What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is an ancient form of healing and transformation that dates back many centuries. A number of well-known historical figures have used hypnosis in order to accomplish great things. For example, Winston Churchill used self-hypnosis in order to stay mentally sharp and focused during long hours at work during World War 2. Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and Nikolai Tesla all used self-hypnosis daily and credit it with producing many of their best ideas.
Hypnosis is a natural, albeit altered state of mind – a state of calm focus. Our brains move in and out of this state of alert focus several times a day without us realising it. For example, have you ever driven a familiar route and not remembered part of it? Or, said you’ll only spend five minutes having a quick look on Facebook or Candy Crush, yet an hour later you’re still there? These are examples of the hypnotic state.
Is hypnosis safe?
Yes. Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state that our brains can use for beneficial purposes. There are a few instances where hypnosis would not be appropriate, but this is uncommon. Examples include people with psychosis, people with epilepsy, children under five years old and people who don’t give their permission to participate in the process.
Can I be hypnotised?
Anyone with a normally functioning brain can be hypnotised. Some people may go deeper into relaxation than others, but the depth of relaxation isn’t an indicator of success for change. So, most people can be hypnotised and choose to go into a relaxed state, however, some also choose not to.
What is required for hypnosis to be successful?
To be successful, hypnosis requires three things:
- A desire for change.
- Giving yourself permission to go into hypnosis.
- The ability and willingness to follow simple instructions.
If you answer “yes” to these three questions, hypnosis will be successful.
What happens if thoughts come into my mind while I’m trying to relax?
It is normal for thoughts to pop into your mind, seemingly out of nowhere, while you are relaxing, and the same is also true during hypnosis. The worst thing you can do is try to block them as they will keep coming back even stronger (just think about what happens when you try to do this when you want to sleep!). While you are trying to block them, your attention and focus is on trying to stop them, rather on relaxing and therefore, this can hinder the process. The best thing to do is to allow them to come and go. Think about them if you want to – it won’t make the process any less effective.
What happens if I need to cough or scratch my nose, etc?
When we start to relax, and our muscles start to relax we can start to itch, and parts of our body such as the legs and hands can also “jump” – these are an indication that relaxation is taking place. So, if your nose starts to itch, etc, scratch it. If you need to cough, cough. Trying to suppress these types of things means you are spending time and attention trying to stop them. While you are doing this, you are not allowing yourself to relax.
Can I be made to do or say silly things while in hypnosis?
No. Whilst this is a key element of stage hypnosis shows, those shows are for entertainment. The work I do with my clients is therapy. Also remember that hypnosis occurs in your own mind and is a tool you can use to create positive change for yourself. The therapist is simply a guide or facilitator during the sessions. No one can be made to do anything that goes against their values.
Does hypnosis have any side effects?
The side effects include a deep sense of relaxation, lightened mood, improved sleep and rapid positive change. You will be safe to drive after each session.