There are many myths about hypnosis and hypnotherapy. The reality is actually very simple.
A state of consciousness produced by relaxation and focus
A state most people enter and exit without realizing it several times a day
Relaxing and comfortable
Very much like daydreaming
A state where someone can get more in touch with his unconscious mind
A state where the unconscious mind's power can be harnessed for positive change
Hypnosis is not:
A state where you can be made to do things against your will
A mindless, unaware state
When in a state of hypnosis, the hypnotized person retains knowledge and awareness of her surroundings. A hypnotized person can and frequently does react to events happening in the same room. While it is very relaxing and the hypnotized person's eyes are often closed, it is different from sleep. Studies have shown that a hypnotized person's brainwaves are in the alpha or theta range, instead of the sleeping delta pattern.
People go in and out of hypnosis or smilar states throughout the day. Any time a person daydreams or focuses intently on something, they can go into a trance or hypnotic state. It happens when someone loses himself in a book or a movie. How many times have you driven past an exit or a destination because you were lost in thought? That's a trance state. The brain enters these states easily and naturally.
Hypnosis for change uses these states to effect desired change within a person. How does this work? It uses the powerful unconscious mind to bring about the change!
The unconscious mind's function is to preserve health in an individual. It notices almost everything the conscious mind filters out. During a hypnotherapeutic session, we work with the unconscious mind to help it bring about positive changes in a person's life. By teaching the unconscious new behaviors to replace old, unproductive behaviors, clients can get the outcomes they want.
Who can benefit from Hypnosis?
Anyone who wants to make a deep-level change in his or her life! Anyone who is not under the influence of drugs, is not brain-damaged, and who wants to experience hypnosis can take advantage of its strength. Hypnosis is useful for:
Weight Management (weight loss, weight gain)
Basic Pain Management
Accessing Inner Creativity
And much more!
What typically happens in a hypnosis session?
Hypnosis sessions generally last about an hour.
During a first session, we discuss client goals. We work with the client to set realistic and workable outcomes. Because all behaviors have their roots in positive intent, we try to uncover what that intent might be.
With those elements in mind, we then run a series of tests to determine the best way to bring about a hypnotic state. These are not "pass-fail" tests. They're simply ways of uncovering the way a person best processes information and communicates.
Once that has been determined, we go ahead with the induction. While some people use a "standard" boilerplate induction, at Positive Beginnings we tailor our communication with the unconscious in order to bring about maximum effectiveness.
At that point, depending on the client's desired outcomes, we work with the unconscious to bring about these results. Finally, the client is brought back to a normal waking state.
What does it feel like?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions. Again, there is a very simple answer:
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Open your eyes.
That's all there is to it. Some people discover additional sensations, such as a floating or heavy feeling, but these are not universal. Whether a client experiences them or not, it is possible to experience great positive change. As previously stated, it is not necessary to be unaware of one's surroundings to get the greatest benefit from hypnosis. Sometimes a client finds her mind wandering and "loses track" of what the hypnotist is saying. That's perfectly normal and OK. The unconscious mind is still listening, even if the conscious mind is planning a grocery list!
Generally speaking, people enjoy the relaxation hypnosis produces. Some find that learning self-hypnosis lowers their stress levels in their daily lives.