Introduction to Hypnosis

How much do you know about hypnosis? You probably know more than you realise. But, you might think it’s a load of old nonsense or just stage trickery where Uncle Kenny is turned into a chicken and had a riotous few minutes clucking about the stage. You may even believe it is a dangerous form of mind control. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone has said that to me.  My job today is to show you what hypnosis is, dispel some myths and discuss a little bit about how it works and how incredibly beneficial and transformational it can be for just about anyone who uses it intentionally.

Have you ever heard someone who has tried hypnosis say ‘But I wasn’t hypnotised, I knew what was going on the whole time’?

Well, I agree wholeheartedly. They really did. But, maybe they had based their expectations on myths perpetuated from films and drama and were expecting their hypnosis to be state of amnesia where they would have absolutely no awareness. But in fact the opposite is true, hypnosis is a state of very heightened awareness and focus.

Did you ever see those black and white movies where vampires and magical creatures with special powers of mind control would put hapless folk and damsels into trances? And, trapped under spell-like control of these dastardly villains the victim would eventually awake and not remember anything from the night before? Well lets address this common myth. Only under special circumstances would a person forget everything from a hypnotic trance. The truth is, much more can be accomplished when the person undergoes hypnosis and remembers everything.

Hypnosis has been around for a long time, as long as human beings have. It is a natural state of mind that everyone experiences to some degree everyday For example from that short sleepy bridge between full consciousness or sleep in the at night and then again in the morning. Have your mind ever drifted into a daydream, or you were engrossed in a book or a netflix series so much so that you didn’t hear someone call your name until maybe the voice was raised and you were called a third time? You were probably in a trance and the same mindset as hypnotic trance. We use this commonly occurring, natural state of mind unknowingly all the time. It’s just natural for us.

Here’s another way hypnosis can be experienced in daily life. Have you ever been driving down the road? Your mind is focused on some other task, a daydream about an event or another person perhaps. The next thing you know you drive right past your exit? This is called highway hypnosis or maybe for us Brits, motorway hypnosis would be apt.  

Hypnosis is defined by the US government as ‘the bypass of the critical factor of the conscious mind and the establishment of acceptable selective thinking’.

Now, what this means is this - The conscious mind gathers information from the outside world and compares this information with information and beliefs stored in your subconscious mind. Beliefs you have picked up through general, living in society, growing up and from what other people have told you. The conscious mind then analyses this information to see if there is any conflict between the two. If there is already information or a strong belief in the subconscious mind that is not of the same as the new information you are presenting it with. The critical factor of the conscious mind will block and refuse this new information. Hypnosis is a great vehicle to bypass your critical factor of your conscious mind and reach your subconscious mind directly.

The second part of the definition is with the establishment of acceptable selective thinking. What this means is once the subconscious mind has been reached and the critical factor is bypassed, new and powerful suggestions can be accepted into the subconscious mind. Because hypnosis is a direct link to the subconscious mind, these new suggestions will dominate and replace old information and negative beliefs.

For example; It is well established to be a fact that hypnosis is useful for creating an anesthesia, however if you have the limiting belief that the mind cannot create a powerful anaesthesia you will be unable to do so. With hypnosis, this limiting belief can be bypassed and hypnotic anaesthesia can be quickly created.

The establishment of acceptable selective thinking, the second part of the definition refers to the process of guiding someone into hypnosis by using a hypnosis induction or hypnotic induction. The establishment of this selective thinking creates a the right kind of mental environment to enables you to reject limiting beliefs that you have previously picked up. So you can accept new, empowering beliefs to replacing those old limiting ones. The hypnotic state is the optimum state for making changes in your life. It helps you set aside your limiting beliefs that may have been preventing you from moving toward a more healthy happy you.

So now you know you can be hypnotised, you’ve done it literally thousands of times. You did it to yourself when you were daydreaming and missed the exit, thats self hypnosis. You’ve been hypnotised when you’ve enjoyed television programmes - that's being hypnotised by someone else. And you’ve followed hypnotic and post hypnotic suggestions when you preferred some celebrity over another because you saw them repeatedly on television, in magazine and on the internet, that's the compounding of a suggestion.

The benefits of hypnosis are profound and incredible. Have you ever tried to change a bad habit or learn a new skill only to find your subconscious resisting? Hypnosis has a great track record in empowering people to get the subconscious to accept their conscious decision. Especially when facilitated by someone who is completely and competently trained in the art of hypnosis and with medical or specialist knowledge. Because to get the most out of hypnosis, you have to trust them to be your guide.

For example diet works but not on the body not on the mind. Many people that lose weight find that all of their hard work literally piles back on within two years or less because of subconscious resistance to change and desire to maintain a comfortable state of belief. Many smokers, who make new year's resolutions to quit smoking, find their resolutions literally go up in smoke almost right away. And many mothers to be, disempowered by the fear of pain believe their only option to cope with the painful contractions is an epidural and while personally I am a supporter of a well managed epidural, hypnosis in normal birth is incredibly empowering and effective. Having delivered four children myself using only self hypnosis and as a midwife assisting with the births of hundreds of babies. Some born with and some without epidural. I have a firm basis for comparison and believe hypnosis should be taught antenatally and encouraged as a first line pain relief option.

Hypnosis can be of great assistance in getting rid of undesired habits such as addictions like smoking, food, alcohol, drugs. Or reducing and managing stress and anxiety. Enhancing job performance, sexual performance, fertility, treatments of skin conditions,  improving at sports, increasing self motivation and self confidence. Reducing fear like, public speaking, spiders, water, flying etc. And with appropriate medical referral or supervision as mentioned previously, hypnosis can often be helpful in reducing pain and or helping cancer patients or other patients that suffering from disease or pain. The point is hypnosis gets to the root of the problem so much quicker than most other therapies.

Hypnosis is often completed in a single session or a matter of weeks sometimes with an occasional follow up session if required and you’ll start seeing results in no time. Using self hypnosis with books, lessons and online tools like guided meditations and guided hypnotherapy sessions will help you achieve and maintain transformative desired personal goals and health benefits.  

So now you know a bit about hypnosis I hope your mind is at ease with a belief in its power to help you in creating whatever you want to create for your happy and healthy life.  

Darcey Croft