Frequently asked questions about hypnosis
What is Hypnosis and what can it do for me?
Our Unique Approach
Thousands of people have found hypnosis to be an effective way to stop smoking, lose weight, dispel phobias and otherwise improve their lives. Of course, there are varying degrees of success with hypnosis because much depends upon the skill, experience and general competence of the individual hypnotherapist – as well as the techniques being used by them.
The beauty of our unique approach is that we use the best of traditional hypnotherapy techniques and combine them with the science of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which takes hypnosis to an even greater level of effectiveness.
Nothing to Fear Everything to Gain
Hypnosis is possibly as old as mankind. The old myths and misconceptions about hypnosis have given way to proven, scientifically sound applications. Today, the use of hypnosis is seen in a variety of fields, including medicine, dentistry, law enforcement, professional sports and education.
Most people have a limited understanding of the positive results that can be achieved in a professionally controlled hypnosis session. We would like to dispel some of the myths and answer the most frequently asked questions about hypnosis.
People will, many times, express doubts or fears when the subject of Hypnosis comes up. They will often ask whether you can make them bark like a dog or commit a crime. The answer, of course, is a resounding "No!"
Hypnosis is a way of getting in touch with our inner resources. It's a way of connecting to our utmost abilities and our highest potential. Hypnosis helps us be us more fully.
People often ask if hypnosis really works. I tell them that it's not a panacea, it won't cure everything. I do say however, that every situation can benefit from hypnosis. Think about it. What situation wouldn't be helped by having all your inner resources aimed toward achieving your goal?
Another way of explaining hypnosis is that hypnosis can help get your conscious and unconscious minds in rapport. Rapport is a word meaning agreement or a feeling of connection. Have you ever decided to do something then not followed through (such as an exercise program or diet)? When part of you wants to do something but another part of you objects, you are not fully in rapport with yourself. Hypnosis is a way to get those parts of you "on the same page."
There are few things that can interfere with hypnotizing someone. Fear of hypnosis, a lack of belief that hypnosis is real, or a belief that a particular person can't be hypnotized can interfere. Misconceptions about hypnosis can lead a person to believe they weren't hypnotized, even if they were.
It's important, if you want to be successful, to allow me to address these issues before you begin a hypnotic session. This is called the pre-induction talk. We will cover all these points during the first part of your session.
- Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state; we are all in trance many times each day. The trance will feel very familiar to you.
- The hypnotist does not control the subject.
- Hypnosis can't make you do anything against your will.
- Hypnosis is a state of increased awareness, not decreased.
- You will probably feel awake and be able to hear everything that is said.
- Hypnosis taps the power of the subconscious mind.
- You can go into a trance sitting down, standing up, lying down, with eyes open with eyes closed etc.
So, in the next few minutes as you read this information you'll learn how hypnosis can help you tap the powers of your inner mind. We'll remove common myths and misconceptions about hypnosis and explore some of its many uses.
First of all, let's dispel some of the common myths about hypnosis, correct some inaccuracies and learn the truth about this amazing state of mind.
My friend clucked like a chicken on stage. What's the deal with that?
Many people get their ideas about hypnosis from television, books or motion pictures. While the plot lines of these entertainment vehicles make for good stories, they are often inaccurate.
Many misconceptions about hypnosis are due to the fact that the term "sleep" is often used when discussing hypnosis. Hypnosis is not sleep but because many times, people experiencing hypnosis are very, very relaxed, it may outwardly appear like sleep. One difference is - in a hypnotic state - you can think clearly.
And did you know while in hypnosis, your morals and ethics remain intact? In other words, you won't do anything against your will. You can reject or accept suggestions - it's your decision. Scientific experiments have proven that, if someone were to give you suggestions that you disagreed with, you would simply reject them.
Some ill-informed people think it's possible to become stuck in trance. In fact, if someone hypnotized you and then decided to take a trip to Tahiti, in the middle of a trance, you would simply continue to relax for a few moments and then choose to emerge when you felt like it. In hundreds of years of hypnosis this has always been the case.
Because hypnosis is not truth serum, people can lie while experiencing hypnosis. In hypnosis, the psychological "Law of Self-Preservation" is in effect. You can control what you choose to say. So while in a hypnotic trance you won't "spill the beans" or tell your secrets.
Some people believe that in order to be hypnotized you must have a weak mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because hypnosis is not a contest of willpower, a highly intelligent, strong-willed and imaginative person can make a great hypnotic subject.
