Hypnosis Defined and Questions Answered

Hypnosis is a natural state of mind with special identifying characteristics:

1. An extraordinary quality of relaxation.
2. An emotionalized desire to satisfy the suggested behavior: 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 and produces normalization of the central nervous system.
4. Heightened and selective sensitivity to stimuli perceived by the five senses and four basic perceptions.
5. Immediate softening of psychic defenses. [Gil Boyne, Transforming Therapy, 1985: 380-381]

Hypnosis is a naturally relaxed, yet focused state on mind allowing access to information and wisdom you may not be normally aware of.  It is something you do every day, when reading a book, watching a fascinating television program, lose track of time while having fun, when driving long distances or at night right before you fall asleep.   You simply feel relaxed and refreshed after a hypnosis session.

Stress can take a toll on our lives and health, and stress is nothing more than living in the “fight – or –flight” mode long term.  Medical  professional s are once again supporting hypnosis to help people reach a level of relaxation and calm that actually can have far reaching positive effects on health.  During “fight or flight,” several things happen to the body, some of these are the immune system is suppressed, the digestive process is suppressed, and the ability to reproduce is also suppressed.

Going into a hypnotic trance, or focused relaxation actually shifts the body to the “parasympathetic” side of the autonomic nervous system, the recovery side, if you will.  It is here, in this relaxed state, that the body systems return to more a more optimal way of functioning.

When we take a look at the many diseases today that are linked to stress; hypnosis becomes a very real option for reaching and maintaining a healthier more relaxed body and mind.

Is Hypnosis Sleep?

Actually hypnosis is a relaxed and yet focused state of mind.  You are aware of everything that goes on during a hypnosis session.  Unlike sleep where the conscious part of our mind takes a long break and we become unaware of the time that has passed or where we are.

Will I tell you all my deepest, darkest secrets?

Absolutely not!  Do you just start blurting out your secrets because you are driving down the road?  Or do you just start telling everyone something personal while watching television?  These are both instances when you are in the same alpha brain wave state as in a personal hypnosis session.  All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and so you are always the one in control during a session.

Is hypnosis Mind Control?

No.  If you have seen a stage hypnosis show you may have thought the people up on stage were under the control of the hypnotist.  That is simply not the case.  First the people on the stage volunteered to go up and so by that alone there is an unspoken contract that they are willing to do whatever the person running the show asks them too.  If you have seen a stage show in person you will remember that at least one and maybe more were sent back to their seats because they did not agree to continue.  Remember time is short for the hypnotist on stage and he or she has to have willing subjects to work with to make the show a success.

People can and do change behavior after a hypnosis session and that is because they have made a new more educated choice about the behavior they are seeking to change.