Hypnosis is the art of putting someone in a trance and making them do whatever you tell them to. Actually, the above statement, although a popular misconception, is entirely untrue. The fact of the matter is someone who is hypnotized is completely in control of themselves. Furthermore, hypnosis is often used as an alternative treatment to help people effectively overcome a variety of mental and physical problems.
Clinical hypnosis (treatment used for medicinal purposes) is not a new practice and dates back to the late 18th century. Today, it is used to treat a variety of both mental and physical problems including –
Mental – anxiety, phobias, sexual problems, speech disorders, chronic pain, improve self-esteem, managing weight, alcoholism, improving memory and/or concentration, etc.
Physical – Control of pain, control and soothes digestive problems, control bleeding, burn therapy, habit control, dermatology, anesthesia and surgery.
Hypnosis is even used by dentists to help certain patients cope with their fear, and control habits including gagging, tongue biting, drooling, etc. Regardless of what it is used for, this therapy has been extremely successful. The reason its success rate is so high, is due to the fact that most people who are hypnotized respond well to treatment. In addition, it is estimated that approximately 85% of the population can be hypnotized.
What exactly is clinical hypnosis? It is when a person is put into an altered state of awareness. This state of awareness allows the hypnotized individual to become totally relaxed and permits them access to their subconscious – the part of the mind that is suppressed by the consciousness when we are awake. Essentially, hypnosis provides a person the chance to gain total self-control.
What occurs during a session? The patient is usually asked to relax and focus their eyes on a specific point. The professional hypnotist then tells the patient to listen closely to their voice and they provide the patient more suggestions to achieve deeper relaxation and focus. Each hypnosis session is different, and depending on the problem being treated, a patient may be provided different positive suggestions to help alleviate symptoms or issues. However, during the first few sessions, the hypnotist will only introduce the patient to simple tests (I.E. imagining a particular object in the room), in order to find out how open their mind is too suggestions.
When the session is over, post-hypnotic suggestions will be provided to the patient to reinforce the new perceptions and attitudes that were established during the session.
Is there more than one form of hypnosis? Yes. Aside from clinical, there is also hypnotherapy, which works to achieve the same aim only through different means. Usually, hypnotherapy involves the use of audio sounds and/or positive imagery to help treat problems. There is also self-hypnosis. There are many different tapes and books you can purchase in local bookstores and online that teach self-hypnosis. However, if you are seeking effective treatment for a physical or mental problem, it is in your best interest to seek treatment from a qualified professional before engaging in hypnosis on your own.