Many people think that in order to experience hypnosis, they must become unconscious. This is probably the most common misconception about hypnosis. In hypnosis, you are aware and can hear clearly, in fact, hypnosis is a state of increased awareness. In a trance state your hearing may be sharper, you may feel subtler sensations and your imagination and memory are enhanced.
Can I be hypnotized?
Hypnosis is a natural state, in fact; we are in hypnosis many times each day. We pass through hypnosis on our way to sleep and when we wake up each morning. Recent studies of ultradian rhythms, these are bio-rhythms that are less than one day long, conclude that every 90 to 120 minutes we pass into a state physiologically identical to hypnosis. So when people ask; "Can I be hypnotized?", the answer is:
"You already are."
Here are some other times in which people experience hypnosis naturally. If you've ever woken up, feeling very relaxed but not needing to be anywhere and thought something like "Maybe I'll get up and brush my teeth," but your body is too relaxed to move, you've been experiencing hypnosis. Becoming absorbed in a good book or movie is experiencing hypnosis. Driving on long trips on automatic pilot is known as highway hypnosis or white line fever. Becoming bored or allowing your mind to drift away leads to hypnosis. Becoming extremely engaged in something and allowing your mind to focus means that you are experiencing hypnosis. Because of the rhythmic sounds and swaying, riding on the train is often a highly hypnotic experience.
Hypnosis is a state in which you can think clearly and your imagination is active. It's a state where you could move if you wanted to or if there were an emergency but you would rather just remain delightfully relaxed. It's a state in which beneficial ideas can more quickly and easily gain access to the inner mind. And because we all experience trance each day, we can understand just how safe it is.
What exactly is Hypnosis?
We all have a conscious mind, and what some people call either a subconscious or an unconscious mind. Hypnosis deals with your subconscious mind which, for the sake of clarity, I'll call the inner mind.
Your conscious mind is responsible for logical, analytical, linear thinking.
Though our belief systems and behaviours reside in the inner mind, the conscious mind is responsible for guarding them. So, when someone tells you something that you think is not true, your conscious mind may reject the idea or suggestion.
Your inner mind is more symbolic and holistic in nature. Emotions are the domain of your inner mind as are perceptions, habits, beliefs and automatic bodily functions such as breathing and digestion.
Often times we learn something consciously, then the inner mind takes over that learned behaviour. So behaviours that we once learned step-by-step, like tying our shoes, are now second nature or automatic, subconscious behaviour. These are things we've learned to do so well we don't have to think too much about them. Habits are another example of this automatic behaviour.
And what about ideas that our conscious mind accepts? Once an idea is accepted by the conscious mind it can pass through to the inner mind. Once accepted by the inner mind, the mind behaves as if it is true. If the conscious mind is willing to play along, is not paying attention, is in shock or is not yet fully formed (as in the case of a child) new ideas can establish themselves in the inner mind. This is why it is so important to be positive with children.
So, in order to get new, beneficial ideas to be accepted by the inner mind, we must relax the conscious mind and communicate directly with the inner mind. If this idea is accepted by the inner mind, the whole mind is focused and tuned in to making that idea true.
Since the inner mind runs the body, our perceptions and emotions, as well as habits, it can line up all those resources to make things happen. Deep in your mind, changes can take place that allow you feel different emotions, have different habits, learn things quickly and respond with a more thoroughly resourceful physiology.
In hypnosis, we temporarily relax the conscious mind and gain access to the powerful inner mind. In this beneficial, relaxed state, we can more easily get positive ideas across to the most powerful parts of our minds.
So one definition of hypnosis is this; Hypnosis is a temporary relaxing of the conscious mind allowing positive and beneficial ideas to become accepted by the inner mind. When these ideas are presented with sufficient skill and connected to an individual’s motivations they become powerful permanent allies for healing, personal development or habit control.
Some prominent hypnosis scholars take the position that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. In other words, the person hypnotizing you is merely your guide, showing you how to achieve hypnosis. Another way of putting this is - you must agree to be hypnotized.
What does hypnosis feel like?
People describe the experience of hypnosis as highly pleasurable and often comment upon emerging that they feel like they've had a refreshing nap. You might feel any number of sensations while in trance.
Most people's muscles grow loose and relaxed. Many report pleasant feelings. Often the breathing grows deeper and slower as a result of increased relaxation. Feelings of warmth or tingling are common. Often people report an increased ability to visualize; much like daydreaming. Some people's perception of time is altered - the trance state may seem much longer or shorter in duration than it actually is.
While some continue to listen to the words of the hypnotist, others report that the mind drifts away to some pleasant memory or imagined scene. Because the conscious mind may drift away, some report only a general sense of what was said in the trance- just like seeing a movie but not perfectly remembering every scene. Each individual’s experience of trance is unique.
