What Hypnosis Is
Hypnosis is a perfectly natural state of consciousness that you already experience many times during your day. For example, as your body relaxes before sleep each night your mind also relaxes and conscious thoughts sort of drift away. You are perfectly aware of where you are and can protect yourself if you hear worrisome noises but you are choosing to let go of thoughts. This also happens in meditation when the attention is so focused on an image, a phrase, or the breath that the conscious mind gets quieter.
Notice how the chatter of your conscious mind is also turned down when you are engrossed in music, dancing, or a really good story. During all of these examples you are extra “suggestible”. Suggestions given to you are more likely to be accepted as fact because you are less likely to examine them with your critical mind which is now relaxed.
When the imagination is captured and emotions are aroused, you are in a natural hypnotic trance.
Television is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Is most television programming calm, logical, and realistic? No! TV’s imaginative stories filled with emotion, passion, and even violence! In this natural hypnotic state you are then more likely to buy the products advertised (“suggested”). And are the commercials straight forward and fact filled so that you’ll use your critical thinking to evaluate the products -or- do they stimulate your imagination with quick images, sounds, and sensual impressions? All of this is hypnosis.
You can easily reach this relaxed physical and mental state and accept into your subconscious mind positive suggestions for change.
The difference in the above examples and therapeutic hypnosis sessions (Hypnotherapy) is that by coming to this office you are choosing hypnosis! Therefore, hypnosis in the office is perfectly safe. It is a completely natural state and the sessions use suggestions that you have chosen. These are suggestions that improve your behavior, feelings, and beliefs about yourself for your maximum well-being and personal growth.
What Hypnosis Is Not
Hypnosis is not sleep.
Brain wave pictures show that hypnosis and sleep are completely different states. It is possible to fall asleep during hypnosis if you are extremely tired but then the session would not be as effective. Some people are afraid they won’t “wake up” after hypnosis. That is impossible since they aren’t asleep in the first place! For this reason the hypnotist doesn’t say “sleep” and “wake up” but rather “go into hypnosis” and then “emerge”. If the hypnotist happened to walk away, you would gradually emerge by yourself. And if a fire broke out, you would instantly emerge and know what to do! You aren’t asleep. As a matter of fact, your senses are acutely aware and your imagination is wonderfully active.
Are you concerned that the hypnotist can control you and implant negative or embarrassing suggestions?
There is absolutely no way that your subconscious mind would accept anything that is dangerous or against your personal morals. Its primary job is to protect you. You would instantly reject any unacceptable suggestions. For this reason, I have you think about your positive suggestions for change — what it is that you want. When I skillfully give these to you with imagination and emotion in hypnosis and you wholeheartedly welcome them in, the magic of transformation begins.
Hypnosis stage shows reinforce the false belief that the hypnotist controls the subjects.
Why else would someone quack like a duck on stage? In fact, this is a perfect example of how hypnosis is an “allowing” rather than a “controlling” state. Volunteers are usually class-clown types who don’t mind appearing foolish in front of friends and allow themselves to accept the silly suggestions. After passing hypnotizability tests, the most suggestible members of the audience are kept on stage and the others sent back to their seats. I don’t know about you, but I would have stayed in my seat!
Some people are worried that they will tell the hypnotist their deepest darkest secrets against their will. Wrong!
You only tell what you need to tell in order to heal or solve a problem. In hypnosis your memory is amazing and you have access to all sorts of insights. You share these as is appropriate. As a Certified Hypnotherapist and physician I am bound by a professional code of ethics to not reveal any of the confidential communication outside of the session. The two of us have a therapeutic relationship such as you have with your doctor.