Like many people, you may have questions about hypnosis and what hypnotherapy may entail. You may be wondering; is it real, and if so, is it beneficial? And most importantly, is it safe?
Let’s take a closer look at these questions so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this method of treatment is right for your needs.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis has been around for a very long time. It’s been used by magicians and performers for centuries, and it’s also been used as a therapeutic treatment by psychologists and doctors for just about as long. In fact, hypnosis was first proposed as an alternative to surgery in 1843!
With that being said though, hypnosis is an often misunderstood phenomenon. The misconception about hypnosis most commonly found in Hollywood films involves someone being “ordered around” like an automaton by another person who has somehow acquired magical powers through this mysterious art form called “mind control”. Stage hypnosis, which is used for the purpose of entertainment and laughs, is completely different from hypnotherapy, which is a safe and highly effective method in the treatment of a medical or psychological disorder or area of concern.
The truth about hypnosis is that although you are in a totally relaxed state, you are still fully in control.
In fact, would you believe me if I told you that you enter into a state of hypnosis almost every day? Think back to a time when you have driven somewhere, only to realize upon arrival that you can barely remember the drive there because you were so lost in thought, or when you are so engrossed in a book or a task, that everything around you completely ‘disappears’.
This altered state of awareness in which you appear to be in a trance is a form of hypnosis. In other words, hypnosis is simply a very pleasant and natural state of relaxation in which your cognitive senses are heightened and your mind is sharper. You are able to think clearer and experience heightened focus and concentration making you more open to learning.
What is hypnotherapy?
While hypnosis may seem like a magical process, hypnosis during hypnotherapy is actually more like cognitive behavioral therapy through guided relaxation.
In other words, hypnotherapy is a very real and highly effective treatment with many potential benefits. For example, it is used as a means to treat patients who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and even PTSD. It is also a very popular method to aid people in weight loss or to stop bad habits, such as smoking or overeating. Furthermore, it is a means by which patients may experience relaxation or pain relief from chronic conditions such as IBS, headaches, or back pain, without the side effects of medication.
Hypnotherapy is a safe treatment, and while the vast majority of people who undergo hypnosis experience no adverse effects, it is always a good idea to let your practitioner know if you have any health conditions or medication that could influence the treatment.
What to expect during a hypnotherapy session?
During a hypnotherapy session, there will be a preliminary coaching discussion with the hypnotherapist to identify what the client wants to achieve from the session, and any blocks preventing them from success. The second part of the session takes the form of guided hypnosis, leading the client into a state of hyper-aware trance where the subconscious mind is able to take on suggestions that will then manifest themselves during the coming days and weeks.
During the guided hypnosis, you will be in an altered state of consciousness- This is when your subconscious mind will be open to suggestions and changes.
Despite what you may have seen during stage hypnosis, you are always in control. Not the hypnotherapist, you. There is absolutely nothing that a hypnotherapist can make you do or say that you do not want to, so you do not need to worry about blurting out any dark secrets, or being made to do things you would not normally do.
Hypnotherapy is not a quick fix.
Some people think that hypnosis is a quick fix for whatever problem they want to get rid of, but if you’re looking for an easy fix, hypnosis may not be the best choice for you. It takes time—sometimes multiple sessions—to change habits or behaviors that have gotten out of control or have become harmful to yourself or others. Hypnosis can help by providing new strategies to replace old habits with healthier ones, but it won’t necessarily happen overnight!
Many of the misconceptions come from stage hypnosis, which is aimed at entertaining and amusing an audience. Hypnotherapy is completely different and it definitely is not an entertainment device. You also can’t use it as an escape from reality when things get tough; instead, it requires deep introspection into what makes us tick as human beings so we can better understand ourselves and make positive changes along the way!
Results may vary and people react differently, but hypnotherapy has been shown to be hugely successful for many people looking to improve themselves and their behaviors.
Hypnotherapy is a highly effective and useful method in helping you improve various areas of your life, however, while the results can be quite astonishing, hypnotherapy must be done with a qualified practitioner, and where the patient is truly committed to the outcomes.
Neurypnology, or the Rationale of Nervous Sleep (1843)