What can hypnosis be used for?
In the hands of qualified and skilled person hypnosis can be a valuable ally for healing, self-improvement, pain management, habit control and much, much more...
1892 The British Medical Association (BMA) commissioned a committee to investigate hypnosis. Their report, published in the British Medical Journal, stated that they “satisfied themselves of the genuineness of the hypnotic state” and recognized that hypnotism is “frequently effective in relieving pain, procuring sleep, and alleviating many functional ailments.”
1955 A BMA subcommittee issued a report in the British Medical Journal endorsing the 1892 report and stating that hypnosis is a effective in treating psychosomatic disorders, revealing unrecognized motives and conflicts, removing symptoms, changing morbid thoughts and behaviours, and alleviating pain. The report also recommended that medical students be introduced to hypnosis as part of standard psychiatric training, and that specialists in psychology should receive instruction in hypnotism.
1958 The American Medical Association (AMA) approved a study by its Council on Mental Health, which recognized hypnotherapy as an orthodox medical treatment (as opposed to an “alternative” or “complementary” treatment). The AMA committee stated their agreement with the report of the BMA, and it recommended that instruction in hypnosis be included in the curricula of medical schools and postgraduate training centres. [In 1987 the AMA rescinded almost all policies from 1881–1958. As a result of that decision the AMA now has no official position on the use of hypnosis.]
1960 The American Psychological Association endorsed hypnosis as a branch of psychology (it should be understood that the practice of psychology emerged from the field of hypnosis)
1961 The AMA Council on Mental Health recommended that medical students should receive 144 hours of training in hypnosis over a 9- to 12-month period at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
1978 The Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) formed a section for “Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine”.
1983 The RSM approved a diploma level training course of hypnotherapy.
1984 The RSM commissioned a report entitled “Symposium on Psychological Influences and Illness: Hypnosis and Medicine.”
1986 The BMA emphasized that hypnotherapy is “part of orthodox medical treatment.”
1995 The United States’ National Institute of Health (NIH) issued an extensive report, which concluded that hypnosis is effective in alleviating chronic pain associated with cancer and other conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and tension headaches.
2000 BMA stated to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology that “Hypnotherapy and counselling may be considered as orthodox treatments.”
2001 The British Psychological Society commissioned a group of psychologists to publish a report on The Nature of Hypnosis, which reported that hypnosis is a proven therapeutic medium. The report stated that “hypnotic procedures may be beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy.”
2005 The American Psychological Association published a formal definition of hypnosis.
- Kroger, W. (1977). Clinical and experimental hypnosis in medicine, dentistry, and psychology (2d ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott.
- Robertson, D. (2000-2006). The Medical & Scientific Approval of Hypnotherapy. Retrieved November 30, 2015, from http://www.rebhp.org/articles/Hypnosis-Medical-Scientific-Article.pdf
Though many people are familiar with the success of hypnosis in smoking cessation and weight loss, most are unaware of its powerful uses as an anaesthetic and to speed healing.
Hypnosis has long been used to help people suffering from trauma and to overcome roadblocks originating from past experiences.
Hypnosis has been used by law enforcement to help witnesses increase recall.
Hypnosis can be used to overcome anxieties, fear and phobias.
Hypnosis is a powerful tool for performance enhancement and goal setting.
The hypnotic state is a great stress buster.
Every situation can benefit from having the powerful inner mind on your side.
I hope you now better understand how hypnosis can help to improve your life.
You've learned that in trance you can hear clearly and your morals are intact.
You've learned that no one has ever gotten stuck in trance.
You've learned that having a strong mind can actually help you to enter hypnosis easily.
You've learned just how safe and natural hypnosis is.
Perhaps now you're feeling more comfortable about experiencing hypnosis. If you are about to be hypnotized and you have any further questions, feel free to ask the person who's hypnotizing you.
Ok, I'm convinced. What do I do now?
Simply contact us now to make a positive change in your life.
So far as the physical level of experience is concerned, there is not much difference between ourselves and other animal species. Animals, too, have the capacity to feel both pain and well being. But what perhaps distinguishes us human beings from other forms of life is that we have far more powerful mental experiences in the form of thoughts and emotions. His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
"Quick. Pull my finger." Jack Harrison (Phil's late brother)
I can understand how my own mind and actions can affect my own causes and conditions. Can they also affect world conditions like hunger, poverty, and other great sufferings of beings everywhere? How? His Holiness the Dalai Lama