Hypnotherapy -also called stage hypnosis- is the practice of persuading a person through relaxed focus and concentration with the goal of achieving a specific and definite purpose. The goal is to reduce awareness of the surrounding environment in order to enhance the person’s focus and acceptance of suggestions that are meant for improving a specific area of life. One example is using hypnosis to treat physical pain.
This form of therapy is also a wonderful technique to help you achieve your goals in life, because during hypnosis you are able to set aside your limiting beliefs about a certain area in life. These limiting beliefs are the ones that create blocks that prevent you from achieving the goals that you have set in your conscious mind.
Increasing one’s income or making more money is a common situation that many would like to achieve. Let’s say that you want to double what you make in a year. You have set your goals and “know” -at the conscious level- that it is very possible.
You have prepared yourself, studied, improved your “know-how,” and you feel very capable, yet for some reason it is not happening.
Since you’ve never made more than a certain amount in a year, and your limiting belief has set roots in your subconscious mind, you must break free from that belief before you can prosper. You may also be carrying beliefs that are not even yours, beliefs that were a part of your environment and the people in your immediate circle of influence while you were growing up!
Hypnosis has become more popular in recent years because it works! It can be learned by most everybody. From weight loss, to pain management; and from smoking cessation to manifesting financial abundance, it can be successfully to improve many areas of your life.
Yes, you too can change or modify limiting beliefs, behaviors or habits with this technique!
Here is another fact that not too many know about: Hypnosis is a normal state of consciousness that we go into and out of during our day to day activities. Hypnosis happens when we are relaxed, and for the most part we are not even aware when we enter this state.
A good example of this is the state of detachment that can take place while we drive. All of a sudden we realize we’ve arrived to our intended destination but can’t remember what route we took. Has this happened to you?
Note that in cases like this one, your conscious mind has been completely aware and ready to intervene if needed, such as if the car in front of you made an abrupt stop. However, your brain waves have been in the alpha state, a state of hypnosis in which the subconscious mind is highly suggestible to bits of information.
We all can be influenced by suggestions when we are hypnotized, but only if we give consent. This makes hypnosis a great technique for behavior modification and personal improvement in a variety of areas. We can get rid of negative patterns that have us stuck in situations that create blockages for our personal growth.
Have you ever watched a movie in which you were so much into the story that you forgot you were at the movie theater? If so, you were in trance. This can also happen when you get absorbed at work, watching a sunset and even listening to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Anything that grabs your full attention involves being in trance.
Do you prefer pink lemonade or a certain brand of soda? Advertisers know the power of suggestion and use this in their commercials. This is how we develop our shopping tendencies!
The Myths of Hypnosis
Before we talk more about the benefits that we can obtain through hypnosis, let us debunk the three main myths about this state of consciousness:
- You will be giving away your power; you can become a slave to another person’s desires.
- You can do something against your moral code, like stealing.
- You can remain under hypnotic state indefinitely losing your ability to “wake up.”
None of these are true. You always have full control, and will never do anything against your core beliefs or morals. Also, you won’t be able to be hypnotized against your will, and nobody will have the power to control your mind under hypnosis.
Moreover, if you do not reinforce the suggestions given to you when under hypnosis, they will be just temporary. This is why repetition is key for long term success.
The Benefits of Hypnosis
Hypnosis is mainly used to help cure a variety of physical and psychological ailments as well as to change behaviors that have the potential to be harmful. It’s been documented that hypnotherapy can be used effectively for migraine relief, and to treat insomnia. Even destructive habits like drinking, smoking, and overeating have been treated successfully with hypnotherapy.
Other useful applications of hypnosis include goal setting, concentration and focus, developing self-confidence and raising self-esteem, eliminating fear of public speaking, and yes, it can even be used to get rid of subconscious blocks that may be preventing you from creating abundance in your life!
It is important to mention that some of the most significant successes with hypnotherapy have been observed in the treatment of a multitude of fears and phobias, for stress management, and for memory improvement.
This technique has also been used in the medical profession as a substitute for anesthesia. As unbelievable as this may sound, it has proven effective in numerous cases as documented. You may find it interesting to read this story published by Time magazine in December of 1956.
Three Interesting Historic Facts…
Sigmund Freud resorted to hypnosis early during the 20th century but then abandoned it to further enhance psychoanalysis, another form of mental healing.
Dr. James Braid (1795-1860) was the Scottish surgeon that started to use hypnotherapy instead of traditional anesthetics.
Milton H. Erickson (1901-1980), American psychiatrist and psychologist, is widely acknowledged as the “Father of Modern Hypnotherapy” (Ericksonian Hypnosis)
Five Components Needed for Hypnosis
To induce hypnosis, five components must be present:
- You must want to be hypnotized.
- You must be willing to relax and follow directions.
- You must let go and concentrate in the session for the time being.
- You must be willing to visualize and use your imagination.
- You must be willing to listen and accept suggestions.
You do not always need an hypnotherapist to achieve results. You can learn to hypnotize yourself to reach a variety of goals and it is not complicated at all. This is called self-hypnosis and when used frequently it can help you modify certain behaviors effectively by yourself.
The Interactions between Conscious Mind and Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind is not reasoning mind. It cannot tell the difference between “yes” and “no.” It follows direction from the facts gathered by the conscious mind.
When you listen to a suggestion during hypnosis, your conscious mind determines –based on your beliefs and values- if the action passes to your subconscious mind or not. If it does, the subconscious mind just takes in the information as a fact. If you do this often, you retrain your subconscious and change happens.
Differences between the Conscious Mind and the Subconscious Mind
The conscious mind is like the tip of an iceberg. It is about 10% of your whole mind. It is logical and analytical and the place of “working memory” meaning, we go throughout life according to the memories of our experiences.
It is at work during your daily activities and even right now, as you read this. Your subconscious mind is the 90% of the iceberg that you can’t see because it is -analogically speaking- “under water.”
Like the iceberg, this part is responsible to keep us afloat, meaning keeping our vital functions going, like our heart beating, our eyes blinking, and our longs breathing all of the time, without us having to think about this.
It’s also a storage of data and all bits of information that compose our unique human experience and make us who we are. Your choosing and conscious decisions are influenced by the data stored and the information drawn from your subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind is creative, emotional, intuitive, playful, spontaneous, and authentic. Imagine it just like a child. The conscious mind -on the contrary- is rational, analytical and a problem solver, just like a parent. The conscious mind represents will power, while the subconscious mind represents irrationality. To better understand this, let’s use an example. Let’s say that you want to lose weight.
You consciously have the will power; unfortunately it rarely lasts. Yet your subconscious mind is irrational, so it can “make you” feel slender when given proper suggestions, and when you believe it, you become it. It’s something like daydreaming, it can last longer when reinforced because it “behaves” like a child at play.
As you have learned, the subconscious mind is highly suggestible, so whatever “wrong” programming we have going can be modified. This is why hypnosis can work wonders, and at the same time –like a two-edged sword- we must be very careful and aware of our self-talk.
If you constantly think -or say to yourself- that you are fat, ugly and a failure, this is the programming that you are installing in your subconscious mind.
When you become aware of this, you can easily guess the results you will get when your conscious mind draws from this source of information to perform on a daily basis!