Until very recently, hypnosis was viewed as a mysterious technique, performed by people with strange skills and special powers. The truth is that there is nothing mystical or magical about hypnosis. It is simply a state of concentration and focused attention. Actually, it is a state of consciousness that we enter naturally, but we usually don’t call it hypnosis or trance. Most of us spend a good part of our day in that “automatic pilot” or “self imposed state”, even though we are not aware of it.
My job most of the times is to cause the person to “wake-up” from their self-imposed state, help them relax deeply, and refocus on a specific goal.
We also know that hypnosis is not either something that someone does to you, as all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis. You are the one who induces the hypnotic state with the professional working with you as a facilitator. A good hypnotist can teach you how to reach various levels of trance for yourself, and how to program your subconscious mind for positive changes with visualization and imagery and reduce emotional responses, pain, old beliefs and memories which are no longer appropriate in our lives.
Hypnosis can help us with many issues, from weight management to stress or addictions, but it also can help to heal changes brought by life stressors, while allowing us to accelerate our learning and reach goals far beyond our conscious expectations.
Mind and body work together to facilitate change. When the mind is very tense, the muscles and organs in the body respond to that. This tension is self-fulfilling, and we tend to over-produce stress hormones which cause further change in the management of the body and mind. Very often it becomes a vicious cycle, and unless broken we become susceptible to stress-induced disease states.
It is famous the metaphor that the mind is like a computer, and our thoughts are simply movies we play. Unfortunately for most of us, we play mainly negative tapes, visualizing negative outcomes or memories that stir up anxiety or depression. It is also not uncommon for us to speak internally to ourselves in quite critical ways. As we practice putting ourselves down, we are essentially in light trance states, worried and internally focused.
It is very important to realize that thoughts, imagination and internal dialogue can be counterproductive to our goals. When we program the subconscious mind for success, we request to be made aware of our unproductive emotional states and corresponding behaviors, so we can choose to change. It can be as simple as placing a new chosen goal picture, giving new messages to the subconscious mind. While this may sound very easy, it is a very powerful reprogramming, and the changes can come quite effortlessly, something very different from our prior practice of excessive striving.
In hypnosis we change our internal world. By using our imagination in special ways, we stir feelings and alter behavior and attitudes. When you change how you think, visualize and imagine things to be, your feelings and behavior will begin to change. You not only see what is possible, but the library of the mind will send up other suggestions for your approval, perhaps things you never considered which take you even closer to your goal, or enhance it in some way. When it sees the ideal goal picture clearly in great definition, it makes the action plan. The changes just seem to occur, like by themselves. Things which were difficult in the past, often become simple, and one is left wondering how that has happened.
Our subconscious mind stores all memories, everything we have experienced through our senses. This means that we have a wealth of resources on which to draw as we focus on our future. Most of us never utilize these assets, and continue to see everything as a struggle. If we continue to see things in this way, everything will be a struggle. As we learn to relax, let go, and ask for the appropriate resources from the inner resource, we change with a new level of comfort. When we are tense the subconscious mind cannot get our attention. As we learn to relax during stress, the door of the subconscious mind opens, and we are free to work with this powerful part of ourselves.