What is and what is not hypnosis?
As a hypnosis practices I use client centred hypnosis.
My intent of using Hypnosis is to heal people, I do not have the intent of entertainment like a stage hypnosis in mind. You may have seen stage hypnosis on the TV where people cluck like a chicken or do funny things. This is not what I do.
My only intent from our session is to assist you to get the outcomes that you want. You are always in control in hypnosis. You will only do anything you want to do.
Some people experience wonderful feelings of relaxation or a feeling of heaviness or lightness with a highly focused mind during hypnosis. Where your subconscious mind allows itself to be opened up to accept suggestions but only suggestions that it knows are for your benefit. It is very similar to a guided mediation where I guide you to get the best out of our session together.
Throughout our session you will always be in control and there will be dialogue between us to help me to guide you.
You will remember everything that is important for you. Depending on you and the issues we work on it generally takes 1hour to 1 ½ hours.
If you are seeing a medical doctor I would highly recommend that you continue seeing them. My aim is not to replace any existing treatment but to rather work as a complementary treatment to existing modalities.
Hypnosis is one of the fastest quickest modalities to achieve results. Most people experience a huge difference after the first session where others need a couple of sessions. On average three sessions are enough to start reaching the desired outcomes or to make a significant difference.
If you wish you can do a lot with self-hypnosis. Depending on the issue and on the outcome you want. The role I fill can best be described in the following manner: most likely you can lift up a chair by yourself however if you want to lift up a couch it is more than likely you will need help from someone.
I am a non medical hypnotherapist which means I am not a clinical hypnotherapist, who needs to be a qualified psychologist, and the “non medical” hypnotherapist. For medical aid to recognize a treatment, the hypnotherapist needs to be registered with a practice number. This is not a requirement for a non-medical hypnotherapist.
Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP
Is Hypnosis Real? And Other Questions, Answered
Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP on May 17, 2018 — Written by Kimberly Holland
Is hypnosis real?
Hypnosis is a genuine psychological therapy process. It’s often misunderstood and not widely used. However, medical research continues to clarify how and when hypnosis can be used as a therapy tool.
What exactly is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a treatment option that may help you cope with and treat different conditions.
To do this, a certified hypnotist or hypnotherapist guides you into a deep state of relaxation (sometimes described as a trance-like state). While you’re in this state, they can make suggestions designed to help you become more open to change or therapeutic improvement.
Trance-like experiences aren’t all that uncommon. If you’ve ever zoned out while watching a movie or daydreaming, you’ve been in a similar trance-like state.
True hypnosis or hypnotherapy doesn’t involve swaying pocket watches, and it isn’t practiced on stage as part of an entertainment act.
Is hypnosis the same thing as hypnotherapy?
Yes and no. Hypnosis is a tool that can be used for therapeutic treatment. Hypnotherapy is the use of that tool. To put it another way, hypnosis is to hypnotherapy what dogs are to animal therapy.
How does hypnosis work?
During hypnosis, a trained hypnotist or hypnotherapist induces a state of intense concentration or focused attention. This is a guided process with verbal cues and repetition.
The trance-like state you enter may appear similar to sleep in many ways, but you’re fully aware of what’s going on.
While you’re in this trance-like state, your therapist will make guided suggestions designed to help you achieve your therapeutic goals.
Because you’re in a heightened state of focus, you may be more open to proposals or advice that, in your normal mental state, you might ignore or brush off.
When the session is complete, your therapist will wake you from the trance-like state, or you will exit it on your own.
It’s unclear how this intense level of inner concentration and focused attention has the impact it does.
• Hypnotherapy may place the seeds of different thoughts in your mind during the trance-like state, and soon, those changes take root and prosper.
• Hypnotherapy may also clear the way for deeper processing and acceptance. In your regular mental state, if it’s “cluttered,” your mind may be unable to absorb suggestions and guidance,
What happens to the brain during hypnosis?
Researchers at Harvard studied the brains of 57 people during guided hypnosis. They found that:
• Two areas of the brain that are responsible for processing and controlling what’s going on in your body show greater activity during hypnosis.
