THE DEFINITION OF HYPNOSIS Hypnosis is a state of hyper-suggestibility where the conscious and subconscious (unconscious) minds dissociate. It is a state of mind where the subject is more likely to accept the operator’s suggestions.
You have been in hypnosis many times without even realizing it. If you have ever watched a sad T.V. show and reacted with a tear in your eye, you have been hypnotized by the television. You entered a state of increased suggestibility where you uncritically accepted the suggestion of sadness on the TV screen and reacted with a sad emotion, your tear. In other words your reasoning ability, which is contained in your conscious mind, was bypassed. You did not reason that the show was just a play; you accepted the action as being real. So you reacted with real emotion.
WHO CAN BE HYPNOTIZED? It has been found that all normal people are hypnotizable to a greater or lesser extent. People with less than a 70 I.Q., those of the moron level or lower, generally are not hypnotizable. People who are in an active state of psychosis generally are not hypnotizable. Most senile people are difficult or impossible to hypnotize. I have found in my own private practice dealing with a large number of retired people as old as 85 years of age, that hypnosis is a potent and beneficial method for most people. The person’s motivation is the key to success.
DO I HAVE TO BE A “DEEP” SUBJECT FOR SUCCESS? For the therapeutic applications of hypnosis we most often deal with, depth of any kind is not required. You can be the lightest possible subject and still receive all of the benefits from hypnosis that the deepest subjects will obtain. I strongly feel that over the years, far too much importance has been placed on how deep a subject is. If the subject is deep, it could be beneficial. This however, is not necessarily the case. Actually, with the latest hypnotic techniques like Ericksonian Hypnosis and state of the art “NLP” (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), depth is one of the least important aspects, which contribute to success.
ARE THERE ANY DANGERS IN HYPNOSIS AND SELF-HYPNOSIS? There are basically no dangers to the practice of self hypnosis. It is impossible to “get stuck” in hypnosis. The worst thing that could possibly happen while a subject is in hypnosis is that she might fall into a natural state of sleep for 20 or 30 minutes. She would awaken rested and out of the state of hypnosis.
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT HYPNOSIS There are many misconceptions about hypnosis. Most of them are due to the stage and television acts. Ironically, it is because of the fact that the television can hypnotize you that these misconceptions are so strongly entrenched in people’s mind.
IS HYPNOSIS SLEEP? The largest misconception about hypnosis is that it is sleep. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are asleep, you are unconscious. If you are unconscious, you cannot hear anything. If you cannot hear anything, then the hypnotist cannot help you. Hypnosis is a state of keen awareness. The subject is wide-awake and aware of everything around her. This misconception stems from the stage hypnotist’s use of the word “sleep” as analogous to the hypnotic state. When the old time hypnotist swung the watch in front of the subject’s face, he told the subject that she was getting “sleepy.” He then told the subject to go to sleep. What he meant was to go into a hypnotic sleep; not a natural sleep.
IS THERE A HYPNOTIZED FEELING? The second largest misconception is that there is a hypnotized feeling. There is no hypnotized feeling. I repeat, there is no hypnotized feeling. Most people feel very relaxed when in hypnosis, as relaxation seems to be the essence of hypnosis. Some people feel heavy. Some people feel light. Some people have other sensations and feelings. Other people have absolutely no feeling that they are in hypnosis, and believe they have not been hypnotized when they most definitely have.
CAN THE HYPNOTIST CONTROL ME? NO! The hypnotist cannot make you do anything against your will. There is always an observing ego state. Should the hypnotist make an offensive suggestion; this ego state would reject the suggestion. You will probably come out of hypnosis if the hypnotist makes an offensive suggestion.
CAN THE HYPNOTIST MAKE ME DIVULGE MY SECRETS? You will not divulge any secrets while in hypnosis unless you want to do so. The hypnotist does not have any control over the subject. Quite the contrary, the subject has more control over herself since at this time she has control over her own subconscious mind. The subject can easily reject any suggestion the hypnotist makes, no matter how simple or complicated the suggestion might be. The subject can open her eyes, emerge from the state of hypnosis, and walk out of the room at any time she chooses.
MUST PEOPLE TELL THE TRUTH WHEN IN HYPNOSIS? NO! People can lie when in hypnosis.
