The term “hypnosis” comes from the Greek word hypnos, meaning “sleep.” Consulting Hypnotists use exercises that bring about deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness, also known as a trance.
A person in a deeply focused state is unusually responsive to an idea or image, but this does not mean that a Hypnotist can control the person’s mind and free will. On the contrary, hypnosis can actually teach people how to master their own states of awareness. By doing so, they can affect their own bodily functions and psychological responses.
Key Points on Hypnosis
- Hypnosis is a special way of using various naturally-occurring psychological and physiological states. It’s a collaborative process in which you allow yourself to follow the guidance of the Hypnotist by using your imagination to evoke positive emotions and rehearse behaviour change.
- Everyone can, in principle, be hypnotised. It has been shown to help if you relax, think positively, and imagine the things being suggested.
- Hypnotic “trance”, so-called, is an increased ability to respond to positive suggestions, usually accompanied simply by relaxed attention to the ideas being suggested.
- Hypnosis is not a state of sleep or unconsciousness. About 90% of people report being aware of everything that happens, and relaxation helps but is not essential to hypnosis.
- Hypnosis is definitely not a state of mind control. You cannot be made to do anything against your will. On the contrary, normally you must want to accept suggested ideas and actively imagine responding to experience their effects.
- Hypnosis is completely safe when used in a responsible and professional manner. Nobody has ever been “stuck” in hypnosis.
- Comedy stage hypnosis has very little to do with clinical hypnosis and has been shown to foster misconceptions which can prevent people from benefiting from treatment. Take what you see on television/ on the stage with a generous pinch of salt.
- Hypnotic suggestion is a means of experiencing certain helpful ideas at a level profound enough to directly influence our emotions and behaviour.
- Psychological and emotional problems can be seen as the result of negative thinking, whereas hypnosis aims to encourage (“suggest”) positive ideas which lead to improvement.
- Hypnosis usually requires more than one session. However, it is probably one of the briefest forms of psychological therapy, and in clinical studies the average number of sessions is around 4-6.
- Hypnosis can help with an enormous range of different issues. Research tends to provide most support for its use in anxiety management, pain management, overcoming sleep disorders, and treating certain psychosomatic or stress-related illnesses.
- Hypnosis is also used to conquer habits such as nail-biting or smoking cigarettes, and for personal development in areas such as sports performance, public speaking, or creativity.
- Thousands of positive experimental and clinical research studies on hypnosis have been published. It was recognised as an effective treatment by the British Medical Association (BMA) and American Medical Association (AMA) in the 1950s and, more recently, by the American Psychological Association (for obesity) and NICE guidance (for IBS) used by the NHS.
- Hypnosis is essentially a simple, down-to-earth, and common sense therapy. For example, by relaxing, thinking positively, and picturing your goals, hypnosis can help you to progressively improve your habitual feelings and behaviour, helping you to Lead the Life you Desire and Deserve!