Truths About Effective Hypnosis
The exact origins of hypnosis are unknown however there is a reasonable assumption that suggests a form of hypnosis was used in the sleep temples of ancient Egypt 3,000 or 4,000 years ago. The Egyptian sleep temples are also referred to dream temples and it is believed that they were used as healing temples where people would go have all sorts of ailments fixed. It is also believed that a variety of techniques were used to help the patient such as chanting, fasting, dream analysis and cleansing rituals. Sleep temples of a similar nature also existed in the Middle East, in various parts of the Roman Empire and in Ancient Greece around 300-400 BC, and the Oracle of Delphi was a place in Greece where such a sleep temple existed.
In spite of the reality that hypnosis has been successfully used for healing purposes for thousands of years, there is still a great deal of unnecessary misconception and fear attached to it. Unfortunately in this world, humans have a habit of fearing what they do not fully understand, and then projecting their own fears onto the object in questions. As a result, throughout history hypnosis and many hypnotists have had a tough time, and people have not been able able to delight in its benefits.
Frank Anton Mesmer, after whom mesmerism was named, had a great deal of success with his patients but was expelled by Medical and Scientific Commissions in Vienna and Paris. James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon, carried out hundreds of surgeries using hypnosis to anesthetize his patients, was publicly humiliated for his methods. James Braid, sometimes referred to as the “Father of Modern Hypnosis”, was also publicly vilified and some called his work “Braid’s Artificial Insanity”
Psychiatry got interested in hypnosis when Sigmund Freud studied it around the turn of the nineteenth century, but either Freud wasn’t a good hypnotist or more likely that simply wasn’t his path. And as his interest in hypnosis waned, so did that of psychiatry. However, after both World Wars, some psychiatrists and psychologists successfully turned to hypnosis to work with troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after they found that more traditional methods didn’t achieve results. Finally, in 1955 the British Medical Association declared that hypnosis was a valuable medical tool. The American Medical association followed suit in 1958, followed by the American Psychiatrist Association in 1960.
In spite of that apparent recognition, today hypnosis is still striving to earn its rightful place in society as one of the post powerful and successful means of treating physical, psychological, emotional and even spiritual im-balances and dis-eases. Perhaps it is the controlling influence of the big pharmaceutical companies that seeks to use that influence to restrict all forms of natural healing wherever possible… or perhaps it’s still because people fear what they do not fully understand.
I often meet people who have an innate fear of hypnosis for no particular reason; maybe it’s a belief they have inherited from their culture, their family, friends or more likely the media. Fortunately, when you explain to most people about what hypnosis actually is, offer them the chance to experience some simple hypnotic relaxation and tell them about the benefits that they may experience from it in their everyday life, then most people’s viewpoints change dramatically.
Just a few of the everyday realities that many people still don’t know about hypnosis are…
- It is a naturally occurring state that all humans experience at least twice a day. The half-awake half-asleep states prior to falling asleep and after waking are examples of naturally occurring hypnotic states and are even called the hypnagogic and hypnopompic states.
- When we are absorbed in a book, watching a film or listening to music, that is a hypnotic state.
- Sometimes when we drive somewhere, we lose track of time and don’t know we arrive there, that is a hypnotic state
- In these examples we are actually in a state of focused awareness, not asleep or unconscious.
Wikipedia used to say about Hypnosis that… “Contrary to a popular misconception – that hypnosis is a form of unconsciousness resembling sleep – contemporary research suggests that it is actually a wakeful state of focused attention and heightened suggestibility, with diminished peripheral awareness
How it works is that the initial goal of hypnosis is to relax the client… and when they are relaxed, then the conscious mind stops “chattering” and assumes more of a passive, observer role and the subconscious mind becomes more accessible and open to positive suggestion.
As well as being the location for our autonomic functioning, the subconscious mind is also the storehouse for our behaviours, memories, beliefs et al, much like the hard disk on a computer. And also like the hard disk, we have often programmes or functions stored that no longer serve our best interests. In simple hypnosis we use mutually agreed positive suggestions that help the client to modify those old non-helpful behaviours going forward. It is essentially as simple as that and it works…
Albert Einstein famously said “that problems cannot be solved at same level of awareness that we created them” and that is how hypnosis works and is exactly the reason why hypnosis is so effective for people. By relaxing the conscious mind, we can help the client to move into that different level of awareness where solutions can be found and/or created.
A common misconception about hypnosis is that we lose control in some way; however the reality is that we have already lost our power. When we have non-helpful behaviours, habits, beliefs that are not serving us in our everyday life, then we are giving away our control to those old ways of being. The real truth is that we can actually take back control by using hypnosis.
And hypnotists don’t have special powers. They have just undergone simple, yet effective training courses. And anyone who does a simple training course can use or benefit from hypnosis. It can be used for deeper therapeutic goals of course, but equally it can be used in very simple ways for relaxation. In these busy 21st Century lives of ours, how many actually time the time to genuinely switch off and relax…without the TV, computer, phone or other gadget still on that is….
Effective hypnosis has all sorts of other benefits too; it does help to give us back greater control and that can be over our eating or exercise habits, it can be for areas in our lives where we need more confidence; it can help us sleep better at nights, study for our exams and tests more fruitfully, improve sports performance, reduce stress and generally feel better about ourselves and live more pleasurable lives.
I have a fully accredited Foundation Certificate in Hypnosis Course starting in Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks (Metropolitan line and close to M25) on the 16th of February 2017. And I regularly run courses in various parts of the England, Scotland and other parts of the world in Hypnosis and Transformational Regression Training.
These are life changing courses suited to the professional person looking to add another skillset to their repertoire, to the seeker looking to engage in their own personal development and for those who have an inner yes unknown pull to this work that may become more evident to them at a later stage.