Today hypnotherapy is a recognised treatment tool for a variety of conditions. It can facilitate treatment for anything from stress, bowel disease and weight loss through fears and phobias to infertility and sexual or emotional problems. It is also ideal for helping people with pain control techniques because it focusses on relaxation. It can work alongside medical treatments to help a patient cope with an illness, and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) now recommends hypnotherapy for some conditions.
Hypnotherapy is especially helpful for anxiety based conditions, and is very effective at helping people minimise the effects of anxiety and panic. Part of this success is because of the deep sense of relaxation people experience, which helps to alleviate tensions and stresses. It is generally acknowledged that you cannot have an anxious mind in a relaxed body. As well as relaxation, a patient will totally focus their attention inwards, excluding all external thoughts and concentrating on a greater internal awareness. So already, if you have an anxiety issue, the symptoms will be alleviated just by experiencing the hypnosis.
But many people do not understand hypnosis – one thing I hear over and again is the worry of not being in control, or as one person put it “in case I never come round”. Some still think hypnosis is a stage art rather than a treatment tool. They are wary of the idea of hypnotherapy and regard it suspiciously as a method of mind control performed to make the “victim” behave in an unnatural or comedy manner. The reality though is that hypnosis is an entirely natural state which no-one can be forced into against their will.
Some hypnotists boast of being able to make you rich, thin, successful in love or even a lucky lottery winner. Did you watch the recent gameshow on tv? Hypnotherapy has nothing to do with performers on shows like these. Those guys are very clever, but the stage hypnosis they perform is a world apart from the use of hypnosis as a therapy tool. And for the record, you can’t be hypnotized by watching it on tv.
Hypnosis can make it easier for people to experience suggestion but does not force them to have experiences. It is about making contact with our inner self that we rarely acknowledge and often don’t realise can be the very source of many of our personal problems. During hypnosis, the conscious brain is deeply relaxed. Some people describe the physical feelings as being neither awake nor asleep, just like being in a daydream. This state is sometimes referred to as a trance. Don’t be afraid of this word- its just a term that’s used to identify the state in between being awake and asleep. We all have the ability to be in a “trance”. You’ve probably been in a trance state many times without even realising it. We all have. Have you ever been driving to work in the morning, and suddenly you are almost at the end of the journey but you have no recollection of having got there? Yet during that time you drove perfectly safely, slowed down when the traffic did, changed gears, etc etc At those times you were you were actually in a hypnotic state. All hypnosis is like that, being totally absorbed in your own thoughts and images.
What we do in hypnotherapy is relax you totally and then let your subconscious mind take over for a while. But you must remember that I cannot make you do anything you don’t want to do, and although you will be deeply relaxed you will always be in control. Your therapist never “takes control”of you. Hypnotherapy patients remain conscious throughout treatment and if appropriate are able to answer questions asked by their therapists. They are also able to rouse themselves to full consciousness at any time they choose.
You will remember everything that happens to you under hypnosis. If you weren’t able to remember it then there wouldn’t be much point as there would be no ongoing benefit from the sessions! Although you will be deeply relaxed, you will be able to move about or answer questions if you want to. Some people find its just too much effort to speak or to move their limbs, because they are enjoying the feelings too much.
The hypnotic trance is a very individual experience. Some patients are reoriented feeling just relaxed and happy whilst others may recount more profound experiences. Going into hypnosis is something that has to be learned, like riding a bike. It gets easier each time you do it. But it cannot be forced, you just have to relax and let it happen.
What’s important to remember is that you never lose control, and nobody can make you do anything against your will. Go to a qualified practitioner, and they will answer all of your concerns. I am always willing to do a short “taster” or demonstration if there is time in a consultation, so that you get a real idea of how it feels.
After a few sessions, I often find my clients look forward to the experience, after all, its 45 minutes of blissful peace and relaxation, what’s not to like?
If you’ve been hesitating, not sure whether it’s for you, then make an appt for a FREE consultation, and come and get your questions answered by a qualified practitioner.
I leave you with these words from a former client:
“Your support has helped me so much, I feel so much better about myself. Its been such a positive experience I almost don’t want to stop coming” Mrs L, anxiety client.