Modern hypnosis has been utilized for many centuries to promote self-confidence, change bad ingrained habits, lose weight successfully with modern weight loss programs, stop smoking, successfully deal with behavioral problems in children, improving memory, and cope with our deepest anxieties , fears and phobias.
A basic question asked by many is, what do the terms hypnosis hypnotherapy mean? Hypnosis is a state of mind characterized by relaxed brain waves and a hyper-suggestible state, in which people can be made to unfold the deepest corners of their mind. Hypnosis and hypnotic suggestions have played a major role in healing in many world cultures for many thousands of years. According to a World Health Organization report, 90% of the general population can be hypnotized, given the right circumstances and done professionally . Hypnosis is a perfectly normal state experienced by anyone- what is referred to as “highway hypnosis” is a natural state of hypnosis. People have driven somewhere and didn’t remember driving or even remember seeing any landmarks. They were on an automatic pilot. The natural hypnotic state can also exists when someone becomes so involved in a book or TV that everything else is blocked out of consciousness. Someone can talk to them and they can’t even see or hear them. Whenever anyone concentrates that strongly, they can slip into the natural hypnotic state.
The hypnotic state, by itself, is only useful for the relaxation it produces. The real value of hypnosis is in clinical hypnotherapy – in the healing and emotional change process is that while you are in the hypnotic state, when our minds are open and receptive to suggestions. Positive and healing suggestions can sink deeply into our minds quickly and strongly than when we are awake. Research has demonstrated that while in the hypnotic state, people cannot be made to do anything contrary to their moral values.
All of our habitual and behaviour controlling thoughts reside in what is called our subconscious mind, below conscious levels. We are unaware of the thoughts and feelings that reside there. Have you always felt angry about the way a former beautiful girlfriend had dumped you, and years later, you cannot explain why you still feel hostile towards beautiful women? Your subconscious mind holds the key.
Imagine a trap door between your conscious and subconscious minds. Normally, the trap door is closed until the brain waves slow down to a relaxed, alpha level, when you are asleep. The door opens for short periods allowing ideas, images and thoughts which are locked up in your subconscious mind to emerge. We call them “dreams”. In the hypnotic state, we are open to helpful suggestions which can be directed into our subconscious minds and old memories can be retrieved.
The hypnotic induction is a trance-like state that hypnotists use simply to focus your attention and concentration so you will go into that natural hypnotic state. Once in the state of hypnosis, the trap door opens and suggestions to help you can be given. With hypnotherapy anxiety can be successfully overcome, and millions have testified for the beneficial synergy between hypnotherapy and weight loss weight loss. The list of ways hypnosis has been used to help children, adolescents and adults is practically endless but does include: weight loss, stopping smoking, building self-confidence and self-esteem, improving academic performance at every age level, improving test taking ability from children through high school, college, medical and law school as well as the National Teacher Certification Exam, pain management, eliminating anxiety, fear and phobias, stress management, insomnia and other sleep problems and helping to heal physical problems.
2. To really work well, suggestions must be reinforced by repetition. Most of the habits, feelings and emotions we want to change are deeply implanted in our subconscious mind and will not just “go away” with one set of suggestions. Most of the time, in hypnotic clinics suggestions needs to be repeated on a regular basis until you notice a change. This is one reason that most specialists in hypnosis give clients cassette tapes of their sessions so they can listen to them every day. It’s also the reason why hypnosis CD’s you buy can work so well. You get to listen to them every day or often enough that the suggestions become permanently a part of you. There is no way to predict how long it will take to see change. It will depend partly on your motivation and commitment.
The Three Keys to the successful use of hypnosis for self improvement and personal growth are self motivation, repetition and believable suggestions.
1. The motivation to change must come from deep within you. If you are trying to change because someone else wants you to “lose weight” or “stop smoking”, the chances are slim that the hypnosis will work. People who do well in hypnotherapy classes are those who really want to change. Those who came because they ‘really’ wanted to quit smoking or lose weight responded quickly and easily. Before you start to use hypnosis for your self improvement, you be very clear in your own mind why you want to change.
2. The third key to the successful use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy for personal change is believable suggestions. If you are to accept a suggestion, your mind must first accept it as a real possibility. Telling a chocoholic that chocolate will be disgusting to them and will make them sick is too big a stretch for the imagination. If a suggestion like this even took hold, it would only last a short time because it would be so unbelievable to a real chocolate lover. In cases like this, one of the successful weight loss suggestions I use is that the next time the individual eats chocolate; it will not taste quite as good as the time before. This is far more acceptable and believable to most people. Then, with enough repetition over a period of time, chocolate loses much of its positive taste and control over that person.
One final note is that HYPNOSIS IS NOT DANGEROUS. There are almost no risks when used by trained professionals. Hypnotherapy is now an accredited profession, and it is the job of regulatory organisations like the American institute of hypnotherapy, and American Board of Hypnotherapy to accredit certified hypnotherapy experts. You cannot be made to do anything that is against your moral values. An amateur or stage hypnotist might give you suggestions that might embarrass you, might not work or that might make you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious at the time. To avoid this, stick with professionals who have received clinical hypnotherapy training. The one risk I know about involves falling asleep. If you are tired or if you become too relaxed, you may move from the state of hypnosis to the normal sleep, inadvertently. This is fine if you were going to go to sleep right after the trance but if you have other plans after listening to a hypnosis cd, you might set an alarm clock to wake you up.
Over the years, self improvement and personal growth using hypnosis has helped millions of people change their lives permanently because it is a safe and powerful tool for changing your thoughts, feelings and habits.