Answering Hypnotherapy's Most Frequent Questions


 Answering Hypnotherapy's Most Frequent Questions

What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of highly focused attention in which the conscious mind is effectively separated from reality. This can take on different levels or forms for different people. For some it could be a very light trance, where they are fully still and aware but disconnected from their surroundings, for others it might be something more like meditation where the conscious mind becomes deeply focused on one particular thing that would have otherwise been un-noticed. The truth is that there’s no pure definition, which makes describing hypnosis itself, let alone what it does to you difficult; as well as not being always clear about how or why it works sometimes but not other times.

How does it work?
Through the power of suggestion, and sometimes using a technique called visualisation, hypnosis works by taking away your conscious control, through an altered state of consciousness, so that you can then more easily accept a suggestion. It feels as if your conscious mind is no longer in control and you’re not making any of the decisions yourself. Suggestions are made just before or during the induction process (the way in which you enter a hypnotic state). A good induction is like a good movie trailer; it makes you want to go see the film. The suggestions can be anything from resolving an emotional issue, changing the way you think about something or even developing new beliefs.

What are the benefits?
The benefits of hypnosis are many. Almost anything we think of as being a problem in our lives can be felt as being stressful or negative, which affects not only us but those around us as well. Hypnotherapy helps to break that cycle by helping to develop some additional tools for coping with whatever it is that’s getting in the way, both now and also in the future. For things like emotional difficulties, negative thoughts or behavioural issues such as smoking, overeating etc., hypnotherapy can help remove the things that trigger those patterns and replace them with new ones; ones that will help you to lead a happier, more fulfilled life.

What are the limitations of hypnosis?
The limitations of hypnosis are that it isn’t a magic bullet. It doesn’t work on every issue. It isn’t a one shot cure for every problem, but if you want to put in some effort and commitment to making changes, it is possible. Whatever you want to achieve will require work on your part too; work in the form of self-hypnosis and realising that sometimes, things we think might be difficult or difficult situations aren’t as bad as we fear they are. It’s about making a choice to change your thoughts and actions, and putting in just a little bit of effort each and every day to make the changes that you want.

What if I don’t believe in hypnosis?
The truth is that some people suffer from anxiety, depression or social phobia due to various reasons. Many of us have experienced some form of extreme thinking or behaviour where we've believed we had no other options but to do something extreme. This can be a result of things like the controlling nature of parents, boss or partner, traumatic events such as accidents or natural disasters etc. When this happens to us, we can begin to suffer in the present as well as the future. We could develop a negative self-image or suffer a lack of confidence that could result in self-sabotage, faulty relationships and failure at work or at school etc.

How does hypnotherapy help with these problems?
Hypnotherapy works by reducing anxiety and stress more quickly than any other form of therapy. It does this by helping you to understand why you behave the way you do through the power of suggestion. By having access to your unconscious mind (what we refer to as the unconscious mind is your true self, what makes you act) you can be shown how to find solutions that are real and effective for you.

What are the advantages of hypnotherapy?
The advantages of hypnotherapy are that it’s completely natural and safe. It can help you to develop a positive self-image, increase confidence, self esteem and social skills; all of which will help you to experience a better quality of life not only in the present but in your future too.

Is there anyone I should not see?
Although people have tried to use hypnosis for some form of personal gain, such as trying to remember something they’ve lost, hypnotic age regression isn’t effective for these types of issues because they require rational thought. Hypnosis should only be used where you have a specific and rational goal in mind.

Is it possible that I could become dependent on hypnotherapy?
That’s unlikely because as human beings, we need to make our own decisions. If we didn’t, then we’d need someone to tell us what to do all the time. Sometimes this can happen by using self-hypnosis, when a person gets into the habit of losing themselves in their imagination or fantasy every day before they go to sleep; but it doesn’t happen very often and is pretty easily dealt with if it does occur.

What's a hypnotic trance?
A hypnotic trance is a state of deep relaxation, where you feel very relaxed, and as if you are completely focussed on the present. You are able to concentrate on the task before you without your anxiety or worries getting in the way. As soon as you start to move away from that state, (in fact if you do move away from it for any reason at all), then all of those anxieties and worries will be triggered. You can stop yourself returning back to that state by becoming aware of those feelings and recognising them as being what they are - just thoughts - nothing more.

Are there any side effects?
Hypnotherapy doesn't usually have any side effects in itself. However, it's important that you work with qualified hypnotherapists who can help you through the process and answer your questions beforehand. You should also work regularly to make sure that you're doing as much as possible to deal with whatever it is you're going through. If that means seeing a therapist, then by all means do so. But, please remember to always be completely honest when talking about what's occurring for you at that moment. Otherwise your therapist won't be able to help you to achieve your goals.

How can hypnotherapy help an athlete?
Hypnotherapy can be used in sports medicine for a number of reasons, including helping with performance and recovery, but also for treating injuries. Studies have shown that the use of hypnosis reduces the need for pain medication and increases the range of movement during rehabilitation by as much as 20%, allowing athletes to return to competition sooner.

Can hypnosis cure cancer?
Not specifically, but when combined with other complementary therapies such as Reiki or relaxation therapy, there is research that has suggested that it can help reduce fatigue in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Hypnotherapy is not magic, but it may be the solution you need.

Who is a suitable candidate for hypnotherapy?
Anyone can be hypnotised to one degree or another; however, some people are more receptive than others to this state of relaxed awareness. If you have been a victim of abuse in the past, then hypnotherapy could prove to be very useful. If you have dissociative identity disorder (DID), also known as multiple personality disorder, then hypnotherapy may be helpful in helping you to remember your traumatic past and learn how to come together as one mind; especially if this has caused problems within your life.

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