What is Hypnosis ?
Definitions of hypnosis are aplenty !
Practically everyone, hypnosis professional or not, will give a different
answer to the question.
Basically hypnosis is a state of trance induced by suggestions.
The hypnotic trance used in therapy is lighter than the deep trance used
in stage hypnotism.
The client reaches a deep relaxation of body and mind induced by the therapists
suggestions but does not lose consciousness.
He/she remains aware of surroundings, of the voice of the therapist as well as
any other sounds around.
It is very similar to a state of daydreaming.
Being in a state of trance is a very natural thing, for example if we are engrossed
in a book or a film our attention is totally focused on what we are seeing or reading,
it becomes our reality and the real world around us does not "exist" anymore; daydreaming
is another type of trance which occurs naturally and automatically when our body and mind
are in need of rest after a time of alertness; long distance driving or driving along the
same route everyday creates a trance state during which you use your driving skills competently
but at the end of your journey you have little or no recall of it.
Those are examples of trance states we experience spontaneously as opposed to trances used in
hypnotherapy as well as in yoga, meditation and creative visualization which are induced deliberately
by a therapist or by oneself.
What happens in an Hypnotic Trance ?
At this stage it is essential to know more about the mind to understand how hypnosis works and what
it can help achieve.
Without going into details in the sophisticated structure and functioning of our brain, we can say
that we have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind working together and communicating with each
other at all times.
The conscious mind is rational, logical and functions on facts, it is the mind involved in our
The subconscious mind is creative, imaginative and irrational; it is also a huge "memory bank" where
every event in our lives and emotions associated to it are filed. It works by association linking
a present situation to a past event without using logic.
Our subconscious mind is the seat of our own individual programming: beliefs, ideas, emotions,
thoughts and behaviours.
In addition the subconscious mind controls the main functions of the body (breathing, blood circulation,
digestion, elimination, tissue regeneration, hormonal production etc....), it keeps us alive.
Hypnosis is an altered state of consciouness which involves relaxation, concentration, goal orientation
and suggestibility. It allows the mind to easily and deeply focus on one subject and furthermore it is
the only time we can communicate with the subconscious mind and reprogram it.
During hypnosis the conscious and subconscious minds receive the same message given through suggestions
but the conscious mind records it logically while the subconscious mind absorbs it by association.
Let's take the example of an adult suffering from a phobia of spiders: consciously the person knows that
it is a small creature, unable to harm a human (in our temperate climate) and can easily recognize that
fearing such a small creature is irrational, however all this logical approach does not remove the end
result: fear. Why does this happen? The answer is the programming in the person's subconscious mind;
spiders = danger, often caused by a past frightening experience during childhood or "inherited" from
phobic parents, siblings or friends.
Hypnotic suggestions given in such a case will state for example
that a spider is a small and harmless creature and that when in contact with an arachnid the person will
remain calm, unconcerned and free from fear.
The conscious mind will receive the message logically (small, harmless and therefore not dangerous) while
the subconscious mind will accept by association that seeing a spider is NOW a non-threatening situation.
Of course suggestions have to be repeated again and again to alter the subconscious programming from its
original stance (spiders=danger) to a new one (spiders=no bother).
What can Hypnotherapy Do ?
It alleviates all sorts of difficulties, problems and conditions by using the power of the mind and all
It aims at creating long lasting changes, it is never a "quick fix" .
A list of conditions that can be dealt with hypnotherapy is available further on (it is by no means an
exhaustive listing!) but the problems Hypnotherapy can help with fall into the following broad categories:
Thoughts and ideas
low self-esteem and unworthiness, obsessive thoughts about something or someone etc...
Feelings and emotions
anxiety, fears, phobias, panic attacks, jealousy, guilt, anger, inadequacy, lack of confidence etc...
nail-biting, hair-pulling, nervous cough, twitching as well as more deep-seated compulsions etc....
conditions which have been proved medically to have no physical cause but which result in great distress
for the sufferer: headaches, backaches, IBS, fatigue, sleep disturbances etc....
smoking, alcohol, recreational and medical drugs, chocolate etc.....
It is often the cause of many of the above mentioned problems and its effects will be covered in more
details later on.
Everyone can benefit from hypnotherapy regardless of age, sex and background, all that is required is the
will to change with the help of the therapist.
Hypnotherapy is safe, effective and totally natural
Click here for a list of the Problems and Conditions
that can be helped with Hypnotherapy
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