What is Hypnosis?

How does it work?

Hypnosis is a naturally occurring, altered state of consciousness.

The state of hypnosis provides a pathway to our subconscious or unconscious mind – so called because we are not consciously aware of its workings, even though most of our bodily functions such as breathing, heart rate, sweating, temperature control, balance are controlled by it, and all of our long term memories are stored there. The means of access to our unconscious mind that hypnosis provides allows us to change unhelpful thinking patterns and tap into our full potential. In this way we can conquer fear of heights or public speaking; improve our relationships by behaving in more useful ways in stressful situations; and end unwanted habits such as smoking** and drinking.

** The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) who need hard evidence before they agree to statements, have recently agreed the following statement about the efficacy of hypnotherapy in stopping smoking.

“Research comparing many different studies of hypnotherapy has shown that on average smokers are over five times more likely to break the habit with hypnosis than by willpower alone. Hypnotherapy in general is also proven to be more than twice as effective compared with nicotine gum. If you really want to stop smoking, then one session of hypnotherapy could be all you need.”

Photo: BSIP / KRASSOVSKY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

What is it like to experience hypnotherapy?

To experience clinical hypnotherapy is to experience a very pleasant state of relaxation, where time seems unimportant and anxiety melts away. Typically, clients will say that they have never experienced such deep relaxation. Yet, it may be a surprise to know that it is the patient who is in control and even when hypnotised, people can still reject any suggestions that are not appropriate.

The hypnotherapist and patient work together in partnership: the hypnotherapist will take medical details and a careful case study and agree with the patient what they wish to achieve through the process. Hypnotherapy then allows the patient’s natural abilities to be amplified. An important part of most hypnotherapy is to teach the patient self–hypnosis. This allows the patient to spend ten minutes daily, reinforcing and building on the work established with the therapist.

Here is an article from the Telegraph about hypnotism (right-click and choose 'Save Link As...'/'Save Target As...')