As a clinical hypnotherapist, it is imperative that understand how to read people. Pain, anxiety, and stress are expressed through an individual’s body language. Hypnosis works in a way to help resolve the problems, below a person’s level of awareness. As the individual resolves the issues involved in their suffering, their body language begins to make subtle changes. Hypnosis is real. It allows us to tap into the power of the human mind. For centuries, it has been shrouded in mysticism. The term hypnosis is derived from the Greek root word meaning “sleep.” It has been my experience for the most part that people are afraid of being hypnotized. Though stage hypnosis can be very entertaining, I believe it casts a negative shadow on its clinical application. Misunderstandings and misinformation have held this natural form of therapy back from its potential use as a venue for healing. With no negative, physical side effects, hypnosis uses the power of the mind to make the necessary changes to assist in bringing balance to an individual’s life.
A hypnotist can be referred to as a facilitator, practitioner, or operator. The individual, who employs this tool, simply shows the other person how to go from a wakened or sleep state into an altered state of awareness, known as hypnosis. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The person actually hypnotizes himself. The hypnotist uses suggestions only to guide the individual into a trance state or other altered states of awareness. Even the term “trance-state” is misunderstood when used with hypnosis. It is not creating a “zombie,” where people wander around under the control of somebody or something. The trance-state is the focus area when attempting to resolve a problem. In a normal conscious state of mind, you might compare it to shining a flood-light on the problem or issue where you seek resolution. In a trance-state, it is like focusing a laser beam directly on the problem. A hypnotist, who is skilled in the use of metaphors and suggestions, will certainly be able to assist the hypnotized person in finding a resolution to his issues.
First of all, however, the person consent and be willing to enter an altered state of mind. It’s like you are on a dream journey and the hypnotist is the dream pilot. However, just because the pilot/hypnotist makes a suggestion, does not mean the person will accept it. At all times, the hypnotized person has complete power of selectivity in all degrees of hypnosis. He will not act on any suggestion which is unreasonable, displeasing, or violates his values. The reason that some suggestions work on some levels is because they make sense, even though the individual may not necessarily want to admit it on a conscious level. What helps this process along is the fact that the hypnotized person has a rapport with the hypnotist, as well as himself. This allows for auto-suggestion, meaning the individual can, in fact, give himself suggestions. Keep in mind he is not going to let anyone “control” him just because he is open to suggestions. Under hypnosis, the individual does not relinquish control of his faculties. Through the proper use of suggestions, the hypnotist assists the individual in hallucinating his five senses for a more realistic journey into self.
Once the hypnotist bypasses the person’s “critical factor” (critical faculties), he then becomes more open to suggestions. The critical factor is much like “buyers beware.” Once a sales person gains your trust, you are open to his suggestions. This does not mean he has control over you or that you will accept everything he says. The hypnotist must give suggestions which are reasonable, both emotionally and morally, to the individual. Once the critical factor is bypassed, the hypnotized person will accept suggestions that he may not even consider under ordinary circumstances. The hypnotist begins to tap into the person’s motivation to successfully allow the suggestions to render effective. An example would be to suggest anesthesia to a person who is allergic to drugs or for some reason cannot accept drugs. This also works for managing or erasing pain without the use of drugs. Another example would be, to take a person who may not believe or know much about hypnosis, who has been in a terrible accident and is bleeding profusely.
What would you say if it were you lying there? What takes place here, is a verbal contract between and hypnotist and the injured person. He is now acknowledging, “I will accept your suggestions, even though I don’t know how it works.” This does not contradict the fact that the hypnotized person has full control of his faculties. These suggestions are pleasing and are within the bounds of reasonability, both emotionally and morally. Think about it this way–if you go to a medical doctor, you typically check in and take a seat and can leave anytime you want. However; you choose to stay because you believe it is good for you to wait and see the doctor. Your name is called, and you are escorted into the examination room, where again, you wait for the doctor. You may leave at any time, but you choose to stay because you believe it is best for you.