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The Truth about Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy
For many years, media has inaccurately portrayed hypnosis: A mysterious man with a goatee, wearing a top hat, swinging a pocket watch from side to side, while his subject suddenly goes into a trance and follows every order with a willing “Yes, master” response. Hypnotism has been given a cryptic and somewhat dark image because of this stereotype.
Another instance where people are given distorted images of hypnosis is during stage hypnosis performance. The “hypnotist” calls out for volunteers who are then “hypnotized” and made to follow instructions of the hypnotist to do “funny” acts just for the enjoyment of the audience. These kind of performances are purely for entertainment purposes but often it leaves audience with a wrong impression of hypnosis.
Clinical Hypnotherapist, Sean Wheeler, explains in this video how stage hypnosis works and busts the myth that people in the hypnotic state loses control.
If we, however, look at the real definition of hypnosis, we can see that the prevalent representation is actually far from the real thing.
So What Really is Hypnosis?
According to Mayo Clinic, hypnosis is defined as “a trance-like state” where a person has intensified focus and concentration. It can be achieved intentionally with the guidance of a hypnotist who uses “verbal repetition and mental images” to induce that state. A person in this state is in a “state of heightened suggestibility”. As opposed to the stereotypical image, the modern understanding of hypnosis says that subjects in the hypnotic state aren’t “slaves”. They just become more “suggestable” but they still have free-will to choose if they would or wouldn’t like to follow the hypnotist.
Another useful definition of hypnosis is the bypass of the critical factor and establishment of acceptable selective thinking.
The brain waves of a person in the hypnotic state can be measured using an Electroencephalogram (EEG) machine. There are different brain wave bands that an EEG measures: Beta (12 to 38 Hz), normal waking state of consciousness. Alpha (8 to 12 Hz), light state of hypnosis. Theta (3 to 8 Hz) deep state of hypnosis. And Delta (.5 to 3 Hz) deep sleep.
In the hypnotic state, the person isn’t really asleep, but is actually alert. Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming or staring blankly into space for a few minutes? During those times, you were in the hypnotic state. Everyday forms of hypnosis occurs when we are reading, driving, watching a movie, or doing any activity where you tune out most of the stimuli in your surroundings and just focus on what you’re doing. Some researchers say that such instances are forms of self-hypnosis.
Hypnosis and Suggestibility
We are all open to suggestions, without it, social life would be impossible. Practically everyone is susceptible to the influence of suggestion in some way or other, in spite of whatever they may say to the contrary. Most people just fail to realize that they are constantly being suggested to by others, without even being aware of it taking place. Your emotions are governed by and often led to dizzy heights, by suggestion either from within yourselves or from some external influence.
Hypnosis is a state of heightened suggestibility. In that state the person unquestionably accepts the hypnotist’s suggestion. The hypnotist may suggest that person is eating spaghetti, that person will start chewing and will feel the food in his mouth, tasting the distinct flavour of pasta. The hypnotist might suggest to the person that he is “weightless” and he will accept that suggestion and will start to feel that his body becoming lighter and floating. The hypnotist might suggest to the person to draw upon the memory in the past when he was feeling most confident. That person will start to experience same feeling of confidence.
Suggestion is a process of communication of an idea to the subconscious mind, which carries conviction in an unobtrusive manner, even though there may not be any conscious desire to accept it. Suggestions contrary to the person’s natural desires or potentialities, whether given consciously or under hypnosis, rarely, if ever, take effect.
The Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind is the part of your mind that operates below your normal level of waking consciousness.
As you read these words, you are primarily using your conscious mind, and beneath that mental focus, your subconscious mind is working behind the scenes, absorbing or rejecting information based on your existing perception of the world around you.
Your existing perception began forming when you were an infant. Everything that you have ever heard, seen, felt, tasted, or smelled are stored in your subconscious mind since your first breath. Your subconscious mind use these information to determine your perception and how you emotionally response to your world. It rejected nothing while you were young because you didn’t have any pre-existing beliefs to contradict what it perceived. It simply accepted that all of the information you received during your early childhood as true.
You can probably see why this can becomes a problem later in life!
If someone ever called you stupid, worthless, slow, lazy, or anything negative and your subconscious mind accepted them as true. That information will be stored away in your subconscious mind. You might also have received messages about your potential in life or limitations you will face based on your physical abilities, skin color, gender, or economic status.
By the time you were 7 or 8 years old, you already had a solid foundation of belief based on all those information your subconscious mind accepted from people in your life, internet, television, and other environmental influences and they shaped your habits and your perception of yourself throughout your life.
Here is where hypnosis comes in and can help you to make the changes you really want. Using hypnosis, the hypnotist can access the subconscious mind and directly affect those beliefs and habits in a way that using the conscious mind alone can rarely accomplish.
The Definition of Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is the application of hypnotism with the goal of treating a variety of health conditions and deeply-seated mental or emotional problems. During a therapy session, the hypnotists applies hypnosis techniques to guides his/her clients as they deal with hidden or repressed issues in order to achieve a desired result. Issues likely to be resolved by hypnotherapy range from simple behavioural change such as helping clients remove a bad habit such smoking or over-eating, to more powerful and sophisticated changes such as overcoming psychogenic or functional medical problems.
Here are some of the issues that hypnotherapy can address:
- Smoking – Hypnotherapy educates the subconscious mind about the real reasons for quitting smoking, as well as removing obstacles that prevent the person from quitting the habit.
- Weight management – Hypnotherapy helps clients to change their beliefs and habits towards healthy eating and build inner confidence in their physical appearance.
- Fear and phobias – The sources of these issues are deeply seated in the subconscious mind. Hypnotherapy can help you overcome these problems easily by accessing the subconscious mind directly.
- Anger management – Hypnotherapy takes the clients through a systematic and effective approach to manage his/her anger.
- Insomnia– Hypnotherapy helps the client to tackle the deep-seated issues disrupting sleep and teaches them to relax the mind for a restful sleep.
To learn more about other issues that hypnotherapy can address, please visit our website.
If you are still holding on to the notion that hypnosis is dark and mysterious, it’s about time you update yourself to the modern view on the subject.
Hypnosis can be helpful for people who are experiencing difficult personal issues as well as those who would like to change negative habits into positive ones.
Hypnotherapy is your solution towards having the kind of life you have always desired.
If you have any personal issue you want to resolve or you want to achieve your goals faster and easier, then you have to contact us today and schedule an appointment with our consulting hypnotist.
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