Hypnosis 101: What is hypnotherapy and how does it work?

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What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy that uses the state of hypnosis to help aid and solve a variety of problems.  

Brain scientists tell us that most of what our brain is doing is happening unconsciously.  This means that the decisions we make and the responses we have to situations are mostly made without us thinking about it. 

We have a barrier that exists between the conscious mind (the part of the mind we are aware of – our thinking mind) and the unconscious mind. 

This barrier acts a bit like a bouncer, meaning that anything that doesn’t fit with the unconscious minds existing beliefs can be kicked out! 

This includes thoughts and decisions we make with our own conscious mind.  So even when we want to make changes, if the unconscious mind doesn’t agree, it’s really hard to make that happen.

Imagine a rider on an elephant, if the rider knows that the most helpful direction to go is to turn left and the elephant agrees, then yes, the rider is in charge.  If the elephant wants to go right, it really doesn’t matter what the rider does or thinks, it’s going to be hard to make that happen. 

Generally speaking, if we can’t easily make a change, then we can be pretty sure the unconscious mind is involved.

What hypnotherapy does is to provide the environment where the rider and the elephant can agree together which way to go.  Then the journey becomes easier, and also you are more likely to go down the right path.

Hypnotherapy means the use of talking techniques for the rider, alongside hypnosis to help the rider and elephant communicate, and using the power of both to help you make the changes that work best for you.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis involves the natural state of trance which we all experience many times each day.

Have you ever found you’ve been driving along and suddenly realised you’ve missed your turn?  Or maybe reading a book and had to re-read the page as you haven’t taken the words in?

In both situations, you may well have been in a natural trance state.  Despite feeling like we’ve ‘switched off’, scientists tell us that during this stage, our brains are working hard using more energy than when taking a maths exam!

During this time, the brain is processing information and finding solutions to problems.

So although trance is very natural and normal, used in the right way, it can be incredibly powerful!

What does trance feel like?

Trance really can feel surprisingly normal!  Each hypnotherapist will work in a slightly different way, but generally speaking, in a clinic setting, you will be sitting on a chair or lying on a couch. 

In your own home over video call, you will be asked to find a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed.  Most of my clients choose their sofa or bed. 

Once you are comfortable the hypnotherapist will begin to talk and guide you into a state of relaxation where your mind will begin to drift naturally in and out of a trance. 

So for some people, they may feel like they are simply lying there nice and relaxed. Others may experience “symptoms” of the trance state.  Some common things that you may experience are:

  • feeling very heavy
  • feeling very light (perhaps like you are floating)
  • a kaleidoscope of colours across the inside of your closed eyelids
  • tingling in your feet, hands or limbs

Most people will find that their awareness of what is being said drifts in and out.  So you may notice that you are very aware of what is being said at times, and much less aware at others.  Some people describe it as a dream-like state. Just like when you wake from a dream, you may remember the details but as you begin to focus on your waking life the memory of the dream fades away.

Most people find trance a very pleasurable experiences and afterwards feel very relaxed and calm.

What is hypnotherapy used for?

There are many uses for hypnotherapy including:

  • Relieving stress, anxiety and depression
  • Aiding weight loss and building body confidence
  • Support to stop smoking
  • Resolving sleeping difficulties
  • Beating fears and phobias
  • Complementing medical treatment for conditions such as ADHD
  • And much more…!

What hypnosis isn’t…

Hypnosis is not something that is done to you and won’t make you do something you don’t want. We’re not here to make you bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken. Hypnosis is an incredibly powerful tool. It will only work when it is used to make changes which you wish to make.

Hypnosis isn’t a cure. It won’t make you into someone different. But it can be a very powerful way of helping you to become the very best version of you are.

If you want to find out more about hypnotherapy and the services I offer? Why not get in touch by clicking here.