What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a temporary state of mind characterized by increased focal attention. Hypnotic state is usually accompanied by higher suggestibility,decreased critical judgement and and sometimes heightened imagery and increased learning potentials. Hypnosis is not sleeping. Although sometimes even hypnotherapist use the term sleep during a session, the client is not sleeping.
Naturally Occurring Trance Phenomena
Everyday we experience alterations of human awareness. It may happen several times per day that we may enter and leave various states of mind. Many of these states have in common an augmented focused attention. These altered, attentive, or hypnotic-like experiences clearly occur in everyday life. Some examples are:
Almost everyone commonly daydreams, when an individual can indulge in vivid imagery in such a concentrated way that his or her usual awareness of the surrounding world is suspended.
Intense concentration on either work or play maximizes focal awareness so that the surrounding environment fall completely out of our awareness.
When listening to something important or watching a very interesting movie many people go into that state of highly increased focal attention and discover afterward that they had been so absorbed the experience that they required a moment to get reoriented back to their surrounding space-time reality.
All these events have in common a considerably increased focal attention along with losing awareness to the immediate surrounding.
Although hypnotic state may occur naturally, a hypnotherapist can facilitate this process and induce the hypnotic state for therapeutic purposes
Can everyone be hypnotized?
Some experts believe that anybody can be hypnotized provided that they want to be although the hypnotic depth is not the same in every one. Some hypnotherapists like John Kappas believes that there are two distinct types of suggestibility, physical and emotional. The emotional suggestible people do not go as deep as physical ones, but they get benefit from hypnotherapy if proper language and techniques are applied to them.
On the other hand, there are some experts who believe that some groups of people cannot be hypnotized . These researchers show that this difference in hypnotizability has a neurological basis and does not link to any personality or psychological trait.
Misconceptions and incorrect ideas about hypnosis
There are a number of false beliefs about hypnosis.
Many people think that under and after hypnosis they lose control and can be dominated by the hypnotist against their own will. The fact is that hypnosis can never make a client do anything against their will or their moral values. The client can never be dominated by the hypnotist. In fact it is not the hypnotist who is doing hypnotism to the client. The clients are doing it themselves. The hypnotist is just the guide or the facilitator. There is a famous quote about hypnosis: All hypnosis is self hypnosis
Another myth is that under hypnosis you can not stop revealing secrets you don’t want to be revealed. This is also incorrect. People never reveal what they want to keep secret and they can lie under hypnosis just as easily as in the waking state.
A third myth is that you may never come out of hypnotic state. The fact is with or without the help of the hypnotherapist, from the trance state, you may either go to sleep or wake up alert and conscious.
Another false belief is that hypnotherapy is a miracle cure that can treat anything in a very short time. This is also obviously wrong. Not everything can be treated by hypnotherapy, and those that can be are not necessarily short course therapies.
Another misconception is that only unintelligent or weak people can be hypnotised. Being hypnotised has nothing to do with intelligence or weakness.
Indications of Hypnotherapy
Gastrointestinal Disorders (Ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, Crohn’s Disease);
Dermatologic Disorders (Eczema, Herpes, Neurodermatitis, Pruritus [itching], Psoriasis, Warts);
Acute and Chronic Pain (back pain, cancer pain, dental anesthesia, headaches and migraines, arthritis or rheumatism);
Burns: Hypnosis is not only effective for the pain, but when hypnotic anesthesia and feelings of coolness are created in the first few hours after a significant burn, it appears that it also reduces inflammation and promotes healing. We believe that a second degree burn can often be kept from going third degree if hypnosis is used soon after the injury;
Nausea and Vomiting associated with chemotherapy and pregnancy (hyperemisis gravidarum);
High blood pressure (hypertension);
Trauma (incest, rape, physical and emotional abuse, cult abuse);
Anxiety and stress management;
Sports and athletic performance;
Obesity and weight control;
Concentration difficulties, test anxiety and learning disorders