What is hypnosis

Hypnosis is a very big subject by itself. It probably encompasses more than what most people think. However, we will not delve into its broad definition here.

The Key characteristics of hypnosis are:

• Trance state – or also known as altered consciousness. This is because, in hypnosis, we enter from waking consciousness into a more dreamy conscious state. The person can be feeling sleepy and drowsy in this consciousness. Though in a sleepy state, the person’s mind is alert and conscious of what is happening around her.

Imagination – In most hypnosis sessions, you will be asked to imagine. It could be imagining a big cocoon with you sitting in it and feeling perfectly safe or visualizing yourself feeling confident in front of a crowd. You may also be asked to imagine a color that makes you feel peaceful and use that color as a trigger for a peaceful state.

• Highly suggestible – During hypnosis, the mind is less critical and more open to suggestions. And the suggestions from the hypnotherapist are positive and empowering, thus amplifying the good effects on the person.

• Focus – The person is alert and conscious during hypnosis. He is now focusing on what the hypnotherapist says and blocks out most internal and external stimuli. It is unlike during a wakeful state where our mind tries to multitask and attend to many activities. For example, you could be typing on the computer, and the phone rings. You are now performing two tasks simultaneously. Then, you open your drawer to search for the thing the person on the other line is asking. You are attending to a third task. This is a simple example of how our minds may not be focused on a single task at hand. In hypnosis, our mind is only focused on what the hypnotherapist says, which is why the result could be a phenomenon. You could say hypnosis is about concentration.

Relaxation – The mind and body are relaxed during a hypnotherapy session. However, hypnosis can also be a state of wakefulness where the mind and body are not relaxed.

• Placebo effect – Most people who consult hypnotherapists already have a preconceived idea of what will come. The hypnotherapist will often do a pre-talk before going through the session with the subject. The pre-talk is about what hypnosis is, its benefits, and what it can do, and also to understand the person’s unique situation. Even without a pre-talk, the person who comes in to resolve his issue in the clinic may already have an idea of hypnosis and thus look forward to being healed. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What Can Hypnosis Do

Hypnosis can be used to:

- Resolve issues – Issues like phobia, anxiety, insomnia, weight loss, etc

- Overcome undesired behavior – Like smoking, alcohol addiction, shopping spree, nail-biting, etc

- Cure Illness – Like mild depression, emotional trauma, etc

- Pain Control – Like pain associated with arthritis, dental, headache, cancer, etc

- Enhance Performance – Like concentration, improve studies, optimal performance in sports, achieve goals, etc

Danger of Hypnosis

There is no actual danger connected to hypnosis being documented. This is because hypnosis is a natural state.
However, as in anything else, there is always a good and bad side. People who undergo hypnosis may feel dizzy, and have headaches, false memory, and anxiety.

Dizziness and drowsiness – This may not be a negative thing because as explained earlier, hypnosis is a change of consciousness from a waking state (beta) to a drowsy state (alpha). This shifting of consciousness is a natural state. All of us experience drowsiness when we take medication or when we are about to fall asleep or just about to wake up or are in a confused state of mind.

Headache - People can get headaches easily as there could be many contributing factors, such as when they do not have enough sleep or have a poor sleep; undergo a scan; take medication; take deep fried food that is oily and heaty; drink alcohol, etc. The headache one gets after the hypnosis session could result from the person gradually relaxing his mind and body, and the relaxation only gets deeper and deeper as time passes. And before they enjoy the relaxation completely, the hypnosis session is over, and the hypnotherapist emerges them out of hypnosis. This abrupt change in mind and body from relaxation to mental alertness causes some bodily reactions.

False Memory - This is what hypnosis termed “distortion”. When entering into hypnosis, distortion is another common phenomenon. Some people experience time distortion. They find that time passes faster than normal. Some see things that are not there or cannot see things right in front of them. Another explanation for false memory is that the person could be temporarily confused between real and actual memory stored in the brain and those hallucinated or imagined. However, this would only occur when a person is instructed to “travel back” to past events called “age regression”. Because it is something in the past, the person may not accurately recall what happened. During the recall, he may add to his imagination since the past events are already vague and have lost some details.

Anxiety - People may experience anxiety due to a few reasons: first time undergoing hypnosis; regress to their early childhood time or on a timeline where they had a bad, traumatic experience. They resist revisiting such memory and start to feel anxious. This is their brain trying to protect them from being hurt.

Benefits of Hypnosis

The most obvious benefit a person gets from hypnosis is the “Feel good” effect partly because of the relaxation of the mind and body. Especially in our society where things are happening fast, and we are always trying to complete things in record time, it is difficult to relax our minds and body. If you have not had a good relaxation for a long time, go for a hypnosis session to get yourself relaxed. Remember that you need not have to have an issue to see a hypnotherapist. You could simply visit a hypnosis clinic to relax your mind and body. It is common sense that you will benefit greatly if you can relax and allow your body to recover.

Hypnosis is an effective method for you to achieve your desired results in a relatively short time, sometime as obvious as two hypnosis sessions (with each hypnosis session lasting an hour).

Even in a worst-case scenario where a person does not get the benefits out of hypnosis, the most she gets is to remain neutral (no harm done to the mind and body) and there are no losses mentally, emotionally, and physically. The benefits of getting relaxed during hypnosis are already a bargain.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Kelvin Ho. I am a certified hypnotherapist from the National Guild of Hypnotists.

If you want to know more about hypnosis and related topics, please visit my website at: