What does it feel like to be in a hypnotic state?
Everyone is different . Some people say there is very little difference between the hypnotic state and their normal waking state. Others say the sensation is that of being extremely calm and relaxed, just as you feel before falling asleep. In most cases people notice that their senses are more alert and aware, quite the opposite of what they had expected. Some can remember everything that happens when they are in trance, and others have less conscious recall of events.
How can a treatment aimed at your mind affect your body?
The body responds physically to thoughts. For example, when we think a frightening thought, we can experience increased heart rate, shortness of breath, "butterflies" in the stomach, muscular tightening, sweating, shaking, and so on. Similarly, when we think a pleasurable thought, we can experience reduced heart rate, deeper breathing, relaxation of muscles, and so on. These are autonomic nervous system responses that are involuntary, but they can be utilised to promote health. When hypnotised, a person is very open to suggestions that can enhance positive and lesson negative physical reactions.
Medical and psychological professionals have recognised the use of hypnosis in the treatment of both physical and psychological problems for many years.
Can children be hypnotised?
Many children make excellent hypnotic subjects, and respond well to hypnotic suggestion for a wide variety of problems, e.g., self-esteem issues, anxiety,thumb sucking, bed wetting, behaviour problems.
Can anyone be hypnotised?
Most people can use hypnosis because trance is something we all do at some time everyday, it is quite natural and in hypnotherapy the hypnotist is just gently guiding you into that state.
For most hypnotherapeutic goals, light trance is enough to enable almost everyone to benefit from hypnotherapy to some extent.
Will I lose control of myself?
No, there is no loss of control. Hypnotherapy allows you to be more focused and less distractible. In this way, you can achieve more of their therapeutic goals. If the hypnotherapist's suggestions are acceptable and beneficial to you, those suggestions are likely to be acted upon by you. The 'control' misconception seems to come from stage hypnosis which, funnily enough, also involves people doing exactly what they want to be doing. You cant make anyone do anything in hypnosis that is against their religious or moral beliefs.
Is hypnotherapy safe?
Yes. The hypnotic state occurs naturally for most people. For instance when you read a novel or watch a movie, you suspend your tendency to disbelieve, while increasing your ability to believe. That is a form of self-hypnosis. You are then making what isn't real, real. It makes sense that you need to trust the individual guiding the process. Hypnosis is safe, but it matters that the hypnotist is ethical and competent and belongs to a recognisable body like The Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council.
Will I get stuck in hypnosis?
No. Because you don't lose control when doing hypnosis you can just get up and go at any time. No one stays hypnotised indefinitely - you will always "come out" of trance within a short time.
Will I be asleep when hypnotised?
You will not be asleep when hypnotised. The word hypnosis comes from the ancient Greek word 'hypnos' meaning sleep, but it is a misnomer. Hypnosis is generally a very relaxed state, but it is not sleep. Many people, after a session of hypnosis, don't believe that they were hypnotised at all. That probably comes from misconceptions about just what a 'trance' in fact is. There are differences between the brain waves of people who are asleep and those who are in trance. In practice, people who are in trance often talk with the hypnotist, and can both answer and
ask questions. When you get to the end of a car journey sometimes and you cant remember part of the journey that is an hypnotic experience. You reached your destination safely but you don't know how you got there. Your eyes were open but you were in a trance for part of the way. You were always still alert enough though to recognise any danger like an obstacle in the road.
If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me or arrange a free 30 minute consultation at my Beccles practice.