“DEMYSTIFYING HYPNOSIS AND HYPNOTHERAPY”
For generations the word “Hypnosis” seems to conjure up a feeling of “strange and mysterious” in most people. But in truth, everyone, no matter whom or where they are in the world will have experienced a hypnotic state, thousands of times in their life!
Hypnosis is a natural state of awareness for all humans and animals. Most people can relate to driving to a certain place and wondering “how did I get there” – one could liken this experience to being on “auto pilot” and the destination is reached – our very own built in GPS! Other examples are simply reading a book, watching T.V., or merely daydreaming, where a natural state of awareness commonly known as hypnosis is entered into.
Everything anyone has learnt is stored in the subconscious mind, and when these memories are required, they are brought up from the subconscious mind and utilized in everyday life, as is experienced from learning the skill of driving. Once the skill is learnt – the conscious mind (thinking mind) can “rest” and the natural awareness state (hypnosis) can be entered into, yet at any point the awareness of the conscious mind (thinking mind) can become active if need be, e.g. needing to use the breaks in the car.
So, one would ask, why does hypnosis per say need “demystifying?”
One major factor, which hinders people from using hypnosis as a treatment, – is the fear of being “out of control, or controlled” when in hypnosis. In order to “demystify” hypnotherapy, it is essential to look at the misconceptions of hypnosis which have grown over the years.
1. Hypnosis is due to the power of the therapist?
A therapist does not have any “magical” formula which takes control of the client, the use of specific communication skills are the basis of the therapy. If a client allows a therapist to guide them through an experience, who is in control? – The client.
2. Can one become “stuck” in hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of focused attention and is controlled by the client, who can at any stage of the session, merely open their eyes and become fully alert. Hypnosis relaxes the conscious mind (thinking mind), allowing the “why” part of the brain to step aside. No amount of hypnotic techniques used will allow a person to do anything that is not in line with their belief patterns, upbringing or cultural morals.
3. Can hypnosis cause one to become unconsciousness?
Hypnosis cannot cause a person to become unconscious. Due to the relaxed state one feels during hypnosis, some may constitute this as an unconscious state, the physical body will relax and breathing will slow down etc, but the mental state of a person becomes highly aware and alert, and a person can become physically alert at any given point in time during the session, as they are in control of their body and mind.
4. Can one become dependent on hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a therapeutic tool, and is therefore in no way addictive in any way or form. It is a form of communication and language skills which aid the person to use their experiences in order to reach their goals and potential in life.
5. In order to be successfully hypnotized – one needs to be fully relaxed?
Hypnosis is a state of natural awareness of concentrated focus. Thus physical relaxation is not necessary for a hypnotic state to be reached, and hypnosis is used to aid people who have undergone trauma which is locked into the physical body. This type of hypnosis is mainly used in conjunction with Regression Therapy, where the client’s body movements (called repressed cellular memory release) are focused upon in order to access and release a specific trauma in their lives.
Hypnosis can be and is currently being used as a tool in the treatment of many human conditions in which a person’s mind, in conjunction with a learnt experience is a factor. e.g. Medical and Dental hypnosis – aids in pain management, and stress disorders. Forensic Science Hypnosis – aids traumatized victims in information recovery. Hypnosis in education – decrease stress and anxiety for exams, and retain information. Hypnosis in Business – aids people in the business arena, to communicate more effectively. Hypnosis in Sports – aids in physical and mental concentration. Hypnosis in Psychotherapy – aids the clients to draw upon their own subconscious resources in order for them to elicit a positive change within themselves.
In a nut shell – Hypnosis is a tool which facilitates a desired outcome, by using the minds natural awareness, and can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments – to enhance them!