What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a completely natural phenomenon
Hypnosis is the most potent natural agent for change that we have. Scientifically proven for over 200 years and used since the times of the ancient Greeks, hypnosis combined with therapy has been used for many physical and psychological issues.
Within science, there is no debate as to whether hypnosis exists or works. However, experts cannot agree on a single definition on what hypnosis is, how and why it works. Some experts argue it is an altered state of consciousness, others a heightened state of awareness, some believe it is a trance and there are many more definitions in between. However, what we do know is that (a) hypnosis has been proven to exist and (b) hypnosis provides a communication channel with the parts of the mind that cannot be reached using everyday conscious thinking.
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that we have all experienced – for example, a daydream is a form of hypnosis. Although the word hypnosis comes from the ancient Greek word for sleep ‘hypnos’, it is far from being asleep. Whilst you may look like you’re sleeping, hypnosis is really a heightened state of awareness where your mind simply focuses on a single idea or thought.
Why is hypnosis so useful in therapy?
Hypnosis creates a communication channel with the inner mind – the subconscious. The mind is like a sophisticated computer and it runs on the programmes, such as beliefs, thoughts and behaviours, installed on it.
Our everyday conscious thinking uses a small percentage of our mind’s capacity – storage of information is limited. If you have a problem or want to make changes to your life and haven’t been able to so far, i.e. by talking about or thinking the issue through, it’s likely that changes need to be made in the subconscious.
When problems can’t be solved using our conscious mind quickly and easily, hypnosis provides a gateway to reprogramming old or unwanted behaviours and thoughts or creating new, positive ones. The subconscious mind is like a filing system on your computer, containing all your memories and experiences that determine your thoughts, feelings and actions.
Hypnosis does not make the change itself — it is simply a state that allows us to access the subconscious mind, where the information to the problem is stored. It is the therapeutic tools and techniques used in hypnosis that make all the difference.
Hypnosis is a completely natural feeling
There are several common myths and misunderstandings around how hypnosis feels. Many people believe they’ll feel different, expect to be unconscious, ‘go under’ or emerge from it not remembering or have a feeling of being controlled. This could not be further from the truth. There is no real feeling in hypnosis, but it’s more of an after fact. When you go into first hypnosis you don’t really feel anything, but when you come out, you often realise how relaxed you have been.
Many people also associate hypnosis with relaxation; however, there are three distinctly different ways of inducing hypnosis: ‘shock’ (instant induction), confusion (rapid induction) and boredom (progressive induction – lulling the mind gently into trance). Confusion is often used by hypnotherapists and shock is generally used by stage hypnotists (it looks impressive) and proves that being relaxed is not the only route into hypnosis.
You are completely aware and in control
In fact, all hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis –the therapist acts as a guide – you do the work and remain in control. It is the hypnotherapist’s role to guide you through the process with the correct instructions, techniques and suggestions, which you can choose to follow or not.
In hypnosis, you are fully aware of everything happening around you and your senses are even sharper than usual. If an emergency situation arose, such as a fire alarm going off, your subconscious would alert your conscious and you’d quickly snap out of it. Your inner mind has an inbuilt safety system, which keeps you alert and aware at all times, even when you are sleeping. This system also ensures your mind will not take on board any suggestions that you do not want to accept. In other words, a hypnotherapist cannot make you do anything that you would not wish to do.
The incredible power of hypnosis is proven
Hypnosis is probably the most underrated and underused, but powerful tool we have available, that can be used for many different applications.
From stopping smoking, weight loss, overcoming fears and phobias, relationship therapy, sports performance, motivating staff and even as an alternative for anaesthetic in operations, hypnotherapy allows lasting change to be made quickly and effectively.
Hypnosis is the optimal state for learning, where the mind is in heightened state of awareness, focus and concentration. In Russia, schools know this and use hypnosis to teach children difficult dialects, such as Lithuanian, because the most effective learning is produced in this state.
In medicine, the power of hypnosis has been proven with numerous physical and mental conditions, from the simple removal of warts and verrucas to painless surgery. Hypnotherapy is also the only documented successful therapy approved by the NHS for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Furthermore, the famous Irish surgeon, Jack Gibson, performed over 3,000 surgical operations using hypnosis instead of anaesthetic (BMJ, 18th June 2005).
If hypnosis is powerful enough to change the mind and enable painless surgery, just imagine what it could do for you!
How could advanced hypnosis help you?
If you would like to find out more about how hypnosis and advanced hypnotherapy could help your particular issue, or to book an appointment, contact Katie Glen or Jenny O’Kelly on 020 8712 5981 today.
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