Hypnotherapy is a form of treatment which uses hypnosis to treat various physical and mental conditions. Hypnosis is coming to be seen as a potentially useful aid in modifying unhealthy behavior and in the treatment of chronic pain.
It is particularly useful in helping to relieve anxiety states, conquer phobias, or reduce pain perception. Hypnotism is being used to help patients lose weight, or stop smoking or drinking. Some dentists also use hypnotism to block pain, for patients who cannot tolerate anesthesia, or to help people overcome a fear of dental treatment.
For hypnotism to work, the therapist must hold the subject’s attention entirely. If either allows their attention to wander, the session will fail.
Prepare yourself for hypnotherapy
Your hypnotherapist may first test whether you are a good subject for hypnosis.
You may be asked to rotate your eyes upwards towards your forehead.
You will be encouraged to close your eyes and then to concentrate entirely on some object or thought to enter a trance.
At the end of the session, the hypnotherapist will terminate the trance with a signal introduced at some point during the hypnosis.
What happens during hypnotherapy?
During hypnosis, your entire concentration is focused on a particular object or subject, to the exclusion of all else. When you daydream or become absorbed in a book or film, you are in a mental state resembling hypnosis.
There are many misconceptions about hypnosis. For example, it is often mistakenly likened to sleep, but there are major differences between the two. During hypnosis, you are fully awake, even though your eyes may be closed and you may be unaware of what is going on around you.
Many people also have the mistaken notion that hypnotists have some magnetic force that puts you in their power. A hypnotist may provide the instruction and opportunity for entering a trance, but hypnotism cannot be forced against your will.
What does the hypnotherapist do?
The hypnotherapist may ask you to focus your vision on a single point, to mentally relax your limbs, and to listen to a slowly spoken phrase that is repeated numerous times. You may experience the following sensations:
Loss of awareness of your surroundings.
Increased awareness of internal functions, such as breathing and pulse.
A sense of floating outside your body.
Increased suggestibility (for example you feel sensations of cold if the practitioner tells you it is cold).
There is no magic to hypnosis; it simply makes use of a natural, physical state we all experience at various times, such as while listening to music, running or reading.
The physical changes that occur when someone is in a hypnotic state include slowed breathing and pulse rates, diminished sensation in the peripheral nervous system with reduced sensitivity to pain, and changes in EEG (measurement of the brain’s electrical output).
During the hypnotic state, your hypnotherapist may make a suggestion connected with the problem being treated, such as cigarette addiction, or will ask you to visualize yourself as being absent of the habit or phobia you wish to get rid of.
Is hypnotherapy unpleasant?
No; most people describe hypnosis as a rather pleasant experience in which their awareness is significantly heightened. Hypnosis only makes use of an altered state of consciousness as a means of tapping the unconscious self, similar to what might be experienced while totally absorbed in something.
Be wary of any practitioner who makes exaggerated claims for hypnosis as a cure-all, for example for a tumor, or bleeding ulcer.
How long does hypnotherapy take?
Your visit to the hypnotherapist will usually take no more than an hour. However, the duration of the treatment depends on upon many factors, including the expected goals and the reason for the patient seeking. therapy.
Suggestibility varies from individual to individual, and it is possible to train, yourself to enter the trance state more quickly. Your hypnotherapist may also prepare you to conduct your continued therapy through self-hypnosis
Does hypnotherapy always work?
Not everyone can enter a trance, so hypnotism apparently will not function for them. Occasionally, the experience of examining the source of one’s anxieties can be deeply disturbing, especially to severely depressed or unstable personalities. People with unrealistic expectations of what hypnosis can do for them may also experience disappointment.