Hypnosis and its uses in the practice
of Hypnotherapy are rapidly emerging as a highly effective
science in solving peoples problems. It can be very
beneficial in many cases as a therapy in itself. It
is a valuable adjunct in psychotherapy and psychiatry.
Yet, it is probably the lowest risk procedure available
from the standpoint of contraindications.
Yet few therapeutic
procedures are less understood, or more plagued by misconceptions
and misunderstandings. Before considering what hypnosis
is, perhaps it would be appropriate to establish what
it is not!
on interviewing a new client will ask such client what
he or she thinks hypnosis is. Replies range from sleep,
to unconsciousness, to surrender of mental powers and
control, to magic, to voodoo. All are in error.
Hypnosis cannot be sleep.
In most cases, the subject is fully aware of communication
and is able to respond on request either verbally or
by signal. Neither is unconsciousness involved. A subject
asked to make a specific movement will comply with the
request unless it is objectionable, in which case there
will be a refusal.
There is no surrender
of mind or control. A person who does not want to be
hypnotized cannot be hypnotized or be induced to do
or say anything, which violates personal standards of
behavior or integrity. There is neither magic nor voodoo
involved. Any Hypnotherapist can explain the actions
or behaviors seen in stage, film or television shows,
where the subject seems to follow directions mindlessly.
Actually, hypnosis is
better described than defined. It is often considered
an altered state of consciousness featuring "selective
perception, a process in which the subject (who is in
control) chooses to see only what is relevant to his
task, blocking out everything else. Hypnosis involves
guided concentration. The guidance, however, may be
provided by a qualified practitioner or, in the case
of self-hypnosis, by the individual subject. Self-hypnosis,
which can be taught by a properly certified Hypnotherapist
and learned by virtually any client, can provide the
recipient with a lifetime of benefit.
Where Did Hypnosis Originate?
The basics of hypnosis
go back to ancient times. Those who have read Jean Auel's
memorable book, 'Clan Of The Cave Bear', will remember
accounts of magic, hearings, inherited memories and
revelations performed or created by the 'Mogurs' and
'medicine women' of prehistoric clans. In the early
centuries of our own land, the medicine men of Indian
tribes performed seeming miracles. Hypnosis' wider,
non-secret usage began in the 1700's in several forms
under different names.
There were periods of
progress and periods of stagnation in the development
of modem hypnosis. Medical interest and acceptance expanded
following World War 11 when the use of hypnotherapy
proved especially helpful to surviving battlefield casualties
suffering from shock, injury, battle fatigue and various
psychological disorders. As understanding increased,
hypnosis began to be recognized as an important adjunct
to counseling, psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry,
and medical fields including neurology, obstetrics,
emergency medicine, burn therapy and others.
Hypnosis is finding
increasing usage in dentistry and other areas where
pain control is important. All humans (and possibly
several animals) have two distinct minds - the conscious
mind and the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind
is vastly larger and more powerful than the conscious
mind, yet it is the least understood and used by mankind.
Actually, the great unconscious' mind has two functional
elements, the subconscious and the Superconscious, the
former the storehouse of memory, the latter dealing
with the spiritual.
How Does It Work?
The subconscious mind
receives and retains, neither accepting nor rejecting,
all the messages we receive from our backgrounds, whether
genetic, social, religious or experiential, plus all
the conflicts (little or big) that enter our lives daily.
When, for whatever reason, the conscious mind (which
deals with everyday living, logic, reason, etc.) becomes
overloaded, the subconscious prepares us for what is
considered appropriate action (usually fight or flight).
However, the subconscious mind does not analyze, as
does the conscious mind, but accepts all messages in
the literal sense.
In essence, hypnosis
is a means of communication between the conscious mind
and the subconscious mind. Many human problems, habits,
stresses, anxieties, attitudes or apparent deficiencies
can be traced to interpretations by the subconscious
mind which, when understood by the conscious mind, can
reduce or resolve specific problems.
The subconscious is
also the seat of all permanent memory. Traumatic events
can be buried or suppressed in the subconscious. A major
benefit of hypnotherapy is its ability to uncover and
bring into the light of understanding the buried information
or experience, which may be the cause of a troublesome
What You Will Experience
Your first visit with
your Hypnotherapist is primarily exploratory. You will
learn about hypnotism and become comfortable with it.
Your Hypnotherapist will discuss your interests and
your desires to determine if hypnotherapy can accomplish
what you want to achieve.
If you both feel that
it will be worthwhile to proceed, your Hypnotherapist
may give you some small tests to determine your type
of suggestibility, your ability to relax, your skills
at visualization - procedures which help your therapist
adapt to you as an individual so as to design programming
personalized for you which will be acceptable to your
subconscious, retained and acted upon in a manner leading
to full achievement of your goals.
This article is intended for general informational purposes
and does not provide medical, psychological, or other
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