Hypnosis comes from the Greek 'ypnos' which means sleep because of the Trance State. However Hypnosis is not sleep because the subject stays alert, can talk and move, and the brain waves differ. Hypnosis has been defined in various ways by different people. The most popular traditional view of hypnosis is a sleep or trance – like state.
A trance is a natural state we all experience from time-to-time, for example when we daydream. When we daydream we are mentally focused on some internal event, and we have decreased awareness of the things around us. In a trance one's attention is focused narrowly - on imagery, on internal events, on a spot on the ceiling, on the voice of the hypnotist, etc.
A state of relaxation and heightened suggestibility is often seen under these conditions and this is what hypnotherapists / health practitioners use for treating various sorts of problems that also have an underlying mental / emotional factor – such as weight gain due to emotional eating or smoking under times of stress.
At the Natures Intentions Naturopathic Clinic, we use hypnosis as an adjunct to other therapies so that our clients may experience healing at all three levels – physical, mental and emotional.
Hypnotherapy is often applied in order to modify a subject's behavior, emotional content and attitudes, as well as a wide range of conditions obesity, substance abuse, pain, ego, anxiety, stress, amnesia, phobias, and matters of performance.
EXPLAINING HYPNOSIS – SOME EXAMPLES:
Hypnotist: I’m going to explain what hypnosis is like. Do you drive?
Hypnotist: Have you ever driven from one destination to another and not remembered very much about what you experienced when driving?
Client: This happens often.
Hypnotist: You are not asleep when this happens, and in fact your senses are hyper alert, aren’t they?
Client: That’s correct.
Hypnotist: If an emergency happened, you’d probably step on the brake or turn the car, wouldn’t you?
Hypnotist: We call that highway hypnosis. When you were a kid in school and found yourself daydreaming in class wishing you could be playing with your friends outside, and all of a sudden the teacher called your name, you jumped in your seat and got brought back to the class. This is similar to driving in that your senses are hyperacute and you are aware of everything around you. The hypnotic state is very similar to the feeling you experience when you are daydreaming. In both situations mentioned you were not asleep nor will you be asleep in hypnosis.
Hypnotist: If a fly landed on your nose what would you do?
Client: I’d swat it off.
Hypnotist: That would be a conscious act because your mind would tell you that the fly was annoying you and you would instinctively respond. If you were under hypnosis sitting here, very relaxed, eyes closed and a fly landed on your nose you might react the same or choose to ignore the fly. In other words, your mind could tell you to swat the fly or it could say:
“There’s a fly on my nose.
It is not bothering me.
I’ll just let it stay and when it’s ready it’ll go away.”
It’s almost like having an itch and not scratching it. What’s going on is that under hypnosis, your conscious mind becomes subdued (it doesn’t go to sleep – in fact every once in a while it rears it’s analytical mind and gets in the way) and your subconscious mind comes to the fore. We can give your subconscious mind helpful and beneficial suggestions, which it can accept or reject as it chooses.
Client: You mean I won’t be given up control.
Hypnotist: That’s correct, you have the choice to accept the helpful suggestions or reject them at any time. You are in complete control. Do you have any questions?