Our page on Hypnosis FAQs should answer some of the most common questions asked about hypnosis.
What Is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural, relaxed state of mind. It's characterized by a heightened awareness and focus and by an open responsiveness to suggestion. Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that everyone is in every day of their lives. When you're daydreaming, you're in that state. When you're engrossed in a novel or television program, again, you're in that state--highly relaxed and focused. Your mind is highly focused to the exclusion of all else. This relaxed, focused state of mind is known as the alpha state. The alpha state is a brain wave frequency state characterized by deep relaxation. You're in this state right before you fall asleep. Alpha is also the state of mind most associated with hypnosis.
When you're deeply relaxed in an alpha state, the subconscious mind comes to the forefront while the conscious mind takes a backseat. In this state, the highly suggestible subconscious mind is open to suggestion. Since the subconscious mind is home to your belief systems and patterns of behavior (which the subconscious carries out for you), you have the opportunity with hypnosis to change those beliefs and patterns of behavior.
To learn more, visit our What is Hypnosis page.
What Is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis as a tool for therapy. When people have difficulty solving problems, hypnotherapy can help solve problems at the unconscious level. Hypnotherapy can be used to overcome fears; reduce stress; change behavioral patterns; help clients achieve positive attitudes about themselves; etc.
You can learn more in our Hypnotherapy section.
Can Anyone Be Hypnotized?
As long as someone is willing, they can be hypnotized. Since hypnosis is a natural, relaxed state, anyone of normal intelligence can be hypnotized. There may be a few exceptions (people on medication, people with neurological problems, etc.). Generally speaking, people who claim they can't be hypnotized are simply choosing not to be hypnotized.
How Does Someone Become hypnotized?
By relaxing and focusing the mind. An induction is generally used in a hypnosis session to guide someone into a state of relaxation through the use of suggestions (breath deeply, close your eyes, relax). Often times, a fractional relaxation technique (relaxing different parts of the body in sequence) is used to create a deeply relaxed state. Guided mental imagery (taking someone on a trip within their mind) can also induce a pleasant, highly relaxed state. And simply following the suggestions of a hypnotist can help to focus the mind. Relax and focus and you're in a hypnotic state. Very simple. You might also check out our How to Hypnotize Someone page.
What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?
It feels good. Like being in a pleasant daydream or in that deeply relaxed state you're in right before you drop off to sleep at night. And since your conscious mind is essentially resting during hypnosis, you often feel refreshed after a hypnosis session.
Will I Lose Control?
No. You can come out of a hypnotic state anytime you choose since your conscious mind is present during a session. Relaxed, yes, but still present. And as an added precaution, your subconscious mind is very protective of you and would never accept suggestions that would violate your moral codes.
Can I Get Stuck in Hypnosis?
Not really. No one has ever gotten stuck in hypnosis. You might fall asleep, but then you would wake up like you would from a nap.
Can A Hypnotist Make Me Do Something Against My Will?
No. Again, you're conscious during hypnosis and you could come out of the hypnotic state any time you choose. And again, your subconscious would not accept suggestions that would be harmful to you.
Will I Remember Everything That Happened in a Session?
Yes. You can remember everything that occurred during a session, and certainly everything you need to remember. But keep in mind that since you are in a drowsy state, similar to sleep, your memory of some details may fade. If you want to remember everything, have the hypnotist tape your session.
How Can I Tell If I'm Hypnotized?
There are several "signs" that let you know you are in a state of hypnosis. You'll feel quite relaxed. And as you become more deeply relaxed, you may notice your eyelids fluttering slightly. Your eyelids may feel heavy (sometimes a hypnotist will suggest this to you). And you very well may feel no need to open your eyes. And when the session is over, your eyes may water and be red. You also might sigh or swallow during a session. This is quite common. I do this frequently during self-hypnosis. You should also be feeling quite good during a session. Extremely relaxed. Tingling or numbness may occur, though I've never had that experience.
Is Hypnosis Safe?
Yes. Hypnosis is a natural, relaxed state of mind and natural states of mind are not dangerous. Now, when listening to a hypnosis mp3 or cd, always do so in a safe environment. Don't listen to hypnosis when you're driving your car or operating machinery or taking a bath. Just use common sense.
What Is the Subconscious?
The subconscious mind is the part of the mind you're unaware of, and it lies just below the level of your conscious mind. The subconscious is the non-judgmental part of your mind. It isn't critical and it doesn't analyze. It accepts everything that is presented to it. It is the home of our imagination and emotions and our intuition. The subconscious records everything we experience through our five senses and then stores the information for us for use later on. It records all our thoughts, feelings, and belief systems, stores them in our subconscious, and brings them to our conscious awareness when needed. The subconscious carries out all of our habituated behaviors. It breathes us and is in charge of all the involuntary functions of the body.
And because it helps us carry out our habits for us, accessing the subconscious mind and communicating with it effectively is essential for successful hypnosis. When you relax deeply, the subconscious mind comes to the forefront, allowing us the opportunity to change our belief systems and our patterns of behavior. Convincing our subconscious mind to make changes is absolutely critical to success with hypnosis. You might want to check out our page on Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind.
Is Self-Hypnosis as Effective as Hypnosis?
With enough practice, someone who uses self-hypnosis can be just as effective as hypnosis with a professional. Of course, it take time for someone to achieve that level of proficiency. With more difficult issues, such as issues that have core beliefs at their root, you would be better off with a professional therapist. But for many issues, self-hypnosis can achieve good results.
As with anything else, the more you practice self-hypnosis, the better you'll get at it. A competent self-hypnotist should be able to change or create behavioral patterns when there are no core issues to be dealt with. So, in some cases, a self-hypnotist can be just as effective as hypnotist. Just keep in mind that when you deal with issues that are more complex or traumatic, a qualified therapist should always be consulted. You can go to our home page to find out more about self-hypnosis.
What is Brainwave Entrainment
Well, I think that question can best be answered on our Brainwave Entrainment page.
To go back to the index page for the Learn Hypnosis section, click here.
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