Hypnosis, defined by Merriam-Webster, is a trancelike state resembling sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject.
In practical terms, Hypnosis is generally used as a complementary protocol. The person hypnotized is in a state of heightened relaxation and the subconscious mind (also referred to often as the unconscious mind) is at a high level of suggestibility. This suggestibility can be used to create healthy eating and drinking habits, desired weight and attitudes. Sleep issues, phobias and repeated negative behavior respond well to deep relaxation and suggestion. Hypnosis can be used to reduce stress, addictions, pain and related chronic adversities which can assist in creating a healthy lifestyle. In broad terms, desires to engage in unhealthy habits can be addressed with Hypnosis.
Relaxation is the key to a successful experience with suggestibility. When a person is relaxed and hypnosis is used, the critical conscious thoughts one typically has are less likely to keep the subject from processing suggestions. We all have filters (ideas of the world and people in it) formed from beliefs, history, geography, religion, race, gender, family, friends and many other factors. When relaxed, these filters are less inhibiting when taking in new information. While a state of relaxation creates an acceptance of suggestions, Hypnosis does not cause people to engage in any behavior against their normal will, will power or desires. Hypnosis is a natural, non-invasive protocol without belief conflicts with most religions or geographical bearings. Below is a set of questions that will help you better understand hypnotism.
Q: Does a person have to want to be hypnotized for it to work?
A: Yes and no. The suggestibility level of the subject matters to a degree. For example, if a person uses conscious resistance to the process, then it can take longer to for them to relax, therefore possibly inhibiting the success of the process.
Q: Are there different levels of Hypnosis or sleep once the person is hypnotized?
A: Yes. Initially, pre-sleep or relaxation occurs, heart rate slows and body temperature drops. The next level is a light-sleep. The person is still easily awoken without having feelings of disorientation. The third level is slow wave sleep where blood pressure begins to drop and finally, deep sleep. During this final stage, the subject is hard to awake and when awakened will feel confused and sleepy.
Q: Will I be asked a lot of questions by the hypnotist?
A: A trained hypnotist will not be asking you questions as much as making suggestions to you.
Q: Does Hypnosis require physical touch?
A: No! Hypnosis does not require touching of any kind. Blindfolds are often used to eliminate sight in order to enhance the hypnotic experience.
Q: Will I remember my Hypnosis session?
A: Memories of sessions may vary. Some people report feeling like they are dreaming, drifting or floating. It is not uncommon to remember some parts of a hypnotic session or the practitioners voice. This voice may be heard in parts or in a muffled, muted tone.
Q: Is Hypnosis the same as meditation?
A: Hypnosis is different than meditation although relaxation is part of both processes. Meditation is the focus on breath and absence of thought. Hypnosis is most effective when listening to the hypnotist’s voice and thinking about what is suggested.
Q: How long do the effects of Hypnosis last?
A: The effects of hypnosis can last a lifetime. If the process is successful, the sessions should alleviate the presenting problem. Relapse may occur but most practitioners would expect lasting results for most issues.
Q: Is self hypnosis an option and does it work?
A: Self hypnosis is an excellent option and there are many books and recordings on this protocol. Basic fundamentals apply, give it a try!
Q: Do hypnotists tape sessions?
A: Some do. Some people find a tape helpful if they want to hear their session repeatedly. Tapes are helpful only if the client listens to them. If it is believed to be a benefit to you, make certain you use taping as a criteria when interviewing hypnotists.
Q: What about the success rate of a hypnotist?
A: Success rates vary depending on the definition of success and how long a client is ‘tracked’ after the sessions. Not all hypnotists can be aware of relapse, etc. . . so success rates can be unreliable and inaccurate. The decision for the session to be successful primarily relies on the subject. Therefore, hypnosis can be made a success from the decision to make it exactly that.
Q: Does a hypnotist say the same thing to all clients during Hypnosis?
A: No. Hypnotists often times use ‘scripts’ which is the term for what a hypnotist says, even when created by the hypnotist. There are many scripts available for all variations of presenting problems. Scripts can be found readily online, self help books and recordings.
If you are interesting in creating your own tapes for self hypnosis, this is a great start.
Hypnosis is an excellent way to modify unwanted behavior and enhance desired behavior. Many people, including notables in history, have had much success with hypnosis. Hypnosis has become an accepted and acknowledged form of healing and transformation. The profession of hypnotism now carries less mystique than historically documented. Not only has Hypnosis become a popular complementary protocol, but also works well in conjunction with a majority of medical and dental protocols. Check with your physician to see if Hypnosis can help assist in your healthcare plan. When selecting a qualified Hypnotist, ask questions. Is the Hypnotist a member of any major Hypnosis federations, associations or affiliations? Be aware that state laws vary in licensing regulations across the U.S. Your local Hypnotist should be aware of these laws and regulations.