Hypnosis is a totally safe, natural part of human experience - not sleep, unconsciousness, magic or mind control. A natural state that accesses the sub-conscious -the powerful control centre of our minds. The sub-conscious "tape records" all experiences we have ever had and tapping into it can uncover the source of your problems, allowing you to correct the mis-understandings and strengthen or change behaviours, feelings or attitudes according to your needs.
Everyone is able to go into this relaxed state naturally - should they wish.
Hypnosis helps you to help yourself - simply for peace and relaxation as well as for therapy.
WHAT IS HYPNOSIS?
Hypnosis is a natural, day-dreamy state of mind. We enter this state quite naturally as we pass through the "twilight zone" - when going to sleep at night and when awakening again in the morning. It can be identified as an altered state of awareness. Daydreaming is another example of this state which we are all familiar with, as is driving a car on "automatic pilot".
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
Whether you are hypnotised by a therapist or you do it yourself, the results are just the same. It is rather like being awake while sleeping, in that the mind and body are very comfortable and relaxed and yet you are aware of everything around you. It gives you a feeling of complete security, well-being, contentment and relief from tension.
HOW IS IT ACHIEVED?
The process begins by consciously relaxing every muscle in your body, so that you become pleasantly relaxed and all tension is released.
Next you let your mind relax, allowing it to let go of conscious thinking and allowing pleasant thought to come to your imagination taking you into a dreamy -like state. This sense of relaxation might only be shallow at first, but with practice, you can relax yourself completely in seconds anywhere. The problem very often is not a matter of getting there, but rather being aware of what altered awareness actually feels like.
Many people have said to me that they did not think they were hypnotised because although they were deeply relaxed, they were still aware of everything around them. They felt that they could have got up at any time they wanted. This is very true. It is not a state of mind in which you are “out of control” or disabled, but rather a beautiful relaxed and peaceful state of mind and body from which you can choose to stay or return from at any time.
A DEFINITION OF HYPNOSIS
Hypnosis is a procedure during which a health professional or researcher suggests that a client, patient or subject experience changes in sensation, perception, thought or behaviour. The hypnotic context is generally established by an induction procedure.
Although there are many different hypnotic inductions, most include suggestions for relaxation, calmness and well-being. Suggestions to imagine or think about pleasant experiences, are also commonly included in hypnotic inductions.
People respond to hypnosis in different ways. Some describe their experiences as an altered state of consciousness. Others describe hypnosis as a normal state of focused attention, in which they feel very calm and relaxed. Regardless of how and to what degree they respond, most people describe the experience as very pleasant. Some people are very responsive to hypnotic suggestion and others are less responsive.
A person’s ability to experience hypnotic suggestion can be inhibited by concerns and fears arising from some common misconceptions. Contrary to some depictions of hypnosis in books, movies or on television, people who have been hypnotised do not lose control over their behaviour. They typically remain aware of who they are and where they are, and unless amnesia has been specifically suggested, they usually remember what transpired during hypnosis. Hypnosis makes it easier for people to experience suggestions, but it does not force them to have those experiences. (American Psychological Association, 1994)
THE CONSCIOUS AND SUB-CONSCIOUS MINDS
The conscious mind is the part that we are most aware of and which we use to make our daily decision-making thoughts. It represents approx. 3% of mental capacity.
The sub-conscious mind occupies the other 97% and is responsible for storing our memory and running the many thousands of automatic processes of the body. E.g. regulation of body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate etc.
Activities originally learned by a conscious process, transfer to the sub-conscious once perfected. In this way we do not have to concentrate on walking, writing etc. The automatic process leaves our conscious minds free to concentrate on more “important” thoughts.
The sub-conscious contains a vast computer-like recording of everything that we have ever experienced, even before birth. Most is consciously forgotten, but can be made available under the right circumstances.
SOUND FEELING SIGHT SMELL TASTE
Each experience is remembered as a package of information containing the sights, sounds, feelings, taste and smells of that experience.
Remembering one part of the experience often carries with it the other memories e.g. remembering a particular piece of music might take you back to a particular experience, especially if it had a particular impact on you at the time.
HOW IT FEELS TO BE HYPNOTISED
You feel the same while hypnotised whether a professional hypnotist assists you or you do it yourself. The muscles in your body become pleasantly relaxed and tension disappears. This happens in various degrees from one hypnotic experience to another, until it becomes entrenched habit pattern, after which you are able to completely relax in ten to thirty seconds.