• Likewise, the area of your brain that’s responsible for your actions and the area that is aware of those actions appear to be disconnected during hypnosis.
TAKEAWAY Distinct sections of the brain are visibly altered during hypnosis. The areas that are most affected are those that play a role in action control and awareness.
Is it all just a placebo effect?
It’s possible, but hypnosis shows marked differences in brain activity. This suggests the brain reacts to hypnosis in a unique way, one that’s stronger than a placebo effect.
Are there any side effects or risks?
Hypnosis rarely causes any side effects or has risks. As long as the therapy is conducted by a trained hypnotist or hypnotherapist, it can be a safe alternative therapy option.
Some people may experience mild-to-moderate side effects including:
Is the practice recommended by doctors?
Some doctors aren’t convinced that hypnosis can be used in mental health or for physical pain treatment. Research to support the use of hypnosis is getting stronger, but not all doctors embrace it.
Many medical schools don’t train doctors on the use of hypnosis, and not all mental health practitioners receive training during their years of school.
That leaves a great deal of misunderstanding about this possible therapy among healthcare professionals.
What can hypnosis be used for?
Hypnosis is promoted as a treatment for many conditions or issues. Research does provide some support for using hypnosis for some, but not all, of the conditions for which it’s used.
Research shows strong evidence for the use of hypnosis to treat:
• irritable bowel syndrome
• post-traumatic stress disorder
What happens during a session?
You may not undergo hypnosis during your first visit with a hypnotist or hypnotherapist. Instead, the two of you may talk about the goals you have and the process they can use to help you.
In a hypnosis session, your therapist will help you relax in a comfortable setting. They’ll explain the process and review your goals for the session. Then, they’ll use repetitive verbal cues to guide you into the trance-like state.
Once you’re in a receptive trance-like state, your therapist will suggest you work to achieve certain goals, help you visualize your future, and guide you toward making healthier decisions.
Afterward, your therapist will end your trance-like state by bringing you back to full consciousness.
Is one session enough?
Although one session can be helpful for some people, most therapists will tell you to begin hypnosis therapy with four to five sessions. After that phase, you can discuss how many more sessions are needed. You can also talk about whether any maintenance sessions are needed as well.
Fact vs. fiction: Busting 6 popular myths
Although hypnosis is slowly becoming more accepted in traditional medical practices, many myths about hypnosis persist. Here, we separate reality from falsehoods.
Myth: Everyone can be hypnotized
Not everyone can be hypnotized. One study suggests that about 10 percent of the population is highly hypnotizable. Although it’s possible that the rest of the population could be hypnotized, they’re less likely to be receptive to the practice.
Myth: People aren’t in control of their body when they’re hypnotized
You’re absolutely in control of your body during hypnosis. Despite what you see with stage hypnosis, you’ll remain aware of what you’re doing and what’s being asked of you. If you don’t want to do something you’re asked to do under hypnosis, you won’t do it.
Myth: Hypnosis is the same thing as sleep
You may look like you’re sleeping, but you’re awake during hypnosis. You’re just in a deeply relaxed state. Your muscles will become limp, your breathing rate will slow, and you may become drowsy.
Myth: People can’t lie when they’re hypnotized
Hypnotism isn’t a truth serum. Although you’re more open to suggestion during hypnotism, you still have free will and moral judgment. No one can make you say anything — lie or not — that you don’t want to say.
Myth: You can be hypnotized over the internet
Many smartphone apps and Internet videos promote self-hypnosis, but they’re likely ineffective.
Researchers in one 2013 review found that these tools typically aren’t created by a certified hypnotist or hypnosis organization. For that reason, doctors and hypnotists advise against using these.
The bottom line
Hypnosis carries the stereotypes of stage performances, complete with clucking chickens and daring dancers.
However, hypnosis is a genuine therapeutic tool, and it can be used as an alternative medical treatment for several conditions. This includes insomnia, depression, and pain management.
It’s important that you use a certified hypnotist or hypnotherapist so that you can trust the guided-hypnosis process. They will create a structured plan to help you reach your individual goals.