Good question. A friend introduced me to it when I wanted to lose weight, and I found it an easy, effective way to work toward the goal I have set for myself. As I began to study hypnosis and the various techniques that are used, I became interested enough to seek professional training. Once I began my training, I found that hypnosis and hypnotherapy, while not necessarily miracle cures, can work wonders when someone wants to make a change.
More Information and Answers to Questions
Many people have misconceptions about hypnosis. They may think it is a mystical experience, and for them, it may well be. Other people may believe it is the work of the devil, because they have been told as much. Not so! You are in various forms of hypnosis every day of your life, but may not recognize it as such.
Have you ever been driving on the interstate and arrive at your destination and been suprised at how fast you got there? You may have been tranced by the ride. (Your subconscious mind does most of your driving, by the way.) Or, have you ever been caught up in a movie or television show, and became a bit emotional? It is just an illusion, 24 frames per second. But you are focused intently on the show, and drawn into it. That's also a form of trance. Then there is the person whom you might greet, and who says, "Are you feeling ok? You don't look like you are feeling well." You may have felt fine up to that point, but did you start to feel less well? Negative hypnotic suggestions.
The following questions and answers may help you better understand hypnosis and how it can benefit you.
How Long Has Hypnotism Been Used?
From the beginning of recorded history, such as in ancient Egypt, hypnotism has been used across all cultures under a variety of names and guises to effect healing and change. In the 19th century, hypnosis emerged as a science, becoming the first western form of mental therapy. Hypnosis was integral to the work and thought of Sigmund Freud, James Braid, Milton Erickson and many other leaders in the history of western psychology and medicine.
Does Suggestibility mean Gullibility?
Suggestibility is not gullibility. It is the measure of intensity with which the brain and nervous system accept and respond to incoming ideas. In hypnosis, both body and mind are more suggestible.
Is Hypnosis approved by the Medical Community?
Yes, in 1955 the British Medical Association approved the use of hypnotherapy and the American Medical Association followed suit in 1958. Physicians, dentists, and psychologists have referred many of their patients to hypnotherapists for "prescription" hypnosis. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is just one medical condition that can be treated with hypnotherapy, with a doctor’s referral.
Can Hypnosis Substitute for Doctor Visits?
No! While hypnosis is safe and often recommended to help resolve many types of problems, it is never meant to substitute for standard health care, but to supplement it. For example, hypnosis can be highly effective in pain management, but pain is often a signal that something is wrong. A medical examination is necessary to determine the cause of the pain, not using hypnosis to mask it.
Do you lose control when you are hypnotized?
No, absolutely not. In hypnosis you can't be made to say or do anything against your will. However, if you have a sincere desire to change, your subconscious motivations can be activated and enhanced to support rather than hinder your goals.
Can hypnosis be used as a truth serum?
No. People do not say things in hypnosis they do not want to say. If a person would lie in a waking state, they could like while in hypnosis. A part of the hypnotized person's mind is always in contact with reality. When confronted with an embarrassing or uncomfortable question, the client will either not answer the question or come out of hypnosis.
Can a person get "stuck" in hypnosis?
No. It is impossible to get stuck in hypnosis. A person can come out of hypnosis any time they desire to.
Does hypnotherapy work with children?
Yes. Children ages six and over have the ability to focus, and generally make excellent candidates for hypnosis. Hypnotherapy can be used safely and effectively with many childhood problems including bed wetting, sleepwalking, fears, school, and study problems, pain control, tics and nervous habits.
If my mind occasionally wanders during hypnosis, will it affect the results?
No. Even if your mind drifts and wanders occasionally during hypnosis, it is only your conscious mind that is wandering. Your subconscious mind takes in, understands and can accept the suggestions of the hypnotist.
Do I have to be deep for hypnosis to work?
No. Usually a light to medium stage is more than sufficient for many purposes, but deeper trance is usually used for analytical or regressive work. The vast majority of all people can achieve levels of hypnosis needed to benefit from its use.
How can I tell that I'm hypnotized?
The hypnotherapist knows because he or she has been trained to recognize a person who is hypnotized. Initially, be content to simply feel pleasantly relaxed. You may not be consciously aware of the changes that take place when you go into hypnosis at first. Please do not bother yourself with whether or not you are hypnotized. If you follow your hypnotherapist's simple instructions, you'll achieve the desired results.
Will I remember the hypnotic session?
Yes. Some of the time you may remember, the remaining time you may experience amnesia either spontaneously or in response to a suggestion to do so. Amnesia is a natural phenomenon of hypnosis and it is a sign of a deep hypnotic state. No matter how little or how much you consciously forget, your results will be equally beneficial.
I don't have any willpower. Will hypnosis work for me?
Hypnosis can help you achieve results even if you think you don't think you have any willpower. If you were able to use willpower alone, you wouldn't need the hypnosis. Most people consciously accept the need for change. However, their subconscious mind continues the habits and ways despite their best conscious efforts to change. Hypnosis is a way to access the subconscious mind to determine the cause of the negative behavior, resolve it, and then begin to make the desired change. As a result, the need for conscious willpower is greatly reduced or eliminated entirely. You allow yourself to change naturally and easily without struggling with willpower.
How many sessions are necessary? Will just one or two sessions work?
The number of sessions needed depends on several factors and only an analysis of your problem or goal can best determine this. You are never asked to sign a contract for a specific number of sessions. What do you hope to achieve with hypnosis? How long have you had the problem? Different people improve at different rates. While it may only take one or two sessions, or perhaps more, we will go with the number of sessions that feel right for you. Hypnosis is not a magic wand, but it is a good way to make lasting positive changes.
Hypnosis is a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Remember, to achieve a successful hypnotic trance state, the hypnotherapist needs your cooperation, as all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. All the hypnotherapist does is guide you into it. Your cooperation is what makes hypnosis work.