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Discover the Benefits of Hypnosis, its Risks and Origins.

Hypnosis, derived from the Greek word "Hypnos" meaning to sleep, has a rich history rooted in ancient healing practices and Shamanic traditions with many benefits. The modern form of hypnosis was shaped by Dr. Franz Mesmer in the 18th century, leading to a resurgence in the mid-20th century championed by Dr. Milton Erickson, regarded as the "father of hypnotherapy."


By 1958, hypnotherapy benefits gained recognition and using hypnosis became a valid medical procedure, endorsed by healthcare professionals. Today, it is widely respected as an effective therapeutic tool with diverse applications.


Unlike traditional therapists, one of the key hypnosis benefits is its ability to help you utilise your mind-body connection to liberate you from past emotional traumas. Emotional traumas aren’t just events in your past; it’s a delicate inner wound, that triggers uncontrollable emotional reactions. Hypnotherapy can offer you a swift and permanent healing without having to dwell on the past.



what is hypnosis and its benefits

What does hypnosis feel like?

Many who have never undergone hypnotherapy may wonder what it feels like to be in a state of hypnosis. What if I told you that you already know the answer to this question.


Scientifically speaking, a state of hypnosis is somewhere between alpha and theta brainwave, like day-dreaming or an advance experience of meditation. Interestingly enough, we fall into hypnosis several times a day without realising it. This is how our brain rests.


Hypnotherapy is an individual experience and varies depending on each person. However, many do agree that hypnosis is a pleasant experience. While it is calming and relaxing, one's mind feels extremely focused on one single task that even though part of you is keeping taps on what is happening around , you simply do not care because you are focused on what matters to you most in that moment.


The hypnotic state induces deep relaxation, quieting the conscious mind and allowing the subconscious mind to focus on the specific problem. This state of calmness makes you more receptive to addressing and resolving your therapeutic goals. This is just one of the benefits of hypnotherapy over other therapies.


Here you can learn more about what hypnosis is and how it works.


What hypnotherapy can help with

The most common reasons that people seek hypnotherapy for anxiety, depression, fear, self-confidence, sleeping disorders, weight, smoke cessation.


In a clinical setting, hypnotherapy is used as a psychological treatment to help clients experience changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, or behaviours, showcasing the versatility and therapeutic benefits of hypnotherapy. This powerful approach is commonly applied for controlling pain after surgery, for cancer patients, burns, and headaches (migraine and tension). Psychologists also leverage hypnotherapy to reduce anxiety and depression, as highlighted by Dr. Michal Yapko, a renowned American Clinical Psychologist known for utilising hypnosis in his practice.


Ongoing research is actively exploring the benefits of hypnosis applications in various medical conditions, and studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in:

  • Alleviating symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

  • Controlling pain during dental procedures in patients who cannot use anaesthesia.

  • Eliminating or reducing skin conditions like psoriasis.

  • Managing certain symptoms of ADHD.

  • Treating chronic pain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Reducing pain during childbirth.


The holistic benefits of hypnosis extend beyond healthcare, gaining popularity in sports, business and self-development. Often described as a deep visualisation practice, it is used for goal setting, anxiety control, and conditioning the mind for success. Sports icons like Tiger Woods and legends like Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Adelle, and Keira Knightly have openly acknowledged using hypnosis for various conditions, underscoring the widespread recognition of its benefits. Vanessa Loder, a former private equity investor turned entrepreneur, attested that hypnotherapy played a pivotal role in her transformative journey. It enabled her to leave a decade-long career in finance and private equity, pursue her dreams, and ultimately start her own company, Akoya, establishing her as a successful inspirational speaker and writer. Vanessa's story vividly illustrates the life-changing benefits of hypnotherapy in empowering individuals to achieve their goals and aspirations.


Did you know that Mozart composed the opera “Cosi fan tutte” while hypnotised or that Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity was born during one of his self-hypnosis sessions? This intriguing aspect highlights how hypnotherapy has influenced even the most brilliant minds.