After your nerves and muscles relax, your mind also lets go, and although you can remain aware of the noises and activity around you, they do not disturb your tranquil, relaxed mood in any way. You are able to think if you desire to do so, but only an emergency will trigger such a desire, because you prefer to continue enjoying the pleasant, relaxed feeling of complete security and contentment.
It feels almost like watching yourself sleep, “in your minds eye”. You need not “pass out” or become unconscious. In fact most people, after coming out of a hypnotic experience, don’t believe they have been hypnotised. They say they enjoyed the experience immensely but they expected something much different. You may remain conscious of where you are and what you are doing, but you just feel too relaxed and comfortable to want to think about it.
However, you can come back to complete conscious awareness at any time you choose. For instance, if the telephone rings, you can discard your relaxation and answer it without remaining in hypnosis during the conversation and then re-hypnotise yourself if you wish. No one has ever been unable to come out of hypnosis, and the sensational stories you hear about people who “can’t come back out of it” are completely unfounded.
A few neurotics who hate their life situations have been known to enjoy the pleasant state so much that they refuse to awaken at another’s command, but they can do so at any time they wish. If they refuse to return to the normal state of consciousness, they eventually go into normal sleep, and awaken as usual once rested, often wanting to be re-hypnotised.
If you wish, you can be your own alarm clock and decide upon the time you want to return to normal awareness before you hypnotise yourself. You will usually come out of it at exactly the time you specify.
During a ten or fifteen minute hypnotic experience, both your mind and your body become revitalised and you awaken feeling physically refreshed and emotionally serene. You will have renewed energy without tension and you will find it much easier to cope with the frustrations of daily living. You will look forward to your next hypnotic experience with pleasure.
One reason people have difficulty in learning self hypnosis is that they don’t know when they are hypnotised. Because they expect something much different, they believe they have failed when they have not.
There are various depths of hypnosis which can be achieved, usually classified as the light, which is the feeling described above, the medium state, necessary for anaesthesia and age regression, and the deep level which appears to be, but is not, deep slumber. The light depth is easily achieved by self-hypnosis and is sufficient for reaching and planting suggestions in the sub-conscious.
The medium state naturally flows with regular practice and since it is a matter of degrees, you will find yourself in different depths during different sessions until you become conditioned to the point where you are able to choose. With practice, you can go into the depth you desire in less than a minute.
FEELINGS YOU MAY EXPERIENCE IN HYPNOSIS
Your arms or legs may seem to float a few inches above the floor, or they may feel heavy, as though they were sinking into the floor. They may seem to be in a different position than they actually are. You may lose conscious awareness of parts of your body, or all of it, and be conscious only of your mind. You may see strange visions or beautiful coloured patterns of light. None of these sensations are harmful, and they are usually very pleasant.
WHAT CAN HYPNOSIS HELP?
Weight issues, stopping smoking, fears, phobias, personal development, insomnia, career advancement, stress, relationships, memory, anxiety, panic, pre-surgery nerves, comfortable childbirth, public speaking, eating disorders, low self esteem, confidence, addictions, childhood issues, grief and many, many more.
A NOTE FROM REBECCA
"There are many ways in which hypnotherapy can help you with your problems. I offer various approaches, working in agreement with my client. A combination of analysis to remove the root of the problem, along with positive, post-hypnotic suggestion, often forms the basic framework, allowing for a more thorough, successful result. It is important to be aware, that working on the root cause of a problem is always the preferred method for long lasting results. I offer a flexible, yet structured approach to achieve this. The sub-conscious mind is a vast memory bank of information and can offer the areas in a persons life that are holding significant negative experiences, which are contributing to the problem. The areas storing the negative emotions can be from this present lifetime or from a past life.
Past Life Regression Therapy is a valuable resource in my practice which I use frequently to help a client move forward so that they can achieve their goals and be all that they want to be. Belief in past lives is not necessary for positive results to be achieved. All that I ask is for my client to be open minded and be willing to try. Please be aware that I encourage spontaneous experience of a past life with a client, in no way leading or planting the suggestion.
My trainer on this subject, Steve Burgess (www.steveburgesshypnosis.com) is an expert in this field and says, "I take the concept of Past Life Therapy seriously and I do not accept most, if not all of the commonly held beliefs or accusations made against therapists who work in past lives".
Using the valuable memory of information that is the sub-conscious mind, Past Life Regression Therapy may be indicated for some, but not for others. I would really encourage you to open your mind to this wonderful part of what I, as a Hypnotherapist can offer you."