What Is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of mind in which you suspend your normal analytical thinking, and place yourself in an open, accepting frame of mind. In this state, you find it easier to accept ideas that you normally wouldn't.
Hypnosis occurs between a hypnotist and a client, either in-person or through a recorded session, such as with Hypnotizr. During hypnosis, the hypnotist guides you through the process and provides positive, beneficial suggestions. As the client, your role is to follow the instructions and maintain a relaxed state of mind that is open to suggestion.
Using hypnosis, and the heightened suggestibility that comes with it, you can resolve issues such as smoking, overeating or stress.
What Is My Role As a Hypnosis Client?
Imagine hypnosis as a game where a pitcher throws a series of balls toward you. The object of the game is for you to catch as many of the balls as you can. In this game, the pitcher can't force a ball into your hands, but uses his skill to throw the ball as straight as possible, so that it's easy for you to catch. Your role is to remain focused and engaged, accepting each ball as it comes, without either overstretching or expecting the ball to “magically” fall into your hands.
Of course, the pitcher in this example is the hypnotist, and the balls are hypnotic suggestions. Hypnosis works best when you are not entirely passive or inattentive, but when you open-mindedly accept what the hypnotist suggests. You might also find it helpful to silently affirm every suggestion by repeating the word “yes” in your mind.
What Can I Expect During Hypnosis?
Most people feel very relaxed during hypnosis, and some people report that they relax deeper in hypnosis than in any other experience. Along with the relaxation, many people report that the thoughts in their mind slow down or become quiet. With the right hypnotist, the relaxation is usually accompanied with a feeling that “everything is okay with the world.”
A person in hypnosis is more suggestible, more imaginative and has better memory than usual. This is what allows people to make changes during hypnosis.
What Is Hypnosis Not?
Hypnosis is not mind control, a state of unconsciousness, or a state that you can become stuck in. These are myths perpetuated by Hollywood for the sake of drama.
In reality, hypnosis is a safe and natural state of mind that you enter whenever you are deeply absorbed in an experience. You retain your ability to accept or reject every suggestion given by the hypnotist. In fact, hypnosis only works when you choose to accept the hypnotist's suggestions.
For this reason, hypnosis is not an unconscious state. At no point should you actually become unaware of what's happening. If this happens, it's likely that you had fallen asleep. We avoid this because a sleeping person is usually unresponsive to suggestions. If you accidentally fall asleep during hypnosis, you will wake up normally after some time, as though you had taken a nap.
What Is the Unconscious Mind?
In your mind, there are both conscious and unconscious processes. Conscious processes are the ones you're aware of and can control: thinking, remembering, visualizing, and so on. Unconscious processes are the ones you're unaware of or cannot normally control, such as habits, emotions and cravings.
Most processes in your mind are unconscious, although it is possible to make some unconscious processes conscious. For example, you can choose to breathe consciously, but when you stop breathing consciously, it becomes unconscious again.
You can imagine the relationship between the conscious and unconscious minds as a flashlight (conscious mind) in a dark room (unconscious mind). Consciousness “brings to light” memories, beliefs, desires or other processes that are in the dark, or unconscious.
Another way to imagine the relationship is by using the metaphor of a rider and a horse. The conscious mind (or rider) looks ahead, makes decisions and thinks it's in control—but only until the horse bolts off or decides not to cooperate. At that point, it becomes readily apparent which part of the mind is actually in control.
Hypnosis works by changing the unconscious mind. In hypnosis, the hypnotist's voice and the client's relaxation bypass the client's normal conscious defenses, so that new ways of thinking, feeling and acting can be suggested and accepted.
Can I Be Hypnotized?
Anybody who has a good imagination and can follow directions can be hypnotized. If you have ever experienced a change of perspective because of a story you heard, a book you read or a movie you watched, hypnosis will have the same mind-altering effect on you. Hypnosis usually works best on people who are intelligent, creative and imaginative.
Hypnosis would not work on a person who suffers from a profound mental disability, is psychotic or is intoxicated.
Why Will Hypnosis Work Well For My Problem?
Hypnosis has been shown to work for all the issues we help with. That's because these problems are caused by habitual thinking patterns or routines, or are caused by feelings that arise automatically, which are functions of the unconscious (or automatic) mind. Hypnosis speaks to the unconscious mind using powerful voice tonality, repetition, emotional impact and specially constructed language patterns. These techniques allow the hypnotist to bypass your normal modes of thinking and implant suggestions for new ways of thinking, acting and living.