Hypnosis Facts & FAQs
What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a normal and familiar condition, a trance state, similar to the states that we all experience several times daily. A trance is simply focusing on one emotion or thought at the exclusion of all others. We undergo this state while showering, getting ready for work, driving, watching television, daydreaming, and conversing with our wives (oops, was that out loud?). Hypnosis is this trance state, progressed to level of heightened suggestibility for the purpose of achieving a predetermined goal.

Areas where hypnotherapy is helpful

Did you pack a lunch?  Hypnotherapy can be helpful with the following:

Goal Setting
Bed Wetting
Chronic Pain
Test Anxiety
Fears and Phobias
Emotional Pain
Weight Management
Smoking Cessation
High Blood Pressure
Tension Headaches
Medical Procedures
Sports Performance
Dental Procedures
Memory Improvement
Sexual Dysfunction

How do I know if I can be hypnotized?

There are only 3 things that can prevent someone from being hypnotized:

1. They don’t want to be hypnotized.
2. They have an unstable thought process or mental disorder.
3. They have a very low IQ


Am I a good candidate for hypnosis?

There are several personal factors that have a correlation with responsiveness to hypnosis. Here are a few:

Have you ever walked or talked in your sleep?
Have you ever awakened from a sleep state and felt like you could not move or speak?
Are you basically a trusting person?
Do you have a vivid imagination?
Do you frequently day dream?
When you find you are day dreaming do you quickly stop or let yourself enjoy it?
Are you able to concentrate on a specific thought or idea?
Are you open to new ideas?
Do you follow directions or instructions well?
Do you lose yourself in movies, television shows, or books?
Are you a spiritual or religious person?
Have you ever meditated?


What does hypnosis feel like?

The actual induction techniques often will leave you feeling very relaxed although they are not required to do so. For me personally, it feels like that state of disassociation right before you stop thinking about falling asleep and actually drift off. You hear and feel everything but you really just want to get to that feeling that you know is just out of reach.


Will I know that I was hypnotized?

The answer to this question depends largely on your expectations. I always ask my clients this question when they come out of a trance. “Do you believe you were hypnotized?” For the first time clients, I almost always get a confused look, their eyes searching their memories for the answer. “I don’t know. I’m not sure because I heard everything.” I get this in spite of my reassuring them during our pre-talk that they most certainly would hear everything. The expectation that they would go deaf and develop amnesia is, at times, so strong that my pre-conditioning of the process is not accepted.

Remember hypnosis is a completely natural state that your mind is familiar and comfortable with. Do not expect an acute change in awareness or consciousness. However this discussion always continues with the new clients and 9 times out of 10 they will have convinced themselves before they leave my office that they were, indeed, hypnotized. That 1 individual we left out is the skeptic. They weren’t entirely sure if they believed in hypnosis but wanted to give it their best effort. They will be scratching their head all the way home. When they discuss the process with someone close to them they will finally gain acceptance.


Can I not come out of hypnosis?

Absolutely not. Yet another myth perpetuated by old movies. If a client were to go into such a deep trance that they were to actually fall asleep, they would simply go into a state of natural sleep and awaken as they normally would. This is an extremely rare occurrence.


Is hypnosis "mind control"?

Not at all. Unless you are talking about “self-mind control” in which case I would like to change my answer to most definitely. The client is, at all times, in complete control of their mind. I cannot, through any use of the trance state, cause someone to betray their morals or ethics, place themselves in harms way, or do or say anything against their will. Recall that in a hypnotic state we are dealing with the subconscious mind that exists to protect your mind and body from harm.


Is hypnosis dangerous?

Definitely not. Hypnosis has been approved by the American Medical Association and Council of Mental Health for over 40 years. There have been no cases of harmful side effects or serious injuries during this time. Hypnosis does not weaken the will, damage the nervous system, or in any way adversely affect the physical or mental well being of an individual.


Finding the "right" hypnotherapist

This question probably should have been at the top of this page as finding the right person to assist you is one of the most important aspects of your success. First let me briefly explain why this is so important. You MUST trust your hypnotherapist. This is imperative. You will be hard pressed to go into trance with someone in whom you have not placed a certain degree of blind-faith.

To this end I have two recommendations. Consult with a trusted friend who has been to this hypnotist or, when this isn’t possible, qualify your prospective hypnotherapist on the phone. Talk with him or her, ask questions, see if this person can quickly establish rapport with you. Liking the sound of their voice can help a lot as well.

Next I believe it is crucial to determine how motivated this individual is in helping you reach your goals. You want to make sure you will be seeing a hypnotist who will be attending to your needs in every session. There are some individuals that will hook you up to a tape recorder for one of your "live" sessions. Ask if they use this technique and if they do look somewhere else. Tapes are NEVER as effective as a session with a qualified and experienced hypnotist.

I encourage you to also carefully check out your prospective hypnotist's credentials and education. Because certification can be obtained from some training institutions in as little as three days, I believe it is imperative for you to ask questions about your prospective hypnotist's education and training. Know that very few institutes of traditional learning, major universities, have hypnosis training programs. The good news is that many of the independent schools of hypnotherapy provide the best training in the world. And when discussing this topic make sure you ask about continuing education. Any competent hypnotist should never stop their professional development.

Finally, if a hypnotist isn't willing to discuss his or her fees with you on the phone, hang up immediately. If their fees were reasonable don't you think they would share them with you?


Hypnosis is interactive

Hypnotherapists look for responses and changes in breathing, skin color, eye movement, and posture throughout the process of hypnosis. We communicate with our clients while in trance, receiving responses orally, through gestures, and subtle movements. We ask questions, make sure directions are understood and clarify where they are not.

Yes, it is possible for hypnosis tapes to work. No, your results will not be the same. If you are serious about achieving results with tapes at least do yourself the favor of getting tapes that have been customized for you.


Really? Who should not be hypnotized?

People who have thought disorders like psychosis or schizophrenia should not be hypnotized. People receiving treatment from a medical doctor for an ongoing medical condition should not be hypnotized without this doctor’s consent.


So, does self-hypnosis work?

Absolutely. In fact hypnosis is technically self-hypnosis. The hypnotist is merely acting as a educator. I am simply teaching you how to hypnotize yourself. A more appropriate description for a hypnotist would be "educator". The hypnotist has no power over the client and he or she is never in “control” of the client’s subconscious. But if you are serious about enacting change in your life, I highly recommend seeking the assistance of a trained professional, if only for your first session.


A typical hypnosis session...

We begin with an informal interview. I learn more about you, you learn more about me, making sure we touch a few bases such as medical conditions, sensitivities, and fears (yours, not mine). We will then talk about the hypnotic process, what you should expect, and the specific method I intend to use with you, detailing the suggestions I think might help achieve your goal while in trance.

We will also talk about any post-hypnotic suggestions I think might be useful in help achieve your goal. I will encourage you to interject here with both imagery and specific suggestions you would like to use. Usually the client will then have a few questions I haven’t addressed specifically or completely.

Once we are both comfortable we will then proceed with the hypnotic process itself. Having completed your hypnotherapy you will then come out of trance and we will discuss your feelings and reactions to the process.


Are the results of hypnosis permanent?

If you are a person committed to enacting change in your life and I do my job, your suggestions will be preserved indefinitely. I 100% guarantee it.


What if I am taking medication?

As a rule, I will not see anyone who is taking medications for the change they wish to implement in their lives. The reason for this is individuals often have difficulty differentiating what has made the change in their life, the meds or the hypnosis. This generally promotes doubt in the remedy that the client is less familiar with and has less faith in. So the hypnotherapy will ultimately be rendered ineffective. Worse yet, the suggestions may, despite the disbelief, have been accepted by the subconscious however the individual continues to take the medication for the rest of their lives thinking they have brought about the change.

Taking medication for an unrelated condition: First you need to speak with your doctor about whether he or she believes that hypnosis will assist or conflict with a current medical condition. Then please bring a letter from them indicating to me that he or she feels that hypnotherapy will compliment their medical treatment. Most well informed medical practitioners have become aware of the healing powers of the mind and will encourage the use of hypnosis in achieving a state of well being.


What if I am under a physician's care?

First you need to speak with your doctor about whether he or she believes that hypnosis will assist or conflict with a current medical condition. Then please bring a letter from them indicating to me that he or she feels that hypnotherapy will compliment their medical treatment. Most well informed medical practitioners have become aware of the healing powers of the mind and will encourage the use of hypnosis in achieving a state of well being.


How does stage hypnosis work?

