Over the years hypnosis has had something of a bad rap in many circles. Many people don’t understand how hypnosis works, and as a result they fear it. And of course, the images of those crazy shows where people get “hypnotized” to cluck like chickens just don’t help! In reality, hypnosis is nothing like that and an authentic hypnotherapist would no more jump off a cliff than practice that type of idiocy. With the growing awareness of alternative therapies, using hypnosis for health purposes is becoming mainstream and a new revolution in the 21st century.
History of Hypnosis
The art of hypnosis has a long and colourful history. Believed to date back to the Hindus of ancient India who took sick people to sleep temples to be cured, the concept hasn’t changed much since then. What has changed, however, is the way we see it and the names we call it, which over the centuries ranged from “magnetism” through “mesmerism” and finally hypnosis. It was elevated to a science by James Braid, a Scottish surgeon who gave it the name hypnosis.
How Hypnosis Works
James Braid did more than just name hypnosis. He also discovered the real truth behind the science, which is the fact that it has more to do with fixed attention than with being in a trance. This understanding is central to dispelling the potentially harmful myths about it.
Hypnosis works by creating changes in the areas of the brain that are involved in attention, and by modifying the connections between the motor cortex and other regions of the brain. To achieve this, the hypnotherapist uses various techniques to put you into a relaxed state of mind, which makes your subconscious mind more receptive to re-education.
This helps give you greater control over actions and responses you might otherwise struggle to control consciously.
Because of this, hypnosis has proved effective in treating multiple health issues that have a basis in mental or emotional control. Hypnosis for weight loss is particularly effective, and I’ve had success using it myself to lose 70lbs after childbirth. It works by using suggestions to help you reduce cravings, and visualization techniques to picture yourself achieving your goals.
Some of the other medical conditions treated successfully by hypnosis are:
- Stopping smoking
- Stress-related conditions such as gastrointestinal and dermatological problems
- Anxiety and depression
- Sleep disorders
- Sedation for pain control during medical and dental procedures
- Nausea resulting from chemotherapy
Results and Side Effects
Hypnosis is very effective at providing relief from conditions that have a mental component. After the session is over, you will have full recall of everything that took place during the event, and will feel calm and soothed as a result of the relaxation techniques used. It usually takes a few sessions to see distinctive results—much like medical treatment, it doesn’t often work right away but takes time to have an effect. Side effects are minimal if you’re healthy, but patients who abuse drugs or alcohol aren’t ideal candidates for hypnosis because they may become delusional as a result of their substance use.
During hypnosis, you’re never out of control. You’re never unaware of your surroundings or incapable of coming out of your state of relaxation. The hypnotherapist is a guide, helping you to reach a deeper level of awareness and connection with your unconscious, but he or she is not able to take over your mind or compel you to do anything against your will.
If you want more information about using hypnosis for weight loss or any other purpose, contact me here to schedule a discussion about your needs.