What is Hypnosis And Will It Work For Me?
What is Hypnosis and will it work for me? Here’s a simple answer. The answer is yes. Hypnosis or trance is a normally and daily occurring shift in levels of consciousness. A trance is simply focusing on one emotion or thought to the exclusion of all other thing going on around us. We undergo this mental state while showering, getting ready for work, driving, watching television, daydreaming, and conversing with our friends and family. (oops, was that out loud?). Hypnosis is this trance state, progressed to level of heightened suggestibility for the purpose of achieving a predetermined goal.
What Things Can Hypnosis Help With?
Hypnosis is probably the best-kept secret on the planet. There are so many things people can do or accomplish with hypnosis, and it requires no drugs or long-term treatment. The average number of appointments need for hypnotic treatments is somewhere between 5 to 7 formal appointments.
Hypnosis can be helpful with the following:
Fears and Phobias
High Blood Pressure
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 many, 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.
Hypnosis is an Interactive Collaboration
What is Hypnosis? Hypnosis is an interactive collaboration. 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 a trance, receiving responses orally, through gestures, and subtle movements. We ask questions, make sure directions are understood and clarify where they are not. It is the client that actually tell us which way to go.
Yes, it is possible for hypnosis tapes to work. Yes, but 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.
How do I know if I can be hypnotized?
There are only a few 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 daydream?
When you find you are daydreaming 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?
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.
What if I cannot come out of hypnosis?
Absolutely not true. This is, yet another myth perpetuated by old movies and bad detective magazines. 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 harm’s 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.
How Do You Know When it’s Time to Ask for Help?
Michael Harris, PhD, Consulting Hypnotist in Dallas, Texas says “there are plenty of times when people need to ask for help, or for assistance with different things”.
Things like cleaning, shopping; sometimes people ask friends and family for advice about a decision they need to make or for a problem they are sorting out. But when is it time to ASK FOR HELP for the big things… like dying, addiction, cancer, some other illness or disease.
What about healing hate? Hate is one of those emotions that can overwhelm your life if you let it and there are lots of other emotions similar to this that left unchecked can change the course of your life for the worst. And whether its hate or fear or mistrust or anger… it may be time to ASK FOR HELP.
Okay so now what? Who do you ask? I’d like to think that asking for family or family energy to help, but most times… well you know what can happen, right?
I think that at times like this it’s time to go to a higher authority. Some call this higher authority, God, or Spirit, in healing hypnosis or the mind/body healing world, we call it your unconscious or somatic mind… you can call it “Bob” if you want, but the point is that you’re asking for help. That whatever the problem or issues or emotion, an illness or disease being taken into a realm where there are more resources than just inside of yourself.
There has been a lot written, blogged about, and video created but the message is pretty much the same. When you reach a point where what’s inside of you needs to come out… or your problem affects the lives of many… then it’s time to ask for help.
If you ever saw my video “Bob, the Mammoth Hunter” then you would know that Bob had an injury that was not only life-threatening to him and his family but ultimately to his tribe, since his hunting skills were a part of the equation that kept them alive.
Do you or someone you know have a wound that is TOO BIG FOR THEM?
I think that part of the problem is that in our modern society we have a tendency to view ourselves as a herd of individuals rather than as part of a larger tribe that needs us in order to survive. We all have to “do our own thing” or express our individuality in the way we dress or not dress, where we live, what music we listen to, or sports team we wear the colors of and the list goes on and on.
While we may have evolved to the point where this is possible, is this true of our spirit and emotions? If you look to see what everyone is doing during the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas it isn’t the “individual thing” that they are doing…it’s the group and family thing. And even though some might resist going because it’s a lot of trouble or too far, blah blah blah… once we get there usually we’re glad we went.
So from my perspective, we need more connection with our tribal family. What does that mean? For some people, that family is their “nuclear’ or family of origin, for some, it’s their church or spiritual organization, for some it’s their softball, their “call of duty” or their paintball team…
What team it is doesn’t seem to matter as much as having one. I’ve also noticed that people who don’t have a team or if the team is dysfunctional or ill… then the individuals on the team also suffer unnecessarily.
So what’s the solution? Do you treat and heal the individual or the team, the family or the business? I think the answer “Yes”. Yes, you can treat the individual. Yes, you can treat the family or the team or the business. And “yes” you can treat both. But how is the question?
In our current society, there are very few places we can go where it is an acceptable place or context where you and the whole tribe can go to be healed, either collectively or through implication because the whole tribe took part in the healing of one of its members.
My suggestion frequently is when something doesn’t exist… we just make up what we need and use it like it’s always been there in the first place.
So how do we do that in this example?
One of the best examples, I have for this is the story of Lou Gramm and Mick Jones of the band, Foreigner and how the 1992 LA riots and a benign brain tumor, was the stimulus for one of the greatest song collaborations in rock history.
See, you just never know, what the long-term effect of an illness or injury can have on you and all the people around you. Perhaps that drinking problem or tumor that your parent has, could be just what is needed to get you or your family or your business out of your day-to-day trance that you’ve been in and bring you to the circle so you can really get down to the work of healing.
Try this. Go find a place where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes. Think of something you’ve been trying to “fix” in your life. A repetitive problem like drinking, smoking, out of control weight gain, bad jobs, crummy relationships… you know what I’m talking about.
Breathe in and count down from 10 to 1 and imagine you’re going to a quiet place… that place that makes you feel good and it’s far far away from distractions. See yourself bringing in all the people who can help you. Parents, siblings, and relatives… doesn’t matter if they are living or not.
Ask for your spiritual guides or helpers to come in too, angels, healers… whatever matches your belief system. See them all forming a circle… as they form a circle… imagining the energy that is around them… and seeing that energy growing… getting stronger. Until it’s visible to you, palpable to you… you can see it, feel it and hear chanting, drums, heartbeats or sounds of the vibration…of the growing circle… of energy all around you
Feel yourself connecting to each of the people in the circle through the center of the earth… kind of like the way aspen trees are all part of the same root system although they are individual trees… they are part of their grove of trees but the whole forest or even the whole wilderness make up the same root system…
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?
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 to 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 a 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 same 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.
If the person is taking medication for an unrelated condition, I feel they need to do the following: 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 complement 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 complement 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. I find NLP a great tool for gathering information about the client’s issue or problem, but I use hypnosis for faster and longer lasting change.
What is Brief Imagination Therapy?
Brief Imagination Therapy takes NLP, plus hypnosis 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.
Really? Who should not be hypnotized?
Individuals receiving treatment from a medical doctor for an ongoing medical condition should not be hypnotized without this doctor’s consent.