A More In-Depth Look at What Hypnosis Is and Isn’t

As mentioned in an earlier blog, no one takes control of your mind and no one can be hypnotized if they don’t wish to be, and you cannot be made to do anything in hypnosis that would be contrary to your values.

Another misconception is that when you are hypnotized you lose consciousness or go to sleep. A few individuals go to the very deepest levels of trance and experience spontaneous amnesia for what occurred in hypnosis, thus fitting the common stereotype. However, most people remember everything that happens in hypnosis.

In actuality, hypnosis is not something someone does to you. All hypnosis is really self-hypnosis. You are the one who induces a hypnotic state, and the person working with you is simply a facilitator who guides you in what to do.

There is nothing magical about hypnosis. Hypnosis is simply a state of concentration and focused attention. It is actually a state of consciousness that we enter naturally, but we usually don’t call it hypnosis or trance. For example, how many times have you driven down the road, deep in thought, preoccupied in thinking about something? You suddenly snap out of it and realize that you haven’t seen anything for several blocks? Almost everyone has had this experience. What happens in this situation is that we are inwardly absorbed. We are so focused on our thoughts that we don’t consciously notice what we are driving past. In this situation, however, another level of our mind that we call the unconscious mind is guiding us along, using the thousands of hours of driving experience that is stored in our memory, It’s like being on automatic pilot. The same thing happens when we are watching a good TV show or reading an interesting book. These are naturally occurring hypnotic or trance-like states.

In hypnosis, you are focused and concentrated, allowing you to use your own mind in a much more powerful way. One of the most potent ways of using a hypnotic state is to use your imagination. For instance, if we picture being in a peaceful state, it’s even more powerful, facilitating deep relaxation and comfort. A migraine headache patient may visualize warming his hands in front of a warm fire. In doing so he/she may relieve the vascular pressure in the brain by increasing the warmth in their hands. Hypnosis is actually the ultimate in a self-control skill.

As with other things in life, people have different native talents and skills but I have found that most people can be hypnotized to some level of comfort and helpfulness.

Not everyone will experience the same thing in hypnosis. You will discover what seems natural and pleasant for you, without worrying if you are experiencing everything that someone else does. You will simply allow things to happen in the way that seems natural for you.

If you have any questions or comments about hypnosis or my training, please do not hesitate to contact me at the email address or telephone number listed below.