TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE TODAY
Frequently Ask Questions
Your guide to finding the personal and professional
improvement programs to fit your needs.
Hypnotherapy is a tool for reaching and dealing with problems of the mind and body using a state of mental relaxation in which the client is open to suggestion from the therapist. In the hypnotized state, emotional problems can be addressed and resolved, body functions can be improved to restore normal activity, and mental power can be enhanced to overcome obstacles, gain higher self esteem, improved memory, etc.
A hypnotherapist uses a series of repeated instructions to bring you to a state of deep relaxation. While you are in this relaxed state, the conscious is less active and the subconscious is free to explore psychological or emotional problems and to take in suggestions affecting both mental and physical health.
- Hypnosis can be described as a very deep state of relaxation
- Hypnosis is not sleep
- Hypnosis can be described as a normal, natural, healthy state of mind
It is also a naturally occurring body defense mechanism. Hypnosis appears spontaneously as a protective mechanism in humans when they are frightened, disoriented, or in situations of severe violent stress – mental or physical.
Virtually anyone can be hypnotised, some more easily than others. The depth that people reach in hypnosis varies between individuals. It is not necessary to achieve a very deep level of hypnosis to bring about change to habits or conditions that are having a negative impact either mentally or physically.
You were born with a particular talent for hypnosis. Perhaps you are among the small percentage [estimated 3% – 10%] of people who have a terrific talent for hypnosis. Or you may be among the small percentage [estimated 3%] of people who have little talent for hypnosis.
Most likely, you are among the majority of us who fit somewhere in between the two extremes. Your skill can be enhanced with guidance by a Hypnotherapist and with practice.
A common myth about hypnotisability is when a person says, “No one could hypnotise me, I’m too strong minded”. A person goes into hypnosis because they choose to. So strong-minded individuals are really good candidates for hypnosis provided they are committed to wanting it to work for them.
Firstly, let’s look at a general explanation on Meditation. Meditation and Relaxation aims to bring calm to the mind, to allow our thoughts to settle, to allow us to focus and to simply ‘be’. At its simplest Meditation can simply be allowing the mind to become more peaceful, calm and focused. Meditation is a process of letting go, of simply allowing your mind and body to be still. There are many methods of meditation including focusing the mind on an object, such as a flower, a candle, a sound or word, or the breath. This focus on an object brings the mind to the stage where other thoughts and feelings are stilled.
Scans of people in hypnosis show that the brain activation seen in hypnosis is quite different from that seen in normal waking or sleeping or in meditation.
Our mind regulates its activities by means of electric waves which are registered in the brain, emitting tiny electrochemical impulses of varied frequencies, which can be registered by an electroencephalogram. These brain waves are known as:
- Beta emitted when we are consciously alert, or we feel agitated, tense, afraid, with frequencies ranging from 13 to 60 pulses per second in the Hertz scale.
- Alpha is when we are in a state of physical and mental relaxation, although aware of what is happening around us, its frequency are around 7 to 13 pulses per second.
- Theta is more or less 4 to 7 pulses, it is a state of somnolence with reduced consciousness.
- Delta when there is unconsciousness, deep sleep or catalepsy, emitting between 0.1 and 4 cycles per second.
In general, we are accustomed to using the beta brain rhythm. When we diminish the brain rhythm to alpha, we put ourselves in the ideal condition to learn new information, keep facts, data, perform elaborate tasks, learn languages, analyse complex situations. Meditation, relaxation exercises, and activities that enable the sense of calm, also enable this alpha state. According to neuroscientists, analysing electroencephalograms of people submitted to tests in order to research the effect of decreasing the brain rhythm, the attentive relaxation or the deep relaxation, produce significant increases in the levels of beta-endorphin, norepinephrine and dopamine, linked to feelings of enlarged mental clarity and formation of remembrances, and that this effect lasts for hours and even days. It is an ideal state for synthetic thought and creativity, the proper functions of the right hemisphere. As it is easy for the hemisphere to create images, to visualise, to make associations, to deal with drawings, diagrams and emotions, as well as the use of good-humor and pleasure, learning is better absorbed if these elements are added to the study methods.
You must abandon the idea that hypnosis is some kind of zombie like trance state. It is very much like meditation except you have a purpose beyond just relaxation and finding peace.
This is one of the common misunderstandings associated with hypnosis. This is probably tied in with the misconception that the Hypnotherapist has control over the client. This is not the case. People will not do or say anything under hypnosis that they would not do when not in hypnosis. Basically all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, you cannot be hypnotised against your will. This fear probably comes from the TV shows and performances by stage hypnotists. The stage hypnotists know how to select the most hypnotisable of their volunteers.
Research conducted at the University of NSW by Dr Amanda Barnier and reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on February 2, 1998, states that “Hypnotised people do not act like robots, nor are they powerless pawns of post-hypnotic suggestions planted in their subconscious”. The report goes on to state that “some people genuinely experience their new persona; others talk themselves into the whole thing, while a small proportion simply fake it”.
If a client has these fears I often just say something like, “Could anybody talk you into robbing a bank, taking your clothes off in public or anything else that was against your normal moral or ethical values?”
Conversely “Have you ever seen anybody do anything that was different to your moral or ethical values? I.e. take drugs, steal, cheat or whatever – did they need a Hypnotherapist to do it?”
