So the short answer to the question “Does Hypnosis Work?” is: YES, it really does.
Hypnosis is exceptionally powerful; it creates changes that come from within, and in doing so provides the person with an incredibly effective way to improve, even heal, physical, emotional and mental issues. So does hypnosis work? It does, and it a very effective way to bring about transformation.
While I wear many hats, and often a few at the same time, the hypnosis hat is very much my favorite. It is true that I implement all that I know in creating a plan for my clients, yet what helps them stick to the plan–what truly transforms their lives–is hypnosis. Let me tell you a little about how does hypnosis work.
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What is Hypnosis?
If you get a better understanding of what is hypnosis maybe you can also see how does hypnosis work.
“Hypnosis is a state of consciousness in which the person achieves a focused inward attention with reduced distractions from external and peripheral disturbances. This altered state of consciousness allows access to the subconscious mind and brings with it a heightened ability to accept appropriate suggestions for change and growth.”
The state of Hypnosis is something we all experience. It happens in everyday life…hypnosis is not a condition of oblivion, and it is not sleep, but it is a state of mind where our normal awareness is reduced and attention is directed toward a specific mental idea, a problem, a physical stimulus, a fantasy – or an insight. It is a state of deep deep relaxation, and it feels wonderful.
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We all experience trance-like states. For example, maybe you experienced being completely absorbed in a book, becoming so immersed in the story to a degree that you forget time, and when you finally look at your watch you are shocked to see what time it is. Or maybe you are so wrapped in thought while driving that when you finally reached your destination you have no recollection of how you got there….
In the process of working with the hypnotherapist, this human ability that we all have, is harnessed. The therapist helps you reach this state of inward focus but this time with a specific goal in mind.
I sometimes describe it as a focused meditation. In ‘normal’ meditation you are directed to not get stuck on a thought, idea or feeling, on the contrary, you observe it and then you let it go…. but in this very special focused meditation that is hypnosis you are guided to work on a specific goal in a specific way.
Imagine yourself if you can, resting comfortably in a cushioned recliner and being guided into a journey inward that allows all the usual worries and distractions to fade into the far background and you are now ready to access your amazing capabilities and resources.
Ask my clients does hypnosis work, as they open their eyes after a session, and they will tell you how much better they feel. How for the time of the session they were literally in another place. Pain fades, worries gone, healing takes place.
How does hypnosis work?
Hypnosis is a partnership between therapist and client. You agree to be hypnotized and I am responsible for your well being. Unlike what you see in stage hypnosis and some misconceptions born out of movies and stories, there is nothing that happens during the session that is out of your control.
What you say is only what you want to say. You will not reveal secrets you do not want to share, you will never do anything you do not want to do and if you do not like or agree with the suggestions that I provide you with, you will simply not accept them. I am good at providing you with the right suggestions. I use what you give me, your words, your ideas, and your goals.
We are taught in hypnotherapy school that we all have in our minds what is called the critical factor. Whether such a thing exists or not, symbolically the critical factor is a barrier between the conscious and subconscious mind.
This barrier is what makes us accept or reject ideas presented to us. This critical factor is the reason that affirmations sometimes just do not work. Imagine a child growing up being told from a very young age repeatedly that he or she are stupid and incapable. They adopt a belief about themselves that they are indeed stupid and incapable. Now as a grownup they are told affirmations will help them feel better. Every day they stand in front of the mirror and say I am smart and capable. There are sticky notes on the fridge and the walls that say the same thing. The only problem is the critical factor in their mind rejects every one of these statements and notes and every time they read it, it actually reminds them how stupid and incapable they are.
Dr. Wood from the University of Waterloo asked people with low self-esteem to say “I am a lovable person.” She then measured the participants’ moods and their feelings about themselves. The low-esteem group felt worse afterwards compared with others who did not. However, people with high self-esteem felt better after repeating the positive affirmation–but only slightly.”
So, in this specific example, what can we do for the people with the low self-esteem? Does hypnosis work for them? In order to help we have to bypass their critical factor and access the subconscious mind. We actually need to help them change their basic belief about themselves and then they can use affirmations to their hearts’ content.
How do we acquire faulty beliefs?
It is very easy to collect the wrong beliefs and usually this happens in childhood. Children are very literal and very impressionable. Sometimes an event that may seem to the adult present insignificant will set in motion a process in the child that will cast a shadow for many years to come. Sometimes it is easy to determine the nature of the event that started it all, and sometimes not so much. Help is available with hypnosis either way.
