Why Hypnosis Can Help

Why Hypnosis Can Help

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a modern word for a very ancient therapy used as far back as Egyptian times. Like most alternative therapies it was ‘discovered’ about 150 years ago when in 1850 surgeon, James Esdaile, travelling in India performed many operations using hypnosis and during the American Civil War in the early 1860’s hypnosis was used by surgeons as the sole anaesthetic whilst they carried out limb amputations.

Hypnotherapists today routinely use hypnosis to help people cope with stress and anxiety, fears and phobias and even to reduce and control pain during childbirth.

Where did the term ‘hypnosis’ come from?

A contemporary of James Esdaile in the early 1800s was the Scottish physician, James Braid, who coined the term hypnosis, derived from the word ‘Hypno’, the Greek god of sleep. But hypnosis is not sleep, it is a state between sleep and full wakefulness, a state known as ‘trance’. You may sense this wonderful state just before you nod off.

Daydreaming is also an example of trance, it is healthy and normal. The interesting thing is, it’s essential for the conscious mind to ‘freewheel’ in this way. A curious example most of us have felt is when we are able to be in full control of a car yet notice all sorts of thoughts pouring through your mind. This is because some parts of the mind are fully in engaged in safely controlling the car which after a while, free up other parts of the mind to think about other things. We go in and out of this state several times a day and mostly we are not aware of it.

Often, our problems are because we hypnotised ourselves with incorrect beliefs embedded in our subconscious sometimes as far back as childhood and carry them forward into adulthood. Many don’t know this but worrying about things and ruminating on them is a form of negative self-hypnosis, so imagine what might be achieved with positive self-hypnosis?

Common misplaced fears about hypnosis

Because of stage hypnosis and how Hollywood has portrayed it in films like the Manchurian Candidate it is understandable and common place for people to feel somewhat fearful of hypnosis. In the main, most fear they will lose control or they might be permanently stuck in some zombie-like state or that they would never be the same again or made to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. The good news is none of these things happen, nor can they happen. You remain under your own control at all times never the hypnotherapist.

How does hypnosis work?

The mind consists of two parts. The conscious and the subconscious. The subconscious mind is that which records all our experiences and memories and it is from here all our thoughts, beliefs and hardwired behaviour bubble up. As these bubbles rise to the surface, our conscious mind at some point becomes aware of them as a thought or feeling.

The subconscious mind never switches off and because the conscious mind is the part where we think about things, it constantly checks with the beliefs stored in the subconscious acting like a regulator. When we experience intense emotion the communication between the conscious and the subconscious minds is at its most powerful. Thoughts with emotion become feelings which then can result in behaviour which may or may not be appropriate.

The hypnotherapist helps you to calm your conscious, analytical part of the mind by creating a very pleasant, comfortably relaxed state, because in this state, it enhances communication with the subconscious and through imagination bring about the desired change. Once the subconscious mind is convinced, it becomes more effective than relying upon sheer will power and conscious effort to bring about change.

In a nutshell, hypnosis is safe, perfectly natural and has no negative side effects and helps you gain control so that you can make greater use of your own mind.