Hypnosis has been around for centuries and now that old myths have given way to scientifically researched benefits, it is successfully used in a variety of contexts like psychotherapy, childbirth, dentistry; education; sports to name but a few. Major medical centres now use hypnosis as a treatment for acute pain in burn patients.
Essentially, hypnosis is a way of communicating with your unconscious – the part of your mind which serves to protect and organise the body’s processes and stores and organises memories. If you imagine your mind is like an iceberg, the far larger part below the surface is your unconscious, also known as the subconscious, and the part above is your conscious mind.
Thanks to Hollywood and stage hypnosis, many people have incorrect expectations of what’s involved. In fact most will experience it as being something between relaxation and the state just before sleep. The person is always in control and you cannot be induced to do anything you don’t agree to. In fact, it can be compared to daydreaming, or the feeling of ‘losing yourself ‘in a good book or movie. You ‘tune out’ to most of the stimuli around you, concentrating deeply on the subject issue that is being worked on. Attention shifts from the external world to the subjective inner world. The state is characterized by suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination yet you are conscious and in control the whole time.
In Hypnosis the individual has better access to parts of their personality and experience than in ordinary states. You often become more open to accepting various helpful suggestions, like avoiding harmful foods or smoking. In addition various ‘hypnotic phenomena can be accessed which can be used to help. For example, reviving memories and age regression can be used for emotional healing or natural states of anesthesia, used for pain relief.
At its simplest, hypnosis makes it easier to add in something new; like helpful suggestions, new patters and beliefs – or to take unhelpful things out – old harmful patterns, beliefs, memories etc.
Often this is achieved by returning hypnotically to the time the problem or limiting belief was first formed. Then, it’s often possible to then ‘thaw’ beliefs or rigid thinking around a problem. This is because hypnotic language can communicate with the brain using the same kind of language and cognitive style that caused the problem to form in the first place.Your subconscious mind is therefore able to work hand-in-hand with your conscious mind. Once the linguistic knots and thinking loops you held yourself in are loosened and reorganized, your viewpoint is expanded. Often for profound change, much of what you need can be found already lying within you.
So using trance states is a powerful way of accessing long forgotten dreams you don’t allow yourself to have anymore or working through negative thoughts and experiences which impact your choices.