Facts about Hypnosis (9)
Yes, if they want to be hypnotised. Since hypnosis is a natural state of mind that you enter several times a day, everyone is hypnotizable. With the assistance of a qualified hypnotherapist, anyone can achieve a perfectly adequate level of relaxation for hypnotherapy.
You will not be asleep when hypnotised. The word hypnosis comes from the ancient Greek word ‘hypnos’ meaning sleep. It is a misnomer because at that time they believed that it was sleep. Scientists now know that Hypnosis is a relaxed state where you are more aware but it is not sleep.
No, nobody can be hypnotised against their will. Hypnosis is about working together with a Hypnotherapist so that you are more empowered, creating more positive changes in your life. Nobody can be forced to do anything against their will. The ‘control’ misconception seems to originate from stage hypnosis which funnily enough also involves people doing exactly what they want to be doing. Contrary to what you see in the movies and stage shows, hypnosis is a consensual state. You are always in complete control the entire time and you will never do or say anything that is against your values.
Yes, you are fully aware of everything that is going on around you and you cannot be made to do anything that you do not want to do. In fact your senses will be more alert that they usually are.
Hypnosis is never about control. If you want to come out of hypnosis you simply choose to do so. If the Hypnotherapist disappeared or fell over and knocked themselves out you would simply come back to full consciousness in your own time. We go in and out of hypnosis and other altered states of consciousness (e.g. daydreaming) many times a day but we always come back out of them easily and naturally.
No, you will never say or do anything under hypnosis that is against your values.
The aim of a good hypnotherapist is to help you in as few sessions as possible. One double session (in most cases) is usually all that is required to stop smoking (with a free back up session in the unlikely event that it is required) . For all other therapy you will usually feel and see the benefits in around 3-4 sessions (or less).
You will be able to think and feel differently about a situation or a memory without the same negative intensity or emotion. In fact you could find that you may have difficulty remembering the negative emotion at all.
As of December, 2004 there are more than 5,000 clinical research studies having to do with hypnosis and its benefits currently being conducted worldwide. (According to: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
According to studies done at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, suggestions given in a hypnotic state, even once, can produce actions in human beings that are the same type of actions that would have resulted from more long-term conditioning and practice.
In a research study on Self-hypnosis for relapse prevention training with chronic drug/alcohol users, (American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 2004 Apr;46(4):281-97), individuals who played self-hypnosis audiotapes “at least 3 to 5 times a week,” at 7-week follow-up, reported the highest levels of self-esteem and serenity, and the least anger/impulsivity, in comparison to the minimal-practice and control groups.
In a research study carried out with 60 college student volunteers (Spring of 2004 at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona), using hypnosis with ego-enhancement suggestions showed “significantly dramatic effects” in brain-wave patterns, subjective sense of self-confidence, and test scores.
As reported by NewScientist.com news service: “Hypnosis is more than just a party trick; it measurably changes how the brain works,” says John Gruzelier, a research psychologist at Imperial College in London. “Hypnosis significantly affects the activity in a part of the brain responsible for detecting and responding to errors, an area that controls higher level executive functions.” The finding is one of the first to indicate a biological mechanism underpinning the experience of hypnosis. “This explains why, under hypnosis, people can do outrageous things that ordinarily they wouldn’t dream of doing,” says Gruzelier, who presented his study at the British Association for the Advancement of Science Festival in Exeter, UK. Gruzelier hopes it will also benefit emerging research showing, for example, that hypnosis can help cancer patients deal with painful treatments.
Research using positron emission tomography (PET) scans, shows that hypnosis might alleviate pain by decreasing the activity of brain areas involved in the experience of suffering. Scientists have found that hypnosis reduced the activity of the anterior cingulate cortex, an area known to be involved in pain, but did not affect the activity of the somatosensory cortex, where the sensations of pain are processed.
Clinical trials of therapeutic hypnosis confirm its potential benefits. Christina Liossi, a psychologist at the University of Wales in Swansea, recently conducted a study of 80 cancer patients aged 6 to 16. She found that those under hypnosis experienced far less pain during treatments than control children, who simply talked to the researchers normally.
