While accepted as a valid medical procedure by the American Medical Association in 1958, hypnosis and hypnotherapy remains shrouded in mystery.
It seems that the image of Svengali with the glowing eyes; or the man with a goatee and coat, swinging a pendulum back and forth to render his victims helpless, is really hard to shake off.
And the stage performances of hypnotists – making other people walk on burning coal, run around the hall like nuts, etc., certainly didn’t help hypnosis’ unfairly dubious reputation.
BUT what if you set aside those inflexible notions about hypnosis, and focus on what it can really do for our well-being?
Let’s answer some of the biggest and most common questions about hypnosis:
Really, What Is Hypnosis?
Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not sleep. However, it’s a natural, really relaxed, and focused state of mind.
It is usually characterized by feelings of well-being, increased muscle relaxation, predominating alpha brain waves, and more.
What it does is it puts you in a state where one gains the ability to accept new ideas and beliefs (and break older and negative ones) if they are sufficiently emotionalized and doesn’t go against your inner values.
In a nutshell, hypnosis is either of the two things:
1. An interactive and guided imagery, or
2. Highly focused and applied meditations while in various levels of trance, all geared towards a specific and worthwhile goal.
Will It Help Me Drop Smoking And Lose Weight?
While there is solid and measured proof showing that hypnotherapy can be a very effective tool in getting rid of your nicotine addiction and/or losing those unwanted pounds, there is one very important factor comes into play: your desire to change.
Hypnosis can’t make you do something that, deep down, you don’t really want to do! You cannot hypnotize someone out of the blue to run a marathon… unless they were already a runner.
Put it this way: hypnosis is like a hammer. On its own, it cannot drive a nail through a piece of wood. But with you and your desire moving that hammer, it’s a whole lot easier than just using your hands.
Will Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy Put Me In Danger?
The answer is a big NO. Matter of fact, the Council Of Mental Health of the American Medical Association gave hypnosis its seal of approval as a safe practice… a valid medical tool that has no harmful side effects back in September 1958.
To date, there are no reports of a subject getting seriously hurt with hypnosis.
It All Sounds Nice, BUT Can I Be Hypnotized?
Studies reveal that almost everyone can be hypnotized. There are only 3 types of people that cannot be (and in some cases, shouldn’t be) hypnotized:
- Someone suffering from a thought disorder or psychotic process
- Someone with a low IQ
- Someone who just doesn’t want to be hypnotized.
If you want to be hypnotized, if you are willing to participate in the process, and if you can use your imagination or improvise, you can be hypnotized.