Susan Reynolds Clinical Hypnotherapist
T Dip, DipCAH, HPD, PNLP, DipCID,
Member of the UK Register of IBS Specialists,
Member of the National Smoking Cessation Institute,
Registered Trauma Specialist
How can HYPNOTHERAPY help?
Probably more time is spent with the three S's, slimming, smoking and stress, however, hypnosis is used to treat a very wide range of somatic and psychological problems. Here under five broad classes, are examples of problems with which hypnotherapy can be of help.
THOUGHTS AND IDEAS
Thoughts of low self esteem; obsessive thoughts about something or someone, anxieties about coming events such as public speaking, dental appointments or surgical procedures; improving performance in sport, academically or in relationships. Hypnosis can assist in changing such thoughts for the better.
Many people experience irrational fears, e.g. of insects, spiders, flying etc. Hypnotherapy is particularly renowned for its effectiveness in assisting sufferers of such distressing and inhibiting conditions.
People can suffer from a wide range of distressing feelings such as panic attacks, anxiety, inadequacy, jealousy, guilt and lack of confidence. Whatever the problem feeling, hypnotherapy can deal with it more specifically than any drug and without harmful side effects.
People can often find themselves in the grip of one of a variety of habits, which they seem unable to control, from nail biting, smoking or overeating to more deep seated compulsions. Using hypnotic techniques, hypnotherapy can help to remove habits with precision and with a total freedom from side effects
MEDICAL OR DENTAL CONDITIONS
There are conditions that responsible hypnotherapy practices like Gardenia Hypnotherapy will only treat if a medical or dental practitioner has been informed and is in agreement. Hypnotherapy is increasingly used to enhance medical treatments and speed up the healing proves, especially after surgery. Hypnosis can be most helpful in assisting patients to become more relaxed and calm before medical or dental procedures and may also assist in the control and the management of pain. Examples of conditions for which hypnotherapy has been found to be helpful are irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, tinnitus, sexual dysfunction, some dermatological disorders, vascular control and ailments of a psychosomatic nature
WHAT IS HYPNOSIS?
Hypnosis is a totally safe, natural phenomenon. Basically, it is simply a form of very deep mental relaxation, rather like meditation. In a clinical setting it is neither dramatic nor exciting, but don't let this give you the impression that it can't therefore be as powerful as you may have believed; it is in fact far more powerful than most people imagine. It is potentially as powerful as the human mind itself - and don't forget that it is the mind that is the root cause of most problems that people come forward with, whether it is a phobia, a state of anxiety or just a craving for cigarettes.
The state of deep mental relaxation is very pleasant and your mind will remain very clear throughout, however deeply you go. You remain in control, the hypnotherapist just guides the way. There is no question of being controlled or manipulated against your will; you remain in control at all times. Hypnosis is obtained through focused concentration, for example on the therapist's voice. Once the deep state of hypnotic relaxation has been reached, the subconscious mind is able to absorb information, suggestion and other content which bring about the therapeutic changes. Hypnosis is a state of consciousness one enters and leaves naturally all the time during your day-to day experiences. It feels very much like day dreaming i.e., the state between sleeping and waking. Hypnosis is a guided fantasy. In this state of relaxation you are more open to suggestions. In this state (also called alpha) your brain wave vibration rate slows down, giving you access to your Subconscious Mind. While your Conscious Mind is still completely aware of what is going on the whole time, in this relaxed state of mind, your subconscious mind has the ability to accept information given to it by the hypnotist.
HYPNOSIS IS A VALUABLE TOOL FOR SELF-EMPOWERMENT AND CONTINUOUS PERSONAL GROWTH
Hypnosis is a state of heightened suggestibility. We are all influenced by suggestions. Hypnosis uses this natural human process to change negative patterns into positive patterns of behaviour.There is nothing mysterious about hypnosis.
There are five components necessary to induce hypnosis:
Motivation - You must want to be Hypnotised
Relaxation - Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation.
Concentration - You will use your ability to concentrate.
Imagination - You will use your vivid imagination.
Suggestion - You will hear and respond to suggestions.
Its application is based solely on the relationship between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind, having no power to reason, accepts and acts upon any fact or suggestion given to it by the conscious mind As long as there have been human beings, there has been hypnosis. We use this commonly occurring, and natural state of mind, unknowingly, all the time. It is just natural for us. For example, if you have ever watched a television program or a movie and became really absorbed into the program, you were probably in a trance. Advertisers understand this. They use television programs to induce a hypnotic trance and then provide you hypnotic suggestions, called commercials! Everyone has already experienced hypnosis, by accident or intentionally. Another common example of this naturally occurring state of mind is when you are driving down the road, with your mind focused on some other task (a day dream perhaps), and next thing you know, you have passed your next turn.
