What Is hypnosis?
When you hear the word hypnosis or imagine being hypnotized what's the first thing that comes to mind? Does it bring up an image of someone waddling around on stage, quacking like a duck? Or maybe you might imagine the piercing eyes of some Rasputin-like character trying to dominate you and place you under his evil spell? While you might have seen some wacky, hypnosis stage shows or maybe encountered a few far, fetched movies the truth is that hypnosis is a very normal and extremely pleasant experience. In reality it's nothing more than an enhanced state of awareness, or a heightened state of relaxation. We go in and out of hypnosis throughout the day wether we know it or not; people often experience a 'trance-like' state while watching a movie, driving or listening to music. Most definitely everyone feels it at least twice a day - in that 'twilight state' just when you're about to fall asleep or for a few minutes right after waking up. Unlike the bad press its' been given on TV, in movies and other media hypnosis has nothing to do with being manipulated, 'knocked out', being unconscious, asleep, out of control, humiliated or being turned into a zombie. Whether on stage or in a therapeutic setting, a person will do only what he / she feels comfortable doing. You are always in complete control, aware of your surroundings, able to talk, hear, speak and yes even walk around.
What does hypnosis feel like?
Hypnosis and its' effects are different for each person, some tend to 'feel' it more than others do. Some might feel nothing more than a subtle relaxation and calmness, while others might experience a much deeper and more profound state. It has been said that hypnosis is similar to the feeling of drifting off to sleep with the T.V. on, or some might feel a heaviness in the body or a lightness and floating sensation. No two people experience hypnosis in the same way, each one of us comes to it with our own internal universe of experiences, emotions and suggestibility, there is no right or wrong way.
How is someone hypnotized?
There are many different ways that someone can be hypnotized, but there is one universal fact that applies to everyone. You must be willing and motivated to be hypnotized, if you don't want to be hypnotized there is no way you will ever be hypnotized, no matter how good the hypnotist claims to be. Basically all hypnosis is a form of self hypnosis and it is the hypnotist's role to serve as a tour guide rather than some kind of mental guru.
What is hypnosis used for?
Our minds are incredibly versatile, here are just a few things that can be done with hypnosis:
- Build self-esteem
- Reduce Stress
- Remove Creative Blocks
- Stop Smoking
- Weight Management
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Eliminate Fears and Phobias (public speaking, heights, spiders, water etc.)
- Achieve goals
- Past Life Regression
- Overcome Procrastination
- Create Instant Meditation
- Stop Nail Biting
- Improve Memory
- Pain Management
- Sports Performance Enhancement
- Relieve Anxiety
- Gain Motivation
- Therapeutic Imagery
- Assist in Healing
- Improve Study Habits
- Eliminte 'Test Taking' Anxiety
- Stop Teeth Grinding
Can I be hypnotized?
There was a time when it was thought that only 30-40% of the population could be hypnotized. Today great leaps have been made in understanding the process and mechanics behind the hypnotic state. Basically anyone, no matter their personality, sex or age can be hypnotized and benefit from it on some level. With this said, results will naturally vary depending upon the person's suggestibility, willingness and personal motivation for change. However those who choose to work with a skilled hypnotist within a therapeutic setting will tend to have far greater success than those choosing to use self-hypnosis. The reason for this is that a professional, certified hypnotherapist has been trained to guide the client to their greatest and most effective depth and is also able to formulate and implant the most powerful, personalized, hypnotic suggestions.
Is hypnosis dangerous?
No, there is no danger in using hypnosis - it is a completely natural and normal state.
What exactly is a Hypnotherapist?
The simplest definition of a hypnotherapist is that he or she is a subconscious behaviorist whose goal is to help modify a client's negative self-beliefs. A hypnotherapist is someone who has acquired two, very unique skills; first he/she has gained a high degree of proficiency in the art and practice of hypnosis, able to bring a client to their optimal, hypnotic 'depth'. Second he/she has been trained to use that trance state, in accompaniment with hypnotic suggestions, as a therapeutic tool to allow the client to conquer any number of personal problems. These issues might include eliminating phobias, anxiety and procrastination, forming habit control, or achieving peak performance in sports, business or creative endeavors.
While there are many exciting uses for hypnosis a hypnotherapist is bound by very specific perameters of expertise. This sphere is defined as 'vocational and avocational self improvement', meaning all things related to work, hobbies and the development of ones' self-empowerment and confidence. A hypnotherapist is not allowed to treat any medical or psychological conditions unless that client has been given specific, written consent from their doctor or psychologist.
Why should you hypnotize me when my doctor can do the same thing?
Any hypnotherapist worth their salt will recommend that a person should always do what they feel most comfortable with. If you feel you should only be hypnotized by a doctor or psychologist then by all means follow your heart. But there some excellent reasons why a certified hypnotherapist might prove as good or even better in this specific case. As we all know doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists are extremely busy people, they have tight schedules and a limited amount of time to train for something as unique and specialized as hypnosis. Many might attend a weekend seminar, learning the basics of what it means to perform an induction, use 'deepening techniques' or to create and implement hypnotic suggestions. But like anything else hypnosis is a vast and complex field and doing it right requires a lot of training, knowledge and most importantly practice!
As a certified hypnotherapist I attended HMI (The Hypnosis Motivation Institute) in Tarzana, California. Established in 1968 it was the first fully accredited school of hypnotherapy in the nation. The training was both rigorous and comprehensive, for a year and spanning more than 700 hours we focused solely upon the hypnotic method and accessing and 'communication' with the subconscious mind. Before we could even begin our internships as hypnotherapists we were required to achieve the title of 'Certified Master Hypnotist'. It is with this solid foundation that you can be confident and assured that you will receive the very best that hypnotherapy has to offer.