When most people think of hypnosis they picture a mysterious man with a goatee swinging a pocket watch back and forth in front of their face. They imagine having this man take complete control of them, turning them into some kind of zombie-like creature trapped on the hypnotists every word. This is, however, a far cry from the reality of true modern hypnosis. In hypnosis the subject is neither falls asleep or gives up control to another person. In fact, the subject is hyper attentive and awake, they are merely in another state of consciousness.
Hypnosis is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination. Some other names hypnosis is called that we all accept more readily are meditation, relaxation, prayer, daydreaming, etc. All these are forms of hypnosis. In fact, we drift in and out of trance all day every day.
Think of the last time you were watching a movie and were so involved in the images on the screen you were not aware of things going on around you. Or maybe the last time you drove home from a long day at work and after you pulled into the drive you couldn’t remember exactly how you got there. Or maybe you were watching TV and your spouse asked you something and you didn’t hear what he or she said, until they “snapped you out of it.” These are all forms of hypnosis, just like daydreaming.
The difference in hetero-hypnosis (being guided by a hypnotist) and these other forms of trance is the hypnotist. The hypnotist helps guide you into trance. He/she does not hypnotize you. You hypnotize yourself being guided by the hypnotist. The hypnotist does not control you; he or she simply guides you.
During hypnosis, the critical mind, that part of your consciousness that regulates information coming into the thought process, is by-passed and information can more easily be added to the subconscious. Hypnosis works because it can change an established “known” to a new “known” within the mind. An example would be the smoker who quits after one hypnosis consultation or the nervous public speaker who can stand in front of an audience and deliver a speech or the flyer who no longer fears flying.
Again the hypnotist does not control your thoughts or actions. He/she simply guides you to the point where you want to be. You never give up control of your core beliefs. For example, if you have a secret you do not wish to reveal, under hypnosis you will still not reveal that secret. It is part of your core belief system and will not be revealed unless you allow it to be.
Long gone are the days of the mysterious mustached man swinging a watch in front of you. Long gone are the myths that you lose all control and give yourself up to the hypnotist. Hypnosis actually helps put you in control of what you want to be…thinner, less nervous, non-smoker, less fear, more confidence, etc. Give trance a try and you may be surprised.