Thursday, 28 July 2011

What is Hypnotherapy?

What is Hypnotherapy? How does hypnotherapy work? Will hypnosis work on me?

Hypnotherapy is one of the quickest and most powerful tools toward self-improvement. This is a subject commonly misunderstood with stage hypnosis, where members of an audience are hypnotised by a performer to take part in a stage show for entertainment purposes. This is of course a form of hypnosis, but Hypnotherapy is something very different and is instead centred around helping others improve themselves using the hypnotic state. There are many slightly different definitions of what Hypnotherapy actually is as there is no one ‘official’ universal agreement of the term. However, these are a selection of quotes from well renowned experts in the field’s history to help you get a general idea of what Hypnotherapy actually is and what purpose it serves.

‘The great discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind’
William James

‘…To put it succinctly, hypnosis is an altered state of attention which approaches peak concentration capacity.’
Herbert Spiegel

‘…An altered state within which suggestions have a peculiarly potent effect’
K. S. Bowers

‘…A state of intensified attention and receptiveness, and an increased responsiveness to an idea or to a set of ideas’
Milton H. Erickson

‘…Temporary condition of altered attention in the subject which may be induced by another person and in which a variety of phenomena may appear spontaneously or in response to verbal or other stimuli. These phenomena include alterations in consciousness and memory, increased suggestibility, and the production in the subject of response and ideas unfamiliar to him in his usual state of mind. Further, phenomena such as anaesthesia, paralysis, muscle rigidity and vasomotor changes can be produced and removed in the hypnotic state.’
American Medical Association

‘Hypnosis is largely a question of your willingness to be receptive and responsive to ideas, and to allow you these ideas to act upon you without interference. These ideas we call suggestions.’
Andre M. Weitzenhoffer and Ernest R. Hilgard

‘Hypnosis is a natural state of mind with special identifying characteristics:
1. An extraordinary quality of relaxation.
2. An emotionalised desire to satisfy the suggested behaviour; the person feels like doing what the hypnotist suggests, provided that what is suggested does not generate conflict with his belief system.
3. The organism becomes self-regulating. It produces normalisation of the nervous system (both voluntary and involuntary systems).
4. Heightened and selective sensitivity to stimuli being received by the five senses and four basic perceptions.
5. Immediate softening of psychic defences.’
Gil Boyne

‘It is a somewhat altered state of consciousness and altered awareness, although the conscious mind is still present. We might compare it to a teeter-totter. In the waking state the conscious mind is at the high end of the teeter-totter and the subconscious mind at the low end. Under hypnosis they reverse and the subconscious is at the high end and the conscious part at the low end, but it is still present. Thoughts rise from the inner mind into consciousness.’
Leslie M. LeCron

…To summarise then…

Hypnosis is essentially a process of relaxing the mind in such a way that very deep, subconscious thought processes are brought forward into the thinking, conscious part of the mind that might otherwise have remained hidden in normal circumstances. When we dream it is these subconscious thoughts that are being revealed to us in different forms, and through hypnosis we can delve into this aspect of our world and interact with it in a more controlled manner. It must certainly be understood that subconscious mind processes are the route and foundation of our behaviour and emotions, and like a control centre hidden somewhere in our minds, hypnosis can be used to reach inside and make changes where they are needed and thus ‘reprogram’ the subconscious.

Hypnosis is indeed very similar to that of dreaming or sleep, but it is certainly not the same thing. Hypnosis would fall somewhere in the middle on the sliding scale between being wide-awake and fast asleep, depending on how deep the state of hypnosis is. Very deep hypnosis would be physiologically almost identical to the sleeping state, however this is no easy feat to attain and most states of hypnosis are light to medium in depth. The person in question would feel very much awake and in control the whole time albeit in a very relaxed state of mind very similar to meditation. Under normal hypnosis  conditions a person most definitely CAN NOT be controlled or made to do something that they do not agree with, and can break out of hypnosis at any moment they so choose. Some false connotations fall back to old stories and myths made up in order to make a story all the more dramatic, but they have no founding.

Hypnosis is not dangerous or a risk to experiment with and has no side effects. It is rather a naturally occurring state of mind that we fall under every single day of our lives, particularly just before falling asleep, after waking up, when daydreaming or becoming engrossed in the TV or the computer. Have you ever driven your car along a familiar route and suddenly realised you have somehow jumped in time and paid no attention to the past few minutes? That is the subconscious taking over your body and is also a form of hypnosis, just like finding ‘the zone’ in sports performance. The method of Hypnotherapy merely taps this ability of mind and uses it to alter attitudes and behaviour to make improvements in lifestyle. Various forms of hypnosis bring about decreased stress, improved memory, enhanced self-confidence and academic performance as well as psychological health and happiness. The uses are almost endless.

Keep reading this blog as it unfolds to acquaint yourself further with Hypnotherapy and how it can be used to improve people’s lives…

One source of further reading/information

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Hypnotherapy Guide: An Introduction to Hypnosis

Hello and welcome to my blog that talks about everything concerned with the mind and in particular Hypnotherapy. My aim is to create a free information source that is user friendly both to the seasoned expert in the field as well as the complete novice. Most of all I hope this blog will be genuinely useful for those who choose to read it and will in turn bring about a certain level of enjoyment in doing so...

I grew up with a great interest in how things worked - not cars or electronics but instead people. What fascinated me most were the reasons behind why people chose to behave as they did, and I began a marathon journey from a young age in attempt to ‘work out’ every person around me. This natural inclination toward human behaviour lead me to study Psychology at university and sometime afterwards to certify as a Hypnotherapist, both schools of thought advancing my knowledge greatly. I am still of course on a great learning curve as I am sure I will be for a very long time yet, but I thought the time was right to share some of what I know and hopefully learn some things for myself in the process.

Right, now that’s out of the way shall we get on with it?

Many of us strive to control our lives but end up frustrated after continual episodes of failure. We fail because we are going about things the wrong way, often repeating ourselves and making the same mistakes over and over as if going around in circles and facing the same brick walls, the same disappointments. We fail to break habits and we fail to make the positive changes in our lives that we had hoped to achieve. Why can we not simply decide to change and then simply change?

Our surrounding environment remains virtually as a constant that does not alter, so if we do not concentrate on changing ourselves first and foremost then change will never take effect in our lives. How often do we hope for outside influences to intervene in order for us to improve? ‘If only people did not smoke around me’ ‘If only I didn’t have to work so often I could...’. The blame is so often directed toward the outside, something we can do little to alter, the very first step toward complete change must be the realisation that we are in control of our own decisions and for change to occur we must first do what we can to change ourselves. We must take responsibility for everything we do.

But just how to initiate this change for the better? How do we become what we envisage? If it was that easy why has it not been achieved already and why do so many suffer the same recurring fate? To control our lives effectively in the way we want to do we must learn and master certain methodology of how to master our own minds and harness our body’s natural energies. Once this is achieved we can begin to construct our lifestyles the way we truly want them to be.

This blog is going to show you exactly how this is done in easy to use steps.

Behaviour, emotion and personality are formed in the ‘muscles’ of the brain. In the same method a person might strengthen his legs in order to run faster, the brain ‘muscle’ can also be trained to improve itself in ways that can greatly enhance the mental aspect of our lives. Negative behaviours and those recurring personal problems that blight us can be removed simply by focusing our brain in a different angle and utilising it’s energy in a more focused way. Where bodily muscles can be worked and trained in a gym the brain ‘muscles’ can be adjusted with different techniques in their own domain, and given due time and consideration results will follow with a staggering frequency actually far quicker than bodily muscle could ever grow.

The road to improvement is not one without difficulties on its route and will present many obstacles and problems along the way. However, this must be seen as a great opportunity to face our inabilities head on and improve ourselves for the better. The goal at stake with controlling the mind can only be to make your own life a better experience to live, one that will enrich not only yourself but also those around you, particularly our most loved ones. Can there be a more worthwhile journey to undertake?

Our body and mind are simply one combined vehicle that we experience our lives through. We can work together to make that vehicle run all the more smoother and in turn make our own lives, and the lives of others around us, all the more enjoyable an experience. Are you ready to learn how to become a stronger person and show others how to do the same?

A further source of reading material: