What is Hypnosis?
What it Does and How it Works
Hypnosis is a naturally occurring, beneficial, positive state that we all experience on a day-to-day basis.
The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word “hypnos”, which means sleep. Although they share some similar characteristics, hypnosis is not sleep. Hypnosis is an open state of mind, in which the mind becomes very suggestible to change.
By entering this state of mind, we are able to harness the power of the subconscious mind and get it on board with our conscious goals.
What hypnosis can do
Hypnosis has helped many people overcome many difficulties and it can help you too, in a variety of ways.
Hypnosis can help increase motivation, concentration, business skills and stress-handling capabilities. It can improve relationships, sporting performance and public speaking.
Hypnosis can enhance memory, sexual ability, creativity and tenacity. In fact, hypnosis can be used to improve or enhance almost all areas of human activity. For many, hypnosis can sometimes appear to be little short of miraculous. For example, the person who has smoked 80 cigarettes a day for 30 years and never smokes again. The individual who has failed the driving test on, say, nine consecutive occasions, passes on the next attempt. The painfully shy person who finds a boyfriend or girlfriend.
The individual terrified at the mere thought of dental treatment sports a gleaming white smile, and the best man who has been nauseous with fear at merely the idea of making a speech, does so with all the aplomb of a polished speaker.
To those people, hypnosis seems like a miracle! Those are some strong claims, but let us be absolutely clear… hypnosis is not a miracle cure for anything! And whilst it might seem like it sometimes, hypnosis is not magic. It is a relaxed, natural state of mind in which the subconscious can come to the fore to accept positive suggestions and ideas for change, but everybody’s response to hypnosis is different. We are all unique, so there is no guarantee that hypnosis will work for you, in the same way it does for someone else.
Even so, when hypnosis is used in the right way, we believe everyone can benefit from it. What hypnosis cannot do There are many things that hypnosis cannot do. Hypnosis cannot change somebody’s basic underlying personality. It cannot repair congenital damage or genetic problems. Hypnosis cannot make somebody live forever (although it probably can help to extend useful and enjoyable life). In fact, hypnosis cannot help you achieve anything that is truly physically impossible, like growing body parts or anything that a person actively resists happening.
There are limitations to what can be achieved with hypnosis, which means you will not find any self hypnosis downloads on our website for such things! Do not believe everything you see Hypnosis is a totally natural phenomenon and as such, it is perfectly safe. You cannot do any harm to yourself, be made to do or believe things that you do not agree with, and you will most certainly not get “stuck” in any way!
The popular use of hypnosis as a form of entertainment (i.e. stage hypnosis) can have people believing all sorts of silly things, as can films where somebody is hypnotized for one reason or another. You can learn the real truth about the many myths and misconceptions of hypnosis elsewhere on our website, but let us quickly dispel a few of the more popular ones right here:
There truly is no such thing as a “hypnotized feeling.” You will not become unconscious, or even semi-conscious. You cannot “lose your mind” or your ability to think for yourself. Nobody can control you, or have “power” over you, in any way.
You cannot be made to do something that goes against your conscious will You can always return to conscious, everyday awareness, whenever you wish. It is totally impossible to get “stuck” in hypnosis and become unable to wake up. If it seems to you that some of these statements about hypnosis are so far removed from what you believed that they cannot be true – well, they are all true and any professional hypnotherapist or hypnotist would agree that this is the case.
By browsing our website and learning more about the subject, you will soon come to appreciate the absurdity of some of the myths and beliefs about hypnosis that have abounded for far too many years.
What does hypnosis feel like?
Most people are often unaware that they are hypnotized, because there is truly no such thing as a “hypnotized feeling.” Everyone is unique, so we all experience hypnosis in our own special way.
However, there are certain feelings and sensations that are commonly associated with the state of hypnosis. For instance, hypnosis is a deeply relaxing experience and it is quite likely that your entire body will feel as relaxed as it could possibly be.
You might feel as if your arms and legs are particularly heavy, almost like lead. Alternatively, you may feel very light, almost weightless. Many people tend to lay motionless and appear to be sound asleep, although they are actually fully conscious and their senses tend to be more alert than usual. The best way to really find out how hypnosis feels, is to experience it for yourself!
How does hypnosis work?
Now, that is a tricky question. Nobody really knows for sure how or why hypnosis can be such an astounding – and it really can be truly astounding – power for good.
The general held belief about how hypnosis works, is that the consciously critical faculties of the mind can be safely bypassed, thus allowing the subconscious to more readily accept ideas for change in behaviour patterns, as long as they are desirable for and desired by the individual.
To help explain a little bit about the nature of hypnosis, imagine that you have a good music system but you connect it to the speakers using a piece of rusty wire found in the street.
It is quite likely that you will get no sound at all from the speakers, but even if you do, the sound is liable to be very poor. Now, imagine that you decide to change this, so you buy some good quality speaker cable and fit that instead. You can now get the most from your music system.
In the same way, when you talk to yourself about any problems or issues that you want to address, you are unlikely to communicate with your subconscious very effectively.
For instance, you might tell yourself to think more positively, or you might try to get yourself to be more physically active, but if this approach worked then all your problems would be a thing of the past. Sadly, talking this way to our own mind is like using a piece of rusty wire in a music system.
Hypnosis, however, acts like good quality speaker wire; it helps you talk to your subconscious in a way that is clearer and more effective. It is about more than just effective communication, though. A good self hypnosis recording will convey the right messages.
Too often in daily life we say things to ourselves that can make things worse. To give an example, many people with insomnia will become tense and angry during the night as they struggle to get to sleep, so they tell themselves they must get to sleep, but that creates tension that gets in the way of sleep.
It also becomes stored with similar memories so they increasingly see bed as a battleground rather than a place of calmness and refuge. They need to talk to themselves in a more effective way; and a good hypnosis recording will do just that – it will give you the right kind of suggestions. It is the therapy that counts It is important to understand that hypnosis in itself achieves absolutely nothing at all, other than a sense of calmness and relaxation – useful for temporary relief from stress, but for precious little else.
It is what we actually do with someone once they are in hypnosis that produces change and that is, of course, the therapy itself, administered under hypnosis. This is sometimes known as clinical hypnosis, but it is more commonly referred to as hypnotherapy.
Summarize: Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that we all experience on a daily basis. Hypnotherapy involves using the state of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. Hypnosis is not some kind of “gift” that some people have, and others do not.
There are no magic words or spells. Your success with hypnosis and hypnotherapy relies on the quality of the therapy, the professionalism, and the techniques employed.
You can find out more by visiting our page dedicated to hypnotherapy, where we do our best to explain the “therapy” part of the “hypnotherapy” equation. What is self hypnosis?
As for “self hypnosis”, the name of our website, well… the literal meaning of self hypnosis is to self-induce the state of hypnosis. Doing self hypnosis in this way is safe, simple and free. It can be used it to boost self-confidence, solve problems, make decisions and become more successful, whatever success means to you.
But technically speaking, listening to one of our CDs or MP3 downloads also counts as self hypnosis, since the hypnotherapist is not in the room with you.
A more appropriate and accurate description for our recorded self hypnosis CDs and MP3 downloads would be “guided self hypnosis”, because we gently guide you through the entire process. We use the label “self hypnosis”, as all hypnosis is self hypnosis, since you have to be a willing participant in order for hypnosis to work. Although, we could just as easily use “hypnotherapy”, because our audio programs are in many ways, just like a formal hypnotherapy session.
Using professionally produced self hypnosis CDs and MP3 downloads, like those found on our website, has many benefits. There are of course advantages in visiting a hypnotherapist in person. For an overview of both approaches we recommend you read our article, “Self hypnosis recordings vs.
live hypnotherapy.” To summarize, if you have access to one on one hypnotherapy then that is great, but do not underestimate the value of high quality self hypnosis recordings.