Hypnosis. The word conjures up many different connotations, some accurate, some widely off the mark. In today’s blog, I’d like to present to you, my fabulous readers, the truth about hypnosis and its origins.
The first thing to really understand about Hypnosis is that it is old, really old, with the earliest known instances of change through altered states being recorded as far back as 1000 BC in ancient Egypt and India. The second and possibly most important fact that you need to know is that the journey through time that has led to modern day hypnosis was one of science. The majority of key, standout figures who feature in the history of hypnosis were men of science, primarily medical doctors who were curious about the power of the mind over the body.
So hypnosis isn’t a new age, smoke and mirrors, alternative approach to personal change, it’s proven,documented, with rigorous academic research and highly scientific.
With all its rich history, how is it that Hypnosis is still so widely misconceived in the year 2020? The distinction between what we see on the stage and the TV and Hypnotherapy to enable personal change and transformation with professional, experienced and well qualified Hypnotherapists is still very blurred. The wide use of Hypnotic language in Business is also globally overlooked. Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions.
Hypnosis is the domain of the weak-minded and gullible. The truth is that the most intelligent people with strong imaginations and a flair for the creative are usually the best hypnotic subjects. They are able to willfully suspend their disbelief and break through the critical faculty barrier which separates the conscious and the unconscious mind.
Hypnosis means letting go of personal power and revealing secrets. Not so, whilst experiencing any level of hypnotic trance you are actually more aware than in the normal waking state and able to select information accordingly. Your unconscious mind becomes acutely focussed on learning and initiating the required personal change. It hears what it wants to hear and sees what it wants to see in a highly selective manner.
Hypnosis represents a risk of humiliation. We’ve all heard about or been witness to stage hypnosis. A group of very willing individuals submit to hypnotic trance in order to entertain the audience. The individuals who volunteer their involvement are very carefully selected and are completely willing to do something silly in the name of entertainment. Those who are not are quickly identified and sent back to their seats. Stage hypnotists are very skilled at what they do and the best are extremely proficient at initiating rapid inductions. Stage hypnotism is entertainment and we should view it as such. The truth is that your unconscious mind is a very moral mind and if you object to any suggestion, you will choose to ignore it and not comply.
Hypnosis means a loss of control. During an Hypnotic trance,you are totally in control and fully aware of yourself and your environment. In fact, your senses become heightened and attuned to everything that happens around you. You can stop the trance at any time of your choosing, you are totally in control.
Hypnosis is something to fear. The history of hypnosis has clearly demonstrated why there remains a residual fear of hypnosis and its long ago association with ‘the dark side’. The truth and reality is that the hypnotic state is a normal, natural,relaxed state and is experienced on a daily basis. For example, the driving trance. Every driver, at some time has missed their turning or made a journey without being able to remember the entire drive. This is an example of a light trance state. If an emergency occurred whilst in this state, the unconscious mind would react immediately to keep you safe,as the awareness remains heightened and alert. What about the TV trance, when you have been so involved in a programme,that you have been unaware of someone talking to you? We all enter into a light trance every day,it’s a completely natural state.
Hypnosis means sleep. The only feeling associated with hypnosis which is different from the normal, waking state is one of complete relaxation. Whilst it is true that people who respond really well to hypnosis and are able to reach really deep states of trance may drop off into an energising and revitalising sleep, the general experience is of deep relaxation. Hypnosis is really not about becoming ‘zonked out’ or unaware. As we have already discussed, trance represents a heightened state of awareness. There is also a misconception that there may be an inability to awaken from trance. Remember, hypnosis is not sleep and you can come out of the hypnotic state at any time.
Hypnosis is a gimmick and has no real benefits for personal change or business. Hypnosis is a wilful suspension of disbelief and a vehicle for communication with the unconscious mind. Once great communication links have been forged with the unconscious mind, change becomes easy. Any unwanted and unhelpful states, behaviours or habits can be modified or removed easily and effortlessly, through clear communication with the unconscious mind. How do you think marketing works? How do you imagine charismatic speakers hold their audience? How do influencers grab our attention? Yes, you’ve got it,through the language of hypnosis.
Hypnotists are manipulative. This assumption is anon-truth because of the evidence that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, you just follow instructions offered to you by the hypnotherapist. The hypnotic state is about learning to go into the hypnotic state. Those who boast that “I can’t be hypnotised” are absolutely right. Hypnotic trance is something that you choose for yourself. Nobody can force hypnosis on you, you have to choose to accept it. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis.
Hypnosis is brainwashing. Brain washing is a very specific 5 step process, definitely not achievable with hypnosis. Firstly, a person is removed from their normal environment, then they are deprived of their senses. They are punished when they disagree and rewarded when they agree and chemical interventions are employed. Definitely nothing to do with hypnosis!
So, your misconceptions allayed, hypnosis is an amazing experience for total relaxation and for enabling incredible transformative personal change. It is a process which is self-initiated,self-controlled and certainly not to be feared. Experience it for yourself. Choose a well qualified and experienced hypnotherapist and ask to see their Ethical Code. Then relax and enjoy.
Learning the art and science of Hypnosis is a deeply rewarding experience, for you personally, for your clients and for your business. You can become a certified Practitioner of Hypnosis as part of our Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification Training. It’s time to open your mind to the possibilities.