Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation, calmness, and focused inner awareness. It is a time when you can experience feeling deeply relaxed and simultaneously have a sense of intense inner focus. During this time of increased inner focus you may also have a greater ability to access information. This helps you find ways to achieve your desired goals while you are experiencing hypnosis. This state of deep relaxation and inner focus is often called a trance.
What happens during hypnosis?
During the hypnosis process I will talk to you about any variety of things, all meant to calm and relax you. When you begin to notice this calm state I will then begin to focus on the issue you are trying to change. This can be done in any variety of ways, often by the use of either imagery and/or suggestion. This allows the change process to begin to happen from within yourself. The use of imagery allows you to see change happening. As for the suggestions, as long as these suggestions are acceptable and compatible with what you desire this can increase the change process during the hypnotic trance state.
What are the myths regarding hypnosis?
It has been commonly assumed hypnosis will make you do something against your will. The most common example is the person who quacks like a duck while up on a stage after volunteering for a "stage hypnotherapist". Another myth is that you will be controlled by the therapist and asked to do something against your will while in a trance. Or that hypnosis can make you do something just by suggestion like stop smoking when you really have limited to no real desire to stop smoking.
In the first example it is important to understand that stage hypnotherapists screen their participants for individuals who are cooperative and are willing to do these odd behaviors, if you are not willing then you won't quack like a duck. It is also important to remember that hypnosis is not able to take a your will and control away from you, if you don't want to do what is suggested—then you won't do it. It can help you achieve and find ways to accomplish a change in a habit such as stopping smoking when you have a desire to stop. However it can't make you stop if you don't really desire to stop.. It generally does not take all the urges to smoke away though hypnosis can help you deal with the urges more effectively.
Another myth is that you will be “out or put under” and not know what happens during the trance. Remember, hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation and inner focus, generally you will be feeling deeply relaxed and able to let the worries of the day go during this time. You will be focusing on your thoughts and feelings and will most likely remember most if not all of what you are experiencing during this time.
Can everyone be hypnotized?
Most everyone has some ability to respond to hypnosis. The degree to which a person can be hypnotized can be affected not only by their fears but also their resistance. If a individual goes into a session and has the intent to not let themselves be hypnotized then the effectiveness can be diminished. Hypnosis makes accepting suggestions for change easier--it does not force it on someone. The more motivated you are the more likely it will be effective.
What are the uses of hypnosis?
Hypnosis can be used to help with any number of issues: pain management, stress reduction, habit control such as smoking cessation, weight management, reducing/stopping snoring, increasing healthy behaviors such as exercise. It is noted that hypnosis may not be useful for all psychological /medical problems nor is it for every person. The use of hypnosis needs to be evaluated by a qualified therapist who has been trained in its use.