When people hear the word “hypnosis,”
they often think of stage hypnotists that make participants gyrate like Elvis or cluck like chickens. While those shows may be entertaining, there is a lot to be said about the skills that stage hypnotists utilize to put on such a show. Those shows tend to confuse the public about what hypnosis is and the benefits of it. I will briefly explain the differences between stage hypnosis and hypnosis for therapeutic use, the latter of which is practiced at Focal Point Hypnosis.
Entertainment or Therapy?
Stage hypnotists use several different techniques to give the illusion that the participants are under their powerful spell. The effect is part hypnosis, part showmanship, and part human psychology. You take a willing participant (by going on stage they’re already accepting the suggestions of the hypnotist), combine that with responsiveness tests to see who can go into a trance easily, and you now have a recipe for an entertaining show. Throw in a professional hypnotist who knows how to select the right audience members, and all of a sudden it looks like brainwashing. It’s not.
Hypnotists can’t just snap their fingers, say a few magic words and fix your issues. It’s like when you have a few glasses of wine and all of a sudden you’re the most talkative person at the party. That verbose version of you is temporary. To make a more permanent change, you need to change your beliefs and your perceptions. This is where the real “magic” of hypnosis takes place.
Everyday Applications of Hypnosis
Although there are debates about the definition of hypnosis and whether there is a measurable trance state or not, most professional hypnotists focus their energy on what hypnosis can do. It doesn’t matter how you get into “trance.” What matters is what you do while you’re in trance. Some don’t even like the word trance and prefer to call it “heightened awareness.” A simple way to think about it is that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.
A hypnotist isn’t a sorcerer that can conjure magic spells to fix your issues. A hypnotist is more like a co-pilot that guides you (the pilot) to your desired destination. Ultimately you decide how to fly the plane and where the plane is going to land. The hypnotist’s job is to give you the fastest, safest and most relaxing route to your desired goal. Trust is crucial. The two most important factors in successfully reaching your goals using hypnosis is a real desire for positive change and rapport with the hypnotist. Not everyone experiences hypnosis in the same way. In fact, you get hypnotized every day and may not even realize it.
You’re watching your favorite television show, and you don’t hear the doorbell: you are in hypnosis. You miss your exit on the expressway because you are listening to your favorite song on the radio: you are in hypnosis. If someone told you that you were never going to grow up to be anything special and you believed them, you were in hypnosis. If you cried while watching a movie even though you knew those were just actors, you were in hypnosis.
It’s All about Interpretation
The key to all these instances is what you focused on and how you interpreted those events. Much like blocking out someone who's nagging you, you can block out the external environment in hypnosis and concentrate on your internal experience. This internal focus mixed with repeated positive suggestions changes the way your mind responds to everyday life. Focus on what you want and not what you don't want. By doing this in a trance-like state, you enhance the effects. As James Allen stated in his book As a Man Thinketh; "Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance." Choose your thoughts and beliefs wisely.
Using the Power of Your Subconscious Mind
Neuroscientists estimate that 95 percent of your brain activity is beyond your conscious awareness. Ninety-five percent of your habits, decisions, actions, emotions, and behaviors are operating under the control of your subconscious mind. Your heart rate, your breathing, and digestion are just a few examples of what your autonomic nervous system controls. You don't consciously decide to digest your food; it happens automatically. In hypnosis, you communicate with this powerful subconscious mind to create lasting change. As a young child, most of your thoughts and beliefs formed beyond your conscious awareness and those same thoughts play like a song on repeat. Think about how your life is today. Are there specific areas in your life that are less than ideal? These life circumstances are no accident; they are the byproduct of years of negative brainwashing. You "hypnotized" yourself into believing that you weren't worthy of love, money, health or success. These false beliefs caused you to take certain actions, and those actions became habits. Imagine how much better your life would be if your subconscious mind works FOR you instead of AGAINST you. Hypnosis is a safe and natural way to use the power of your subconscious mind to create positive change.