Benefits of hypnosis

Hypnosis works by bypassing the critical faculty of the conscious mind and accessing the subconscious mind directly. The critical faculty is the part of our mind that filters and evaluates incoming information, determining what we accept as true or false. During a hypnotherapy session, the hypnotherapist guides you into a trance state, where the critical faculty is relaxed, allowing access to the subconscious mind.


Once in this relaxed state, the hypnotherapist can use various techniques to help you explore and address the underlying issues that may be holding you back. These techniques may include visualization, positive affirmations, regression therapy, and suggestion therapy. The goal is to identify and reframe negative beliefs and behaviours, replacing them with positive and empowering ones.


It's important to note that hypnotherapy is not mind control or manipulation. You are always in control during a hypnotherapy session and can reject any suggestion that doesn't align with your values or goals. The hypnotherapist serves as a guide, helping you tap into your own inner resources and make the changes you desire.


Hypnotherapy has many positive benefits. The feeling of deep relaxation, improved self-esteem, boost in confidence, and healthy sleeping habits, among many others are just some examples of positive side-effects you may experience after a session. 


Those who have experienced hypnotherapy often report various benefits that contribute to their overall well-being.


Some key hypnosis benefits include:

  • Improved Self-Regulation and Balance: Hypnotherapy has the potential to positively impact the body's self-regulation, resulting in a more balanced state. This transformation may manifest in improved body posture and a more confident, determined body language.

  • Transformation of Responses: Addressing the root causes of limiting beliefs and responses allows individuals to gain control over triggers that once caused distress. This shift leads to a sense of empowerment, where one feels more in control without the need to be constantly in control.

  • Heightened Self-Awareness: Hypnotherapy heightens conscious awareness of subconscious habits and triggers, facilitating deliberate responses and fostering improved interpersonal communication and relationships.

  • Enhanced Focus: Active participation in hypnosis enhances the mind's ability to focus. Many clients have reported benefits such as improvements in their meditation practices, making them more accessible and profound.

  • A Sense of Deep Relaxation: This is the most common benefit from hypnotherapy. Induction of hypnosis often involves deep relaxation techniques that help the body reduce overall stress levels and promote better sleep. The lingering effect of inner calm post-session is often accompanied by a surge of energy.


The benefits of hypnotherapy extend beyond temporary relief, offering a pathway to long-term healing, improved self-awareness, and enhanced overall well-being.


Is Hypnosis dangerous?


The simple answer is no, hypnosis is not dangerous. You will find many reputable sources that agree, that as long as hypnosis administered by a trained professional, hypnotherapy is generally considered safe and is not a form of mind control or brainwashing (Better Health Channel).


Unfortunately even nowadays hypnotherapy is often clouded by myths and misconceptions that hinder its acceptance. Let's look at some of these misunderstandings to provide a clearer picture of the true nature and benefits of hypnosis.


1: Hypnosis Isn't Real; It's Just Entertainment

One common myth suggests that hypnosis is merely a stage act or a form of magical entertainment. During stage hypnosis performers seek extroverted individuals to entertain the audience. However, clinical hypnosis is a legitimate medical therapy integrated into treatment plans alongside traditional medical approaches and has a considerable volume of research to back it up.

2: Loss of Consciousness or Amnesia

Contrary to popular belief, being hypnotised doesn't entail losing consciousness or experiencing amnesia. Most clients remember everything that occurs during hypnosis, remaining aware of their surroundings and recalling the session's events. In fact you can break the state of trance if you choose to.

3: Loss of Control During Hypnosis

Another misconception implies that one has to surrender control to their hypnotherapists during sessions. In reality, hypnosis is a self-directed process. The hypnotherapist guides, but the client is the one in control.  In fact they can break the state of trance if they choose to.

