If you are not familiar with what hypnosis is, first of all, let’s look at what hypnosis is not:
It is not mind control!
Unlike what TV and movies might have you think, someone under hypnosis will not do just anything they are asked. Under hypnosis one still has free choice to follow the suggestions of the hypnotist or not.
It is not sleep!
Though many clients prefer hypnosis with their eyes closed, not only can they be in hypnosis with their eyes wide open but they can be up, moving and answering questions.
It is not meditation!
Though there are a lot of similarities between the hypnotic state and the meditative state the function is different. In meditation you typically ‘empty’ your mind and focus on yourself. In hypnosis, you simply focus on suggestions given.
It is not evil or occult!
The Catholic Church as well as many other religions accepts hypnosis as a practice to help in medical and other conditions. There are many priests and/or ministers that use hypnosis in pastoral counseling. Most professionally trained hypnotists adhere to a very strict code of ethics.
What is hypnosis?
Well, hypnosis is hard to define and scientifically prove but forms of hypnosis have been used for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used “Sleep” temples to help cure people. In the 18th century, hypnosis picked up some formal traction under the name of mesmerism. Franz Anton Mesmer believed that magnets were curing people of their ailments. More importantly, his followers believed this. When he realized that the magnets were not doing anything, he theorized that animal magnetism was flowing from him to cause the cures.
Today’s hypnosis is seen for what it is – The ability to give suggestions to the unconscious mind. Hypnosis is often confused with trance. Trance is the state we are in when we go under hypnosis. Trance is a natural state that we go in and out of all day. It is also a state in which communication with the unconscious mind is enhanced. One could say that hypnosis is actually the utilization of trance.
It is said that all hypnosis is self hypnosis. The hypnotist is only a guide. This is very true since it is up to the client to follow suggestions given.
The unconscious mind is involved in any permanent change. It is this communication with the unconscious mind that brings about change. That is why hypnosis as well as NLP work so well.