Hypnosis Explained

Practical Hypnosis explained

In this post we are going to discuss the practical application of hypnosis and how it works, what is involved in being hypnotised and how you can hypnotise yourself.

The fundamental foundation of hypnosis is based upon the concept that all human actions start and are controlled by the mind of the person. In history there has been a great deal of experimentation conducted which offers the proof that this is a proven fact.   This concept is not just confined to humans but to all animals to some extent.  We refer to famous experimenters such as Pavlov, Mesmer, Freud, Jung, Erickson, to name a few but there have been many more that could be mentioned.  

 It can further be demonstrated that the mind consists of at least two separate parts, the conscious and the subconscious each of these parts having distinct dedicated functions.  The reader should note that at this point we are referring to the mind as appose to the brain. 

The distinction being the former is a process whereas the brain is more akin to the physical collection of cells and other such parts.    While for convenience we need to consider these two parts separately they however very much connected to each other and indeed to all the other physical parts of our bodies.

The conscious part of one’s mind is responsible for the front of house activities, such as the reception area where everything we humans, sense, first arrives.  It is able to trigger actions such as performing logical decisions, it does not however have a long-term memory.  Most people can only remember about seven seconds worth of received signals.   This part of our mind is the one that we are all familiar with since it is always present and in the foremost of our thoughts during our waking hours.  Some people like to consider the definition of the conscious mind as the boundary between themselves and the rest of the world around them.  Interestingly, the conscious is able to calculate which is something missing in the subconscious.

The subconscious mind which is of particular interest to those seeking to understanding what and how hypnosis works, is arguably the most complex and wonderful organ known to man. 

Outstanding, is the ability to remember everything the person has ever witnessed by one or more of the five senses, Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell and/ or Feel.   Further it does not store these things in the same logical manner a computer would but has a system of its own based on associations and often unique to that one person.   The subconscious does not however calculate like the conscious does. The other amazing thing is that it is the place where one’s own particular set of behaviours is set for life.   It can communicate with the conscious by electrical signals within the brain and with the rest of our bodies by setting off a chain of events through the vast system of glands.

The above brief description of the mind should enable you to appreciate the subject while you go on to consider the central premise of what hypnosis is and how it works.

You may be surprised to learn that most people have in fact experienced hypnosis at some time in their life without even realizing it.  By way of an example you may have at some time found yourself so engrossed in some activity that you lost all sense of time.  Sleep is another such example, while you slumber your conscious mind switches off but your subconscious continues to do what it has been programmed to do since birth.   It takes care of all those functions we do not normally even think about consciously, like the beating of our hearts, our breathing in and breathing out, ensuring the supply of the essential hormones are at the right level throughout our bodies and so much more.

Most people who have witnessed hypnosis gained their knowledge from Stage hypnotists and I can tell you this is nothing like the hypnosis we use in clinical situations, it is also quite dangerous as it takes no account of each individual’s particular frame of mind or any underlying medical conditions, yet alone psychological status.     Some people tell me they tried to self-hypnotise by watching a swirling pattern online, this is NOT hypnosis it is only based on an idea known as mesmerisation a technique used by some hypnotists in the past and latterly found to lead nowhere.

Let us examine what exactly being hypnotised is, when you are hypnotised you are said to be in a Trance.  So, we will start here and define what is a trance.    If we think of the term ‘Entranced’ it would mean that something has caught our attention so strongly that we disregard anything else at that time but would still be aware of one’s surroundings.  The other aspect to this condition is to be totally relaxed, a state where you have no use for your physical body at that time. In this condition it becomes easy to consider your deepest thoughts and to address your subconscious directly.  This enable ‘suggestions’ to be put which the subject can accept or reject as they choose.

The procedure most frequently used to hypnotise in a clinical setting is as follows,

Teach the client to become physically totally relaxed. This is often the most difficult part of the session but the vast majority of people can achieve it given willingness and practice, like all things practice makes perfect.  And the great thing is that having once achieved a deep degree of relaxation it is really easy to return there anytime you want.

The next step is to relax the mind or at least the conscious part,

Finally receive suggestions as to the causes of whatever is being addressed, the things bothering the client, the conditions being faced etc.

 Return to the present on the count of five.

You should note that the greater part of a hypnosis session is in the hands of the patient, in clinical settings the hypnotist’s function is to act as a guide and the patient is therefore always in charge of their own destiny.   There is no question of losing control, the patient can always return to normal simply by counting up to five.

Some other descriptions for a person being in a Trance are said to be on a spectrum somewhere between fully awake and fully asleep.  But when you are in a hypnotic Trance you are not asleep nor awake but instead just drifting. gently, so relaxed that nothing bothers you.  At the same time, you are aware of the present ambience and can hear a voice talking to your subconscious.   As a patient you are not even obliged to listen to what is being said, the subconscious will hear whatever it needs to.   It is even possible to continue treatment during normal sleep. This last attribute is often used to enable people to learn new skills such as an additional language while they sleep. The discovery of this situation provides for the possibility of self-hypnosis.  Once you have learned the technique and can achieve a deep relaxation state it is perfectly possible to treat yourself of many different aliments such as Anxiety, Stress, Phobias and much more.  You do this by recording you voice to address your subconscious about whatever is bothering you and arrange to play that back when you are in the extreme relaxed state described above.  When you return to your normal conscious state your mind will sort the matter for you either over a period of time or spontainously.

On the count of five you are awakened and return to one’s conscious self.   There are no side effects from hypnosis save for ensuring that people with some certain psychological conditions such as schizophrenia are not suitable for hypnosis.

If after reading this article you are still not sure about Hypnosis then let us put a question to you ‘Suppose you are given some medication by your doctor and you didn’t believe it would work, would you still take it?’

You might still take the treatment provided it could do you no harm, but if you knew it was harmless why would you believe it would cure your complaint?

Like any other treatment, in undertaking hypnosis you have to believe it will work.   

We hope you have found this post interesting or even would care to comment you are most welcome to do so.

Thanks for reading.

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