WHAT IS HYPNOSIS?
There is no
clear definition of hypnosis. Most people gain their first
experience of hypnosis through watching television as a stage
hypnotist performs his act. Although hypnosis is relatively
easy to master, it is not as easy to understand, and that
should not be surprising as we are being asked to understand
the human mind. Even those who have spent years studying the
mind know we are just beginning to scratch the surface.
exchange the word “hypnosis” for “altered state of
consciousness”, the best way to describe hypnosis then would
be “every level of consciousness except sleep”. Each level of
consciousness is a trance state that we operate in, whether it
is during hypnosis or any activity that requires focused
attention. For example, when we read, watch tv, listen to
music, or become bored with a conversation and drift off, we
enter a trance state.
word trance invokes many ideas for different people but what
most people don’t know is that humans have the natural ability
to enter trance many times a day. We do this when we watch TV
and block out everything else around us, get lost in a good
book and don’t hear people talking to us, when we drive and
reach our destination only to realise that we don’t remember
some stages of driving there. This also happens when we become
lost in the melody of a favourite piece of music or when we
meditate etc. Hypnotherapists use this natural ability by
purposely leading a client into a hypnotic state where
suggestions can be made to bring about a desired change. This
is called hypnosis.
DOES HYPNOSIS WORK?
works on the principle that we have one mind but many aspects
to it. For descriptive reasons these can be divided into two
main aspects – the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.
Our conscious mind controls our voluntary movements, it
thinks, analyses, deliberates, asks ‘why, attends to
information and is logical. Our subconscious or unconscious
mind controls our involuntary movements like breathing and
walking, it feels and is intuitive, it contains our storehouse
of memories, it knows ‘why’ and it is unlimited and expansive.
this description you can understand that it is within the
subconscious mind that all our learned patterns of behaviour
are contained, some good, some not so good. So to change those
patterns we no longer want we have to bypass the subconscious
mind to reach the source of those unwanted patterns. This is
done by the therapist inducing a hypnotic state while gently
“pushing” aside the conscious mind to gain direct access to
the subconscious mind for reprogramming with new suggestions.
you are hypnotised you are unaware of what is happening.
you are hypnotised you are more aware of everything because
your senses are heightened.
have to be deeply relaxed to go into a trance.
from being relaxed, being in chronic pain can create a trance
state. Also, shock, mental overload, being very busy and
occupied with focus (like gardening) can all create a trance
state. As an example, how many times have you done some
gardening then later realized that you scraped yourself but
don’t remember doing it?
people are more hypnotizable than others.
Anyone can be hypnotised if the right methods are used. Some
people may respond better to visualisation techniques, others
may be better with counting backwards, while others might
require soothing relaxation techniques to enter a hypnotic
Susceptibility to hypnosis is a sign of a weak personality.
People who have a high level of concentration make good
• You can
be made to do something during hypnosis that you don’t want to
False. If I
hypnotised you to rob a bank you wouldn’t do it. That
suggestion would have no affect because your subconscious mind
is grounded with your personal morals and ethics. You will
never do something against your will.
hypnosis you may say something you don’t want others to know.
people are worried about words popping out of their mouth
uncontrollably that they would rather not have said. This
doesn’t happen because under hypnosis you are in control and
you will only reveal what is in your best interest.
Hypnosis is like a lie detector a truth serum.
truth is a person can lie better when they are hypnotised than
in their normal conscious state. If you ask a child who took
the last biscuit they’ll say, “not me it must have been the
cookie monster” while they wriggle and squirm under your
scrutiny. However, put them in a hypnotic state and they will
become very relaxed and just say “not me”, convincing you they
didn’t do it.
• You can
get stuck in hypnosis.
false. Someone once asked me what if I fainted while they were
hypnotised? Would they become stuck in hypnosis? If a person
was in the deepest state of hypnosis humanly possible and I
left them in that state, after a while they would become bored
and either fall asleep waking feeling refreshed, or just open
their eyes to see what was going on. As far as I know no one
has ever been admitted to hospital with a terminal case of