The first part of the process of hypnosis, is the “induction” of the
relaxed trance state; a day dreamy state of mind, often experienced when listening to music, or driving for a long time on
a boring road, listening to a long lecture, or during meditation. Think how many times you have driven home from somewhere
and you can’t remember the actual journey; or in the middle of listening to someone you have drifted off to somewhere
else; you are engrossed in a book or TV program to such an extent that you have forgotten the time; that half-awake feeling
as you drift to the surface of sleep caught between wakefulness and sleep, these are ‘trance’ states or ‘altered
states of mind’.
At this point, I want to lay to rest any misconceptions you may have about the power of hypnotherapy and the hypnotic trance state. Despite publicity in the media, and those that
‘perform’ on the stage using hypnosis for entertainment, hypnotherapy cannot make you do anything, or say anything
or behave in any way that is unnatural to you. It cannot override your sense of morality, alter your judgement about what
is right and wrong, or make you more susceptible to the unethical behaviours of others. During a hypnotic trance, you will always be aware of your surroundings
when you need to be, you will still hear a fire alarm go off for example, and be able to open your eyes, get up and walk away, or respond to a question asked and answer. You will always be in control just
as you are in a fully wakeful state. A hypnotic trance state is arrived at by ‘agreement’, not by way of coercion!
Induction sequence of a trance state, is to allow the body and mind to move into a state of complete relaxation.
This prepares the mind and body to transfer on to the next stage of the hypnotic process.
relaxation, visualisation imagery, use of metaphors or bombarding the critical mind with an overload of information can all
induce the mind to start to alter its state of awareness. The old stereotypical image of swinging a watch in front of a subject’s
eyes is to some extent valid; it was just another technique to get the conscious critical mind to switch off, to allow the
subject to concentrate on what was being said to them and to start to focus on the inner self.
Today there are
allsorts of hi-tech gadgets about that create moving shapes or noises, but they are just that – gimmicks, and when it
comes to listening to Self-Hypnosis Audio Recordings, there is no concrete evidence that using headphones with two different
voices in stereo sound, overlaying of voices one on top of another, subliminal messages, or special sound effects, actually
increases the success of the process at all, on the contrary, these effects can often be most annoying, and rather than allowing
the listener to focus on the voice, they can actually create such a distraction that the process ceases to work.
The next stage of the hypnotic process is called the “hypnotic trigger". Depending on the therapeutic training of the Hypnotherapist,
and their personal preferences, different techniques will be used to increase the depth of the hypnotic trance state, sometimes
a word is offered, or a particular behaviour, such as touching ones ear or pressing a finger and thumb together. This trigger can be used in the normal waking state
to reproduce the same state of calmness and relaxation achieved during hypnosis. It can also be used to bring back to the
conscious mind any imagery or suggestion that the unconscious mind has visualised or heard during hypnosis. It is always emphasised
by the Hypnotherapist, that this “trigger” word or action, will ONLY take on this special significance
when used in relation to hypnosis, in all other circumstances the word or action will have the same meaning as it always has.
next level of the hypnotic process is called the “hypnotic deepener”,
this stage takes the mind through a process that encourages the critical conscious mind, to fade
into the background and the unconscious mind to come into the foreground, and a much deeper hypnotic trance state is established.
This state is associated with a vivid involvement in imagined events, a shift into a context-free literal understanding of
words and phrases, and a removal of the restrictions ordinarily imposed upon conscious abilities and responses. Hypnotherapy
is designed to take full advantage of these characteristics. The trigger and deepener stages
are interwoven with each other, and the listener is taken ever further from the conscious world.
During the next stage, the "therapeutic"
(Hypno-therapy) stage of the hypnotic trance state; the unconscious part of the mind is spoken to; as it is comfortable and
ready to accept more precise language, with either direct or indirect suggestions offered by the Hypnotherapist. The unconscious
part of the mind is encouraged to accept and experience new ideas, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. The listener will experience
the actual event or events that they are struggling to deal with, or the health issue, but this time they will only experience
positive sensations, they will see the goal they want and actually be there.