Very much the same way clinical hypnosis works. You have willing subjects that can achieve some level of trance state and they are able to perform some strange and hilarious things because of their expectations, preconceptions, and willingness to step into the spotlight.

The difference between the stage and clinical settings is that the latter serves the desires of the client where the former serves the wishes of the hypnotist to provide an entertaining show. Most performers do little to educate the audience on the process thus creating an effect of wonder and mystery.


What is NLP?

NLP is an acronym for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Simply, it is opening the mind to creative learning using carefully structured speech and imagery that is based on several models and presuppositions.


What is Brief Imagination Therapy?

Brief Imagination Therapy takes NLP and structures it as a therapeutic technique. These techniques permit a person to make the gentle, rapid, and comfortable adjustments necessary for their mental and physical well being. The main difference between Brief Imagination Therapy and hypnotherapy is the areas where the former has been seen to be more effective. These areas include: Removing undesired feelings of anger, guilt, shame, and shyness, overcoming mental blocks, and dealing with grief and loss.


Will I snack more if I quit smoking?

What you are asking me is if you will replace a habit with another habit.

Remembering we are 100% solution oriented, I would answer your inquiry with another, seeking a resolution to your question rather than merely an answer. Is smoking harming your body more than putting on 20 pounds would (1 in 5 people die from causes that may be directly linked to smoking, 1 in 7 from complication from being obese)? Will you remain a non-smoker if you gain 5 pounds? If you answered no to either of these questions you are not ready to give up smoking. You are setting yourself up for failure by imparting a secondary gain on your smoking. “If I continue to smoke, I will not gain weight.” But is that really true?

How much did you weigh when you began smoking? How much do you weigh now? Are you currently at you ideal weight?

If, however, you answered yes to my first two questions then I would tell you that, no, you will not replace a habit with another habit any more than a child would crave snacks because he stopped sucking his thumb.

Habit formation in adults begins with actions we are aware of. Only through purposeful repetition does an action become a habit. You chose your habits, they don’t chose you.


Will I replace one habit with another?

There is a lot of talk that people need to replace a habit with another habit because habits form permanent neural pathways.

That theory, though outdated, is still accepted in some psychological circles. If you believe this to be true I would respond by telling you that you have done precisely that. You have replaced the habit of being a smoker with the habit of being a non-smoker. You have replaced your habit of snacking with the habit of not snacking.

Both the non-smoker and the non-snacker have more free time, more money, and more friends. They socialize more, they exercise more, they read more, they reflect more. These are the new habits they have chosen to replace their undesired habit.


Will I gain weight if I quit smoking?

Quite the contrary. All things being equal, you will most certainly gain weight if you quit smoking. According to laboratory tests, the average weight gained is 1 to 3 pounds. Understanding why, however, will provide you with the solution to prevent it.

As a smoker your body uses more energy and requires more sleep than your equivalent body type in a non-smoker. This is because nicotine causes your body to work harder and less efficiently. The poison increases your heart rate, increases your blood pressure, and requires the conversion of more of your food to energy, thus, less will be stored in the body as fat. Now if you remove only the cigarettes and keep your daily caloric intake the same, you will most certainly gain weight.

So what is the solution? You must reduce the amount of calories you consume in order to maintain the same body weight.


Can it help reduce how much I eat?

Absolutely, hypnosis can help! Especially if your unwanted calories are coming from habitual snacking. That is precisely how our weight management programs work. Bad eating habits are replaced with good ones. Unhealthy habits are replaced with healthy ones.


Can I be hypnotized if I am in pain?

Remember hypnosis is not relaxation. The majority of trance inductions utilize progressive relaxation techniques as a preference, not as a requirement. You can be hypnotized using alternate induction techniques.


Chronic pain's secondary gains

The most common is attention. This can sometimes be so compelling that people will consciously choose to live with their pain rather than risk losing the consolation of their friends and family. Another big one is task avoidance. "I've got a headache," can help you avoid undesired tasks at work as well as at home.


Can you guarantee human behavior?

Very simple answer. We are very particular about our clientele as your success is our highest priority. We realize that while people may desire to change their lives, not everyone is mentally prepared to make these changes when calling us for an appointment. This fact becomes evident more quickly than you would think, and we will politely request that these folks call us back when they are truly ready to make a commitment. So it is actually our clients demonstrated desire to enact change in their lives that make this guarantee possible.


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