking part in the group but feeling detached from it?

2. Have you ever had the experience of driving home while being preoccupied by something and suddenly realising that even though you have arrived safely at your destination, you can’t recall driving past familiar landmarks? It’s as if you were on automatic pilot.

Hypnosis is a normal, naturally occurring, healthy state of mind. It is totally drug-free. There has never been a single documented case of harm resulting from the use of hypnosis.

What is a Clinical Hypnotherapist?

A Clinical Hypnotherapist is a specialist in hypnosis, who uses the healing state of hypnosis to work with problems or conditions that a client wishes to change.

What Happens in Hypnosis?

A Clinical Hypnotherapist uses hypnosis to enable the client to achieve a state of mental, physical and emotional relaxation.
When in hypnosis, the conscious mind (that busy, critical, analytical part of the mind) takes a rest. Hypnosis allows people to tap into the storehouse of information that lies in the subconscious (sometimes referred to as the unconscious) mind and make positive changes to thought patterns, habits or the effects of traumatic incidents that are having a negative impact either mentally or physically.

What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?

The feeling when in hypnosis is of being physically and mentally relaxed. It has been likened to the feelings we experience just before waking completely from sleep or just as we drift off to sleep. Some people say it feels like daydreaming.

When in hypnosis, people experience a state of complete mental, physical and emotional relaxation. In itself, this is a very healing state. Dr Milton Erickson, a leading American hypnotherapist, described the process of clinical hypnosis as “a free period in which individuality can flourish”.

How Does Hypnotherapy Help?

The ability to reprogram emotional attitudes and reactions is a latent talent within every human being. Hypnosis is the most functional and reasonable way to train life-long attitudes, rather than suffer a lifetime of emotional accidents the conscious mind is unable to change.

Can Anyone Be Hypnotised?

Pretty much – some more easily than others. Like anything else in life, the more people practice self-hypnosis, the more easily they can slip into that wonderful relaxed state. The depth that people reach in hypnosis varies between individuals. It is not necessary to achieve a very deep level of hypnosis to bring about change to habits or conditions that are having a negative impact either mentally or physically.

A common myth about hypnotisability is when a person says, “No one could hypnotise me, and I’m too strong minded”. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. A person goes into hypnosis because they choose to. So strong-minded individuals are really good candidates for hypnosis provided they are committed to wanting it to work for them.

Are My Abilities Enhanced During Hypnosis?

Yes, as follows:-

  • The ability to IMAGINE
  • The ability to REMEMBER
  • The ability to BE CREATIVE
  • The ability to RESPOND POSITIVELY to suggestion

Here are some examples:-

  • The ability to IMAGINE – People in hypnosis respond extremely well to the use of imagery techniques, which have powerful benefits for change. Brain scans taken of people in hypnosis show increased activity during hypnosis, particularly in the motor and sensory area relating to heightened mental imagery. Under hypnosis the powerful benefits of imagery can be used to treat a wide range of conditions.
  • The ability to REMEMBER – People in hypnosis experienced a heightened sense of recall. For example, in some instances, hypnosis is used by the police to assist witnesses to recall car number plates or describe people at a crime or accident scene. The enhancement of the ability to remember in hypnosis enables the client and therapist to explore the origin or cause of the symptoms that may be causing a client distress and enable them to take an appropriate course of action.
  • The ability to BE CREATIVE – By having access to increased creativity in hypnosis, people are able to allow themselves to be much more creative in their thinking thus enabling them to more readily explore options and solutions to issues that are troubling them. People can also utilise the benefits of self-hypnosis in all areas of their lives that involve creativity, such as painting, writing, music, etc.
  • The ability to RESPOND POSITIVELY to suggestion – Working as a team, the client and clinical hypnotherapist agree on what outcomes the client is wishing to achieve. Heightened responsiveness to positive suggestion in hypnosis means that the clinical hypnotherapist can reinforce the changes the client wishes to make. This reinforcing under hypnosis is at the subconscious (or unconscious) level which is much more powerful than making the suggestions to the conscious mind.

Would I Be Asked to Do Anything Against My Will?

This is one of the common misunderstandings associated with hypnosis. This is probably tied in with another misconception that the hypnotherapist has control over the client. This is not the case. People will not do or say anything under hypnosis that they would not do when not in hypnosis. Thanks to TV shows and stage hypnotists, there is a common misconception that you can be hypnotised against your will. It is not true. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

Research conducted at the University of NSW by Dr Amanda Barnier and reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on 2 February 1998, states that “Hypnotised people do not act like robots, nor are they powerless pawns of post-hypnotic suggestions p

In What Areas Can Hypnotherapy Be Used?

Hypnotherapy can help with smoking cessation, overeating, nail biting, bed wetting, insomnia, headaches, exam nerves, pain, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, bulimia, depression, mood swings, alcoholism, relationship problems, hostility, anger, resentments, worry, guilt, grief, asthma, blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, warts, compulsions.

Hypnotherapy has been a great help in improving exam performance, study recall, memory, sports focus, public speaking, personal growth, pain control, performance, assertiveness, childbirth, communication, relaxation, counselling confidence, releasing the past, personal empowerment, goal setting.

Hypnosis can be used in the treatment of most disorders, whether mental or otherwise, where the relaxation response promotes the person’s positive mindset. For example, with a physical injury, the person’s mental resources can be enlisted to aid in managing the subsequent discomfort, allow for some rest, and lessen the associated emotional trauma. It must be noted that Hypnotherapy is not a replacement for medical treatment from your doctor.

Will My Personality Change?

Hypnotherapy will bring out the best in you. The change happens when you leave behind any habits or baggage you no longer need or want. As a result, you become stronger and happier. It will help you to unlock your true potential, and uncover your strong, good qualities, which you may not even be aware of.