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What is hypnosis?

what is hypnosis

The is a lot of misinformation about what hypnosis actually is. When people think of the word hypnosis, they think of mind control, being out of control, and non-sense like 'clucking like a chicken' and all the kind of things you would expect to see at a stage hypnosis show. However real hypnosis couldn't be further from the truth.

Let's bust a few myths

To begin explaining what hypnosis actually is, it's important to remove and explain a lot of myths surrounding hypnosis.

Myth 1: Will I lose control when I'm under hypnosis?

In short absolutely NOT. People quite commonly think that hypnosis is some kind of spell, that you'll be under the power of the hypnotist in some way, but nothing could be further from the truth. In actual fact, you will be more in control because in a pleasant state of relaxation you are more aware of your surroundings. Hypnosis is like being very aware, but relaxed, very much like when your resting in bed just before falling to sleep. People (understandably) perceive hypnosis as they do in stage shows (people making fools of themselves on stage) but this is not real hypnosis in any way. Indeed there is a great deal more going on than hypnosis when it comes to hypnosis stage shows.

Myth 2: Will I go under?

Quite often people are suprised to discover what hypnosis actually feels like. I find quite often that after a session a client will say something like, 'I didn't feel hypnotised because I didn't go under!'

I wonder where the client was expecting to 'go under' to. The truth is, you do not 'go under' (wherever that is) - or indeed 'go' anywhere else. You will simply feel pleasantly calm and relaxed.

So what is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a state of relaxation, somewhere between being wide awake, and somewhere between falling to sleep. It is a state of mind where the mind is relaxed to such an extent that the 'thinking' part of our minds becomes very relaxed and calm. When this happens we enable the subconscious part of out minds to become more receptive to suggestions that are positive to our well-being.

How do we create the state of hypnosis?

Hypnosis is created simply by relaxing. There is no real hocus-pocus here (although clearly some hypnotherapists would like to think there is) - it is simply created by relaxing the body progessively, and when this happens, the mind follows and becomes more deeply and calmly relaxed. This is very much like the natural process of falling to sleep.

The mind works very much like a computer

Although nobody really knows how the human mind works, there is a useful model that can be applied to how it might work which is very useful in order for us to help people with the problems they have.

This model splits the human mind into two parts. The concious mind, and the subconsious mind.

The conscious mind is the part which we do all our thinking with. Examples of us using our consious minds would be:

"What shall I get from the supermarket for dinner this evening?"
"What's 24 divided by 6?"
"Do I really need to clean the windows, they look OK to me "
"Shall I have a cup of tea or coffee "

These example are our concious minds in action. They are our day-to-day thinking. They are the choices we make, the questions we ask etc.

The subconcious mind however is like a computer. It effectively runs 'programs' that keep us alive (such as keeps out hearts beating, and keeps our immune systems running), but also stores information about our beliefs, sexuality, hobbies, likes and dislike, in fact our entire life history.

Example of the subconscious mind in action are:

"Maintanance of heart beat"
"Maintanance of the levels of millions of chemicals on our bodies"
"Information of how to walk and talk (as learned through years of training) "
"What foods we like and dislike "
"Levels of being motivated to do things, or not do things "
"Maintaining the pitch of every hair on our bodies (for temperature control) "
"Memory of every experience we've ever had "
"Musical preferences"
"Levels of being motivated to do things, or not do things "

This list would quite easily go on forever. The subconscious mind is fundamentally everything that keeps us alive and everything that makes us individual and unique human beings. The subconsiocus mind runs every function in our bodies, and holds all our memories, it is automatic, and is not part of our day to day 'thought' process.

The subconcious mind make you who you are

The subconsious mind is vastly more powerful than the consious mind, because whatever programming it contains, makes you who you are. For example, IF your mind believed you hated sea food (i.e. it had a program running that said you hated see food) - then you would hate sea food. It would not be a consious decision to hate see food - it's just that you believe you do - so you do.

People who hate exercising for example, only hate exercising because they believe they do. In effect, they have a 'program' running in their minds that says 'I hate exercise'. Because this program is running in their minds - they do, in fact 'hate exercise'! In context of hypnosis and hypnotherapy it really is as simple as that.

Linford Christie isn't one of the fastest runners in the world because he hates running, he has a program running in his mind that says he loves running, furthermore, he has other programs running that says he's the best in the World - so he is!

Hypnosis is an amazing tool when we use it to re-program the subconsious mind

At the Manchester Hypnotherapy Clinic, hypnosis becomes the amazing tool that it is when it's applied. If someone relaxes into a hypnotic state of mind, then the mind opens up to suggestions. These suggestions when used in the hands of a skilled practioner will cause powerful and long lasting change by re-programming the parts of the mind that are currently running bad programs. When this is done successfully, like any computer - if the new suggestion is taken up, then it will run on that new suggestion. It won't even matter if you think it won't work (because this is your conscious mind at work) - it will regardless if the suggestion takes hold in your subconsious mind.

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