The listener will use all their
senses, of smell, hearing, taste, touch, and feelings to experience this achievement; feeling all the positive emotions associated
with that achievement. All negative non-productive thoughts, concepts, ideas, feelings, and behaviours are reduced or rationalised
and put into their true perspectives. Post-hypnotic 'anchors' are introduced at this stage, to enable
the listener to make an instant connection between the thoughts, feelings, and emotions they have experienced during the hypnotic
state, to the here-and-now situation they may find themselves in later, when in a fully wakeful state.
When Hypnotherapy is used for improving health,
the process can actually affect the way the body functions. By focusing on certain biological and physiological aspects of
the body, whilst in a state of hypnosis, it is possible to cause blood to flow better, veins to dilate, heart rate to reduce,
and white blood cells counts to increase, thus improving the immune system.
Once the unconscious mind is reprogrammed, using a variety of
techniques such as deep relaxation, therapeutic language, positive imagery, metaphors, indirect or direct suggestion, and
post-hypnotic anchors, the unconscious mind can then positively influence the conscious mind in any given situation or series
of events. Our perceptions of the situation can be altered, we feel differently about it, and depending on the reason for
the hypnotherapy in the first place, we may feel more relaxed, calmer, optimistic, energised, healthier, motivated and more
in control of our responses, habits and behaviours.
This control increases our confidence;
with growing confidence comes the realisation that we can actually achieve those goals that we never thought possible –
and the actual subsequent achievement is our biofeedback, and as mentioned before, hypnosis can actually change the way our
body functions, causing blood to flow better by dilating blood vessels, reduce heart rate, increase cell production to improve
health, as well as may other recorded improvements.
All through a Hypnotherapy session and the hypnotic trance
state, whether it be face-to-face or listening to a Self-Hypnosis Audio Recording, positive language is used to encourage,
motivate and reward achievements, positive confidence building are the foundation blocks of the whole process, and added to
this are other more specific elements. Interwoven within the language are suggestions, concepts, and ideas that will help the
listener long after the session has finished.
The final stage,
"The Termination", is when the hypnotic trance is brought to an end, and the listener
is gently brought back to full consciousness and wakefulness.
During this process, the listener is offered
the option of bringing back with them into their conscious world, all the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that they have
experienced during the hypnotic trance, and they can also leave behind any that they do not want. This suggestion allows the listener
to decide what feelings, thoughts, and emotions they have found most pleasurable and beneficial, that they may wish to hold
in their conscious mind.
When the session is finished, the listener should be left feeling very calm, relaxed, and peaceful. Very
similar feelings experienced by those that use meditation.
What might you feel during Hypnotherapy?
during hypnosis, you may experience various physiological and biological changes; your Legs and arms may feel particularly
heavy as if they weigh more than normal, or they may feel light as if they are floating or you experience a tingling sensation
in them, or sometimes they feel as they are not there any more. You may be aware of your heartbeat slowing down, and your
breathing becoming shallower. Sometimes the stomach can start to bubble and gurgle and be quite noisy.
There maybe increased watering of the eyes
and fluttering of the eyelids. Others report that they feel as if they have become at-one with the chair or couch they are
resting on, there can be a reluctance to move, and there is a distortion in the passing of time (often an underestimation
of the time spent in hypnosis). As you start to drift back from the hypnotic state, you may experience a feeling or euphoria
Disclaimer: Hypnotherapy should be used in conjunction with, and not as a
replacement for any conventional medical treatment that you may be receiving. As Hypnotherapy can slow the heart beat down,
we suggest that if you suffer with low blood pressure you should check with your GP before using Hypnotherapy or Self-Hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy is not a cure, it's an aid that helps the subconscious mind change how it processes information.
This allows new ideas, thoughts, sensations, visions and experiences to become embedded in the memory so that they can be
recalled when needed. Any suggestions or ideas that are unacceptable to you in wakeful state, will be just
as unacceptable in a hypnotic state, therefore hypnotherapy and the state of hypnosis cannot make you say anything or
do anything that you would not normally do.
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