What are Some Benefits of Hypnosis?
- Stress control
- Weight control & weight loss
- Healthy lifestyle changes
- Improve feelings of self-worth and self-confidence
- Develop and enhance intuition
- Gain sight and solutions
- Pain management
- Improve relationships: be a better husband, wife, parent, friend
- Improve focus and concentration
- Make better decisions
- Manage emotions better
- Discover and release limiting beliefs
- Rediscover Divine Nature
- Discover underlying causation
- Negative self-Talk
- Fears & phobias
- Behavioral modifications including
- Nail biting
- Healthy eating
- Better sleep
- Performance enhancer, including:
- Sports performance
- Career matters
- Memory & concentration
- Stage performance
- Exams & tests
- Presentation/ speaking skills
What is Hypnosis?
Good question! A question people have been arguing about for over 200 years. Although science has yet to definitively answer the question or fully explain how it happens, we do know certain things. We know that it is a state of relaxed, calm, focused, concentration. It's sometimes referred to as 'sleep', but its not really like sleep since the person is alert, even interactive the whole time.
The predominant school of thought says (and from experience I agree) it is a way to access the subconscious mind directly, that part that stores away links to everything we've ever done, heard or thought for use in running the automatic programs we live by. Your subconscious mind is the real brain behind our activities. Normally we are only aware of the conscious mind where one chooses what to think about. The subconscious mind is heavily in play when we sleep, perhaps that is why hypnosis is associated with 'sleep' (?). During hypnosis, whether self induced or facilitated, it's like a control panel pops open inside your brain - an access door so to speak, allowing you to work with behaviors, experiences, triggers, emotions, feelings, body sensations, etc. From this place, you are able to 'remember' the causation factors and change the way they are interpreted or responded to creating a desired effect. It is my belief that the subconscious mind functions solely for the benefit of the human being, so that any request directly made of it (in a way it understands), as long as it is for the ultimate good/betterment of the person's mind/body/soul path will be honored and carried out from that point forward. Hence the power of hypnosis and a skilled facilitator in helping you make desired changes.
What is the Subconscious Mind?
Your subconscious mind can be thought of like the hard drive of a computer. Among other things, it is a place where memories are stored, the part that holds the “programs” that we function by every day. Some of these programs are useful, like knowing knowing that fire is hot and best not touched while others not so much, like holding on to that time a teacher may have said that you couldn't learn anything, or our well-intentioned minister who told us (probably when you were in a trance-like state on the back pew) that “money is the root of all evil”. The subconscious remembers everything. It is in a state of hypnosis where we can much more easily work with those programs we'd like to eliminate or add some we prefer.
What is Self- Hypnosis?
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Sometimes the desired state is facilitated by a professional, however the desired state can be achieved alone, on-demand so to speak. This is what most people refer to as “self-hypnosis”. This type is induced either by remembering an induction assisted by a professional, using a prepared “script” or, preferably, by recording it and listening to it as desired.
The 'quality' of self-hypnosis is sometimes not as good as that induced by a facilitator, but hypnosis comes from within you - it has as much to do with you as it does the facilitator, though since everyone is different, a good facilitator has a variety of methods available and can choose one that will best help you focus.
Self-hypnosis is absolutely safe and you can exit the state whenever you want to - it is impossible to get stuck in any way. You can even set your own 'inner timer' first, so that you simply decide that you want to finish the session after, say, 30 minutes. Try it!
What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?
Actually, it doesn't. For the vast majority of people there is actually no such thing as a 'hypnotized feeling' - the vast majority of people would insist afterwards that they had not even been hypnotized. After a few sessions, though, most people start to become aware of how the state feels to them. During live sessions I usually help the person 'know' that they have arrived at the desired state as I find from experience this 'knowledge' speeds the process toward the desired change. It also prevents the possibility that a person talks themselves out of the effected change by convincing themselves after the session that they were not really in hypnosis, the mind and our beliefs (real or perceived) are very powerful. Common Sensations include: feeling excessively heavy/light; arms and legs may feel more limp/rigid; sensations of floating; feeling of being very small/big; time distortion is nearly universal (50 min may feel like 20 min or even a flash).
Common Myths About Hypnosis?
Common hypnosis myths, most came from our love o the silver screen:
- Is the Svengali Effect Real? (Can you make anybody do things they don't want to? Can it be used to control people?) In short, no. Even the best facilitator cannot cause anyone to do anything that is outside of their own moral or ethical code. Can a bank robber make use or a hypnotic suggestion to rob a bank, yes. He would be “improving” his skills – performance enhancement. Can someone who could not rob a bank be made to rob a bank – absolutely not. This is often referred to at the “Svengali Effect”. This myth originated in the book “Svengali's Web” published in 1894. Svengali was a mythical and evil hypnotist so exciting that it was made into a movie in 1927, 1931 and again in 1954. It was obviously a good read, get one of your own if you like, or even check out the movie.
There have been many, many books and films over the years using the evil hypnotist as the backdrop to mind control and mayhem. It's just too tempting to resist. We definitely enjoy a good evil fantasy.
Here are a list of movies that include hypnotism, but remember 'its the movies'!
- The Great Hypnotist (2014)
- Oldboy (2003)
- The Manchurian Candidate (1962, 2004)
- Patient Killer (2015)
- Office Space (1999)
- Stir of Echoes (1999)
- Trance (2013)
- Chaotic Ana (2007)
- Dead Again (1991)
- Hypnotized (2004)
- The Seventh Veil (1945)
- The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)
- Junglebook (1967, 2016)
- The list is nearly endless....
- Only the Weak Mind can be hypnotized. This is a very common misconception. I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone say that 'my mind is too strong to be hypnotized'. It makes me chuckle. If you have read the other FAQs, you probably realize that hypnosis is a state of heightened focus and concentration, therefore the person who lacks the ability to focus or concentrate well are more likely to have a difficult time being hypnotized. Quite the opposite of this common myth.
Can People Be Made to Forget Things, like Suggestions or the Session Itself?
You cannot actually 'make' anybody do anything in hypnosis. Hypnosis gives nobody any power over the person who is hypnotized. Theoretically, you could suggest to a hypnotized person that they would forget the content of the session. But it is not reliable, by any means, and it is most unlikely that you could create a lasting and total amnesia, and certainly not of the session itself.
Can Anybody Be Hypnotized?
Yes, anyone can be hypnotized with a few rather obvious exceptions. Exceptions may be: those who are mentally impaired or suffering from severe senility, sustained drug addicts or under the influence of large amounts of alcohol.
Will I Hear Everything?
Yes, to the extent that you are capable of hearing in every day activities, you will hear during hypnosis. You may even hear better!
Will I Be Unconscious or Unaware?
No, you are actually more aware (unless you fall asleep, it is very relaxing!). Think of it this way: occasionally we have all been driving and suddenly realized we are further down the road than we thought, maybe even all the way home already. Your critical mind checked out for a while. You were in a quasi-state of hypnosis. You were in fact totally aware and functioning, hyper-aware you might say. You arrived home safely even though you don't consciously recall getting there. During hypnosis, your subconscious mind has taken over for your typically-used critically thinking mind. See 'What is the Subconscious Mind?'
Is There Anyone Who Should Not Be Hypnotized?
As with all self-improvement, some tools are more useful and recommended for some people than others and for some situation over others. This is the benefit of a skilled facilitator. Everyone spends time in this state at various points every day, so there is nothing inherently adverse about the state to anyone. This being said however, there have been certain people and/or situations for which I would recommended against hypnosis. These cases are not generally for safety reasons, but because I believed the person would have better results from another approach.
Can You Get 'Stuck' in Hypnosis?
No, you definitely cannot! If you were hypnotized and the facilitator just walked away and left you, you would simply bring yourself out of the state whenever you wanted to.
Is Hypnosis Dangerous in Any Way?
Not at all. There are some circumstances that would be undesirable with an untrained or poorly-trained facilitator, but nothing serious could happen, in any case. Hypnosis should obviously never be used while operating a vehicle or machinery.
How does hypnotherapy differ from stage hypnosis?
