What is Hypnotherapy, What it is Not, and What it Can do for You
What is Hypnotherapy?... What it is not... and how can it work for you?
“I can’t be hypnotized”.
Probably the most common statement I hear when someone asks what I do for a living. The truth is, almost everyone can be hypnotized. Hypnosis is the transition between sleep and wake and wake and sleep.
The mind goes into hypnosis roughly 30 minutes before falling asleep at night, and is in hypnosis for about 30 minutes immediately waking up in the mornings. During these times the mind is at its most suggestible, so watching the News, shopping channels, or hack and slash movies… probably not the best television choices when falling asleep.
Have you ever been hypnotized?
Even if you say no, they answer is more than likely, yes.
Ever watched a movie and you were so drawn in that nothing else around you existed? Julia Roberts finds true love, has a baby, and as everything seems picture perfect, then she gets sick and dies. Tears well up in your eyes, you get a lump in your throat, that bottom lip starts to quiver… Yep, you were in hypnosis.
Have you ever been driving down the highway, radio blasting, and even though you are staring at the road, you have managed to cast yourself in your own spandex wearing, booty shakin’, whatever is playing on the radio, music video awards ceremony that is in, of course, your honor. You look goooooood... Twerkin’ it up as Cardi B and Selena Gomez sing backup vocals for you. Meanwhile, Jason Momoa with his tousled eyebrow and man-bun comes trotting in on a wild Stallion. He leaps off onto one knee and pulls out a 12ct diamond ring, asking for your hand in marriage, in front of millions of people. It’s the best music video awards ceremony you’ve ever….
Oh… Crap!... You missed your exit.
Yep, you were in hypnosis.
EVERYONE goes into hypnosis, the key is planting the right suggestions at the right time, and over the course of a short period of time, your brain turns your negative associations into positive ones. So, during hypnosis, if I tell your brain that pain will bring you pleasure, and I do this over and over, over a period of time, then your brain will eventually accept that as fact, and pain becomes pleasurable.
What exactly is hypnosis? The Theory of Mind
When we are born, our brain is basically a clean slate, aside from two primitive responses, fight and flight, and two fears, falling and loud noises. We call this our Primitive Mind. This is our basic instinct for survival.
As we grow until about the age of eight, we take in everything as truth, and begin to develop a mental “library” of inhibitory processes. Through this we learn through positive and negative experiences which turn into associations and identifications. These associations become a habitual part of our lives and form our Life Script. Our life script is the development of how successful we become in life.
This is what we call the Critical Mind and it acts as sort of a one way filter, so when known associations are brought into the brain, the critical mind keeps them there and protects them.
From the ages of eight to twelve, we develop our decision making, reasoning, analytical thinking, will power, and our logic.
Example: When we are toddlers, when Mommy tells us to pick up the toys, we pick up the toys without question. As adolescents, when Mommy tell us to pick up the toys, we don’t want to pick up the toys because we have negatively associated picking up toys with boring house cleaning which we know Mommy doesn’t like doing. So we want to know why we have to clean? why? why? why?
This is what we call our Conscious Mind, and it makes up 12% of our total mind power. Our subconscious mind makes up the other 88%. This is why it is so hard for people to change bad habits. You have 12% telling your body you want to make a change, and 88% telling it that you’re comfortable and happy just the way you are.
Example: You tell yourself you want to lose weight. That thought goes from the 12% conscious mind to the critical mind filter where it checks the programming of your subconscious mind. The 88% you are trying to tell is resistant because you really love those Cookies and Potato Chips while binging Netfilx shows. So the critical mind blocks the thought from your subconscious and your behavioural patterns stay the same.
In Hypnosis, the critical mind filter is “distracted” giving direct access to the subconscious mind, so positive suggestions are taken as such and positive behavioural changes start to take place.
How do the conscious and subconscious mind work in hypnosis?
Our (sub)conscious mind takes in Message Units. These are bits of information that come at us daily that's created by environmental, (sub)conscious mind, and physical body. When too many message units are received at one time, e.g., you come upon a horrible car accident, or you are in a life-threatening situation, the mind goes into overload as it is unable to process all the of the message units. The subconscious mind takes over as the flight mechanism is triggered, and the mind and body go into a state of hypnosis.
That feeling you get when your life flashes before your eyes? Hypnosis!
In layman’s terms…
Relaxation and tension cannot co-exist in the body, therefore, by using a state of anxiety to create a state of relaxation, the conscious mind can be relaxed just long enough to give suggestions to the subconscious mind telling it what changes needs to be made in your life.
What hypnosis is not…
Hypnosis is not some surreptitious form of healing that is mysterious and unheard of. The truth is, hypnosis has been documented all the back to Prehistoric times.
Hypnosis is not a tool that can be used to make people do things against their will.
You are not unconscious nor are you sleeping, unless you actually fall asleep which does happen on occasion.
Hypnosis is not a truth serum. You can lie under hypnosis, just like you can open your eyes, get out of my chair and walk out of my office.
Hypnosis cannot be used to bring back reliable memories.
Let’s just make this one simple.. anything that you would or would not do thirty minutes before you fall asleep at night, and 30 minutes after waking up in the morning, is what you would or would not do in my therapy chair!
What Hypnotherapy can do for you…
It can change your life!
Break bad habits ● Freedom from Tinnitus ● Get better grades ● Comfortable Child Birthing ● Improve Self Esteem ● Move on after breakup/divorce/death ● Surgery without Anesthesia ● Beat addiction ● Improve your Business and Finance skills ● Overcome Stress, Anxiety & Fears ● Past Life Regression ● Anti-Aging ● Personal Development ● Overcome Disorders ● Improve Relationships ● Sexual Dysfunction ● Pain free/Anxiety free Dental work ● Sports improvement ● Coping with Bullying ● Skin Problems ● Children’s Behavioural Issues ● Anger Management ● Pain Management ● So so so much more.