DO HYPNOTISTS HAVE SPECIAL POWERS AND VIBRATIONS? This is a common misconception. The hypnotist does not have any special powers, nor does he have any special vibrations with which to hypnotize you. Actually, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The hypnotist leads the subject into a state of hypnosis. In other words, the ability of hypnosis is in the subject.
WHY DO PEOPLE FAIL TO REACH THEIR GOALS USING HYPNOSIS? Perhaps the biggest reason for the inability to reach one’s goals through hypnosis is an inadequate amount of practice where self-hypnosis is concerned. The greatest reason for the return of a symptom or “relapse” is the premature discontinuance of hypnosis with the Hypno-therapist or recorded program. While self-hypnosis is important, it is generally the hetero-hypnosis with the hypnotist or recording which has the greatest impact upon the subconscious mind. This is because of the training and experience of the hypnotist vs. the lack of training and experience of the client. Some people are penny wise and pound-foolish. They mentally set an amount of time or money that they are willing to spend for help. And then they prematurely discontinue their sessions because, “I can’t afford it.” Or, “I didn’t lose 50 Lbs. in two days.” If a person or method is really helping one to make their desired changes, then it is priceless and it should be continued. It is for this reason that follow up hypnosis is generally recommended even after a symptom seems to have disappeared completely.
Self-hypnosis should be an ongoing affair on a daily basis. Ultimately, YOUR SUCCESS IS UP TO YOU!
WILL I BE BETTER OFF HIRING A HYPNOTIST, OR WILL PURCHASING A RECORDED PROGRAM WORK BETTER? That is an excellent question. Normally I would recommend that you utilize the services of a reputable hypnotist. The reason is that by meeting with you, a good hypnotist / NLP’er will be able to customize his approach to your personality and your favored representational system — the way you favor taking in information through the senses to make sense out of it and react to it. In my opinion, 99% of the recorded hypnosis programs available today are strictly Traditional Hypnosis, and consist of only one or maybe two sessions of it at that. Traditional Hypnosis is nothing more than a set of direct commands: “If you eat a brownie you’ll barf.” “You won’t have cravings,” etc. This technology has an exceptionally poor track record of success because everyone of our generation has been taught to question everything. That’s why you, your friends, and your kids usually do the opposite of what they are told to do.
That being said, having private sessions with any Hypnotist / NLP’er who has enough experience to be able to actually help you can be very expensive. There are some pre-recorded hypnotic programs based on Ericksonian Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) that have overcome those shortcomings. They’ve done this by utilizing a mix of Traditional Hypnosis, Ericksonian Hypnosis, NLP, and the highly regarded Video Hypnosis technology. These are all technologies that are designed to eliminate the resistance factor. In fact, Video Hypnosis and the NLP technology that it’s based on, do not utilize suggestion at all. They rely on using the thought processes that have created a problem, to eliminate it! Look for vendors who offer these technologies in multi-session products. These are programs that generally have six to eight different sessions, so you are exposed to a broad range of methodology. It takes a lot of work to make this type of program, but the high success rates are well worth it.
Stay away from the “one size fits all” — “do-or-die” hypnosis CDs and downloads. Many people are attracted to these programs because they are cheap, usually under $10.00. But is it cheap if it just wastes your valuable time and doesn’t work? If you try something and it doesn’t work, then you get wary and start to expect the next approach to fail. And you get what you expect. Do you really think that the same exact commands will work for everyone? Do you think that they will work for you? Do you usually do exactly as you are told? Or do you feel the desire to do the opposite of what you are told to do?
COMMON USES OF HYPNOSIS Bedwetting; Facial tics; Alcoholism; Asthma; Concentration, retention, and recall; Test anxiety; Appetite control/Weight Loss; Quit Smoking; Phobias; Pain elimination; Dental pain & anxiety; Depression; Stress & Relaxation; Insomnia and sleep disturbances; Nail biting; Increase concentration & learning ability; Self-confidence; Migraines & Headache
© 2006 By Alan B. Densky. This document may be re-printed as long as it is not altered and the author’s name and web address are retained.
Alan B. Densky, CH is certified by the NGH. He authored four books and dozens of articles on hypnotherapy and NLP. He is the developer of the Video Self Hypnosis Technology, which was perfected for weight loss and smoke cessation. Visit his Neuro-VISION Self Hypnosis website for FREE hypnosis articles, newsletters, and MP3s.
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