Hypnosis 101: Debunk the Myths and Get the Facts About Hypnotherapy

When you hear hypnosis, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Maybe you thought of grown men and women acting like they are chickens in front of millions. After watching “Now You See Me,” are you are afraid of surrendering your will to someone who taps your shoulder and clicks his fingers?

Luckily, hypnotherapy isn’t anything like these funny YouTube videos . . .

A Brief Glance at the History of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Did you know that hypnosis has been around for a while? In fact, Greeks and Egyptians suffering from illness would often travel to healing places known as “sleep temples” or “dream temples” to be cured by hypnotherapy.

So how has hypnosis found its way to our modern society?

Well, a few individuals were involved. Franz Anton Mesmer (1734 – 1815), a German physician and father of the therapeutic system known as mesmerism is one of the most famous ones.

Hypnotherapy is used as an alternative therapy. One of its most popular uses is to help people ditch a bad habit like smoking.

He helped design the modern practice of hypnotism. However, the Scottish neurosurgeon James Braid (1795 – 1860) pulled hypnosis out of the occult path created by Mesmer. He is often considered the father of modern hypnotism by naming the practice “neuro-hypnosis.”

Sigmund Freud, Jean-Martin Charcot, Hippolyte Bernheim, and Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault (all renowned physicians and neurologists) also used hypnosis in their fields.

Today, hypnotherapy is used as an alternative therapy. One of its most popular uses is to help ditch a bad habit like smoking. It has even be used during surgeries to replace anesthesia.


What Can Hypnosis Do?

Hypnotherapy offers countless benefits. It can be used to:

  • Treat phobias, PTSD, obsessions, and anxiety
  • Help with sleeping disorders
  • Help ease depression
  • Alleviate stress
  • Help process grief and loss
  • Assist you to quit smoking or lose weight
  • Help you maintain a more positive mindset
  • Help you achieve goals
  • Soothe pain
  • Help improve athletic performance

Hypnosis gets to the core of the issue, to “re-program” or change the way we are seeing things, and help modify our behaviors and/or way of dealing with certain situations.

So, How Does Hypnosis Work?

Hypnosis enters the individual into the REM state, which we all experience when we sleep at night. Yet, the hypnotized individual is not asleep.

The patient is in a special psychological state with certain physiological attributes resembling sleep. It is more like daydreaming or even meditating. In fact, the individual will be receptive and aware of his/her surroundings and can hear, see, or respond to suggestions presented by their hypnotherapist.

The main goal of hypnotherapy is to assist you to gain control over certain behavior, pain, and ways of thinking. The therapist usually uses verbal repetition and mental images to help the individual feel calm and relaxed, and more open to suggestions, without losing control of his/herself.

After hypnotherapy, the therapist and the patient reflect on the session to see what went well and what didn’t. Following hypnosis, the hypnotized individual should feel at ease, rested, and calm. Once home, the patient will need to keep working on his/her exercises to assure continuous progress.

Is Hypnosis Right for You?

Did you ever consider quitting smoking? Do spiders freak you out? Are you stressed? If you replied yes to any of these questions, then this alternative therapy could be right for you.

Hypnotherapy can ease certain mental health conditions and also has good results with pain control, and can even be a complementary therapy to cancer treatments.

For athletes, hypnotherapy can enhance sporting performance. Hypnotherapists can also help you to reach a specific goal in life such as offer assistance on your weight loss journey.


Are There Any Risks Involved With Hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is not recommended for people suffering from severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder as it may affect perception of reality in such patients.

People suffering from psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, or people using drugs or alcohol should also abstain from hypnosis.

Ready to Take the Plunge? Here’s How to Prepare for Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

While doing your research, ask about your therapist’s work, his or her studies, and their fee.

Will there be a pre-consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for hypnotherapy? Is hypnotherapy going to assist with the current issue or should an alternative therapy be used?

Make sure you find someone you are comfortable working with. Get a good night’s sleep before the session as you will be more aware and receptive during the therapy.

On the day of the session wear comfortable clothes, stay open-minded, and relax. You will do amazing!

Over the years hypnosis has been depicted in the media as a way to trick somebody – to manipulate and play with someone’s mind. However, that isn’t a true representation of this alternative therapy. There is so much more to it and it offers help on so many levels.

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Marina Rousseau

Always wondering about new countries and new cultures, Marina moved from France to Ireland. She traveled all the way to India to become a yoga teacher and she is currently learning about alternative therapy (Reiki) to assist others with their overall health. Her dream is to teach yoga all over the world.

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