What is hypnotherapy?
The term “hypnosis” comes from the Greek word hypnos, meaning “sleep.” Hypnotherapists use exercises that bring about deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness. A person in a deeply focused state is unusually responsive to an idea or image, but this does not mean that a hypnotist can control the person’s mind and free will.These ideas and images are those that will have been discussed and agreed too, with you, the client, long before you are hypnotized.
Quite the contrary to popular belief, hypnosis can actually teach people how to master their own states of awareness and by doing so they learn to affect their own body and mindful responses.
How does hypnosis work?
When something happens to us, we remember it and learn a particular behavior in response to what happened. Each time something similar happens, our physical and emotional reactions attached to the memory are repeated. In some cases these reactions are unhealthy. In some forms of hypnotherapy, a trained therapist guides you to remember the event that led to the first reaction, separate the memory from the learned behavior, and replace unhealthy behaviors with new, healthier ones.
During hypnosis, your body relaxes and your thoughts become more focused. Like other relaxation techniques, hypnosis lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and changes certain types of brain wave activity. In this relaxed state, you will feel at ease physically yet fully awake mentally and may be highly responsive to suggestion. Your conscious mind becomes less alert and your subconscious mind becomes more focused.Some people respond better to hypnotic suggestion than others.
There are several stages of hypnosis:
Reframing the problem
Becoming relaxed, then absorbed (deeply engaged in the words or images presented by a hypnotherapist)
Dissociating (letting go of critical thoughts)
Responding (complying with a hypnotherapist’s suggestions)
Returning to usual awareness
Reflecting on the experience
What happens during a visit to the hypnotherapist?
During your first visit, you will be asked about yourself, what condition or situation you would like to address. I will be happy to explain to you what hypnosis is and how it works. Then, if you agree and understand, you will then be directed through relaxation techniques, using a series of mental images and suggestions intended to change behaviors and relieve symptoms. For example, people who have panic attacks may be given the suggestion that, in the future, they will be able to relax whenever they want. Hypnotherapy can also help to teach you the basics of self hypnosis.
How many treatments will I need?
Each session lasts about an hour, and most people start to see results within 4 – 10 sessions. We will monitor and evaluate your progress over time.
Children (aged 9 – 12) are easily hypnotized and may respond after only 1 – 2 visits.
What conditions respond well to hypnosis?
Hypnosis is used in a variety of settings — from emergency rooms to dental offices to outpatient clinics. Clinical studies suggest that hypnosis may improve immune function, increase relaxation, decrease stress, and ease pain and feelings of anxiety.
Hypnotherapy can reduce the fear and anxiety that some people feel before medical or dental procedures. For example, studies show that dental patients who underwent hypnosis had a significantly higher threshold for pain than those who were not hypnotized. Hypnosis may also improve recovery time and reduce anxiety and pain following surgery.
A hypnotherapist can teach you self regulation skills. For instance, someone with arthritis may learn to turn down pain like the volume on a radio. Self hypnosis can enhance a personal sense of control.
Clinical studies on children in emergency treatment centers show that hypnotherapy reduces fear, anxiety, and discomfort.
What is Hypnotherapy and How Does it Differ From Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a totally natural state of mind. When under hypnosis you will feel very relaxed, just like that wonderful feeling when you are tired lying in your bed and you are so overcome with comfort that you wish the moment could last forever. Through simple hypnotic, relaxation techniques you can easily attain this state at which time it becomes easy, with the help of a trained hypnotherapist, to visualize yourself becoming healthier, happier, more confident, a non-smoker. Whatever it is that you want to be!
What Does Hypnotherapy Involve?
Hypnotherapy is a two way process between the therapist and the client, a professional partnership. A person cannot be hypnotized unless he or she agrees and co-operates – this cannot be stressed enough. Also whilst hypnotized, nobody can make you do anything which you do not want to do. Even those people on television eating raw onions and pretending to be Madonna are doing it because they want to! They have chosen to participate. It must be emphasized here that what hypnotherapists do is, by definition, therapeutic. Stage hypnosis is very different. It is a form of entertainment.
A Hypnotherapist’s Job is to Help People
The first stage of a hypnotherapy consultation will generally involve an informal chat and some questions from the therapist to ascertain the nature of the issue and the necessary route to overcoming or dealing with it. The next stage is hypnosis. The following notes are taken from an information sheet published by the National Council for Hypnotherapy.
You are led, by means of the hypnotherapist’s gently guiding voice, into a state where your body and mind are relaxed and nearly asleep. To an onlooker it might seem as if you were totally asleep but in fact, though you will normally feel very relaxed, you will remain awake enough to be aware. Also awake will be those parts of your mind which the therapist is working with to induce beneficial changes. This may mean that you will be picturing, as in a daydream, the things which are being spoken of and that you may experience the associated pleasant feelings.
REMEMBER that if at any time you feel uncomfortable and want to terminate the session, then you will be perfectly capable of doing so.
After this there is always time left at the end of the session for you to ask questions or to discuss any experiences you had whilst you were in the relaxed, hypnotic state.
Hopefully one day we will do away with the strange and mystical stereotype of the hypnotherapist once and for all. The magic is all in the mind of the person receiving hypnotherapy.
The hypnotist merely helps you to use that incredible hidden power to achieve things in your life such as stopping smoking, losing weight, cutting down on stress, gaining in confidence and happiness, even excelling at your chosen sport.