According to published results of clinical studies (Am J Clin Hypn. 2004 Apr), the use of hypnosis facilitates a more uncomplicated birth process. In a separate research study done by University of Florida counseling psychologist Paul Schauble, it was also found that women who learn hypnosis before delivering babies suffer fewer complications, need less medication and are more likely to have healthier babies than are women without hypnosis. Schauble’s first study involved adolescents getting prenatal care at a public health clinic. A group of 20 patients who received hypnosis preparation were compared with 20 who were given supportive counseling and 20 patients in a control group who received only the standard prenatal care. None of the women who received hypnosis required surgical intervention in their deliveries, compared with 12 in the supportive counseling group and eight in the control group, he said. “Patients who are prepared for labor and delivery in hypnosis are more likely to absorb and benefit from information because they are in a relaxed, highly focused state,” he said.
In an ongoing pilot study being carried out by University of Florida counselling psychologist Paul Schauble, preliminary results show hypnotized patients with hypertension are more easily able to make lifestyle improvements that can lower blood pressure.
A study being carried out by a team of University of Florida researchers is finding that learning self-hypnosis gives a patient greater control over the stress, anxiety and pain of medical operations and childbirth, overall.
“Training patients in hypnosis prior to undergoing surgery is a way of helping them develop a sense of control over their stress, discomfort and anxiety,” says Dr. Paul Schauble, psychologist. “It also helps them better understand what they can do to bring about a more satisfying and rapid recovery.” He also said, “We’ve found, in working with individual patients, that they often feel literally stripped of control when they go into the hospital. The surgeon may do a good job of explaining the surgery, but patients’ anxiety may make it difficult for them to absorb or comprehend. This can result in undue apprehension that can create complications or prolonged recovery.”
“Children make excellent subjects for hypnosis because they spend more time using their imaginations,” says Florida counseling psychologist Paul Schauble. “But with practice most adults can learn how to enter into a therapeutic hypnotic state quite easily as well.”
In 1998 Henry Szechtman of McMaster University in Ontario and his co-workers used PET to image the brain activity of hypnotized subjects who were invited to imagine a scenario in which they were listening to someone speaking to them, and who then actually experienced a scenario in which they were listening to someone speaking to them. The researchers noted that the act of imagining a sound, called hallucinating a sound, was experienced exactly the same as real hearing, both being experienced as coming from an external source.
18 separate studies found that patients who received cognitive behavioral therapy plus hypnosis for disorders such as obesity, insomnia, anxiety and hypertension showed greater improvement than 70 percent of the patients who received psychotherapy alone
Understanding Hypnotherapy (4)
NLP is the study of how you process information in your mind (not the information itself). Your memories are stored in the form of images, sounds, feelings, etc. in your mental filing cabinets and you experience positive or negative feelings depending on whether you have those memories stored with attached feelings that are positive or negative.
A person who has a phobia acts and reacts very differently to the event itself (because of the negative emotional trigger attached to that event) than a person who is non phobic, e.g. someone who has a fear of dogs does not react to the actual dog itself but to the thoughts sounds and feelings attached to their memory of what that dog represents to them. Someone who is phobic of dogs will have a negative feeling attached to dogs whereas a dog lover will experience positive feelings.
Using NLP we can change the feeling attached to a negative memory (without changing the actual memory itself) so that it is recalled in a different way. The memory then has a different emotional content and the next time it is recalled it has a different effect on the person.
NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming. ‘Neuro’ is of the mind. ‘Linguistic’ refers to the science of communication that we use to see, hear, feel and talk internally with ourselves. ‘Programming’ refers to the fact that we are programming the way we communicate internally.
NLP was invented by Dr John Grinder, a well known professor of linguistics, together with Richard Bandler. Together they produced a linguistic model that identified the language patterns of a few gifted individuals such as Hypnotherapist Milton Erickson, Fritz Perls of Gestalt therapy, anthropologist Gregory Bateson and Virginia Satir, well known for her work in family systems therapy. The synthesis of their findings, a blend of cognitive and behavioural science, resulted in the technology known as NLP. In the decades since its initial development, NLP has grown, changed and expanded, and it continues to do so today. NLP is often used as a vehicle for ‘fast’ or accelerated change. The technology of NLP means that the same changes can happen very quickly.
