Frequently asked questions about Hypnosis

What is Hypnosis ?

Hypnosis is a relaxed, focused state of concentration. It involves focusing attention and awareness inward. It is similar to other forms of relaxation, with reduced sympathetic nervous system activity, decreased blood pressure, slowed heart rate, and increased alpha and theta brainwave activity. In a state of hypnosis a person is highly responsive to suggestion and they can more easily access the resources of their subconscious mind.

What is Neurolinguistic Programming?

Also known as NLP – it the art and science of subjective reality. It involves the study and modeling of excellence in human behavior and it provides a model of how individuals structure their unique experiences of life. In many ways it is a road map for the mind. NLP is all about giving a person more control over their mind and making more of the right choices. “It is the bridge between being jealous and admiring a successful person.

Is hypnosis dangerous?

A relaxed, focused state of concentration. That is the definition. But the actual state of hypnosis is a little harder to define. Until recently it was assumed that it was similar to sleep, or that the mind was somehow unconscious. In reality, there is a specific state that the brain enters into when it is receptive to suggestion. This has been discovered on scans during hypnosis. It is not an unusual state of mind, and may feel like you are not in a trance, or in hypnosis. For most people they simply feel relaxed. There is a change in the brain wave activity, similar to that time just before sleep when the alpha state is entered. Your brain's waking state is a beta brain wave, just as you are going to sleep it changes to alpha and then to delta and theta in deep sleep. The alpha state is a very dreamy, pleasant state. During this time the mind is very open to visualizations and creating a rich sensory experience. The more real the experience becomes in the subconscious mind during this state, the more effect it will have on your waking behavior.

Hypnosis is a normal state of mind, one which most people go in and out of every day. When you are watching a movie that you are engrossed in, driving down a long monotonous road, listening to music that captures a mood or engrosses you, you are in hypnosis. We experience hypnosis every day and don't even know it. When you are in a guided hypnotic trance session, or driving down the road in trance, you have an observer self, which is an actual part of you that is always aware and watching out for you. This observer self has been documented as a credible aspect of our mind, that keeps us safe, even when asleep. During hypnosis you can trust that your observer self will watch over you. This is not a guide or spiritual being, it is a scientific discovery of a function of our brain.

During a hypnosis session you would instantly get up and leave the room if it caught on fire, even if it had previously felt like your arms and leg were too heavy to move.

In fact, since hypnosis can help make us sharper and more aware mentally, it actually may help keep us safer, by making us more aware of our surroundings during the day. If your perception of what is happening around you is better, you will notice things that are happening with greater clarity and perhaps make better decisions.

Can Hypnosis make me do something against my will?

Absolutely not. This is probably the biggest myth of all. Stage hypnotists seem to make people do strange things while hypnotized, but the truth is that these people are doing these things because they have a desire to be outrageous. If the stage hypnotists choose their subjects carefully they will have willing participants. You will never do anything, or accept any suggestion that violates your morals or values. If that was possible, all the hypnotists in the world could make you go rob the banks and bring back the money. We would be rich, and rule the world. Obviously, this is not the case.

What if I don't wake up?

No one has ever got stuck in a terminal state of hypnosis. It simply cannot happen. If the hypnotist left the room, or if you were listening to a tape and the power went out, you would either fall asleep and wake up naturally, or your subconscious mind would detect that there is no voice guiding you and bring you to conscious awareness.

Will I forget everything during the session?

It occasionally happens that there is amnesia for the session. Sometimes the hypnotist will suggest that you forget what transpired, and occasionally this may have that effect. Most hypnotists want you to be aware of the session. You will be aware of everything around you, and remember most, if not all, that happened in the session. Usually, you will remember it better than a conversation we had, because your mind is in such a focused state.

Can anyone be hypnotized?

Yes, in fact hypnotizability is often a learned trait. You can teach your body and mind to go into trance, and get better and better at it as you practice your self hypnosis. Most people don't think they are hypnotized after a session. What they do notice is that some things have changed - maybe that day, maybe the next week. Sometimes the effects are subtle and sometimes profound

Can hypnosis make me tell secrets?

Not at all. You will not divulge any information that you would not ordinarily divulge. You always have a choice, and your brain did not stop functioning or reasoning. However, you may find that you discover some inner truths about yourself, or your situation, or some self sabotage, that you did not know about consciously. What this means is that your subconscious mind may have some inner programming going on that you do not know about that causes you to keep making the same mistakes, get sick, get angry, have rotten luck, or ignore important clues about your success or failure.

The really good news is that when you uncover these inner truths that have been kept secret from you by your subconscious mind, your mind can no longer play that game. When the unconscious strategy is revealed, the gig is up. We then know the “triggers that make you feel or do the negative things that you do to self sabotage.

Your inner mind must now do it differently. The program only worked when it was in an undetected mode.