Hypnosis is simply the deliberate use of the imagination, paralleled with strong focus and relaxation. Done well, it can work in the same way as when you are dreaming – the mind’s ‘Reality Simulator’. Hypnosis is connected with REM sleep ( Rapid Eye Movement), which occurs when you are dreaming.
When you dream, your subconscious mind produces very real physical sensations, dreaming is the deepest type of hypnotic trance.
Due to the pioneering work of Joe Griffin of the Human Givens Institute we now have an understanding that hypnosis is the artificial activation of the REM state, thanks to the insights derived from the expectation fulfilment theory of dreaming, we now have a scientifically convincing explanation for what hypnosis really is.
Hypnosis as a therapeutic intervention is becoming more and more prevalent and commonplace today. Hypnotherapy is a process where the client and the therapist cooperate for the benefit of the client.
Although the word “hypnosis” comes from the Greek word “sleep” the hypnotized individual is not asleep. Nor are they unconscious, you know, I still meet people that believe that experiencing hypnosis is like being unconscious. I always reply, “What would be the point of spending time and money to be unconscious in someone else’s company?”
So when you go into hypnosis, you simply get very involved with an inner reality, and we create this involvement, this focus, by drawing attention to detail in an interesting way.
It’s just like when you read a good book; a great author will make the words impossible to ignore – he or she will paint pictures in your mind. A good hypnotist will do the same.
But it’s not just about colorful imagination, it’s about controlling your attention – getting it focused on one or a few things. You can do this by deliberately noticing sensations within your own body
The person is well aware of what’s happening, but they are only focused on the hypnotic attraction and not on any other environmental stimuli going on around them.
When you have successfully reached a hypnotic state, you – or a registered Clinical Hypnotherapist – can plant alternative thoughts into your subconscious to help change your thinking patterns.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is an altered state of awareness, it is a completely natural state, even though the state can be induced artificially.
When you are in a hypnotic state, you become more focused, more aware and are more open to suggestions. It is a state where you are deeply relaxed and alert at the same time.
Hypnosis is something that occurs naturally for everyone, everyday! That’s right, you go in and out of hypnotic states everyday.
For example, have you ever found yourself enjoying a movie or a book so much, you become completely engrossed and focused on the screen or the pages, you block out all distractions and noises, and only when you are ready, you look up and realise that you did not notice anything going on around you?
Or have you ever been daydreaming or so absorbed in an activity that you lost track of time? It can be said that you are in a hypnotic state.
We have all had times, when we have found ourselves in a zoned out state where we’ve been so focused on one thing that we have no idea someone is talking to us at that moment.
Hypnosis is that altered state of consciousness, not asleep or unconscious but very focused, absorbed and relaxed.
What is the difference between Clinical Hypnosis and Stage Hypnosis?
Clinical Hypnosis is not Stage Hypnosis or Street Hypnosis, from what you’ve seen on TV, in movies or from a live stage show, you may be mistaken and have the wrong idea of what hypnosis is, what it is used for and can’t see how it can help you.
You may think you will be enticed to quack like a duck or act silly whenever someone says a particular word, this is what you see for entertainment – it’s not how Clinical Hypnosis really works. The process and principles used are very different. Clinical Hypnosis is used as part of a treatment toward better mental health, physical wellbeing and productive habits, whereas Stage Hypnosis is purely for entertainment value.
What is Clinical Hypnosis?
Clinical Hypnosis is process where a person willing receives therapy under the guidance of a qualified and registered Clinical Hypnotherapist, for the purpose of changing an unwanted or unproductive behaviour, emotional state or attitude. For example, people use it to decrease anxiety, stress and stress-related illness, stop smoking, encourage weight loss in their lives, pain management and personal development.
For instance, if the craving for a cigarette is overwhelming, they might use hypnosis to change their thinking so that smoking is no longer a priority – that it’s a negative action that repels them or they simply no longer think about cigarettes and cigarettes no longer hold any appeal for them.
Clinical Hypnosis has come a long way from staring at a swinging object or a spinning wheel and instantly losing consciousness. It’s done in a controlled, relaxing manner to help put you into a trance- like or daydreaming state – while you are awake and fully aware of what’s going on around you. A properly trained Clinical Hypnotherapist will have many ways to put you into (induce) this trance- like state.
This trance-like or daydreaming state is more of a relaxed time when your mind is free from other thoughts, distractions and worries and is open to a new way of thinking and suggestions. You are well aware of what’s happening, but you are only focused on the hypnotic attraction and not on any other environmental stimuli going on around you.
When you have successfully reached a hypnotic state, ie been induced, you (self hypnosis) – or a hypnosis specialist (a Clinical Hypnotherapist) – can plant alternative thoughts into your subconscious to help change your thinking patterns.
People who use either self hypnosis or a Clinical Hypnotherapist, can tap into their subconscious mind to alter and update their usual thinking patterns, or completely get rid of unwanted and unhelpful habits.
Clinical Hypnosis is not a magic wand therapy and your problem may not be able to be helped in one session. It is often something that takes place over several sessions in order to become successful, even though many people report feeling different (better) after just one session.
During a Clinical Hypnosis session, you are simply planting seeds of thought into your subconscious mind so that they can take root and grow from there. The more often you do it, the stronger those thought patterns will become until your behaviour is changed for the better.
You need to be open-minded to the process in order for it to work. If you go in with too many doubts, it either won’t be successful, or will take longer to achieve the kind of results that you want.
What can Clinical Hypnotherapy be used for?
Clinical Research conducted by Major Universities into the most common applications and issues that a Clinical Hypnotherapist may be able to help with, provides a comprehensive overview of the current clinical research that supports the effectiveness of using Hypnotherapy to help relieve 46 different problems .
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