What is Hypnosis?
How does hypnosis and hypnotherapy work? Hypnosis is a deep state of relaxation. It is a natural phenomenon and you’ve been in hypnosis (sometimes called trance) many times before and probably just not realised it. For example when dropping off to sleep at night, that moment between wake and sleep, or when you let your mind wander and you drift off into a daydream. How many times have you driven somewhere familiar and when you get to your destination and think about, it’s almost as if you haven’t registered the entire journey? All of these are examples of being in a light trance.
Hypnosis has been used for thousands of years with the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians using it for therapeutic benefits. Being in hypnosis is a pleasant and relaxing experience where you are in a heightened and focused state of awareness which helps to promote learning and retention of new ideas. Hypnotherapists use this very natural state to bring about positive changes in the way you think about things you want to change in your life, dealing with issues such as weight loss, stop smoking, confidence issues, public speaking worries, fears/phobias.
Conscious and Subconscious
We have two parts of our mind – the conscious and subconscious.
Our subconscious keeps us ticking over, it keeps us breathing, it keeps our heart beating and everything else which our body does automatically, without you consciously requesting it does so. Around 90% of our mental activity takes places in this part of our mind so what is has stored in there is extremely important.
Our conscious mind is the part of our minds which receives and screens information delivered to it from our senses (smell, taste, touch, sound and sight). The conscious mind sends that information it receives to our subconscious for storage. So then our subconscious mind creates a reference for everything to these events and will automatically refer back to that reference every time we come across a similar event.
So let’s say you experience something unpleasant. When that negative experience happens your conscious mind sends the information to your subconscious for processing and storage. If you come across the same experience later in your life, your subconscious mind realises it is similar (and has learnt) so will automatically recall the experience it has had before and will even re-create the same emotions and sensations you felt the first time around. This is obviously very unhelpful with negative events but the good news is it does the same for positive events!
How does Hypnotherapy help me achieve my goals?
Being relaxed makes people more receptive. Think about TV advertising – it costs a lot of money and must give results otherwise companies wouldn’t do it. You are probably relaxing on the sofa when the adverts come on and you may not even take much notice of them, but the next time you go shopping certain items may catch your eye and you may be drawn to them and not even realise why.
When someone has a problem they want to overcome they may consciously know what needs to be done to achieve that, but something in their subconscious disagrees and has learnt otherwise. When someone is in a relaxed and focused frame of mind (such as hypnosis) their subconscious acts a bit like a sponge and absorbs what it is being fed. So positively worded suggestions are given to clients when they are in the state of hypnosis and the suggestions have an effect on the way a person thinks and behaves. This isn’t to say they can be brainwashed because their conscious mind needs to agree it is for their benefit (but if someone has already made the appointment to see me they obviously want the change to take place).
As a member of the International Association of Pure Hypno-Analysts and a NLP Practitioner I am highly trained in the application of Suggestion Therapy (also known as Clinical Hypnosis), using carefully worded hypnotic suggestions to help people re-programme negative thought patterns. Suggestion Therapy and NLP involves using psychology, visualisation, positive suggestions, hypnosis and relaxation to create immediate changes in behaviour.
What does being in hypnosis feel like?
Common sensations people feel include feeling tingly in the limbs or a floaty sensation. Some clients report their bodies feel heavy, or that time has gone very quickly. Everything associated with hypnosis is positive and I have had never had someone say they did not enjoy the feeling. Whilst in hypnosis you will remember everything you and I say. You are still in control of yourself but may find that your concentration is so focused on me, anything else going on around you is blocked out or ignored. Imagine how much more powerful suggestions are that I give, when they ones you want to accept to help you, rather than the latest bathroom cleaner! When the session is over people leave feeling relaxed, calm, positive and will notice changes in the way they think about what they consulted me for.