Hypnosis, so what exactly is it?
Expelling the myths around this fantastic tool
If you were to ask 10 people what they think hypnosis is, chances are that you would get 10 different answers. Some might tell you that it’s some form of bad manipulation, one might tell you that it’s magic while others might tell you it’s all a bit of “new age hippy woo.”
Hypnosis has been given a bad rap and quite honestly, with all the weird and wonderful stuff you see on television or in live shows, it’s little wonder why.
What you see on stage is a great piece of showmanship and is performed for the purpose of entertaining an audience. Those that you see on stage have been through a careful selection process for compliance so the result is that the stage hypnotist has a group of volunteers who are in many ways happy to go along with the act. In many instances, volunteers may not experience a feeling of being hypnotised at all but are experiencing an opportunity to act out and perform.
Far from being any sort of new age woo, clinical hypnosis is a fantastic tool that is used by practitioners to create a heightened state of awareness in their clients. Clinical hypnotherapists rely on their skills and knowledge in order to support their client to get a great outcome.
So what is clinical hypnosis exactly? Hypnosis is a tool that helps a client to become internally focused which we call being in trance. Hypnotherapy is how a therapist uses the tool. It is the practice of using hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. It’s a tool that can be used to help solve all sorts of problems from eliminating mental health issues such as anxiety, relieving physical pain, eradicating unhealthy habits such as smoking or over eating and even as a way to remove long held self-limiting beliefs.
Again, there’s nothing mystical about a trance state. We find ourselves in trance any time we get lost in a great movie, are just about to drift off to sleep or when we can’t remember driving from one place to another. When in a trance state, clients become more susceptible to suggestion so hypnosis is the medium which the practitioner uses to deliver the useful messages that the client couldn’t otherwise take on board.
You might be wondering how such a fantastic tool was discovered. In fact, trance states, in a variety of forms have been around for centuries. African witch doctors, ancient Greek’s and historical religious leaders have all been known to use varieties of trance. Franz Mesmer, a German doctor is regarded as the founder of modern hypnosis.
One of the great moments for hypnosis came early last century when it was successfully used in the treatment of shell shock during and after WW1. Since then, hypnosis has been used in many studies with an increasing number showing positive results.
So now that you know what hypnosis is, here is what it isn’t.
Hypnosis is NOT mind control. A practitioner does not have control over the mind of any patient. In fact, the practitioner is merely there as a navigator that gives suggestion to help support the goals and desired outcomes of the patient. Hypnosis patients remain in control through the entire process.
Hypnosis is NOT a dangerous state that you may be stuck in. Actually, hypnosis is an acute state of awareness. Naturally our awareness fluctuates every day so we may find ourselves in a trance as we are driving from A to B, reading a great book or watching an engaging movie.
Hypnosis is NOT just a good sleep. In fact, if you are sleeping then you’re not in hypnosis. As mentioned, hypnosis is a heightened state of awareness and you have the capacity to hear the therapist speaking at all times.
In the next blog, I’ll be sharing some of the best applications for hypnosis. In the mean time, know that however you’re feeling, you never have to go it alone. If you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed or alone, hypnotherapy is a fantastic tool for helping you get back on track.
If you’re looking for a partner on your journey, let’s chat about getting you back to your best.
Until next time,