What is Hypnosis?
Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not a zombie-like state in which you become the unwitting slave of a hypnotist without control over your actions.
You always maintain absolute free will while in a hypnotic state. Even though we use the term “Deep Sleep”, you really aren’t in a semi-sleep state, as a matter of fact you actually become hyper-attentive. Your experience may be more like how you feel when you are daydreaming, or how you feel when you “lose yourself” in a good book or movie.
Hypnosis at its simplest is a state of deep relaxation which allows the subconscious mind to work on a problem or issue. At this level of awareness, the critical function of the mind is relaxed and the subconscious mind can be directly accessed to enlist its support of desired changes. This hypnotic state of alert relaxation is similar to the mental state entered into by the average person when they are absorbed in a hobby, driving on a long road, watching television, daydreaming, or relaxing in nature.
The Hypnotherapist induces this relaxed state in his client by a process of gentle suggestion and guided imagery, and then uses a special system of affirmations and suggestions to reprogram the subconscious mind and direct its powerful forces toward the client’s goals. Your subconscious mind controls your habits, emotions, and responses. With hypnosis you can make positive changes, quickly, calmly, and deeply.
The Benefits of Hypnosis
What can be treated with hypnosis? Hypnosis is very effective in helping to bring about almost any change which you desire in your life.
Hypnotherapy is often used to:
- relieve stress
- lose weight
- reduce pain
- stop smoking
- improve job performance
- increase academic performance
- enhance sports abilities
- remove fears and phobias
- improve attention problems
- improve memory
- restore sexual performance
- relieve anxiety and panic attacks
- prepare for surgery/
- speed recovery
- heal emotions from loss or separation
- promote healing (body, mind, & spirit)
- improve self-confidence/self-esteem
- stop compulsive behaviors
- obtain insight and spiritual growth through past-life regression
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be aware of what is happening while I’m in hypnosis?
Yes, in fact, within the hypnotic state you are actually hyper-aware of what is going on around you.
Will I lose control of myself while in hypnosis?
No. If an idea or suggestion is presented that does not ring true with you in hypnosis, you will reject it in your mind — sometimes even removing yourself from hypnosis.
Can I be ‘trapped’ in hypnosis?
No. If you were guided into the hypnotic state, and the hypnotist left you alone, you would eventually just emerge from hypnosis, the same way you might emerge from a nap.
Will I be made to do something foolish in hypnosis?
It’s unlikely that you will find yourself ‘clucking like a chicken,’ following a hypnotherapy session. In a therapeutic hypnosis session you set a goal for the session, and give consent to various steps along the way. You only do what you want to do in a hypnosis. In cases of stage hypnosis, where the hypnotist has given an entertaining suggestion to audience members, they comply because they are willing, just for the fun of it.
Can I be hypnotized against my will?
No. actually all hypnosis is considered to be selfhypnosis, so you cannot be hypnotized unless you wish to be.
Sessions generally last 50 minutes although we can book a longer session based on the type of work we are doing.
The first session begins with a discussion about the goals and issues for which you are seeking hypnotherapy.
I will then ask some questions and do some testing to determine your suggestibility and how you process information, so that I may better communicate with your subconscious.
We will then count you down into your first hypnotic state. Although we use the words trance and sleep, you are aware of everything that is going on and do not lose control.
I will give you positive suggestions based on your desired outcomes and will then count you back up.
Then we can discuss your experience and answer any questions that you might have and plan our next session.
Subsequent sessions involve discussion for about 15-20 minutes followed by hypnosis, then as in the first session, another brief discussion.
You are usually in a hypnotic state for around 20 minutes each session, although that can vary depending on the type of work we are doing.
- For a wonderful article on how hypnosis works click here to go to How Stuff Works.
- Hypnosis Motivation Institute Videos on YouTube – HMIWebTv
“Hypnosis in History” – Revealing documentary, Facts, Photos, Mesmer, Braid & More…
What the Experts Say
“It’s hard to find a field that hasn’t used hypnosis successfully, everything from quitting smoking to IBS.”
- Good Morning America, 9/10
“Hypnosis can help. A growing body of research supports the ancient practice as an effective tool in the treatment of a variety of problems, from anxiety to chronic pain.”
- Newsweek, 9/04
“Though often denigrated as fakery or wishful thinking, hypnosis has been shown to be a real phenomenon with a variety of therapeutic uses…”
- Scientific American 7/01
“Hypnosis can actually help you lose weight.”
Harvard Medical School psychotherapist Jean Fain
- Oprah Magazine, 8/04
“It’s a tool that can help you change your eating behavior so that certain patterns become easier to undo or resist. Hypnosis isn’t an automatic route to weight loss, but it can make it easier to undo bad eating patterns.”
- Shape Magazine, 7/05
“I should have done it years ago…It’s amazing I didn’t even want cigarettes any more.”
Matt Damon describing his hypnosis experience to Jay Leno,
-The Tonight Show, 12/04
“[Hypnosis] can also be applied to improving study habits, stress reduction and raising self-esteem…If you are having difficulty controlling your appetite, sleeping or just need to relax, hypnosis might help you toward your goal.”
- Forbes, 11/05
“Hypnosis seems helpful in treating addictions, and the depression and anxiety associated with them…”
- Psychology Today, 9/96
Content provided by:
Hypnosis as mental health therapy
From Harvard Health Publications
Although myths about it abound, this form of therapy is often helpful.
Hypnosis is one of the oldest forms of psychotherapy in the Western world, and it may also be the most misunderstood. Although long associated with charlatans or performers, all true hypnosis is, by definition, self-hypnosis. In spite of the prevailing myth, nobody can be hypnotized against his or her will. Instead, hypnosis is generally induced by focusing attention on positive mental imagery.
A spate of papers on the topic have urged clinicians to remember that this therapy is an option when treating patients.
“If somebody told you there was a medication that could treat 100 different conditions, didn’t’ require a prescription, was free, and had no bad side effects, you wouldn’t believe them,” says Harvard Medical School psychologist Carol Ginandes, PhD. “I don’t want to sound like a snake oil salesman , because hypnosis is not a magic wand. But it should be made available as a supplementary treatment for all patients who could benefit.Right now.”
- Prevention Magazine, March 2006
“Dr Alfred A. Barrios (PhD) conducted a study for the Psychotherapy Magazine (Volume 7, Issue #1) to investigate the effectiveness of Hypnotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Psychoanalysis (Psychology).
The results he uncovered astonished the clinical community…
After 600 sessions of Psychotherapy, there was a 38% success rate.
After only 22 sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, there was a 72% success rate.
However, after just 6 sessions of Hypnotherapy, there was a whopping 93% success rate!”
- Psychotherapy Magazine Volume 7, Issue 1
“It has taken centuries for medical hypnosis to regain credibility,” says Penn State psychology professor William Ray. “In the 1950s, reliable measures of hypnotizability were developed, which allowed this research field to gain validity. We’ve seen more than 6,000 articles on hypnosis published since then in medical and psychological journals. Today, there’s general agreement that hypnosis can be an important part of treatment for some conditions, including phobias, addictions and chronic pain.”