What is Hypnotherapy? A Powerful Tool for Transformation
Hypnotherapy is one of the most powerful tools for transformation that exists today, but much mystery still surrounds this ancient practice. Here, we look at what hypnotherapy is, where hypnotherapy came from, the science behind hypnotherapy and the benefits that can be achieved through the proper use of hypnotherapy.
First, though, we need to look at the tool that underpins hypnotherapy: hypnosis.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a technique that helps relax the human mind and allows for a state of increased suggestibility. It does this by shifting between the conscious and subconscious mind to induce an altered state of consciousness.
This altered consciousness state is completely natural and often occurs by itself multiple times over the course of a day. When you’re zoned out on a commute, engrossed in a book or watching TV the mind switches into this state naturally. The only real difference with hypnosis is that it is induced by a qualified and trained hypnotherapist instead of occurring naturally.
What does it feel like to be hypnotized?
Hypnosis is often displayed in the media in a very misleading way, with images of people losing control of their minds and being subject to commands against their will. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Under hypnosis, a client will still be awake, aware of what is happening and able to communicate with the therapist.
Free will still exist under hypnosis, and those taking part will remember the experience. While each person is different, the most commonly reported feelings are feelings of physical and mental relaxation, open-mindedness and intense focus on the topic at hand. Generally, experiences of being hypnotized are pleasant or neutral and are perfectly safe.
How is hypnosis induced?
There are many different ways to induce hypnosis. The most common techniques involve visualizing a staircase or fixing the mind and the eyes on a particular spot, perhaps on the ceiling or a moving object.
Ultimately though, the method of inducing hypnosis is not important, as each method arrives at the same point, the hypnotic state. Once induced, this hypnotic state is what is at the core of hypnotherapy.
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is very much what it sounds like, a form of therapy that is performed during a hypnotic state.
The altered state of consciousness under hypnotism allows the client to go deeper into their subconscious mind. This helps them to connect with the underlying cause of distress or misalignment that is manifesting itself in any manner of ways. It could be seen like this – hypnotism opens the doorway to the subconscious mind, whereas hypnotherapy helps the client walk through this doorway and work on the specific areas that are troubling them.
Where does hypnotherapy come from?
The word ‘Hypnos’ comes from the Greek word for sleep and hypnosis in some form or other has been around for thousands of years.
It is mentioned in some form or other by the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Sumerians, Persians, Chinese, and Indians. Some scholars even believe it has its roots in pre-history with certain cave drawings showing priests appearing in hypnotic states. Modern hypnotherapy, as it is in the world of science, dates back to the 18th century from experiments conducted by Dr. Frantz Mesmer. These experiments were dubbed ‘Mesmerism’ experiments and it is from Dr. Mesmer that the word mesmerize comes.
What is the science behind hypnotherapy?
The study of consciousness is still developing, but it is known that the human mind has many different states of consciousness. Hypnosis allows for one of these states to be accessed, and in turn for hypnotherapy to be performed. The premise behind hypnotherapy itself is simple: cut out the middle man, the conscious mind, and work directly with the subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind accounts for over 95% of the total mind and is said to keep a record of everything that happens to a person. Hypnotherapy, through hypnosis, can allow a client to gain access to these vast resources and draw connections that may not be obvious to the conscious mind. As scientific practice hypnotherapy is globally recognized, including by the British Psychological Society, the British Medical Association and the American Medical Association.
What are the benefits of hypnotherapy?
The benefits of hypnotherapy are vast with improvements reported in over fifty different conditions, including:
- Anxiety and depression
- Trauma and grief
- Addiction and bad habits
- Obesity and weight control
Since the subconscious mind has an impact on so many aspects of our lives, the benefits of hypnotherapy when it comes to personal transformation are vast. As such, it is best discussing your specific situation with a qualified practitioner to identify if hypnotherapy is the correct course of action for your circumstances.
As with all HoC practices, we recognize that the keys to deep and lasting transformation are within each of us already.Hypnotherapy is simply one of the tools that we use to help with this process.