Hypnosis guides you into a state of calm relaxation. This helps you to focus, to suspend your conscious critical mind, and to be more open to suggestions.
You can experience hypnosis either by visiting a hypnotist, or through a hypnosis recording. Hypnosis recordings are often available as MP3 audio downloads that can be played on just about any device. The recording is designed to do the same job as a hypnotist, taking you through the hypnotic process with a specially designed script. In either case, you’ll be brought to a point where your mind is calm, and you’re open to suggestions.
People might fear hypnosis because they don’t really understand it. They wonder if they’ll go into a trance from which they won’t be able to wake up, or if the hypnotherapist will implant some wicked command in their mind as part of an evil scheme. But neither of these things could ever happen to anyone.
Understanding the nature of hypnosis might alleviate your worry, and help you take advantage of a powerful, non-invasive therapy. First, let’s look at come common misconceptions and debunk them.
Hollywood has been both friend and foe to hypnosis. While movies and Hollywood portrayals do help raise awareness and public consciousness about hypnosis, in reality, hypnosis is nothing like what you see in the movies. Swinging a pocket watch and chanting “You are getting sleepy” is not really effective.
You won’t become a puppet of some evil mind control because you won’t ever lose control of your mind during hypnosis. A hypnotherapist cannot take over your thought processes, and force you to do something against your will. That’s Hollywood’s creative license, but it is impossible real life.
You won’t get stuck in a trance-like state, even if something goes wrong, like if a recording skips, or repeats itself. Ever see the movie Office Space? Great movie, so you should definitely watch it. The main character, Peter, visits a hypnotist, but the hypnotist has a heart attack and dies, so Peter gets stuck in a hypnotic trance. Hilarity ensues. You can’t get stuck in hypnosis like that. When your subconscious mind has had enough, you’ll either drift off to sleep, or wake up.
People develop these misconceptions for lots of different reasons, but the truth is that you can’t be hypnotized in the horror movie sense. You must want to be hypnotized and to make changes in your life. There isn’t a person on earth who can force you. Hypnosis is a collaborative process, so in a sense, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a Collaborative Process
Hypnosis is a collaboration between the hypnotist and the the person being hypnotized. I view the hypnotist as a guide or teacher who helps their client learn how to access resourceful states.
Essentially, the hypnotist teaches their client how to relax and focus. They then, directly or indirectly, make suggestions that help the client achieve a particular goal such as reducing anxiety, or making healthier lifestyle choices.
When you allow yourself to be hypnotized, your mind is relaxed. This makes it easier for you to accept suggestions and imagine possibilities. However, you remain in control.
After even one hypnosis session, you’ll learn how to relax your mind. This means that, in the future, you can enter a hypnotic resource state any time you choose.
Hypnosis is Natural
I hear some people say they can’t be hypnotized. I don’t believe them, and neither should you. It’s more likely they don’t want to be hypnotized. What these people don’t realize is that they already experience hypnosis, sometimes several times, throughout their day.
If you drive, perhaps you’ve experienced getting home and having no clear memory of journey. This is a common experience known as “Highway Hypnosis.” If you’ve ever daydreamed or “zoned out,” or been caught up while reading a book, or while watching a movie, that’s exactly what hypnosis is like. During hypnosis, the hypnotist simply helps you achieve this creative, daydreaming state on purpose.
In hypnosis, you lose yourself in what you’re doing. You shut out external stimuli and hyper-focus your attention to a single thought. This switches off your logical, conscious mind, and that’s when you are most susceptible to suggestions.
Hypnosis in Medicine
Hypnosis is being used increasingly to treat a wide range of conditions. Apart from its well-known benefits to help people quit smoking, lose weight, ease anxiety, gain confidence, etc., the practice is gaining wider acceptance in the treatment of illness and disease.
One of the earliest medical applications of hypnosis that I know of, is the use of hypnosis as anesthesia in battlefield surgery. In the mid-1800s “James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon, utilized hypnosis (then known as “Mesmerism”) in hospitals in India, and performed 261 painless surgeries using hypnosis.”
Today, doctors are rediscovering hypnosis as a viable alternative to chemical anesthesia, and for a variety of other medical conditions. It appears that most physical and mental conditions can be improved with hypnosis.
The body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of hypnosis is large and growing. Hop onto Google Scholar, and search hypnotherapy or hypnosis, and you might be blown away by the variety of ailments hypnosis has been proven to help.
Aside from documented lifestyle and psychological applications for hypnosis, the physical, medical applications are growing in number all the time. They include, among other things, the treatment of:
- Chronic pain/pain management
- Pain during labor
- Cystic fibrosis
- Headaches and migraines
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Warts and psoriasis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- High blood pressure
Considering the potential for hypnosis to help manage pain, break bad habits, reduce anxiety, and generally improve your quality of life, you should want to give it a try. Please be sure to consult a certified hypnotist.
Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy?
Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are words that describe the same process. Namely, entering the resourceful, relaxed and focused trance state described above. The hypnotist or hypnotherapist will follow the exact same process. The key difference in my mind is the hypnosists’ qualifications apart from hypnosis.
If you see a hypnotist who is also a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist or some other form of medical doctor, then I would consider your treatment hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is distinguished by its incorporation into a larger therapeutic plan. There are some legal differences as well.
I’m a certified hypnotist, but I’m not a doctor. I would not be permitted to practice hypnosis as an anastetic, or to treat serious psychiatric or medical disorders.
I provide hypnosis services, not hypnotherapy. They’re almost the same thing, but not quite. Does that make sense?
Will Hypnosis Work for You?
Hypnosis is more effective when you open your mind to possibilities. People who approach hypnosis with an open mind are proven to respond better than those who are skeptical. Some statistics regarding a person’s ability to be hypnotized:
- Only 10 per cent of adults are difficult to hypnotize
- Children are more susceptible to hypnosis than adults as a rule
- The more vivid your imagination, the easier it is for you to enter a hypnotic state
- Positive thinkers tend to be more receptive to hypnosis
- Educated people are typically easier to hypnotize
If there’s an issue in your life you need to resolve, mental or physical, hypnosis might be a good solution. You can find a qualified hypnotist in virtually any city these days. You might instead prefer to tackle the problem in the privacy and comfort of your own home using hypnosis MP3s. Either way, hypnosis could turn out to be your new best friend.
Visit Hypnosis Live to download a free recording. Pro tip: if you wait 1 week, you can put your email in again, and download another hypnosis recording.
I’ve purchased and used multiple recordings from this site, and I freakin’ love the hypnosis bootcamps. Hypnosis has certainly helped me, so I encourage you to try it out.