What is Hypnosis?
If you have ever been so absorbed in a book or a movie that you forgot all about the time or you have experienced what it’s like to be ‘lost’ in a daydream then you know what hypnosis feels like. It is a natural state of mind. A state of relaxed, concentrated attention on a specific idea or thought. When we use this state of mind to improve our health and well being we call it clinical hypnosis or hypnotherapy.
When you think about what you are doing, make plans, solve problems and make judgements you are using your conscious mind. It is like using the manual controls. However there are times when you don’t have to think about something to do it. As you are reading you do not have to think “now I am reading”! The part of your mind that makes this happen is called the unconscious mind. The name is misleading because it is definitely not asleep! This part of your mind also controls automatic functions of the body like heart rate and breathing. It contains a record of everything that has happened to you, everything you have learnt, your habits, feelings, attitudes and beliefs. The capacity of the conscious mind is very small compared to the large powerhouse storage and information handling capabilities of the unconscious mind. It works like an autopilot controlling how you react to the world and also how your body works.
We are on autopilot using the unconscious mind 90-95% of the time. That is why it is so difficult to keep all those New Year’s resolutions!
Hypnosis allows you to reach the unconscious mind to begin a process of change that is of benefit to you.
Hypnosis is not sleep. Although words such as ‘sleep’ and ‘trance’ have been associated with hypnosis you are actually more alert and focused yet relaxed. You will hear everything and can talk, laugh or cry if you want to.
Hypnosis does not make you forget. You will remember what is important for you to remember.
Being hypnotised does not mean that you have no will power or have a weak mind. You are never under the control of the hypnotherapist. In fact, hypnosis teaches you ways to get more control over your symptoms. The hypnotherapist acts like a guide showing you the way but the journey is yours. Your willingness and co-operation in the process will allow you to achieve the maximum benefit of the therapy.
You will never say or do anything that you do not want to. Clinical hypnosis is nothing like stage hypnosis!
Memories retrieved during hypnosis are not always true but may be important to therapy.
After going into hypnosis you will always ‘wake up’ and be completely orientated to your surroundings.
You can never be hypnotised against your will. It is said that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis!