What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis has been scientifically proven to be effective in creating change in certain repetitive behaviors including smoking and weight loss, stress reduction, motivation and pain control.
When you hear "hypnosis" you might think of the traditional form of Hypnosis where the powerful, authoritative hypnosis implants suggestions in his subject, such as, "you are getting sleeeepy. Your eyelids are growing heavier and heavier. You will quit smoking," and so on.
But really, hypnotic trance exists in many different forms every day. Sometimes it is recognized and utilized (hypnotherapy, rituals, or dance, for example), but most of the time it goes unnoticed (daydreaming, people's behavior on elevators, or irrational fears, to name a few).
Hypnotherapy is simply the use of hypnotic trance for therapeutic purposes. Traditional hypnotherapy uses commanding language,called direct suggestion.
This method sometimes works, but not for everybody. Some people resist these suggestions, perhaps because they resent authority figures, and they are sometimes labeled as "resistant", or worse, "unhypnotizable," by traditional hypnotherapists.
But not all hypnotherapists believe in direct suggestions.
In fact, Ericksonian hypnotherapy uses more of what it is called indirect suggestions. Indirect suggestions are much harder to resist because they are often not even recognized as suggestions by the conscious mind, since they usually disguise themselves as stories or metaphors.
In fact, as a practicing hypnotherapist, I believe that people live most of their lives in one trance or another, self-hypnotized by less than empowering beliefs , habits and emotions. My job is generally not to hypnotize them, but to de-hypnotize them.
The true hypnotists in life are teachers, religious leaders, healthcare professionals and even advertisers. The most powerful hypnosis, in anyone's life, are that individual's parents.
What is Self-hypnosis?
Self-hypnosis is one of the mind's natural problem solving tools. You may not have realized it before but each time you have directed concentration, block out interfering sights and sounds to recall a song, deeply concentrated to remember a phone number, or something you had been intending to say or do you were making use of the problem solving methods of hypnosis. You probably use self-hypnosis or some of the mechanisms of self hypnosis without calling it that.
It might look to others that you have simply sat quietly, relaxed, and turned your attention inward, or that you are doing nothing. However, self-hypnosis is the very active and deliberate use of some specific mental problem solving tools. The use of memory, association, dissociation, your sense of time, etc., can characterize it. While you don't need to understand the complicated terms, you can easily learn to direct the use of these tools in a one to four week period in most cases.
Consider pain control. How does self-hypnosis work for pain control?
What is Pain?
Pain is your awareness of signals reaching your brain from locations in the body which have suffered injury. It is important to realize that pain is your awareness of the signal because you can begin to alter your awareness sensitivity and response to any nerve signal. While you can't stop the nerve signals to the brain, you can and do continually change the way you notice the signals - this is what happens in pain reduction.
Self-hypnosis allows you to decide when and how often you will use your mind's own natural processes to alter your brain's interpretation of nerve signals from your body. In other words, while the body may send a nerve signal from an injury in your back, your brain may choose to ignore it with the aid of dissociation, memory, association, changes in time sense, etc. As a result all pain can be ameliorated.