What do you picture when you hear the words “hypnosis,: “hypnotist,” “hypnotherapy?” Thanks to Hollywood, sensational media, and the theatrics of stage hypnosis, it is understandable if you picture a suave character making his marks quack like a duck…or a sinister Svengali type character manipulating people’s minds for his own ends.
Hypnosis is an ancient modality that we have used since the ancient Druids, Egyptians, and numerous cultures and religions since the dawn of man. It is simply a way of inducing a trance-like state of deep relaxation. Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to overload the critical mind with message units in order to access an individual’s subconscious to treat a wide range of medical and psychological issues. For my purposes, I use hypnosis/hypnotherapy, to help my clients achieve their avocational and vocational goals.
Everyday, everyone goes into a hypnotic/trance-like state. You’re stuck on the 405 or on your drive home you loose track of time. Maybe you get enthralled in a movie or game you’re watching. Or while doing housework you start thinking of something else to where you don’t even remember cleaning the garage.
There are a number of misconceptions regarding hypnosis, of which I’m going to put to rest some:
- “I can’t be hypnotized.” Hypnosis is a natural state of altered. Everyday, everyone goes into some sort of hypnotic state. Driving on the 405 in LA. Going to the movies. Anyone can be hypnotized, as long as they are willing to be
- “Only gullible or easily susceptible people can be hypnotized. I’m an educated person and don’t believe in this hocus pocus.” Again, hypnosis is natural and is not discriminatory. Anyone, regardless of ethnicity, gender, philosophical beliefs, and/or socio-economic backgrounds can be hypnotized if they are willing and active participants.
- “Hypnosis is meditation.” In meditation the goal is to quite or empty one’s mind. In hypnosis, the goal is enhance suggestibility, induce a hypnotic state and use the power of the sub-conscious to change one’s behavioral and belief patterns.
- “If I’m hypnotized, I can be forced to reveal information or do things against my will. Like quack like a duck or commit a crime.” Hypnosis is not mind control nor is it brainwashing. While in hypnosis, the individual is still completely aware of his or her surroundings.
- “A person is in a deep sleep when in hypnosis, and may not even wake up!” Completely the opposite. While the phrase “deep sleep” is often used, the person is still completely conscious. Even if the individual falls asleep, they can still wake up if there is no medical issue at play.
Hypnotherapy is simply a way of using the natural state of hypnosis to access the subconscious and modify a person’s limiting beliefs and behaviors in order to create a lasting and positive change.