What is Hypnosis?

Science simply cannot agree on what hypnosis is and how it works. The British Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis states:

“In therapy, hypnosis usually involves the person experiencing a sense of deep relaxation with their attention narrowed down, and focused on appropriate suggestions made by the therapist. These suggestions help people make positive changes within themselves.

The days when hypnosis was seen as waving watches and controlling people’s minds, are long gone. In a hypnotherapy session you are always in control and you cannot be made to do anything. It is generally accepted that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. A hypnotherapist merely helps to facilitate your experience. Hypnotherapy is not about being made to do things, in fact it is the opposite, it is about empowerment.

Many people believe the client under hypnosis is unaware of his surroundings and is not in control. This is absolutely not the case. In fact, the client is more receptive and more alert with a heightened sense of himself and his surroundings. Hypnosis requires voluntary participation on the part of the client and there is nothing that a hypnotherapist can say or do which could compromise a client’s morals or values.

Hypnosis is simply a process that produces a very calm state of relaxation; your body may feel as though it has gone to sleep and you often keep very still. In fact, you remain awake. Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness that arises due to changes in the brain waves. These changes can occur naturally in some circumstances but in hypnosis they are induced with the use of specific techniques. In hypnosis, your attention is focused and narrowed. The Unconscious Mind is open and receptive while the reception and influence of the conscious part of the brain is turned down.

Traditionally, in Western philosophy, the mind and the body were viewed as separate entities, and thoughts were not considered to be able to affect the body. However, with the development of scientific evidence, is it now well established that the mind, thoughts, beliefs and emotions all affect the physical body. Every thought has a neurological consequence. Thoughts affect what is going on in the brain and therefore affects the responses of the whole body.

So, let’s say for a moment that your Unconscious Mind accepts everything as being true.

What kind of thoughts are you processing on a daily basis?
How beneficial are your thoughts for your health, growth and empowerment?
What kind of self-talk are you normally engaged in?
Do you have happy, positive self-affirming thoughts?
The role of the unconscious and conscious processing within the brain is altered with hypnosis. Most, if not all, conscious thoughts and behaviors originate in the unconscious part of the brain. We feel that we have control over our thoughts because we are aware of them only when they become conscious. It is, however, the unconscious part of our brain that decides what we think and therefore, being able to access this part of the brain in hypnosis allows us to influence our conscious thoughts in everyday life, to increase well-being.

We are more than just our conscious thoughts.