Hypnosis, or hypnotic suggestion, as used in hypnotherapy, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you’re under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and are more open to suggestions. It is not what is often portrayed on TV programmes or in the theatre, where a person is influenced to cluck like a chicken, bark like a dog, or to do something else that will embarrass them in some way. It is actually a very safe therapy; you are always in control of what is happening and you are never made to do anything that you don’t want to do – indeed you cannot be made to do something that you don’t want to but you can be helped to achieve your goals. It is a safe and reliable method of treatment that can assist with a great many problems too numerous to list here, especially those of an emotional nature.
When you are in hypnosis, you do not enter a state of deep sleep. Rather, you go into a lovely lazy daydream-type feeling, where you are in control, in a higher state of awareness. In this state, the conscious mind is suppressed, and the subconscious mind is allowed to come forward. During this time, the therapist will be able to work with your subconscious mind to enable you to change your life and make positive improvements. For example, you may be able to overcome irrational fears (like public speaking), finally shake those negative thoughts and emotions, and work through suppressed traumas and emotions that may be holding you back.
Reality: A qualified hypnotherapist’s treatment goes only as far as the client allows. Think of it like this: hypnosis does for the mind what massage does for the body. When you are enjoying lying on the masseur’s table, you are vulnerable and trust the masseur to treat your body according to your wishes. If at any point, the masseur hurt you or did something inappropriate, you would sit bolt upright, would you not? If a hypnotherapist gave you an undesirable suggestion, you would immediately come out of the state. (This is why it is wise to choose an NCH Registered Hypnotherapist.) Essentially, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. A knowledgeable hypnotherapist merely guides or facilitates the process for you.
Reality: A client cannot give up his free will in hypnosis any more than he can give up his free will when he is asleep. Actually, a client uses his/her free will to go into hypnosis, which is simply a heightened state of concentration and focus – something most of us experience quite often anyway. In hypnotherapy, we isolate an area of a client’s life that he/she wants to change, where he/she has not been able to change on his/her own. So essentially, you gain self-control. When someone has not been able to quit smoking on his own and quits smoking with the aid of hypnotherapy, that is gaining enormous self-control and personal power!
Reality: Can you go to sleep against your wishes? Or have a massage against your wishes? It is essentially the same “alpha” state. Further, your chances of being taken advantage of by a hypnotherapist are equal to your being taken advantage of by a medical doctor. Does it happen? Yes. Are these practitioners in business for long? No! Again, choose an NCH Registered Hypnotherapist, take advantage of a free phone consultation, and go with your intuition.
Reality: Even medical science cannot guarantee a 100% success rate. Certainly there is a small percentage of people who go so deep into trance that they do experience spontaneous amnesia. However, the vast majority remember everything the therapist says while they are in the state. Sometimes there is a delayed reaction … in other words, it may “hit” the client a day later. That is the real beauty of hypnosis: no matter how great you feel when you leave the office after a session, it is in the distillation process that occurs within the subconscious/psyche that one feels the real power. In other words, we “plant seeds”, and they begin to sprout and grow after treatment.