What is hypnosis?
Opinions vary on the exact definition of this natural state of mind. First of all, contrary to what many people believe, hypnosis is not always a trance state or a sleep state even though a person in hypnosis may appear to be sleeping. Hypnosis is really natural state of mind and is an important part of everyday life. Whenever our mind wanders, daydreams or is focused on something, such as reading a book, driving a familiar route on autopilot, being engrossed and absorbed in a film we are in a state of hypnosis. Have you ever driven along the motorway and suddenly realised that you don’t remember the last 10 miles because you were daydreaming?
Brain scans on people who are in hypnosis state show that brain wave activity moves from a Beta state to an Alpha state, and sometimes a Theta state. This is not dissimilar to the pattern of brain activity during meditation
The practice of hypnosis has been around for thousands of years. There are stories going back to Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt about hypnosis. The Greek God of Sleep was called “Hypnos” and people would flock to the holy temples to receive healing. They would be given some herbal drink and poppy seeds to help to put then in a special sleep state. When they woke up they would often be miracously "cured" of their ailments. The history of hypnosis has changed dramatically over the years.
If I’m hypnotised do I give up control?
When people ask me if they will have to give up contol when they are in hypnosis I usually say – do you give up control when you are day dreaming or so engrossed in a film you forget what time it is? It’s a bit like that – no you don’t give up control, you may choose not to pay attention to what’s going on around you but you always have control over what you do and what you think.
It’s quite nice to let go and relax and let the hypnotherapist guide you with positive and purposeful suggestions, but ultimately you hypnotise yourself by accepting those suggestions. This can be empowering and involves trust on both sides.
Let’s talk about the chicken…!
A lot of people really do believe they may start dancing around the room and clucking loudly whilst flapping their wings when they are in hypnosis. "Will I be made to cluck like a chicken?" Some people ask this question half joking and half serious. The answer is – if you want to cluck like a chicken you can be my guest, and make me laugh! You might then want to tell me why you want to cluck like a chicken - that would be very interesting.
At this point I will mention that stage hypnosis is completely different to clinical hypnotherapy and many people who go to see a show and pay for this live entertainment willingly go up on stage and comply with the suggestions given.
How does hypnosis feel?
It’s a bit similar to drifting off to sleep at night, that stage when you are not quite awake and not quite asleep, you may feel a sense of weightlessness or you may feel heaviness as all your muscles relax. Everyone experiences it differently, and I can reassure you and help you relax and enjoy the experience if you are at all nervous.
People are often surprised that they hear every word and could get up and walk out of the room at any moment if they so wished. However, this is not usually the case. What would be the point of that?
Most people are surprised at just how relaxing it is – although you don’t have to be totally relaxed to enjoy hypnosis.
What will happen in a hypnotherapy session?
I will ask lots of questions and take a detailed history on the first session. With some conditions it may be necessary to request permission from you to write to your doctor, to let them know you are having hypnotherapy.
We will then discuss your desired outcome and what you would like to see or feel at the end of your sessions.
Using a range of different techniques I will ensure you feel comfortable and relaxed and I will work with you towards achieving your goal.
After a session you may feel uplifted, lighter and very relaxed. We work with your subconscious mind, and you may notice a very positive shift in how you are feeling. This develops over time and you may notice one day that you feel so much more positive about many different aspects of your life that were not anticipated. This is the ripple effect which is an added bonus when having hypnotherapy.
How do I choose a hypnotherapist?
A hypnotherapist should be registered with an independent Professional Body, which welcomes hypnotherapists with the right level of training from a range of different schools.
The CNCH, The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, was set up by the Department of Health in 2010. The Department of Health recommends that you choose a hypnotherapist that is registered with the CNHC.
The National Council for Hypnotherapy, NCH, is the largest not-for-profit hypnotherapy Professional Association in the UK and all members registered with the NCH are given the option to join the CNHC.
What if I can’t be hypnotised?
“What if I am the only person in the entire world that can’t be hypnotised?”
Some people actually do think that. Many people visit a hypnotherapist for some hypnosis and leave feeling relieved and delighted at how comfortable and natural it really was. The only people who can’t be hypnotised are those who don’t want to be hypnotised – some people deliberately resist – they make this choice for themselves. Everyone else can be hypnotised, but the depths and response levels may differ from individual to individual. Hypnosis gets better the more you do it and your body and mind learn how to enter the state of hypnosis more easily and quicker with practice. It’s only natural that some people are more hypnotisable than others and reach a deeper level faster but that doesn’t mean that people who are slower to respond don’t go just as deep. Everyone is different.
"Hypnosis gets better the more you do it and your body and mind learn how to enter the state of hypnosis more easily and quicker with practice."
Will I end up telling you all my secrets?
Hypnosis is not a truth drug nor is it a lie detector. You are free to say as much or as little as you please and you will be aware of everything that’s going on around you. some people like to talk a lot and some people like to say very little. Hypnotherapy is a collaborative process and you will be expected to participate and communicate to whatever degree you feel comfortable with.
What is expected of me?
You can expect to get involved in any decision making or tasking but there won't be a great deal of anything for you do. You can be as relaxed as you wish. You will benefit more from the sessions if you allow yourself to remain open minded, to be non-judgemental and enjoy the experience. When you give hypnosis a chance you may be surprised at what it can do for you.
What if I forget to ask something?
If you think of any questions at any time during a session you can ask me. Although it’s better at the beginning to discuss any queries or concerns. This is purely because once you go into hypnosis you may want to leave all that thinking behind and just enjoy the experience.
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