Monday, 1 August 2011

Understanding Hypnotherapy

To understand hypnosis and hypnotherapy some basic concepts of the brain must first be taken into consideration.

When we think and act we are using the conscious aspect of our mind where we process information and seek reason. However this conscious side of the mind takes up something like only 20% of our total mind capacity, with the remaining 80% (approximate figure) taken up by subconscious activity. This may at first seem strange but when you think that the entire regulatory system of the body, including temperature, hormones, blood flow, digestion etc is controlled by the unconscious mind then it is easier to accept how much work our brain is doing without our conscious knowledge. It is comparable to a computer’s RAM and hard drive, the RAM is the processing of information (conscious) while the hard drive is the far larger storage unit that encompasses everything else (subconscious).

Charles Tebbett’s listed the six main functions of the subconscious mind in his book ‘Self Hypnosis and other mind expanding techniques’ clearly identifying how much of what the brain does is done by the subconscious.

1. A memory bank, everything we have ever experienced is stored ready to feed information back to the conscious mind to make decisions.
2. Controls the involuntary functions of the body; breathing, circulation, digestion and elimination.
3. Base of Emotions. Emotions control desires and desires control behaviour.
4. Imagination. To create anything imagination is required.
5. Habitual activity. Once activities are learned they can be carried out without thinking i.e. riding a bike.
6. Generates and releases bodily energy.

Emotions come to us without our say so, why is it we wake up in a bad mood sometimes or feel happy for no apparent reason? The same can be said for habits or urges. We might wish we would not eat such a bad diet as we know it will make us fat, or we realise we should stop smoking because we know for certain that it is damaging our lungs. Our conscious reasoning mind can clearly see these facts, so why then does it seem such an impossibility to control ourselves and to eat a better diet or to stop smoking? The reason for this is because the subconscious aspect of mind is by far the more powerful. The conscious mind may have its reasoned opinion, but it can be in direct conflict with subconscious opinion that can be quite the opposite, and if there is a fight between the two powers the subconscious will always win in the end. The smoker may be able to hold off smoking for days if not weeks at a time, but if subconscious opinion is not fully convinced to stop smoking the smoking will always return in the end. The subconscious will bombard the conscious mind with cravings until it cracks and gives in, and thus the person fails in their ambition to quit despite their struggle.

This is essentially the foundation of all habit, or doing things without really thinking about them. It is also the reason why hypnotherapy has been proven a successful method with such issues as it immediately and directly tackles subconscious thought in a way that other methods cannot, and especially not so quickly. A point to remember here though is that the person in question must genuinely want to cease their habit first and foremost for hypnotherapy ever to succeed. Without this motivating factor for change in the reasoning conscious mind there is little to no chance of the subconscious mind ever being swayed into making alterations. Quitting smoking because your family has been urging you to is not enough, you would have to genuinely want to quit for your own reasons.

As mentioned previously, our brain can be compared to the model of a computer and similarly it can be programmed much in the same way. Like a computer our brains are programmed mostly in the all-important early stages of life when they are fresh and new. As youngsters many of us were told to ‘finish the whole plate of food’ whether we were hungry or not as it was ‘the right thing to do’. As children and without the learned sense to decide what is right or wrong, these kinds of messages were accepted as pure truths and were subsequently stored as a programme or belief in the subconscious mind and kept there indefinitely. As adults we then always finish our plate of food even if it is too much, all due to a program installed onto our system in youth, that got there without our reasoned say so.

Any idea at all that is allowed into the subconscious mind is accepted as truth (especially in these early years), and this goes some way in explaining the power and efficiency of television advertising. TV reduces us to a state of light hypnosis where the conscious mind is placated, then adverts implant ideas directly into our subconscious that affects our purchasing habits when out shopping. That is the power of Hypnosis and mind programming, and it affects our lives at every single level if we look at it closely enough.

Despite having negative connotation, we can also use this information for positive purposes to improve ourselves for the better. By using Hypnosis to systematically shut down the conscious mind and bypass it, the subconscious mind can be directly spoken to and reprogrammed much in the same way television advertising works. With professional Hypnotherapy positive suggestions can be implanted into the subconscious that can alter our attitudes and behaviours, allowing us to custom select which weaknesses are wished to be strengthened, and which habits are wished to be ceased for good.

Hypnosis allows you to take re-control of you life and make the changes you have always wanted to.

A source for more further reading/information

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