Many cultures from ancient times practiced hypnosis as a way of altering the mindset and promoting subconscious healing within the body. Today though, most people see hypnosis as simply being an hilarious parlor trick.
The fact is that everyone experiences their own hypnotic state quite a few times every day. How often do we find ourselves staring blankly with a clear mind and then suddenly jolting back to ‘reality’ with a mind that is immediately crowded with all the usual 101 thoughts racing through it? What we were experiencing was actually a relaxed hypnotic state.
This hypnotic state is a naturally altered state wherein our mind is focused and relaxed. You could call it being on a natural high!
Hypnosis is a powerful and useful tool that we can tap into anytime we want to. Pain management, breaking habits, healing progression and anesthesia could all be safely and naturally enhanced by hypnosis. By using suggestion, hypnosis helps in creating a calm state of mind that could help a receiver overcome many obstacles. A person receiving hypnosis will need to relax so as to enter into their hypnotic state.
There are a number of tools or ways with which to hypnotize someone:
Hypnotic Sounds: A person can focus on a particular rhythmic sound such as a ticking clock or metronome. This can help in quieting their mind and helping them enter a calm and relaxed state. Meditative music can also be played that incorporates chimes and tones that will help a listener quiet their conscious mind while focusing on this music. Chanting could also help a person relax. Yoga meditations use mantras or chants for reaching a higher state of mind.
Hypnotic Visuals: When a person focuses on a rhythmic visual such as the swinging pendulum it will have the same effects as the repetitive sounds. A person can quiet their mind and enter a calm and relaxed state by narrowing their focus on a visual. Kaleidoscope images and fish tanks are arrhythmic visuals and are relaxing as well and help in inducing the hypnotic state. Even a simple thing like a digital clock that flashes could induce the hypnotic state.
Touch and Rhythmic Movements: Both gentle swinging and rocking can lull a person into a calm and relaxed state. The intent, as with any hypnotic tool, is in providing a particular focus to help the person tune out any distractions. Another way in which to quiet the mind and which provides a tactile or physical focal point is with gentle touch, for example rubbing the shoulders or the hands of the person.
Guided Meditation: Guided meditation activates a person’s imagination and will use spoken imagery for leading them into a calm and relaxed state. A person can guide themselves or meditate with the help of any therapist. A guide can provide minimal details while the patient can fill in any blanks. For instance, a guide could say to the patient, ‘You are strolling along the beach….’ and the patient can mentally fill in any details. Other instances could have the guide making a patient focus on their breathing and having each breath leading to another stage of relaxation.
Linking: Linking techniques work on the theory of association. A person’s consciousness will work by making connections and associations. They will follow a gradual procession of certain cause and effect suggestions that are made by their hypnotist. The theory works in that if someone accepts or believes something then they will be more inclined with accepting or believing something else which is connected or associated with it. For instance, a hypnotist could say, ‘When your shoulder relaxes, your neck and head will follow.’
Progressive Relaxation: The principle behind this hypnotic method is in giving a person a tangible activity for concentrating on. This will help the person focus more and keep them from getting distracted during their hypnotism process. Their hypnotist will command them to relax a certain part of their body one at a time. This method might start at the bottom and work its way up or start from the top downwards. For instance, a person will be commanded to loosen up or relax their feet or to relax their forehead.
Hypnosis is merely a means by which to directly contact a person’s subconscious mind. It is not religious or mystical although religions have been using it. Hypnosis is not an unnatural phenomenon and in fact anyone has been experiencing it all their life without even being aware of it. It is as natural as breathing.