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What is hypnosis?

It is a pleasant, voluntary, state of relaxed attentive concentration, an altered state of consciousness, during which the conscious critical mind is relaxed and relatively inactive, and the doorway to the subconscious, inner mind is opened with a person’s permission. In this comfortable state, suggestibility is heightened, mental absorption is increased, the senses are heightened, and the imagination is activated in a controlled manner. The inner mind is more receptive to acceptable, beneficial suggestions.

Can a person be hypnotised against their will?

No. You cannot be hypnotised against your will. You must be a willing subject. Your hypnotist must have your full cooperation.

Will a hypnotised person perform any anti-social, criminal or immoral acts while under Hypnosis?

No. People who are hypnotised will not do anything in Hypnosis that they would not do in the waking state. When you are in hypnosis, you are aware of everything that is going on and you continue to retain your values and morals.

Does a weak-minded person make a better subject than a strong-minded person?

No. Strength of mind really has little to do with it. Either a weak-minded or strong minded person who resists will make a poor hypnotic subject. On the other hand, a weak or strong-minded person who cooperates will be a good subject. However, because Hypnosis helps a person gain greater control over both mind and body, it can help a person develop a stronger mind.

What about the idea that Hypnosis can weaken the mind?

Hypnosis does NOT weaken the mind. On the contrary, it helps people use more of their mind’s potential. It helps people access their inner strength. The subconscious mind is protective. Hypnotised people will accept suggestions that are acceptable, and reject suggestions that are not acceptable. Suggestions must be worded in a form and language that the person’s subconscious can understand.

Will I be asleep?

No. When a person is in Hypnosis, they are not asleep. He or she is very much aware of all that is going on. In fact, in Hypnosis, your senses become heightened and more acute. Of course, if a person is tired, it is possible to fall asleep during hypnosis. However, then, the subject is asleep and no longer in hypnosis. A simple suggestion to wake up given by the hypnotist is all that is required to rouse up the subject.

Is it possible that a subject could not be brought out of Hypnosis?

No it is not possible. You cannot get stuck in Hypnosis because you do not lose control when you are hypnotised. Hypnosis is a cooperative relationship. When you are hypnotised, you retain full control over your mind and your body. Sometimes, people feel so relaxed and comfortable in Hypnosis that they may wish to remain in that state for a little longer. However, a simple suggestion for awakening (or alerting) is all that is needed to bring a subject back into the waking state even if the subject has fallen asleep. Additionally, when the hypnotist stops talking, the subject will soon awaken on his own. Most importantly, you can come out of hypnosis any time you want.

Will I tell any secrets under hypnosis?

No. Hypnosis is not a truth serum. You retain full control over what you say. Subjects in Hypnosis reveal no secrets in the Hypnotic State that they would not reveal (because they want to) in the waking state.

Can a person become addicted to Hypnosis, or is it habit forming?

No. A person can resist going into Hypnosis or being hypnotised anytime he or she desires, regardless of how many times they have been hypnotised.

Who can be hypnotised?

Anyone who can pay attention and follow instructions can be hypnotised if they want to be. People will vary however, as to the extent or depth to which they can be hypnotised.

What about the idea that some people are just not hypnotisable?

Anyone who can daydream can be hypnotised if they are willing. Nobody can be hypnotised against their will. If a person is not willing to cooperate, they cannot be hypnotised. However, the idea that some people are just not hypnotisable is INCORRECT. Some people may initially have problems with feeling that they may lose control in some unacceptable way. This may lead them to intellectually second guess and over analyse what is going on. Thinking too much will interfere with relaxing enough to enter trance.

Hypnosis is NOT about the hypnotist controlling the person. It is about the person gaining more control over themself. Once the person realises that experiencing hypnotic trance will (a) help them feel how they want to feel and do what they want to do, AND (b) actually give them more control and power than they previously had, they will stop over thinking, let it happen, and become a good subject.

What are the requirements of a good Subject?

They are mainly the desire to be hypnotised and to experience Hypnosis, the ability to concentrate, the willingness to cooperate and follow instructions, and the relative absence of mistrust and fear.

Can “poor” subjects become better subjects?

Most definitely YES. Repeated practise can improve the depth of relaxation, concentration and absorption that you can attain. Also, strong motivation is a plus. A poor subject with a strong desire to benefit from Hypnosis to get relief from a problem can become a very good subject. Additionally, a “poor” subject can become a better subject to the extent that the Hypnotist instills confidence and helps the subject diminish anxiety and fear.

How does Hypnosis work?

Once the Hypnotic State is induced and the doorway to the Subconscious Mind is opened, with your permission, the Hypnotist can provide information, in a language and form that the Subconscious can accept, to help you change the behaviours, feelings and thoughts that you want to change. We utilize the fact that the Subconscious Mind has the ability (actually the tendency) to accept what it imagines as real. This can greatly reduce the felt stress of changing unhealthy habits to healthier habits.

What role does the Subconscious Mind play?

The Subconscious part of the mind, or the Inner Mind, controls all of our living functions that keep us alive, as well as all of our automatic behaviour patterns. But, the Subconscious is not as easily communicated with as is the Conscious Mind. Information is imprinted in the Subconscious essentially in three ways: through trauma (pleasant or unpleasant), through repetition, and through the language of Hypnosis. Thus, Hypnosis is the quickest and most efficient way to impress the Subconscious and imprint changes in behaviours, attitudes, beliefs and feelings.

The upshot is that making changes in long-standing, core habits (e.g., eating patterns, smoking, emotional reactivity, coping responses) often creates internal discomfort and stress. Old habits cling and typically resist efforts to change them. This can be because of Conscious conflict about changing, but it can also be the result of conflict between the Conscious and the Subconscious parts of the mind. That is, you consciously may want to change and may have decided to change, but the Subconscious does not know this. If it did, it would help you, but it often has no way of knowing that you consciously want to change. So, it continues to control the old behavioural habits and this creates and perpetuates inner conflict. Once the Subconscious is informed that you want to change, and once it knows that it is in your best interest to be helped to change, it has no choice but to help you change. Then, the two parts to the mind, Conscious and Subconscious, can work together in cooperation with little tension, upset, or stress. Remember, what you can conceive you can achieve, and the Subconscious has a tendency to accept what it imagines as real.

What are some of the benefits of Hypnosis?

There are many benefits and uses for Hypnosis. To mention a few of the more common uses, hypnosis can help to:

• induce relaxation
• relieve tensions
• reduce pain
• in childbirth
• diminish and control anxiety
• eliminate phobias
• treat depression
• improve self-confidence
• control mood swings
• modify or change harmful habits
• stop smoking
• lose weight through changing eating and other habits
• improve concentration and memory
• improve study habits
• develop natural abilities
• relieve insomnia
• stop fingernail biting
• reduce anxiety in dentistry
• prepare for surgery or other medical procedures

Please note – hypnosis is an addition to, and is not intended to replace, professional medical intervention.