A HypNutrition Introduction to Hypnotherapy. Common thoughts and misconceptions.
What is Hypnotherapy?
Deriving from the Greek word ‘Hypnos’ which means Sleep. This is in fact a bit of a misnomer. Yes Hypnosis involves various levels of deep relaxation; it is not sleep. It is rather, focused attention and a heightened and altered awareness within the mind.
A Hypnotic State is a naturally occurring one that we all slip in and out of all the time.
Hypnotic states have been known about and utilised since the dawn of time- from the Ancient Egyptian Sleep Temples, Witch doctors, Fakirs and Yogi- to facilitate healing and enlightenment.
Now a days Hypnotherapy is still utilised effectively in a range of applications; from changing unhealthy or unproductive habits to coping with stress. Anxiety, pain, insomnia and phobias as well stopping smoking, over eating, high blood pressure and IBS can all be helped with Hypnotherapy.
What is a Hypnotic State?
As mentioned before, Hypnotic trance states are common and familiar. Have you ever zoned out during an activity such as driving or listening to music or jogging? This is Trance State. Total absorption and focus is an activity is a normal Trance State we all can experience. But think of it this way, have you ever watched a movie or listened to a piece of music and become absorbed and moved by it?
We can watch a film and become scared or laugh along but the reality is that it is not really happening to us – it’s on the Screen. The point is we become so focussed that we become immersed in the experience.
This isn’t just limited to music or film watching or as mentioned, driving or exercising such as jogging. It can be apparent when Gaming or any activity you are concentrating on and “getting into the zone”. Hypnotherapy does just that – helps us “get into the zone”.
What Hypnotherapy is not?
Hypnotherapy is not a way to implement Mind Control. You can’t make someone go against their inherent belief system. The hypnotherapist simply guides you into the relaxed state that enables a communication between the Conscious and Subconscious mind.
It won’t however, reveal your deepest, darkest secrets or let you over share. Nor will it make you any more vulnerable to manipulation or exploitation. If that were the case, we would all be at the mercy of sales people, politicians or marketers. We don’t rush out and buy every product that we see advertised. Our mind does not suddenly suspend its powers of discernment or its own survival instincts.
Some people also fear that they will get stuck in Hypnosis. The relaxed state that you are in is of your own volition and if left to it you would simply come round to your normal, wakeful state. Or, you would go to sleep due to the comfortable, relaxed state you are in.
Clearing up these misconceptions gives an opportunity to clarify what Hypnosis is and is not. To do this we also have to be honest about its limitations.
You have to want to be part of the process.Hypnosis won’t be as effective if you are not doing it voluntarily but instead to please someone else. Hypnotherapy also won’t provide an alternative to Willpower, it’s not a magical cure all.
Hypnosis also won’t enable you to do something it is physically impossible for you to achieve- you can’t grow taller or cure genetic problems. It also won’t stopped reverse the ageing process. Having a healthy respect for it being a cognitive tool that enables us to tap into our minds potential, is more realistic.
So what can it can do?
Hypnotherapy is a tool. It is one where -what you put in- you get out of it and we all wield it differently. It can help with Motivation, Focus, Concentration, Memory, Changing of Mindsets, Quitting Habits, Achieving Goals, Negotiating through Change, Creativity and Stress Management to name a few.
Hypnotherapy is a safe, effective technique that can provide both physical and mental benefits. The relaxation alone is therapeutic. Consistently hypnotherapy has ranked as the most successful technique to stop smoking. NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) recommends hypnotherapy to aid with the effects of IBS. There are also calls within the NHS for Hypnotherapy to be used in conjunction with other interventions to manage a wide range of physical and mental ailments.