I want to assure that you that even though stage hypnotists, TV shows, and novels have portrayed hypnosis in a negative light, hypnosis has been scientifically studied and shown to be a legitimate and an effective form of treatment.
Studies have found that it has positive results when done in conjunctions with other treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, for several varieties of conditions, as well as alone. Hypnosis can be effective in protecting and/or promoting good health.
Hypnotherapy has been around for hundreds of years. One of the first noted cases was in 1950 when a hypnotherapist used hypnosis with a patient who had a thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid) instead of using painkillers or any other form of anesthesia. It has recently become more popular in the medical field and has been added to services provided by world-renowned facilities such as the Mayo Clinic. The most noted studies on hypnosis were completed in 2000 and 2009, in relation to pain management. Studies done as far back as 1986 showed that participants lost more weight than those who were not hypnotized. Studies conducted in relation to smoking, substance abuse, anxiety and depression also showed evidence of its effectiveness.
It is common for people to misunderstand the concept of hypnosis and to believe that it causes them to relinquish control. It is important that you know, you do not lose control of your behavior.
Hypnosis is a state of deep mental and physical relaxation with intensified focus and concentration. While this makes you open to suggestions and affirmations, and able to absorb visualizations, you will be in control. You can accept or reject any suggestion and you can end the session if you begin to feel uncomfortable, by counting from one to three in your mind.
You may be aware of everything said during the session. While in hypnosis you may fall asleep, and that’s OK to. Your hearing never stops. While sleeping you can still hear, which means that your brain is always taking in and recording information in your subconscious mind.
Hypnosis is an altered state of awareness, not mind control, brainwashing, an attempt to bypass your individual will, or the capacity to make your own choices. While in hypnosis you cannot be forced to do anything, you do not want to do or something that would otherwise be embarrassing. Hypnotherapy has many attributes that separate it from stage hypnosis, the most relevant is that is it a combination of hypnosis and therapy. Hypnotherapy works due to the combination of hypnosis and specific, outcome- oriented therapy which targets the subconscious mind.
Hypnosis is a common everyday experience. It is experienced when we travel long distances. It can be demonstrated by remember a times when you have been on the road for a long trip, and you get to your destination before you realize it. An intense focus causes one to block out all unnecessary stimuli. You are however able to notice and respond to other cars on the road or other situations when your attention is required. This is an example of a light state of hypnosis.
Another example of a light state of hypnosis is experienced by gamers. Video game players can play for hours uninterrupted, feeling as though it has been a short period of time. They can hear what is going on around them and reply to someone speaking to them but do not miss a beat in their game. Most people will experience instances of this state of hypnosis while driving, playing video games, working on the computer, and reading books. Doing these activities, like hypnosis, places us in a relaxed state in which our focus and attention are narrowed, and our breathing and our mind slows down. This is also the state that we are in as we fall asleep and wake up. This is the same state that can effectively facilitate life altering changes. You can be fully in a hypnotic state and may be aware of everything that is said, you may also be able to answer questions and move physically, however, you are up to 200 times more susceptible to suggestions.
Clients are guided into hypnosis where the client can alter the unconscious thought processes that prevent them from overcoming challenges and meeting goals. Suggestions are made, directions are given, and visualizations are used as a means of assisting you with replacing negative thoughts, patterns of beliefs, and behaviors, with positive ones. The potential for the unconscious mind is infinite once the limitations of the conscious mind are removed. The resulting emotional and physical changes can be exponentially beneficial.
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