Self hypnosis is an excellent tool to help you learn to take control of your thinking, feelings, and behaviours. Learning and frequently practicing self-hypnosis can help in changing your life script, breaking the loop and opening new doors you didn’t know you had at your disposal. By simply altering the way you think can impact your life in ways you could never imagine.
The Law of Repetition and Law of Association (in that order) are the keys to success when using self hypnosis, so if you only do it a few times, and it doesn’t work, well… People don’t become professional ballerinas or rock stars after they practiced 2 or 3 times. It took practice, and just like dancing or music playing, the more you practice, the better you become. Same concept with the brain, it needs repetition and association (as many times as it takes) for your mind and body to adapt to what you are wanting it to do.
Self-hypnosis is achieved when the Physical, Emotional, and Intellectual are all stimulated at the same time. So carefully choosing your keywords will help you evolve a personal formula for entering self-hypnosis at any time.
The difference in Meditation and Self-Hypnosis is, Meditation is the process of clearing your mind, whereas, Self-Hypnosis is the process of organizing your thoughts to relax, release, and vent.
When just starting hypnosis you may wonder if you are actually in hypnosis or just sitting there with your eyes closed. I always tell my clients that most people will feel a numbness in the hands, fingers, feet or toes, or dissociation in parts or all of their body. This is completely natural and a good indication that you are in fact in hypnosis.
List of just a few excellent uses for Self-Hypnosis:
Improve healthy eating and exercising habits ⬧ De-stressing ⬧ Improve your sleeping habits ⬧ Confidence ⬧ Business success ⬧ Reducing or even eliminating fears and phobias ⬧ Removing/reducing bad habits like nail biting or teeth grinding ⬧ Improve learning skills ⬧ Reduce/reject negativity in your life ⬧ Overall better attitude
Note: It is not recommended to try and use self-hypnosis to “cure” a problem or for therapeutic reasons, nor is it a good idea to go into self-hypnosis with a negative attitude or depressed feelings. Also, you do not want to fall asleep during self-hypnosis, so it’s best to find a comfortable area that is not in your bed.
Self Hypnosis to Fall Asleep Easier
(I call this my Hypno-Valium)
You can read the script and memorize the visions and suggestions (saying them in your head), or I use an app on my phone and record the scripts. Then pop in my earbuds, relax, and just float away.
Find a place that is preferably not your bed. You want a place that is semi-comfortable, quiet, and somewhere where no one will disturb you for about 30 minutes.
Pick a word that you most relate to Physically, and remember that word. This is one of two words you will always use for self hypnosis:
Floating ⬧ Lightness ⬧ Loose ⬧ Tingling ⬧ Limp ⬧ Relaxation ⬧ Heavy
Then pick a word that you most relate to Emotionally, and remember that word. This is the second word you will use for self-hypnosis:
Calmness ⬧ Success ⬧ Joy ⬧ Peace ⬧ Confidence ⬧ Happiness ⬧ Contentment
Find a semi-comfortable position and find an object to focus on.
Take three deep, cleansing, breaths, and exhale very slowly
One the last exhale, let your eyes softly close.
Using your PHYSICAL keyword, repeat your word and imagine the feeling of that word starting at the top of your head and slowly working its way down your entire body and limbs. REALLY try and feel your keyword.
Next, count backwards in your mind from five to zero. When you reach zero, start repeating your EMOTIONAL keyword in your mind. Again, REALLY try and feel your keyword, saturate every inch of your body with that feeling. Try and keep this feelings circulating through your body. Visualize them swirling around you, cradling you like colorful spirals of energy. FEEL this energy and hold that feeling for about two minutes, meanwhile, repeating your EMOTIONAL keyword in your mind.
After about two minutes pass, imagine the energy dissipate as you envision or imagine yourself at the top of a beautiful staircase of 20 steps. There are gorgeous, sturdy ornate handrails on each side of you. As you look down to the bottom of the staircase, you see a much more confident you. You see the you that you have always wanted to be.
You reach out with your dominant hand and grasp the handrail. Feel the cool, solid material in your hand. Smell the fresh, cool air that reminds you of a beautiful autumn day. You turn your attention to your right foot as you watch yourself, feel yourself, taking that first step down, as you slowly count backwards in your mind from 20 to 0, feeling yourself with your physical and emotional guidance, moving deeper down into hypnosis with every... single… step…
Deeper… and deeper…
And once you reach the bottom of the staircase, and as you walk into yourself, you say in your mind DEEP SLEEP. Feel yourself merge into pure confidence. Keep this feeling surfaced as you say in your mind...
Any time I am ready to fall asleep
I will tap the tip of my nose three times
to signal my mind and body, it is time to fall asleep,
soundly and deeply within 5 to 10 minutes.
I will remain relaxed and sleep restfully throughout the night.
And when I wake up, I will feel rested and alert.
(Repeat in your mind 5 or 6 times)
Once you have repeated your suggestions 5 or 6 times, you will then count yourself out of hypnosis. Saying in your mind…
0 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 Eyes open, Wide awake, and Alert! You can say this to yourself or out loud, but say it a few times to make sure you are completely out of hypnosis.
Always remember, REPETITION and ASSOCIATION are the key, so the more you do this (no more than once a day is recommended), the stronger the suggestions will be, the better your “hypno-valium” will work.
DO NOT DO THIS BEFORE DRIVING OR OPERATING HEAVY MACHINERY!!!
Good luck on your journey, and I would love to hear how it’s going after doing this for about 2 weeks.
“Your life is just a small chapter in a big book…
Make it the best, most interesting chapter”.