Hypnosis might seem like a strange therapy to engage in particularly given the misconceptions about hypnosis that abound. It is good to know however that during an hypnosis consultation you are fully aware. In fact it is a heightened state of awareness. This often surprises my clients. When they are apprehensive about hypnosis often they are concerned that they will not hear what I am saying or that they will be ‘knocked out’. Thankfully no anesthetics are required for hypnosis and the person being hypnotized is completely in control. They can open their eyes any time they want to. Most don’t of course as it is such a relaxing sensation. While it is often compared with day dreaming there is much more to hypnosis. It is a focused state of attention and the appropriate words can guide a person in to trance before relevant suggestions are given to the subconscious mind. If the person being hypnotized is in agreement with the suggestions then the process is very straight forward.
It is important to note that you will only ever accept suggestions which you want to accept. Again, you are completely in control, even in the trance state. The trance state ‘feels’ different for different individuals. Some of my clients describe it as the most relaxed state they have ever experienced, others tune in to physical state and notice that their legs feel very heavy or that their arms feel like they are glued to the chair – in a comfortable way! An observer, for example the hypnotherapist might notice signs such as the breathing slowing down or eye lids fluttering. It is a very pleasant level of relaxation and in this state the mind is very open to suggestions which the person wishes to accept. There is a wealth of clinical evidence to support the efficacy of hypnosis as well. Clinical trials documenting the usefulness of hypnosis for chronic pain, acute pain and anxiety are well researched. So, while hypnosis might seem like a rather odd option when it comes to problem solving it is a pleasant option for a lot of people and most individuals who use hypnosis notice a positive improvement even after the first consultation.