What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is an altered state of attention that approaches peak concentration capacity. Hypnosis is not sleep: while it may resemble sleep in some ways because the subject's eyes are closed and they are relaxed, it is closer to an intense concentration that blots out outside sensory data or information.

Hypnosis is an induced receptiveness of the subconscious mind where the focus of attention is concentrated or narrowed so that things that usually matter drop away one by one. All that is left is the hypnotist and the hypnotist's voice. The subconscious mind is then open to acting on the helpful and beneficial suggestions given to it.

The conscious mind is capable of both deductive and inductive reasoning, where the subconscious mind, which controls the memory circuits, can only reason deductively and takes everything literally. Once hypnotic rapport is established, the subconscious becomes accessible and is exquisitely receptive to the hypnotist's instructions or suggestions. With the subconscious mind at the forefront, suggestions can be made to affect change in behaviour. It is important to note as well, that the subject is in complete control as to whether they chose to accept or reject any suggestions given to them during hypnosis. A client under hypnosis will only carry out a suggestion that is suitable to that client.

When hypnosis is inducted, the conscious mind is distracted, as it were, and held in a state of abeyance. Suggestions slip past the conscious mind and enter the subconscious where they are accepted and acted upon without criticism. Lively suggestion that is accepted and acted upon, greatly increase the client's suggestibility, initiating the sensory spiral of belief resulting in conviction. Therefore, belief in hypnosis leads to hypnosis.

The deeper the relaxation or trance state, the more susceptible one is to suggestion. The reason for this is that the critical sensor or the guard in the Ego part of the mind becomes less critical the more deeply we relax, allowing material to bypass it into the unconscious mind.

To understand this, imagine a triangle with the apex pointed up. Imagine a line from left to right through the triangle about two thirds up from the base. The conscious mind (that part which we are aware of) represents the upper level, the Ego (contains the critical sensor) is represented by the line, and the subconscious mind (the part that is hidden from our consciousness) is the area below the Ego or the line.

The Ego is there to prevent the conscious and the unconscious materials from invading each other's territory. It is the two-way trap door, so to speak. The Ego is developed throughout life and contains conditioning needed to survive in our world.

When you relax, your Ego also relaxes and the critical sensor or the two-way trap door weakens and allows material to move in and out of your conscious mind. The hypnotherapist will then give beneficial suggestions to the client for some action to be performed, or a particular feeling to be experienced after awakening from hypnosis.

What does hypnosis feel like?

Many people have unrealistic expectations about what hypnosis actually is or what it feels like. They expect to be put to sleep and to wake up and not remember anything that happened during the session. Hypnosis is not sleep, however it is accomplished by deeply relaxing the client with their eyes closed. Everything the hypnotist says can be heard and recalled by the client after the session.

Most people are usually amazed to find out how often they have already experienced the feelings associated with hypnosis. Take driving for example. Have you driven down the same road, time after time, perhaps on your way to work everyday and know that route like the back of your hand, so much so, that you are almost on 'automatic pilot'? You may be driving along, preoccupied with all the thoughts of the work you have to do on that day. On some level, you go from point A to point B without even really thinking about how you got there. If a co-worker had asked you if the traffic was backed up at a particular street, you may not be able to answer right away because you could have been so busy thinking of all the work that you had ahead of you that you might not have paid much attention to where you were going or how you were getting there. It may have seemed like the entire experience of actually mechanically maneuvering the car escaped you. Would that have meant that you weren't paying attention to the road or were you asleep? No, of course not because if that were the case you wouldn't have arrived safely.

What would have occurred however would simply be a shift in your concentration. You would have been aware of driving, you would have arrived at work and after thinking about the traffic question you would have been able to remember. It is just that concentrating on driving was secondary because you would have been focusing your attention on the work you had ahead. That is the key: focused attention. You would have known what was happening around you; it was just that nothing that would have been happening was important enough to break your train of thought. That is how you feel under hypnosis.

Your concentration will be focused on what the therapist says to you. You will be aware of what's going on around you; you just may choose not to pay attention to it. However, take the driving example for instance: if someone had cut you off, you would have responded and been aware and alert because avoiding an accident would be important enough to make you pay attention. That is another key to hypnosis: you have choices.

You can choose to concentrate on what the hypnotherapist is saying or you can choose not to. You can choose to accept the beneficial suggestions given to you or you can choose to reject them. 

Here is another example of the feeling that is actually involved. Have you ever come home from work and decided to lie down for just a few moments to relax and unwind? Your intention is not to sleep, but to just relax a little perhaps before you have to make dinner or do other things.. You may choose to lie down and put on some soft relaxing music, listening to the words, and soon you may not care about what is happening around you. As you are lying down, eyes closed and listening to the music, in no time, you feel the tensions draining from your body. It may be so peaceful and relaxing, just lying down, letting tensions drain away, feeling great. You may feel at times that you have fallen asleep, you feel that relaxed, but when you look at the clock, you find that only a few minutes have passed. You usually feel so good after just a few brief minutes of relaxation. That is what hypnosis is like. Relaxing, letting tensions drain away, eyes closed, relaxing, comfortable, and yet always aware of what is going on around you. It is your choice as to whether or not you pay attention to what's happening around you. You can accept or reject anything. You have that choice.

Benefits of Hypnosis

Hypnosis is beneficial for changing behaviours such as smoking, fears, phobias, overeating, anxiety due to test taking and many others. Hypnosis is also effective for pain management, sports injury pain, post-surgical pain or chronic pain.

A cassette tape of the session is provided for the client.

What is Past Life Regression?

Through safe, guided hypnosis, the client is led into regression to access the aspect of the subconscious mind that stores all memories including past lives. Through this process, healing and understanding of patterns of behaviour and negative relationships can occur. This therapy is also beneficial for spiritual growth.

A cassette tape of the session is provided for the client.