Hypnosis Demystified

What if I get stuck in the subconscious and never able to come back to conscious state? I frequently face this question from some clients.

The concept of hypnosis stated with Franz Anton Mesmer was a German physician with an interest in astronomy, who theorized that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called animal magnetism, sometimes later referred to as mesmerism. The application of the theory further moved from different psychologists of that time from James Braid to Milton Erickson.

While definitions can vary, the American Psychological Association describes hypnosis as a cooperative interaction in which the participant responds to the suggestions of the hypnotist. While hypnosis has become well-known thanks to popular acts where people are prompted to performs unusual or ridiculous actions, the technique has also been clinically proven to provide medical and therapeutic benefits, most notably in the reduction of pain, anxiety and reducing stress.

Self hypnosis involves one hypnotizing oneself and can also be described as an altered state of consciousness which can be achieved when one relaxes and focuses on self suggestions/affirmations. Actually one achieves this state several times in a day while daydreaming, driving etc. Because it is easy to drift away from thoughts a hypnotherapists helps achieve this state either via imagery or visualizations. In my observation, hypnotherapy uses the same path of visualizations that our subconscious mind uses to analyze and give out experiences through dreams thereby making an impression on our sub conscious by creating positive new impressions or replacing the not so good once.

Myths about Hypnosis:

Myth #1: The Hypnotist will be able to control my mind.

Myth #2: I will be made to perform embarrassing acts, such as bark like a dog, or walk like a duck.

Myth #3: Hypnosis comes from “Black Magic” or is “Supernatural”.

Myth #4: If I become Hypnotized, I may not be able to snap out of it, or Hypnosis is Dangerous.

Myth #5: I have never been in Hypnosis before.

Myth #6: Hypnosis is a “Miracle Cure”.

Myth #7: Hypnosis is a great tool to get someone to “confess”.

Myth #8: When Hypnotized, I will lose all sense of my surroundings, and will have no memory of the session.

Myth #9: I can’t be hypnotized because my mind is too strong/ disciplined.