What is Hypnosis: The Most Important Frequently Asked Questions

Hypnosis works on changing the programs that have been held in our subconscious mind. These are often inaccessible through talk therapies. 
Hypnosis - Strategies4Life Karen Easter

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a state of trance that every person is capable of. 
Hypnosis is a natural state that people go into regularly without even realising it. The most common natural states occur while watching a good movie, gazing into a fire or when driving. You realise you are in a state when someone speaks to, waking you up, or you realise you are temporarily lost while driving. 
Just remember if you listen to some positive suggestions while in these naturally occurring trance states, they will also have an effect on you… so be aware of what you listen to on long journeys!
In a deep state of hypnosis, the brain goes into a Delta brainwave state which is equivalent to the dreaming state. In the deepest state of hypnotherapy, the brain can go to the Delta brain wave pattern, which is associated with deep dreamless sleep.

How does hypnosis help me to change?

Hypnosis works on changing the programs that have been held in our subconscious mind. These are often inaccessible through talk therapies. 
In the relaxed state of hypnosis people can access the limiting beliefs and negative programs stored in their subconscious without any discomfort. Using the client’s own language and intentions, the subconscious programs can be supported to change.  (The book “Thinking Fast & Slow” by Richard Kahneman offers a scientific explanation about the impact of the subconscious mind over our actions and reactions.)

Do I lose control in hypnosis?

No, you are always in control, even more so than when you are awake! You can open your eyes at anytime and you can even get up and leave (not that it’s ever happened before!). You become more aware of your responses and begin to allow hypnosis to help with changing thoughts and automatic reactions. 

What does hypnosis do to change me?

People are often not aware of the influence the subconscious mind has on their actions and thoughts. Most of us live on automatic. 
Imagine that all your life experiences are stored in your subconscious mind. They constantly influence your thoughts and actions. We see this in our automatic behaviours, our feelings, and emotions.  Think about your automatic responses to things that annoy you. When did they begin?
In this state of hypnosis, you can begin to change the way you feel and react, easily and comfortably in a shorter time than traditional therapies.

How many hypnotherapy sessions will I need?

Depending on the issue you are addressing with hypnotherapy, your treatment provider should be able to give you an idea of how many sessions to expect to have. 
After the first session you should experience a sense of relaxation that may last days.  
At Strategies 4 Life we recommend allowing time for 4 to 6 sessions one week apart. You can expect to experience lasting change about the 3rd or 4th session. 
Your full program may require more sessions, but these hypnotherapy sessions can be taken later after your initial 4 to 6 sessions. Please remember every client is unique so their program will be designed to suit their needs. 

Can a person be hypnotised without their consent?

No. Hypnosis is always self-hypnosis. No one can be hypnotised against their will.

Can I get stuck in hypnosis?

No. Clients often don’t wish to come back to awareness as the experience is so enjoyable, but even if they were left to wake up themselves, they would merely drift back into conscious awareness like waking up from sleep. 

A Brief History of Hypnosis

One of the first written acknowledgements of Hypnosis was in a 1027 publication called The Book of Healing. More religious practitioners in countries such as Austria and Ireland associated hypnosis with prayer, and it was a part of many spiritual ceremonies, leading to its supernatural mystique.

By the late 1700s, hypnotherapy had moved away from mysticism and into the scientific realm. The practice was closely associated with the study of magnetic forces for treating ailments and was, for a time, called animal magnetism. By the early 1800s, however, some scientific minds were starting to discern the fact that the process worked even without the use of magnets.

A priest named Abbe Faria created quite a stir by publicly demonstrating his ability to alter someone’s state of mind with just technique and the cooperation of his subject. Just a few years later, Faria’s discoveries allowed physicians to successfully use the principles of hypnotism as a viable form of anaesthesia for major surgeries. Still, scientists were sceptical, and it was widely misunderstood how and why this worked. Also, a wide variety of critics were put off by the seeming lack of control that accompanied hypnosis, and by the Civil War period in the 1860s, there was greater access to more reliable anaesthesia such as chloroform. 

At this point in history, the practice switched from a medical phenomenon to a principle of psychology, with hypnosis used more frequently to treat mental health conditions. By the late 1800s, The First International Congress for Experimental and Therapeutic Hypnotism was populated almost entirely by scientists who studied the human mind such as Sigmund Freud.

Hypnosis is powerful and benefits many people from 6 years to 116 years, enabling them to change patterns of behaviour and thinking without years of therapy.

Hypnotherapy continues to provide solutions to many mental health conditions within a relaxing and pleasurable experience.

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