Welcome to my series of informative articles on Hypnosis, as I look at hypnosis itself, what it is and what it is not and how it can be used to help with a myriad of personal and psychological problems.
The myths and mysteries which surround this subject bear little resemblance to the true facts. What takes place is a very normal, completely safe, non-magical process which produces predictable results, time after time.
However, before we can truly understand what Hypnosis is, we first have to understand what it is not.
What Hypnosis is NOT!
Lets take a look at some of the more common myths associated with Hypnosis and put them into a common-sense perspective.
Hypnosis is NOT magic!
There is no magic involved. There is certainly nothing evil or satanic or paranormal about hypnosis. No swinging watch chains, flashing lights or spinning wheels are necessary. In fact only the human voice is used to induce a state of hypnosis and a reassuring manner to put you at ease, coupled with the expertise to help you with your problem.
There is absolutely no question of being controlled or manipulated. So in reality, nobody can be made to do anything they do not want to do which would be contrary to their own moral judgement or beliefs.
A person in hypnosis is NOT asleep, but is fully aware of what is taking place. In fact even more so than usual, as their senses would be functioning more efficiently than normal.
There is no such thing as a hypnotized feeling. So you certainly won't feel as though you are in a trance, but you will be aware of a pleasant feeling of mental and physical relaxation.
You cannot be forced into a state of hypnosis. This idea goes back to the erroneous belief that some kind of magic is involved, where the "hypnotist" has magical powers that can make his "victim" submit to the power of his mind.
Of course this is nonsense. In reality, if you do not want to enter the state, you will not.
Note: There are certain stage performers' techniques that can be used to induce a state of hypnosis in certain subjects without them realizing it has happened. Appropriate suggestions and "trigger" words are given to the subject before and during the induction, so they will easily enter a state of hypnosis and then act on those "triggers" when told to.
There is nothing magical about this, it is purely making use of the power of suggestion.
Advertisers have been using similar techniques for decades, especially on television, to suggest to a captive audience that they all need and want this or that product. To give you an appreciation of the power of suggestion, how many people will admit to, back in the 1990s, having bought "Sunny Delight" orange drink for their kids?
The TV adverts cleverly tell it's captive audience (you, the viewer) "Its the taste kids go for". That hook plus the advert's child actors displaying obvious relish for the drink over the other drinks in the fridge is what helped to make that particular product the top selling drink in the UK, out-selling even Coca Cola!
The power of suggestion!
Lets take that train of thought one step further. It follows that the very knowledge that someone is a "hypnotist" is often a sufficient suggestion in itself to cause a person to enter a hypnotic state when that "hypnotist" tells them to. Even then, the person enters the state willingly but without realizing why.
So, if that is what hypnosis is not, then...
What Actually is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural phenomenon and is best described as "a state of relaxation and concentration combined with heightened awareness".
So hypnosis is (rather disappointingly one might think) just a deep natural state of physical relaxation combined with a relaxed yet focused mind. Hypnosis is a state almost anyone can enter if they want to. You cannot be forced into hypnosis, despite what some egotistical stage performers might want you to believe.
It has to be voluntary, i.e. you have to have agreed to enter the state of hypnosis.
In fact, when you think about it, all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis. The so-called "hypnotist" is really just a normal person who has learned how to assist a person enter the state of hypnosis using certain vocal or other techniques.
The "hypnotist" is just the catalyst that enables a person to enter the state by relaxing their body, and focusing their mind - usually on the voice of the "hypnotist". The rest is suggestion.
Once you have entered the state of hypnosis, you remain completely aware of what is going on around you. You also remain in complete control. This is why some people believe that they can't be "hypnotized".
They don't realize when they are in the state, because they don't feel any different. While there are several levels of "deepness" of hypnosis, you only need to enter a fairly light state of hypnosis for hypnotherapy to be effective.
This means that you are fully aware of everything that is going on around you. You can hear the "hypnotist's" voice and afterwards you can remember everything that was said. You will feel pleasantly relaxed and almost lethargic. Your mind may wander off occasionally, just the same as it can when you are listening to a speaker or lecturer drone on about something!
When you return to normal conscious awareness, at the end of the session, you open your eyes and feel rested, calm and contented. You are then fully conscious, fully awake, alert and immediately able to get on with whatever you want to.
Well, that's about all for now. Thank you for reading this article, I hope you found it interesting and informative.
Please visit my other article pages (listed below) for further information and deeper insight into the world of hypnosis, or call back again soon as there will be updates and additions to all the existing articles and the frequent addition of new ones as time allows.
Please see below for the list of article titles published in this category: