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Your Questions Answered

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is extremely effective and powerful self-persuasion. Hypnosis is a trance state of relaxation where the body is very relaxed but the mind is active. We all experience a trance state on a daily basis and it occurs naturally – examples would be day dreaming, being deep in thought or engrossed in a book and losing all track of time.

What is it not?
Hypnosis is not sleeping or being unconscious – quite the contrary. There is no swinging watch or loss of memory or loss of control.

Does hypnosis really work?
Yes. Working with hypnosis is well documented by doctors, dentists and many other leading health professions. The use of hypnosis was approved by the Medical Association as a valid medical treatment in 1955.

Why does hypnotherapy work?
Your conscious mind seems to make all the decisions – and directs all your activity – but this isn’t the case. This is done by your unconscious mind. The unconscious is responsible for around 90% of what we think, feel and do. In order to change anything it is the unconscious that must make the change.

Let’s take smoking as an example: smoking becomes a part of the person’s life when the unconscious decides to integrate smoking into the daily routine… automatically. Now you don’t have to think about when you want to smoke or even if you want to smoke. Your unconscious mind has linked the times, the places, the situations to create an automatic behaviour. However, when you decide to quit, you decide this at a conscious level – but your unconscious has automated your smoking habit and made it a part of who you are. It ignores your conscious desire and decision and continues to provide your conscious mind with the triggers and thoughts about smoking. As your unconscious mind is more dominant and therefore stronger than your conscious mind you experience conflicting desires. That is why you can stop smoking for a period of time but because of the conflicting desires, the unconscious mind usually wins and you return to smoking again. So how can you get the unconscious mind to agree with your conscious decision… hypnosis.

By achieving a trance state the unconscious mind surfaces and is open to suggestions.

Will I lose control?
No. Your mind will only accept those suggestions that are helpful to you and it doesn’t mean that your free will or moral judgment is turned off – quite the opposite and that is why you are always in control of the process. You hear what is being said and you can open your eyes at any time should you wish to.

What will happen when I come along?
Trance is induced by a hypnotherapist’s rhythmic voice that guides you to a relaxed state of internal awareness. You can choose how deep in trance you go. You hear what is said and you are in control the whole time. At the end of the session your are more relaxed and in control. In fact you can open your eyes at any time. Most people report additional beneficial effects such as improved sleep and lower stress levels.

What is the role of the hypnotherapist?
The role of the hypnotherapist is a motivational coach and a stress management consultant. They accomplish this by being a teacher and a guide. A hypnotherapist will teach you about your mind in relation to how hypnosis helps and the he/she will guide to a beautiful state of trance where you can empower yourself.

Can I learn to hypnotise myself?
Yes, easily. Effectively all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

Further Information
During hypnosis the person enters a relaxed state, in which respiration, heart and metabolic rates slow down and the conscious mind is by-passed leaving the unconscious, or sub-conscious mind open to suggestion.

Usually light or medium trance states are used and the person remains fully aware of all that is going on. A small proportion of susceptible people can be placed in deep trance states in which all conscious awareness is lost.

Two main types of hypnosis are used today. The most common is induction hypnosis whereby the practitioner talks the person into a deeply relaxed state and then implants mental healing suggestions.

The psychiatrist, Milton Erickson (1901-1980) developed a less authoritarian approach in which inductions and solutions are not imposed. Instead impromptu suggestions are made during everyday trance states and the patient remains in control.

The 'suggestions' are positive statements about a desired behaviour or outcome that are used to 'programme' the subconscious mind during the relaxed state. Try for yourself with self-hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy has been widely researched and proved successful in the treatment of many conditions including anxiety, phobias, addictions, weight problems, pain, insomnia and high blood pressure. In the hands of qualified, experienced and trustworthy practitioners hypnotherapy is safe.

 
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