Hypnosis can be defined as a procedure during which changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, feelings or behaviour are suggested.
Hypnotherapy is a process of addressing the subconscious mind using the power of positive suggestion to bring about beneficial change in the client’s thoughts or behaviors.
The word hypnosis is derived from the Greek word ‘hypnos’, meaning sleep. Although this would indicate that the client goes into a sleep state it is in fact not a state of sleep as the awareness of a person in hypnosis is heightened rather than lessened. It’s that same kind of relaxed state of mind we experience every day when we drift off to sleep or when we first wake up in the morning.
The power that brings about change is in the imagination and the subconscious mind of the client – not the therapist. So an effective hypnotherapist is one who facilitates their client’s ability to use their imagination and respond to simple suggestions for the appropriate positive change.
The client remains in control and chooses to drift into this ALPHA state by listening to the voice of the hypnotherapist; and the ‘depth’ of their relaxation is also their choice.
Hypnotherapy can be an effective method for coping with stress and anxiety. In particular, hypnosis can reduce stress and anxiety before a medical procedure, such as a breast biopsy.
Hypnosis has been studied for other conditions, including:
- Pain control. Hypnosis may help with pain due to burns, cancer, childbirth, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint problems, dental procedures and headaches.
- Hot flashes. Hypnosis may relieve symptoms of hot flashes associated with menopause.
- Behavior change. Hypnosis has been used with some success in the treatment of insomnia, bed-wetting, smoking, and overeating.
- Cancer treatment side effects. Hypnosis has been used to ease side effects related to chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
- Mental health conditions. Hypnosis may help treat symptoms of anxiety, phobias and post-traumatic stress.
SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF HYPNOTHERAPY
Hypnotherapy is well known for treatment in habit breaking, phobias, stress related issues and pain relief. It is also extremely valuable in working with sports enhancement, weight loss, motivation, self-esteem, anxiety and panic attacks, insomnia, increased confidence and much more.
What can Hypnotherapy help with?
- Depression & Anxiety
- Pain/ General Health
- Low Self Esteem
- Low Confidence
- Sleep disorders & insomnia
- Public Speaking
- Phobias & bad habits
- Weight Loss
- Smoke Cessation
- Nail biting
- Studying & focus problems
- Sexual problems
- Experienced Trauma
- Anger management
- Sports performance & Enhancement
- Sports Anxiety
- Exams – effective study; memory and recall
Hypnotherapy is well known for it’s high success rates in helping smokers achieve their goal of quitting smoking. When most people start smoking it’s not usually a logical decision, it tends to be an emotional one, taken at a subconscious level. So a decision to stop should be made at the same level, which is why hypnosis is such a successful way to stop smoking.
Anxiety & Stress Management
Stress and Anxiety are found everywhere in todays society and can lead to major health problems if not dealt with. Perhaps this is why these are two of the main reasons that people seek hypnotherapy. Various hypno-therapeutic models can help with preventing stress, subconscious learning of relaxation reflex and developing a positive natural ability to cope with ‘stressful’ situations.
It stands to reason that the better you feel about the way you cope the better you will cope and therefor the better you will feel.
Hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for stress symptoms such as insomnia, panic attacks, excessive worry etc.
It’s important to note that chronic stress and anxiety are medical conditions and one should seek medical advice in such cases.
Hypnotherapy can help with removing old negative beliefs held in the subconscious mind and replacing them with new empowering beliefs (chosen by the client) in order for them to gain confidence in all areas of their life.
Sleep disorders & insomnia
If you think you won’t be able to sleep at night, it’s most likely that you wont. Hypnotherapy can help you to develop new expectations and make those sleepless nights a thing of the past.
Often things that we think are not related to sleep automatically fall into place as a consequence of good sleeping habits.
Public Speaking (glossophobia)
Does the thought of speaking in public leave you with sweaty hands and jelly legs? The fear of public speaking, which is a form of social phobia, and is something that hypnotherapy can help you to get over.
Fears & phobias
Another common reason for people to seek hypnotherapy is help with overcoming phobias. Most often these cured using cognitive hypnotherapy techniques however if a phobia is more deep and destructive (such as a severe agoraphobia) then it could be necessary to look at other issues that may need to be resolved.
Hypnotherapy can help you to lose weight naturally and is probably the healthiest way to lose weight when incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. Various hypno-therapeutic techniques are used depending on the needs of the individual client.
Nail biting is a subconscious habit, which affects people of all ages, and hypnotherapy is a very effective tool for overcoming because we can work with the subconscious mind to create new positive alternatives.
Sports Performance & Enhancement
Anyone can improve sports performance and reduce sports anxiety using hypnotherapy. It can be useful with sports people of all ages who can learn and perfect easy self-hypnosis techniques to enhance their performance and lessen anxiety.
Exams – effective study; memory and recall
Hypnotherapy is effective in helping with:
- Overcoming exam nerves, anxiety, panic and pressure
- Developing positive beliefs and motivation for study
- Finding new ways of coping with exams
- Learning to use self-hypnosis effectively for studying and exams
The hypnotic process
Hypnosis is not a once-off experience. Generally it takes four to eight sessions of hypnotherapy to work through the problem. It might require more or less sessions, depending on the nature of the problem. It is difficult to predict how many sessions we may need.
Hypnosis is usually done with a seven day interval between sessions, as the subconscious mind takes seven days (on average) to process the suggestions. Usually only after seven days you will start experiencing the effects of the previous session.
Misconceptions About Hypnosis
Some people are still skeptical about hypnosis due to the negative light in which it has been portrayed in films, sensational newspaper stories, and such like.
Some people think the hypnotherapist will control them (lies, lies, lies we simply guide and your mind will only accept what you are in agreement with), they think they might be made to do ridiculous things (you will only do what is morally acceptable to you), they think it is evil (I personally do not think that my mind is evil, I hope you don’t). These fears and misconceptions are completely unfounded. The individual is always in control, and in fact, is more aware of what is happening while in the hypnotic state.
In the UK and the USA Hypnotherapy has taken its rightful place alongside other medical techniques since the 1950s. Please consult the book authored by Dr. George Lewith and published by the British Medical Association, titled “Understanding Complementary Medicine” for an explanation of hypnosis and its usefulness. This book is available at Dischem.