NLP is often used as a vehicle for ‘fast’ or accelerated change. The technology of NLP means that the same changes can happen very quickly.
Hypnosis is a relaxed state of awareness where your conscious mind is quietened allowing your subconscious mind to play a more active part. It is not sleep nor is it unconsciousness, In fact the mind becomes more aware and focussed, listening and feeling in a different (more positive) way.
You already know what hypnosis feels like. You have experienced natural hypnotic states every day of your life, when daydreaming or driving or watching TV. These are those pleasant, dreamlike states where you “drift off”.
For example you (and everyone else) enter natural states of trance (hypnosis) several times a day, while driving (when you have driven several miles without recollection of the journey) and also when you become totally engrossed in something absorbing such as watching TV or reading a book (and time seems to speed up or slow down).
All Hypnosis is self hypnosis and is safe. Everybody can be hypnotised (providing that they choose to be). No one can be hypnotised against their will and nobody can be made to do anything that goes against their values.
The truth is that Hypnotherapy is the most time effective and long lasting means for making changes that you want to make in your life.
Nowadays, hypnosis is used successfully in the medical and dental professions and in many areas of personal development training such as increasing performance in sports, or career development, and raising a person’s level of self-esteem, confidence and competence in everyday life by enhancing memory, improving study habits, releasing blocked potential and instilling a more positive attitude.
What is Hypnosis? Dr Hilary Jones (GMTV)
There are many different definitions of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. The following extract is taken from Dr Hilary Jones’ book ‘Dr, What’s the Alternative?’, which describes and assesses different types of alternative therapies. Dr Jones is a GP who has become well known through his TV appearances and many books on the subject of family health:-
A Definition of Hypnotherapy
“Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not a state of deep sleep. It does involve the induction of a trance-like condition, but when in it, the patient is actually in an enhanced state of awareness, concentrating entirely on the hypnotist’s voice. In this state, the conscious mind is suppressed and the subconscious mind is revealed. The therapist is able to suggest ideas, concepts and lifestyle adaptations to the patient, the seeds of which become firmly planted.
The practice of promoting healing or positive development in any way is known as hypnotherapy. As such, hypnotherapy is a kind of psychotherapy…hypnotherapy aims to re-programme patterns of behaviour within the mind, enabling irrational fears, phobias, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions to be overcome. As the body is released from conscious control during the relaxed trance-like state of hypnosis, breathing becomes slower and deeper, the pulse rate drops and the metabolic rate falls. Similar changes along nervous pathways and hormonal channels enable the sensation of pain to become less acute, and the awareness of unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea or indigestion, to be alleviated”.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a powerful, effective, simple emotional release practice which is a form of acupuncture without needles and by simply tapping on certain points on the body while focusing on the negative emotions that you wish to release you could quickly and easily reduce (and even eliminate) fears, anxieties, cravings and negative feelings. It has been described as a form of “Psychological Acupuncture”
The tapping points are taken from the Chinese Medicine model in which there are pathways of energy that run through your body. When the energy is blocked and inhibited from flowing freely through those pathways you can experience mental and even physical pain.
According to Gary Craig, the founder of EFT “the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” And by tapping on a series of acupressure points EFT helps you balance the body’s energy system and restore the positive flow. Once those negative charges have been eliminated the positive intentions that were previously blocked can then be are even more powerfully reinforced by hypnotic suggestions.
I teach EFT to most of my clients and I’ve taught it to children under 10 years old and they love it. Once you learn it, you can use it over and over on issues unrelated to the ones you came in for. It’s a powerful tool and your toolbox is as close as the ends of your fingers.
Hypnotherapy is a scientifically acknowledged therapeutic discipline utilizing hypnotic trance states. When utilized by a qualified hypnotherapist, these trance states can help individuals make dramatic changes in a relatively short period of time.