What is hypnosis?
Let’s address the elephant in the room and actually demystify what hypnosis actually is…
Hypnosis or trance by definition is an altered state of awareness. According to Dr. Richard Bandler (one of my first teachers of hypnosis – a famous co-founder of NLP, and recognized as the best hypnotist in the world) we actually go from one trance to another one all the time.
Here are some examples of what I/he means:
- driving a car – reaching the destination with almost no recollection on how you got there. Actually it’s similar with walking or riding a bike.
- studying – learning new things
- working – getting things done / solving problems
- doing sports – being in the moment and fully focused on the moment
All of these are examples of altered states of awareness – and therefore by definition these are examples of trances. Some are more useful in certain situations than others.
Hypnosis is about getting you in the kind of a trance where you can make the changes you desire.
Do you hear and see when in hypnosis?
Some people believe that when you’re in trance you don’t hear or see anything. That state is called death – that’s a different state, and I don’t work with that one 🙂
As a matter of a fact you’ll likely hear, see, and feel better, more intensely, than in your “normal” waking state.
Seeing can be tricky though since during your typical hypnotic work you’d have your eyes closed so that you can visualize things better. But it’s not necessary to have your eyes closed.
Hypnosis is far more flexible than popular media would lead to you believe – such as using a pocket watch, having your eyes closed, not remembering anything – all of these are possible but not necessary.
Example of a famous hypnotic phenomena.
Arm lifting all by itself without any conscious assistance.
Can I make you do things you don’t want to do with hypnosis?
Simple answer is no. Full answer is more tricky. Here is why..
If you have the capability to do something hypnosis can bring that out and help you do it.
This doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Suppose you want more confidence in your life. But you just can’t seem to be confident in certain situations. Hypnosis can reach into your mind and bring out that confidence that’s been hidden away. Wham – you’re confident.
Which implies I can’t give you something you don’t already have.
So in a negative example, I can’t make you into a bank robber unless you already are a bank robber waiting to happen.
Which is not something I’d personally do because I want the world to be a better place, not a worse one.
Is hypnosis dangerous?
Not really, but people who had been diagnosed with mental conditions (e.g.: bipolar, autism, …) are often required to get a permit from their doctor first before working with a hypnotherapist.
Same goes for people on heavy medication.
Also pregnant women are encouraged not to do hypnosis. Not because it’s harmful but if something intese from the past were to come up during the session it may cause premature birth and, well, you can imagine the kinds of issues that could conjure up.
So hypnosis is no more dangerous than meditation. But people who find themselves in certain unfortunate (or in case of pregnancy it may well be fortunate) circumstances should consult their doctor first.
What’s hypnosis like?
I tried many things in my life. And I have two examples of what’s the closest thing to being in a trance / hypnosis.
- That one moment just before you fall asleep
- Meditation – meditation and hypnosis are actually nearly identical (as far as I can tell), except hypnosis is much more deliberate and has a set goal. Also unless you’re doing self-hypnosis it would include a guide – so guided meditation in this aspect is closer to hypnosis than meditation in and of itself.
That’s pretty much all I have to say about hypnosis, at least as far as “must-knows” go.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out under the “Contact Me” tab in the menu (above and bellow).
I’ll be happy to answer your hypnosis related questions to the best of my abilities.