Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Hypnotherapy FAQs

Hypnosis is a relaxed state of consciousness which feels very much like daydreaming. In the state of relaxation you are more open to suggestions and in this natural state your unconscious mind has the ability to accept, or reject, information or suggestions given by you or by the hypnotherapist.

How does hypnosis work?
Hypnotherapy allows us to communicate with the unconscious mind and reinforce new patterns of behaviour at a cellular level. The unconscious mind accounts for 90% of our daily activities, running our bodily functions, storing our memories and past experiences in a database and filtering information the brain receives every second into a manageable amount. During hypnosis, the unconscious mind accepts positive suggestions that will help us.

Is hypnosis safe?
Absolutely. There is nothing mysterious about hypnosis, and as a hypnotherapist, I cannot make you accept suggestions you do not agree with. Between the conscious and the unconscious mind there is a gatekeeper called the critical barrier, and this barrier will reject any suggestions that are not congruent with your beliefs, values or morals.

What is stage hypnosis?
You may think that participants in stage hypnosis are being made to do things against their will, but in fact the hypnotist has cleverly identified those persons who are outgoing and willing to make a fool of themselves. Occasionally, you will see participants who don’t seem to be responding, and this is because their conscious mind is telling them they are up for the fun, but their subconscious is saying “You really don’t want to do that!”.

How does hypnosis feel?
We all experience light levels of hypnosis during our normal waking life. If you have ever got caught up in the emotion of a film, or arrived at your destination and didn’t remember driving part of the journey, you have already been in a form of trance, or hypnosis. During hypnosis you will remain conscious of your surroundings. You may experience some of the following sensations: tingling in your fingers or limbs, fluttering eyelids, a sense of lightness or alternatively a heavy feeling like you are sinking, a sense or numbness or limb distortion, feelings of emotions. Most of all, a deep sense of relaxation. These are all perfectly normal. Don’t be surprised if you don’t feel hypnotised. Just expect the trance to occur gradually and it will.

What do doctors think of hypnosis?
Doctors have now begun to accept hypnosis and hypnotherapy as a tool which can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine. Doctors recognise that over 60% of our physical problems start in our mind, and stress, tension, anxiety and worry are the biggest factors in the increase of heart attacks and even death. Negative emotions can affect our health, our body and our life. All emotions come from the unconscious mind and can be deleted or altered during hypnotherapy.

Is hypnosis the same thing as meditation?
Hypnotism and meditation are opposites of the same. You could say that meditation is s state of BEING, while hypnosis is a state of DOING. We use hypnosis to achieve a given goal whereas meditation has no goal (unless you can conceive that just BEING is a goal). In hypnosis, a person is given positive suggestions or visual images, while in meditation the person is to have their mind become clear and free of thought.

What kind of person makes the best hypnotic subject?
Someone who is willing to allow him or herself to be hypnotised makes the best subject. It is best to not think too much about the process of hypnosis but instead just “go” with the flow of the process.
Strong-minded people work well, as a strong-minded person is someone who achieves the goals they set out to achieve. They generally can concentrate better and can focus better on the suggestions of the hypnotherapist. Remember a stubborn person is not a strong-minded person. Stubborn people may be difficult to hypnotise. If you are an open-minded person and willing to allow yourself to be hypnotised, you will be receptive to hypnotherapy.

Can a person resist being hypnotised?
Unless the subject is willing and agreeable to being hypnotised, the whole thing is a waste of time for both parties. However, a hypnotic master may have many techniques to overcome the subject’s conscious mind resistance in a very subtle way, and bring these resistant subjects into a deep trance.

What is the role of the hypnotherapist?
The role of the hypnotherapist is to give positive suggestions that will help the subject make the changes he/she wants to make that are congruent with his/her beliefs, values and lifestyle.

Can a person lose weight using hypnosis?
Yes. Hypnosis can help a person separate emotions from food, increase motivation to eat healthily and take regular exercise, increase body metabolism and teach you to eat smaller portions. Visualisation techniques to imagine the body you want are particularly effective as the mind does not know the difference between imagination and reality, and encodes the new information at a cellular level.

What if I can’t visualise?
Close your eyes for a moment and think of your front door. What colour is it? What side is the handle?....Congratulations, you’ve just visualised. It is not necessary to see things in minute detail. If you are having problems visualising, it may be because you are an auditory person and prefer to hear instructions, or a kinaesthetic person who can feel, rather than see. The hypnotherapist will adapt their communication to best suit your method of learning.

Can hypnosis help a person to stop smoking?
Absolutely. If you want to stop smoking, my two part smoking cessation therapy will help you quit. The key word is “want”. You have to “want” to stop smoking, not think you “should” stop smoking or “must” stop smoking. Most people stop in the first session with the second session being used to reinforce the new positive behaviour.

Is there any danger of a subject not awakening from hypnosis?
There is no danger whatsoever of not awakening, or arousing, from hypnosis, even if in the very deepest level of trance. Occasionally a subject will take a little time to come back from trance as the experience of being in hypnosis can be so pleasant that one almost doesn’t want to leave it and return to the high paced world of today. However the subject will always arouse or awaken from hypnosis even if left entirely alone. If you hypnotise a person and leave them in hypnosis, they will convert from hypnosis to natural sleep and awaken feeling peaceful and refreshed. Since hypnosis is induced by suggestions of going to sleep, it stands to reason that the reverse of the process presenting suggestions for the awakening from trance are bound to arouse the subject.

What else can hypnosis help with?
Hypnosis can help banish fears and phobias, help stress management, increase athletic ability in sport, help develop talent, help with academic learning and get rid of bad habits. Everything we do in life we do to make ourselves feel better. If you are stuck in a bad habit, it’s because your unconscious mind thinks your behaviour in some way serves a purpose. Whether we smoke, drink, overeat, overspend, gamble or take drugs, we do these things because at the time they make us feel good. Often there is an underlying negative emotion that triggers these behaviours. Hypnosis helps you to banish these negative emotions and replace the bad habits with positive behaviour.

The Hypnotic Contract
Hypnosis is a contract between two people and we both have a part to play. My part of the contract is that I will give you all the suggestions and therapies I feel will allow you to go into a level of hypnosis where you can naturally and easily make the changes you want to make. All I expect you to do is to instantly accept all the suggestions, follow along with them, find yourself agreeing with them, want them to work, imagine them working and expect them to work. Don’t fight or analyse them, just want them to work.

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