People often think of hypnotism and hypnosis as forms of entertainment. In fact, there are a lot of hypnotists who are professional entertainers and make their living out of their vocation. However, hypnotism does also have therapeutic, research and medical values. When a person goes under anesthetic, there is always a very real possibility that their bleeding will not be able to be stopped. When a person is hypnotized before an operation in place of having an anesthetic, they will often hardly bleed.
The basic principles involved in being hypnotized are that a person will be guided by various suggestions so as to alter their perception, emotion, attention and sensations. It is a trance-like and focused, calm state of mind. A person will not be able to be hypnotized against their will. This dismisses the myth of a stage hypnotist having someone up on stage and people within the audience accidentally succumbing to the techniques and chants. Likewise, no one can be hypnotized just by looking into someone else’s eyes.
Many people believe that a person is sleeping when they are under hypnosis, but they are actually experiencing a heightened state of mind and awareness. Different methods of hypnosis are used to induce a hypnotic state. A person could even hypnotize themselves. Self-hypnosis can be achieved through meditation. Another myth is that people who are weak minded will be more susceptible to a hypnotist’s suggestions. In actual fact, a person who can focus easily with a keen imagination could be hypnotized. Anyone who listens to self hypnosis CD’s to stop smoking for example, will not be successful if they are skeptical and they do not really want to stop smoking.
Hypnotherapy can be used for helping people to break any bad habits and embracing healthier ones, improving their outlook on life, and exploring repressed feelings. Certain hypnosis techniques can also be used in assisting a person to control anger and stress, help a patient in managing their pain for instance in chemotherapy treatments or childbirth or even having a tooth extracted, as well as to guide a curiosity seeker who wants to participate in a past-life regression.
A hypnotist could use various affirmation techniques for creating a bond with their patient that will make them more susceptible for a hypnotic suggestion. The basic principle is in praising the patient and developing their self-belief, self confidence and identity. The hypnotist can praise and congratulate the person for successfully being able to follow individual commands. They could say ‘good’, ‘that’s right’ and so on to build the patient’s self confidence and thus encourage them to keep on.
With the aim of encouraging the benefits of healing at a subconscious level, the following will explain how to hypnotize a person.
1. A relaxing setting must be created for a hypnosis session. A quiet place with soft lighting and no distractions or interruptions will be best. Soft, meditative music can also be played.
2. The hypnotist must speak in a gentle manner and tell their subject to relax. A hypnotized person must feel totally comfortable and relax their mind and all their muscles.
3. The person must be asked to breathe deeply and close their eyes, again helping to relax them even further.
4. The hypnotist must see if their subject is entranced or completely relaxed. If so, they can start talking to their subject. This will be the questions and answers or the powers of suggestion, such as ‘suggesting’ relief of stress or pain from the mind of his or her subject.
5. A session should be closed by suggesting any wording that can break the subject’s trance-like state. For example, the hypnotist could say ‘When I mention ‘open your eyes’ then you can leave the level of awareness that you are on now and regain your fully conscious mind.’
6.A hypnotist should encourage his subject at the end of the session to have confidence in hypnosis and to know how powerful it can be. They should understand that by letting their minds relax and accepting the powers of suggestion, they will be capable of reaping the benefits that hypnosis offers.
Some people experience a real fear of their subconscious minds getting trapped during the hypnotic state without finding their way back out again. They do not have to worry, as they not only have the power and ability to wake up whenever they want to but they will be totally aware of what is going on around them as well, such as the phone ringing, the doorbell going or a car hooting outside.