Frequently Asked Questions about Hypnotherapy
A brief history In 1955 the British Medical; Association endorsed the practice of hypnosis in Medical School education, making it a valuable tool and a recognised “talking therapy” to be used to complement orthodox medical treatment. However its history goes back much further than that as it originated in ancient Greece and Rome and has been widely used since these times.
What is hypnotherapy? Hypnotherapy has been given bad press over the years and is often misunderstood. In fact hypnosis is the most natural of states and we are in and out of it for about 90% of our day! It’s the technique we all use to get to sleep at night and it’s the daydreaming quality of our daily thoughts. Hypnosis is the relaxed state that the hypnotherapist uses to effect the hypnotherapy treatment. It is completely safe and natural and with no harmful side effects. In fact the benefits are often permanent and hypnotherapy often works where other conventional techniques have failed.
The best way to explain how hypnotherapy works is to visualise the brain as a computer. We input into the keyboard everyday our latest thoughts and ideas (conscious mind) whilst the hard drive works tirelessly in the background controlling our bodily functions, storing our memories and emotions and running all our old tapes and programmes (subconscious mind). A trained hypnotherapist accesses the inner resources inside a person so that patterns and habits of behaviour that we have learnt throughout or lives are changed to more positive ones to serve us better in achieving our goals. It’s like removing unwanted software from the subconscious mind that no longer works for us and adding in new software that helps us to achieve those new goals.
The process explained
- The ideas we have, the thoughts and feelings, start in the conscious mind – These are the things we are conscious of. Then when we have practiced them time and time again they become automatic (like learning to drive a car)
- Our subconscious mind is where we then place these automatic tasks and also where we put or beliefs and all those tapes we have practiced running that control our behaviour. It is here that we use hypnosis to effect change.
- Our unconscious mind controls all our bodily functions and any actions we are not consciously aware of doing.
Will I lose control? With hypnotherapy you are in control at all times. However deep into hypnosis you go you will always remain in control of the situation. No one can make you do or say anything you do not wish to. You could choose to get up and walk out at any time (no-one ever does in my experience!) and you can talk under hypnosis without breaking the relaxation in any way. You are aware of everything that is being said to you and if you would not agree with it whilst you were awake you wouldn’t agree with it when you are in hypnosis. It’s just the same. There is a misconception that those who do “stage hypnosis” are doing things against their will, but they are not. They too choose to be exhibitionists and perform. They are fully aware at all times in what they are letting themselves in for. It’s all for the show! Personally, that is not for me, so I choose not to do it. It’s all about what you feel comfortable with. Hypnosis is such a relaxing and calming state and you usually awaken feeling calm and refreshed. It’s great!
Willpower – why isn’t it enough The reason we need hypnotherapy is that willpower alone doesn’t work! And we all know this as we’ve tried it and we always fail. We always succumb to that extra slice of cake even thought we have told ourselves that we aren’t going to have it. Or we have that last cigarette thinking one more doesn’t really count! I like to explain about willpower. It’s like weeding your garden. You cut the weed off at ground level hoping it will go away, only to find it grows back. However if you had removed the root cause then the weed withers and dies and there is room for a new plant of your choice to be planted. With hypnotherapy we address the root causes of why we do things. Allowing the subconscious mind to come up with new behaviours, new choices to then make the changes necessary to affect these changes. Finding all the resources needed to support achieving this new goal.
The power of the mind The mind is a very powerful thing and the relationship between the mind and the body are very close. Thus when we get stressed in our mind we can become physically ill in some way. If we have a complete fear of flying for example, the fear can become so big that it feels insurmountable. This happens because of the way we talk to ourselves in our minds. Then our mind tells our body we must be in danger – we experience “fight or flight” and our body reacts the way it does, making us feel scared and that we need to run away. Our heart pumps, our blood pressure goes up and we feel quite unwell. “It’s all in the mind” and we can change the way we think and thus cure our phobias.
See what the NKS says about hypnotherapy by clicking this link: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hypnotherapy/Pages/Introduction.aspx
I hope all this helps you and if you have any other questions please feel free to give me a call. I would love to answer any questions you have