What is Hypnosis?
Although the American Medical Association approved hypnosis in 1958 and the British Medical Association did so three years earlier, hypnosis actually traces its roots back some 5,000 years to the healing temples of Ancient Egypt. It is only with the proliferation of the self-help therapies of the past several decades that it has gained in popularity and use. It is now clearly accepted as the most permanent method of behavioral and habit modification known to man. And because of its unique ability to influence physiological functions, it clearly has the advantage over other mind/body techniques.
As popular and publicized as hypnosis is however, there are still some people who don't understand it and thus are wary of it. They think of it as entertainment, magic or some mystical form of mind control. In reality, it is none of these things. A simple definition of hypnosis is that it is a pleasant state of mental and physical relaxation characterized by increased alertness, enhanced awareness, heightened suggestibility and focused concentration. It and it alone enables us to capture, harness and utilize the unlimited potential of the subconscious mind.
Indeed, it is the ultimate means of heightening motivation by programming the subconscious mind to work in active cooperation with conscious desires. Actually, you are already familiar with hypnosis although you may not realize it. We all go through these altered states of consciousness, or brain wave levels, at least twice each day upon awakening in the morning and crossing over into sleep at night.
We can most easily explain it in this way:
Researchers have divided brain functions into four separate levels of cycles per second activity:
Beta - Normal daytime consciousness; critical thought level.
Alpha - Relaxation level; beginning to awaken in the morning and crossing over into sleep at night; associated with imaginative thinking; corresponds to light to medium levels of hypnosis.
Theta - Early stages of sleep; deep reverie state; associated with creative thinking; corresponds to medium to deep levels of hypnosis
Delta - Profound sleep; dream state.
That's it! There's no place else to go! Hypnosis can't put you into any place other than those brain wave levels. For most people hypnosis is mid-alpha range activity and although you are definitely in hypnosis, you remain fully conscious of everything that is going on. Hypnosis is simply a matter of setting aside the conscious mind, to one degree or another, and selectively focusing one's attention on either a particular point or a whole range of experiences. Because of the hyper-suggestibility inherent in the alpha and theta levels, positive programming is extremely effective in helping to create positive change. Hypnosis is a perfectly safe programming technique that can benefitanyone of normal intelligence!
SOME IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT HYPNOSIS:
A hypnotized person does not go to sleep or lose touch with reality.
They are aware of everything going on around them. Most people don't recognize the state of hypnosis, expecting to become unconscious. Unless they are the one in ten who easily achieve the deep, or somnambulistic, level of hypnosis, this is not at all what the experience is like. They remain completely aware of everything going on around them. This does not mean that they weren't hypnotized. It simply means that they are experiencing a hypnotic level somewhere between a light and medium state which, for purposes of behavior and habit modification, is generally more effective than deeper level hypnosis.
Directly proposed hypnotic suggestions cannot make a person do anything contrary to their morals, religion or self-preservation.
If such a suggestion were given, the subject would either refuse to comply or would spontaneously terminate the hypnotic state.
The best hypnotic subjects are NOT unintelligent people.
This is quite the contrary. The more strong-willed, intelligent and imaginative an individual is, the better subject he or she tends to be.
Anyone can be hypnotized.
Since, as we have seen, hypnosis is a naturally occurring phenomenon, which we all experience, there is no such thing as not being able to be hypnotized. Once an individual overcomes their initial apprehension through understanding the truth about hypnosis, it is an easy experience ... one from which the subject will emerge (awaken) feeling more relaxed, at ease and positively motivated than before going into hypnosis.
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