What is Hypnosis and what does it feel like?
Hypnosis is essentially a state of relaxation. It is a very natural phenomenon and you’ve been in and out of hypnosis (sometimes called trance) many times before and probably not realised it. For example, when dropping off to sleep at night, that moment between wake and sleep when you’re vaguely aware of outside noises but they don’t bother you. Or when at work and let your mind wander, drifting off into a daydream about a holiday. How many times have you driven somewhere familiar and when you get to your destination it’s almost as if you haven’t registered the entire journey? Your mind can effectively split into two. In the example of driving your conscious mind can be listening to the radio but your subconscious (where the habit of driving has been learned) performs the action of driving.
Hypnosis has been used for thousands of years with the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians documented as using it for therapeutic benefits. Being in hypnosis is a pleasant and relaxing experience where you are in a focused state of awareness which helps to promote learning and retention of new ideas. Hypnotherapists use this 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 the 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. It’s crazy to think but around 95% of our mental activity takes place in the subconscious (also called the unconscious mind) so what it has stored in there is extremely important.
Our conscious mind is the part which receives and screens information delivered to it from our senses (smell, taste, touch, sound and sight). The conscious mind sends that information to our subconscious for storage. A reference is created and every time we come across a similar event we know how to react/behave.
Think about how children learn from adults. Children’s minds are very malleable, learning all the time and often they can pick up on a phobia from parents. Perhaps they see a negative reaction from a parent to a spider running across the carpet; their conscious mind relays the reaction of the parent back to their own unconscious, ready to be stored. Meaning the child may ‘learn’ to feel fearful of spiders too.
How does Hypnotherapy help me achieve my goals?
When someone has a problem, they may consciously know what needs to be done in order to overcome it, but this may feel difficult because their subconscious mind is holding them back (working on auto-pilot with the learned behaviour). Also, it sometimes feels easier to carry on the way they have been, rather than implement a change. This is where hypotherapy helps.
In a relaxed and focused frame of mind (such as hypnosis) a person’s subconscious acts a bit like a sponge and absorbs what it is being fed. I give positively worded suggestions to a client during a session which have an effect on the way the person thinks and behaves. The change feels easier because the “deeper” part of them has been given the message and understands the goal. This isn’t to say they can be brainwashed because their conscious mind needs to agree it is for their benefit (if someone has already made the appointment to see me, they are obviously consciously open to the change taking place).
I have over a decade’s experience in the application of Suggestion Therapy (also known as Clinical Hypnosis), using carefully worded hypnotic suggestions to help people “re-programme” negative thought patterns. My Suggestion Therapy sessions involve using visualisation, positive suggestions, a small amount of NLP along with the hypnosis, creating quite often 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 and they can’t be bothered to move, or that time has gone very quickly. Everything associated with hypnosis is positive and I’ve never had someone say they did not enjoy the feeling.
Whilst in a hypnotherapy session you will remember most of what I’ve said. You are still in control of yourself but may find that your concentration is so focused on me, other thoughts/feelings fade away. Relaxation is a nice side effect with people leaving feeling relaxed, calm and positive.