For many years, hypnosis has been used to address everyday problems. The hypnosis has been named after the Greek word for sleep, ‘hypnos’. Hypnos was the sun of Nyx (Night) and the brother of Thanatos (DEATH). However, the actual state of hypnosis is very different from sleep. In hypnosis you don’t actually sleep but the mind is put to relax so there is alpha wave activity in the brain. This makes the subconscious mind very receptive and open to suggestions. If we look at it carefully, we are continuously subjected to subconscious suggestions in our everyday lives. We are constantly given suggestions by our parents, care givers, teachers, peer pressure from friends, politicians, leaders, media, advertising companies who try to persuade us to buy their products.
Our mind has two layers. The outer layer is our conscious mind which helps us with our daily functioning like decision making and works according to the reality principle. It is intelligent, realistic, logical and geared negatively. However, the conscious mind can handle only few things at any time and becomes easily overloaded.
The subconscious mind, however, works on ‘auto pilot’. It is concerned with our emotions, imagination, and memories. It is also concerned with our memories, autonomic nervous system and controls our internal organs automatically. It is very effective in dealing with complex instructions at any one time and has the strong desire to help and promote change. The subconscious mind is our long term memory. It is about 95% of our mind as it is capable of running multiple tasks simultaneously. The subconscious mind does not judge, criticize, analyze or reject. It acts quickly and takes everything literally. It tends to guide human behavior and alters behaviors according to the suggestions offered during hypnosis. Our conscious mind will tend to reject and argue the same suggestions but when the person is in a hypnotic trance, the same suggestions have the power to bring about the desired change in the person.
Hypnosis is offered to each person keeping in mind their personality types. There are two types of people, analytical and non analytical. The hypnotic trance is induced differently for these two subgroups. Analytical people like to keep their mind busy and occupied and have difficulty relaxing. On the other hand non analytical people are highly suggestible and can relax so their approach for hypnosis is different. The trained hypnotist will first do the evaluation then tailor the approach accordingly.
Research has found that hypnosis can be applied to address a variety of problems like, smoking, obesity, phobias, fears, anxiety, low self esteem, lack of assertiveness, poor body image, memory problems, stress, pain, procrastination, fear of public speaking, self sabotage, fear of failure,and many more every day problems.
The trained hypnotist will first do the evaluation in order to tailor the approach to suit the needs of the client, then make the person relaxed with induction,depth test, deepeners and then offer suggestions to the subconscious mind when the person is in a relaxed state of mind. When the person is relaxed, the wave lengths and frequency of the brain change. Relaxation produces the change in the brain activity and the frequency becomes 7-14 CPS, which is also called the Alpha state of mind. Most of the time we are in Beta state when the frequency of the wave length is about 14-21 CPS. When we meditate, the wave length is 4-7 CPS . It is called the Theta. The last state is called Delta when the wave length is 0.5-4 CPS. This is the state of deep sleep and detached awareness. At alpha wave length activity of the brain wave, the person is relaxed, has no worries, fears or frustrations, Additionally, it induces inspiration, intuition, learning, and expands awareness. This is the state of mind when the person can learn. Alpha training is most commonly recommended for stress management. This is the state of complete relaxation but not quite meditation. It is the gateway that leads into deeper state of consciousness according to Rene A. Bastarache, CI.
The subconscious mind receives the suggestions and begins to modify and alter behaviors after hypnosis is over. So if you are hypnotized for weight loss, for example, it will help you watch your calories, exercise more, and become conscious of your food portions. If you are being hypnotized for smoking cessation, you will become more aware of your habits and begin to reduce the amount of cigarette you smoke, use healthy alternatives like engage in social and recreational activities, find healthy outlets for stress and begin to make life style changes.
Hypnosis has also been used for pain management, dental procedures, post surgery suggestions to overcome nausea, and many more everyday problems.
Hypnosis is time effective and helps produce long term desired changes in the person. During our conscious state of mind, we tend to bombard our subconscious mind with too many negative messages and they begin to affect our attitude and make us negative. The subconscious mind begins to overflow with negative messages, resulting in symptoms of anxiety, panic, fear of failure, passivity, low self esteem, lack of confidence and depression. When the person gets hypnosis, the subconscious mind receives positive messages from the hypnotist and the subconscious mind hears those positive suggestions. They are retained and they begin to operate and help the person alter behaviors.
Please visit our Hypnosis Services page to get more details on how hypnosis can help you.
Reference: Hypnotherapy Certification Training Manual from A-Z; American School of Hypnosis by Rene A. Bastarache, CI.