Any person suffering from any degree of emotional or physical “dis-ease” can benefit from Clinical Hypnotherapy. The problems treatable through hypnosis are equally diversified. Although hypnosis is commonly associated with habit cessation (losing weight, quitting smoking, etc.), almost any area treatable by conventional means can be enhanced through the use of hypnosis. The well-trained clinician, using hypnotherapy can help clients suffering from the following –
Alcoholism, Anger, Anxieties, Asthma, Bed Wetting, Blood Pressure, Blushing, Breathing Disorders, Bulimia, Burns, Chronic and Acute Compulsions, Confidence, Dentistry, Depression, Eczema, Exam Nerves, Exam performance, Gambling, Gastro – intestinal Disorders, Goal Setting, Grief, Guilt, Habit Control, Headaches, Hostility, Insomnia, Memory Enhancement, Mood Swings, Nail Biting, Obsessive / Compulsive Behaviours, Obstetrics (hypnobirthing), Over Eating, Pain Control, Assertiveness, Communication, Pain management, Panic Attacks, Personal Growth, Phobias, Psoriasis, Public Speaking, Relationships, Relaxation, Releasing the Past, Resentments, Sexual Dysfunction, Skin Problems, Sleep Disorders, Smoking Cessation, Sports Motivation, Stress relief, Study Recall, Stuttering, Warts and Worry, even some forms of schizophrenia and multiple personality(DID) have been treated with hypnotherapy.
Hypnosis can be utilised in the treatment of most disorders, whether mental or otherwise, where the relaxation response promotes the person’s attitude. For example, with a physical injury, the person’s mental resources can be enlisted to aid in managing the subsequent discomfort, allow for some rest and lessen the associated emotional trauma. It must be noted that Hypnotherapy is not a replacement for medical treatment from a doctor. The most important determinant of the eventual success of the therapy is the true desire to get well.
A Clinical Hypnotherapist uses hypnosis to enable the client to achieve a state of mental, physical and emotional relaxation. When in hypnosis, the conscious mind (that busy, critical, analytical part of the mind) takes a rest. Hypnosis allows people to tap into the storehouse of information that lies in the subconscious, sometimes referred to as the unconscious, mind and make positive changes to thought patterns, habits or the effects of traumatic incidents that are having a negative impact either mentally or physically.
Each client may experience hypnosis differently relative to the technique being used and the psychology of the client. For some, it is a heightened awareness; for others, a profound relaxation. Sometimes the client hears every word the hypnotist says, and other times the voice fades in and out or becomes completely inaudible. In Ericksonian work, the client is never put under the “control” of the hypnotist. The client is always free to alter the hypnotic experience or awaken at will.
Hypnosis is a normal, naturally occurring, healthy state of mind. It is totally DRUG FREE. There has never been a single documented case of harm resulting from the use of hypnosis that I know of.
Leslie Le Crone, psychologist and authority on hypnosis, states: “As to self-induction, many thousands have learned it and I have yet to hear a report of any bad results of its use”.
In his book Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Dr William S Kroger states: “Platonof, an associate of Pavlov, who used hypnosis for over fifty years in over fifty-thousand cases, reports as follows: ‘We have never observed any harmful influences on the patient which could be ascribed to the method of hypnosuggestion therapy, or any tendency toward the development of unstable personality, weakening of the will, or pathological urge for hypnosis”.
Dr David Cheek, MD, who has vast experience in the field, writes, “We can do more harm with ignorance of hypnotism than we can ever do by intelligently using hypnosis and suggestion constructively”.
Psychologist, Rafael Rhodes, in his book “Therapy through Hypnosis”, writes: “Hypnotism is absolutely safe. There is no known case on record of harmful results from its therapeutic use”.
Clinical Hypnotherapist, Gil Boyne, who I have had the pleasure of training with, states, “In almost forty years of practice and more than 40,000 hours of hypnotherapy, I have never seen or heard of any harm resulting from hypnosis”.
However, at this point I would like to bring up poker machines. Briefly, Progression of Emotions and Coping Strategies
Understanding the way the emotions progress is important. It is important that we develop appropriate coping strategies when we are first hurt. An example can be:
HURT: A man goes to work and his boss tells him that he may be losing his job.
PAIN: He gets a headache.
FEAR: He starts to worry about his bills, can he get another job.
ANGER: He is driving home and yells at an old lady who is driving too slowly.
DEPRESSION/SAD: He gets home and just sits and feels very sad – life is not worth living, why does this always happen etc.
DISASSOCIATION: He feels numb, sleeps all day, watches TV or drinks excess alcohol, plays poker machines etc.
Examples of good coping strategies – going for a walk, calling a friend, doing breathing exercises, seeing the funny side or other person’s side etc.
Just take note of a poker machine room, it is perfect for trance. Very rarely do they have window, and only just recently did a law come in to say a clock had to be in clear view. The hypnotic sound of the machines, how now you only have to slide money in to the shoot, no breaking state to get more change etc. The hypnotic pattern of the left right eye movement. Remember the watch. Very good place to get away from pain, except when the money runs out and you have to come back to reality.
What hypnotherapy does is to help bring out the best in you. This means that you will change by leaving behind any habits or baggage you no longer need or want and thereby become a stronger and happier person. Hypnosis will not put something into you that was not there in the first place. It just helps you to uncover your strong and good qualities, which you may not even have known you have.
The feeling when in hypnosis is of being physically and mentally relaxed. It has been likened to the feelings we experience just before waking completely from sleep or just as we drift off to sleep. Some people say it feels like daydreaming. When in hypnosis, people experience a state of complete mental, physical and emotional relaxation. In itself, this is a very healing state. Dr Milton Erickson, a leading American Hypnotherapist, described the process of clinical hypnosis as “a free period in which individuality can flourish”.