The hypnosis is the same, though many believe it is not. But it is the 'therapy' part that is different. The stage hypnotist is attempting to entertain an audience, so participants are being selected who will “perform” on stage (and yes, you can tell in advance!). The hypnotherapist on the other hand is using a tool improve the quality of someone's life.
How Long Do the Effects (Cure) Last?
It depends on how much subconscious change was brought about in the first place. If a change has been made to a flawed fundamental belief system, then the cure will be permanent and last for a life-time. If only superficial changes have been made, then it might be only a few days or weeks. This is why direct suggestion therapy sometimes fails miserably. The best therapy is where the/an underlying cause has been resolved before or in conjunction with any suggestion work.
What is Direct Suggestion Therapy?
The therapist simply tells the client, in the state of hypnosis, that whatever it is they want to do they will now be able to. Or whatever it is that they want to stop doing, they now can. It can be effective with simple problems like smoking, nail-biting, confidence for an exam/test, etc. But generally, it is best to tackle the underlying cause of the difficulty first.
Is Hypnosis Successful with Real Phobias?
Usually immensely so, if the right sort of therapy is employed.
Does it always work?
No more than any approach to mental or physical self-improvement. Does psycho-therapy, physical therapy, orthodox or complimentary medicine work every time? No, and neither does hypnosis. A responsible therapist will soon detect when it is not going to and discharge that client so that they may seek the help they need elsewhere. Another hypnotherapist might produce the desired result where the first one could not, because of the different client/therapist 'mix'.
How Long Does it Take to Produce Results?
It depends on far too many factors to make a bald statement about this. It can be as few as one session for a simple problem, or as many as... well, that depends on the ethics and skills of the therapist involved. A responsible, properly trained, therapist will not keep a client in therapy longer than necessary.
Do You Really Go Into a Trance?
If so, how deep? Are you in any way unconscious? I don't actually like the word 'trance', because it is easily misunderstood; it is in common use, however, and a hypnotized individual is, technically, in a trance. But you are not aware of this trance state, any more than you are aware of it when you intently watch something on TV or immerse yourself in a book or newspaper to the point where you don't hear someone calling you. These are both trance states in which you are aware of the object of interest only, and it is almost identical to the hypnotic 'trance'. It is MOST DEFINITELY NOT the trance you see on films and TV sometimes where somebody is staring glassy-eyed with no idea of where they are or what they are doing. The depth of trance varies from one individual to another and it is often considered to be relatively unimportant from a therapy point of view. You are not unconscious in any way - unless you go to sleep, which is not unknown! Then, you would simply awake when asked to by the facilitator.
Can Someone's Mind be Too Strong?
No. The stronger the mind the better the ability to focus and concentrate, which makes the hypnotized state easier to achieve. The statement 'My mind is too strong to be hypnotized' is usually based on fear and the individuals who say this are often the best subjects of all! It is not difficult to resist being hypnotized and needs no specific strength of mind at all. It is getting into hypnosis that takes the mental work!
Can Anybody Learn Hypnosis or is It a 'Gift'?
Forget those stories or articles where it is stated that somebody has the 'gift' of hypnosis! Yes, some people are better at it than others, just as in any other skill. It is learning what to do with someone once they are hypnotized that takes the time and training, learning how to deal with different personality types, learning how to discover what really ails an individual (sometimes different entirely to what they say or believe their problem to be), learning how to decide on the right approach, and learning how to terminate therapy responsibly when it becomes obvious that in any one case it is not going to produce the desired result.
What is 'Past Life Regression' Therapy?
Theoretically, a look back to a lifetime experienced earlier in history - this can be thousands of years earlier, or maybe only a short while back, just before the current life span began. Many have found therapeutic value in such experiences in that they may account for certain psychological difficulties in the current life, even physical afflictions. There has always been the possibility of the experience being nothing more than the recall of a long-forgotten memory from childhood in THIS life. Whatever your belief or experience with such matters, if during a past life regression session something is addressed that assists you in resolving an issue you are currently having, the reality of the actual past life is irrelevant. It was useful.