4: Only weak-minded people can be hypnotises

Remember any hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Being hypnotisable doesn't mean you have a weaker mind. It means you take responsibility for creating change in your life.  While some people believe that they cannot be hypnotised, research suggests that most people are hypnotisable to a certain degree. However, you cannot be guided into hypnosis against your will.


Like any therapeutic intervention, hypnotherapy may not be suitable for everyone, and there are some potential risks to be aware of.


  1. It's crucial to note that despite it’s multiple befits, hypnosis is not suitable for individuals with certain mental health conditions, including hallucinations, delusions, or serious psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.  In these cases it's essential to consult with a qualified mental health professional for appropriate advice and guidance, who can assess the individual's specific situation and provide recommendations based on their expertise.

  2. Hypnosis may be incompatible with specific medications. If you are taking regular drugs, it is important that you inform your hypnotherapist before scheduling a session. Certain medications can hinder the effectiveness of hypnosis, potentially leading to an ineffective session.

  3. Before considering hypnosis for chronic pain, it's crucial to ensure a doctor has evaluated you for conditions that may require medical or surgical treatment.

  4. The fear of false memories associated with hypnosis has its roots in both anecdotal reports and research on memory suggestibility, where individuals under hypnosis if asked leading questions may come up with false or distorted memories. One notable figure associated with the SRA controversy in the 1980 and 1990 is Dr. Lawrence Pazder, a Canadian psychiatrist, and his patient Michelle Smith. They co-authored the book "Michelle Remembers," which claimed to describe Smith's recovered memories of satanic ritual abuse during therapy sessions, including the use of hypnosis. However, this book and its claims have been widely criticized and debunked. So-called “implantation studies” showed that about 30% of participants form false memories. And you won’t need any hypnosis to make someone remember what has never happened. While hypnosis itself does not create false memories, caution is advised in its use for memory retrieval, especially in legal contexts, to ensure accuracy and minimise the risk of suggestion.


Possible Side-Effects of Hypnosis

Hypnotherapy often involves delving into deep-seated and emotional issues, triggering physiological and psychological responses as your mind processes and addresses these profound concerns. Though it is rare, some reactions after a hypnotherapy on challenging issues may include:

  • Drowsiness: If you are unaccustomed to deep relaxation, you might feel lethargic, light-headed or drowsy when you come out of hypnosis. Typically, it's a way for your mind to readjust to reality after being in a trance state while healing and re-wiring sensitive beliefs in your subconscious mind.

  • Feeling low or exhausted:  It's not uncommon for clients to initially feel low or fatigued after a session, especially when delving into challenging or vulnerable issues. This temporary dip in mood is often a natural response and is later replaced with a gentle increase of feeling positive and relieved.

  • Cathartic sensations of relief: While the process itself can be mentally demanding, many clients experience a sense of huge relief as if a weight has been lifted from their shoulders.

  • Temporary Headaches aka hypnotic hangover: Headaches can be the result of several issues, such as the position of your head during hypnosis (make sure you are comfortable and your head is well supported); or if you came out of hypnosis too quickly. Some hypnotherapists say that it can occur in clients who are left brain dominant and are afraid of losing control. I cannot comment as I have not encountered this issue in my practice.


Conclusion:

Hypnotherapy has many benefits and only some were mentioned in this article. Hypnosis offers a safe and effective way to enhance relaxation, achieve behavioural change, manage stress, conquer fears, boost self-confidence, and reduce anxiety. It can address unwanted habits like smoking or overeating, bringing significant life changes after just a few sessions for those who benefit. The effectiveness lies in accessing the subconscious mind, which controls automatic functions and stores information. Hypnotherapy works by accessing this part of the brain through guided meditation or relaxation techniques unlocking the power of your subconscious mind to achieve multiple mindset benefits. If you're ready to tap into this potential, hypnotherapy is a natural and safe option that can help you improve various aspects of your life, from anxiety to athletic performance. Whether you're curious or ready for change, consider booking a free hypnotherapy consultation to start the transformative journey.



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