Hypnosis is not mind control or brainwashing. It requires a rapport between you and your clinician and only supports suggestions with which you agree. During trance, you are not immobilized. You can open your eyes, adjust your position, scratch, sneeze, or cough and bring yourself out of trance at any time you wish. During trance, you can still hear sounds around you and can alert yourself and respond to any situation that needs your immediate attention. You remain presently oriented as to who you are, where you are, and to the date. You can even hold a conversation in trance. Hypnosis cannot cause you to do something against your will or that contradicts your values. You are not receptive to suggestions that go against your morals.
Hypnosis is a method of communication in which you are fully awake and physically relaxed with complete focus, attention, and concentration to a subject. Your relaxed state induces a trance-like state that is naturally occurring when your attention is narrowed and free of distractions. While you are fully focused on one subject, you decrease your peripheral awareness. This is similar to the experience of being engrossed in your work, watching a movie, or reading a good book. Daydreaming is a familiar trance-like state. In this relaxed state, you can easily formulate specific feelings, memories, images, and internal self-talk that will lead to beneficial outcomes.
It is speculated that hypnosis was practiced by the Egyptians, but it is well-documented for its medical use since the late 1700s, when Dr. Franz Mesmer introduced the practice. Since that time, many historical and modern clinicians have used hypnotherapy successfully. Today, hypnotherapy is listed among many valid and accredited forms of mental health and somatic therapies. Dr. Milton Erickson, medical psychiatrist, specialized in medical hypnosis and was very influential in bringing the use of clinical hypnosis into the fields of medicine and psychotherapy in the mid 20th century. He established the National Association for Clinical Hypnosis and published the first professional journals and monographs on the therapeutic uses of hypnosis. Hundreds of books and articles have been written about Dr. Erickson and his methods and he is regarded as the leading Hypnotherapist in the world. Dr. Erickson taught and practiced hypnosis that was gentle, permissive, and respectful of the client. His life-long work in hypnosis spawned many new therapeutic techniques and inspired today’s cutting edge research on how the brain works.
Today a growing number of clinical and medicals facilities have incorporated the skills of a hypnotherapist into their practice. Hypnosis is used to enhance sports performance and to assist for painless experiences without the use of drugs for dental work and childbirth. Additionally, there are now numerous programs from coast to coast using hypnosis to conquer addictions to drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, and sexual behavior. Recent discoveries made in the field of neuroscience demonstrate that humans produce brand new brain cells, even in sickness and dying. This discovery confirms that the brain is far more malleable than we believed. The brain is capable of learning new ways of thinking and experiencing the world throughout our lifetime. Hypnosis is the perfect tool to accompany this dynamic process of learning.
You can teach an old dog new tricks!