Hypnosis can sometimes conjure up images of eccentric scientists swaying a gold pocket watch in front of your eyes and muttering, “you are getting very, very sleepy”. While these old tropes are all but gone, the practice of hypnosis still receives a weird rap from time to time. Persisting myths can sometimes steer people away from hypnotherapy. Many of these are false and modern hypnotherapy is a respected and – in some cases – preferred alternative to other therapies.
From addressing anxiety disorders to assisting with pain management and helping patients to face their ailments, hypnosis is used as a respected tool employed by many successful hypnotherapists and doctors around the world. Most people fear the things they do not know, and sometimes all it takes is a glance at something to realise that it is worth investigating.
Before we go any further, remember this: Everyone goes into a state of hypnosis at least twice a day – just before falling asleep at night and upon waking every morning. And while the fundamentals of hypnosis are different from the biology behind falling asleep, the process that the mind goes through during hypnotherapy is pretty similar, though markedly different at the same time.
This article looks at some of the more common myths surrounding hypnotherapy and addresses the incorrect facts that drive these old tales.
Some people worry that hypnotherapy can harm or alter their state of mind. They are concerned that hypnotherapy can put them into such a deep sleep, trapping them in a trance that the therapist will not be able to wake them up from. Not true.
Hypnotherapy is completely safe, and adverse reactions to the practice are extremely rare. Hypnosis involves the process of communicating with the subconscious mind, not tricking or manipulating it, but rather communicating with it. Techniques and methods that renowned psychologists, like Dr Sigmund Freud and Dr Carl Jung, initially developed mean that modern hypnotherapy was born from science – not magic. Patients can quite easily emerge from a state of hypnosis by simply opening their eyes, and stretching.
Hypnosis means that the mind is, in fact, in a state of heightened awareness and concentration, not a suppressed one.
Hypnosis is often compared to psychology and psychotherapy. In fact, therapists sometimes use hypnosis as a tool during psychotherapy sessions. It is important to remember that – while the outcomes are sometimes similar – hypnotherapy is not psychotherapy.
Hypnotherapy deals with the subconscious mind, while psychotherapy takes a different approach – working to tap into the awake mind to address the issues at hand. Hypnotherapy is used to treat anxiety, stress, body pain, and countless other ailments by focusing on the subconscious.
By and large, hypnotherapists are trained professionals, boasting recognised qualifications and conducting ongoing research in the profession. Clinical research considers hypnotherapy among the forms of therapy that produce the fastest results too. Most patients report that they notice marked changes after 4 to 6 sessions, too – pretty effective.
One of the biggest and most persistent myths surrounding hypnotherapy is the belief that hypnotherapists can get their patients to reveal their deepest secrets or even give up sensitive information like banking details or ATM pins.
In reality, a clinical hypnotherapist cannot extract information from you that you are not willing to reveal. Think of undergoing intense interrogation when you have had very little sleep. You are still perfectly aware of what the interrogator is asking you, and you still have control over what you choose to say. While you may be in a completely relaxed state under hypnosis, your mind is still fully awake and aware of what is going on. You are still in control, and the hypnotist’s only purpose is to guide you and offer positive suggestions and affirmation to help you achieve your goals – things you want to do.
Effective hypnosis is only possible when the patient and hypnotherapist cooperate with one another, and if you feel uncomfortable with an idea or question, your mind will automatically reject it.
An old myth about hypnotherapy is that only ‘weak-minded’ or specific people can be hypnotised. While only about 10% of people are considered “difficult” to hypnotise, generally speaking, a good hypnotherapist should be able to hypnotise pretty much anybody – so long as they are willing.
Ultimately, you have the power to choose between allowing a hypnotherapist to guide you into a very deep state of hypnosis or a light one. All hypnosis is effectively self-hypnosis because entering a relaxed state of mind is in your control.
We sometimes see people in hypnosis shows jumping around and doing crazy things at the urging of their hypnotist. This is called Stage Hypnosis, and it is very, very different from therapeutic hypnosis. With stage hypnosis, the subjects are often willing and prepared to let go of their inhibitions and will give up complete control to the performer.
Around 90% of people report being completely aware of everything that happens during a hypnotherapy session. In hypnotherapy, you are in complete control of the entire experience, and the slightest suggestion from the therapist to do something out of the ordinary will snap you out of the state of relaxation.
Hypnotherapy is an age-old practice designed to help people. Through proven techniques and careful practice, hypnotherapists can tap into the subconscious and work with the client to find relief or overcome problems.
Effective hypnotherapy requires deep trust and understanding, and most hypnotherapists abide by strict sets of ethical standards. As a client , you are always in complete control. While some movies and urban legends have left people wondering about the safety and effectiveness of hypnotherapy, the endless testimonials, scientific research studies and growing adoption by medical professionals mean that people are finally understanding the usefulness and benefits of hypnosis.
At Hypnocare, we are here to help you, and we’re happy to answer any questions or address any of your concerns before even committing to a session.
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