So now you know you can be hypnotized. You have done it literally thousands of times. You did it yourself when you were daydreaming and missed that turn, you have been hypnotized when you enjoyed a television program, and you have followed hypnotic and posthypnotic suggestions when you preferred some brand name that you saw repeatedly on television.
How hypnosis works
The hypnotic state is an optimum state for making changes in your life. During hypnosis you can set aside limiting beliefs that may have been preventing you from moving toward a more healthy and happier you. In order for you to understand how hypnosis works, it is very important for you to understand the relationship between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind.
The Conscious Mind
The conscious mind, which accounts for 10% of our mind, is working right now as you are reading this.
It is that part of you that is aware of what is going on right now. Choices and decisions are made by the conscious mind. The conscious mind is logical and analytical and it is where we spend most of our time. It basically performs four functions.
1. The conscious mind analyzes and is a problem-solver by evaluating whatever concern, situation or issue has its attention.
2. The conscious mind makes decisions that we often think are automatic, but in reality, engage a part of our conscious mind.
3. The conscious mind exercises what we call will power. Will Power seldom lasts, does it? You mean well, but conscious intent fails and the old behaviour reoccurs.
4. The conscious mind also is the place of working memory. It is the memory we use every day to function.
Where we all live, however, is in the level below this level of awareness, the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind accounts for the other 90%. Conscious decisions are influenced by the data stored in our subconscious mind.
The Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind, which accounts for 90% of our mind, can be compared to a computer in that it stores the data for all the experiences we have ever had.One of the most important functions of the subconscious mind is that it automatically controls our bodily functions; breathing, heart beating, eyes blinking, the immune system and organs, muscles, bones and tissues from the cellular level to its inter-relatedness as a whole body functioning. The subconscious mind is creative, intuitive, irrational, and emotional. Being irrational can work for you or against you. Because it's illogical it can make you into anything you want to be, i.e., rich, famous, slender, happy. It can also keep you stuck in negative behaviour. It contains your values, your core beliefs about your self, every thought you have ever had, every word that has ever been said to you, every experience you have ever had. Just like a computer operates only on it's programming, so does your subconscious mind. Also like a computer, your subconscious mind can be reprogrammed. We are constantly reprogramming our subconscious mind through our experiences and self-talk. If our internal dialogue is saying we are fat, a smoker, a success, a failure; then that is what we become. This programming has been placed in there from many sources and it must operate on this programming.
How do we get suggestions into the subconscious mind?
Bypassing the "Critical Factor"
There is a part of the Conscious Mind called the critical factor. It's kind of like a guard at the gate between the Conscious Mind and the Subconscious Mind. It has the power to accept or reject suggestions from entering the Subconscious Mind. It has very good intentions. Its job is to protect us. Because change is viewed as a threat to our nervous system, any suggestion that does not match the existing programming automatically gets rejected. That is how it accomplishes its goal of protecting us. The only way a real change can take place is to get the new programming into our subconscious mind. The only way to get to the subconscious mind and bypass the critical factor is through our memories, habits, and emotions.
Memories are only created through experience and you may need many positive experiences to diminish the effects the negative experience.
This could take a long time to create.
Habits require willpower and time in order to become habits.
Emotions either happen randomly or require changing the way you think about a situation and that can be enormously difficult to do and also takes time. There is another, much easier way bypass the critical factor, and that is through hypnosis. Through the induction of relaxation, the critical factor goes to sleep for awhile.
The Conscious Mind stays awake, and can still make decisions. But now you're in control while your subconscious is receptive to any suggestion that your conscious mind wants to let in.
How does Hypnosis feel?
Since everyone has experienced light levels of hypnosis at different times, don't be surprised if you don't feel hypnotized. All that is required to be hypnotized is a motivation to be hypnotized, concentration, imagination, relaxation, and the willingness to respond to suggestion. There are ways to check for the depth level of hypnosis, usually in a one-on-one session. During hypnosis, you will remain conscious of your surroundings.
Some of the sensations you may experience are:
Tingling in your fingertips or limbs
A sense of numbness or limb distortion
A sense of being light and floating away from your body
A heavy feeling like you are sinking
A sense of energy moving through your body
Feelings of emotions
An increase or decrease in salivation.
When you notice that you are noticing these sensations, do not become alarmed or you may shock yourself right out of your trance. Just expect the trance to occur gradually and it will. Suggestions stay with some individuals indefinitely, others need reinforcement. The effects of hypnosis are cumulative: The more the techniques are practiced and posthypnotic suggestions are brought into play, the more permanent the results become.