We all have certain beliefs about ourselves. Some positive and some negative. It is easier to see it in others. When you look at your friends and family you can often feel puzzled by why they are so hard on themselves. Why they see themselves a certain way. What we believe about ourselves we take to be the truth and not a wrongful belief. It is far more difficult to see the truth about us.
What we believe then guides our thought process. If I am stupid then it is no wonder if I failed the test, of course I did, even if half the class failed…It is proof I am stupid, and if I got a good grade it is a fluke, or the test was really easy this time. The evidence does not matter much, it is what we believe that guides how we think and how we feel.
Even when it comes to physical ailments our beliefs play a major role. A client that has an autoimmune disorder or chronic pain often will see themselves as incurable and helpless against their disease. Often a victim of their life circumstances…But remember the placebo effect? Our minds can produce physical changes as well. It is truly remarkable.
This is where using hypnosis as a therapeutic tool comes into play.
The power of the mind: The placebo effect
Think about the placebo effect to better understand how does hypnosis work.
“Research on the placebo effect focuses on the relationship between mind and body. The most common theory is that the placebo effect is due to a person’s expectations. If a person expects a pill to do something, then it’s possible that the body’s own chemistry can cause effects similar to what a medication might have caused” http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/what-is-the-placebo-effect
For instance, in one study, people were given a placebo and told it was a stimulant. After taking the pill, their pulse rate sped up, their blood pressure increased, and their reaction speeds improved. When people were given the same pill and told it was to help them get to sleep, they experienced the opposite effects.
You can clearly see the incredible power we possess if we whole-heartedly believe something. What if we can use this capability to create change on every level? What if we can actually change the way we believe? This is the realm in which hypnosis operates. The deepest of all. The realm of our beliefs.
So you see how hypnosis can work…
You can read some of the testimonials on my website to get a feel of the diverse issues that are helped by hypnosis. And yes, my hypnosis services are unique. The way I combine hypnosis, nutrition, behavior and modifications and homeopathy is especially effective.
I will end with my own story:
I suffered from Fibromyalgia for years. The pain was constant, fluctuating between tolerable to horrible. It started not too long after a hysterectomy and while I could connect the two, I could not resolve the issue. I felt like I was wearing sleeves of pain. Like my body was in a vice. I was exhausted from it. I am a fighter, I did not succumb to it. I continued working and taking care of my family and helping others, and smiling, but the effort to do all that while suffering was getting to be too much. I tried everything, 3 different acupuncturists, vegan diet, raw food diet, homeopathic medications, and traditional medications including a pain patch that sent me spiraling into metabolic syndrome. Nothing helped.
Then I went for hypnosis. I fell in love with being in the chair because in the beginning, all the pain would completely disappear while I was in the chair. Then it dawned on me that if I can be pain free in the chair it must be possible for me to be pain free out of the chair. As we peeled layers and layers of beliefs I was getting better and better until one day I stopped to think about it and realized I was free of the fibromyalgia pain and have been free for a while. It was miraculous to me and a path was opened to add yet another tool to my tool box.
I love hypnosis and I use it always. I also use all my other skills and create a rather unique package of services bringing together all the modalities I learned over the many years I have been in practice.
I incorporate nutrition, homeopathic medicine, behavioral interventions and hypnosis and present them to my clients wrapped in love. My hypnosis services include help with many issues, from chronic pain, to anxiety, from weight loss and food addiction, to nail biting and smoking cessation. The key is this. Ask yourself: “Have I suffered enough?” and if the answer is yes, lets work together to get you better on all levels.
For some research articles on hypnosis you can go here to read regarding hypnosis and chronic pain: A randomized controlled trial of hypnosis for chronic pain For a compilation of different research articles you can go here: hypnosis.tools/hypnosis-research-papers
The research shows that hypnosis is effective in providing relief for many emotional and physical conditions.
Looking to change your life? Your health? Book your 30 minutes complementary phone session now by clicking on the green button below and find out how we can work together to improve your life and your health.
Shirly: Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insight about a topic that seems quite esoteric.
Thank you Juli. I appreciate the time you took to read and comment.
Very informative !! Love the fibromyalgia story!
Thank you Shari for taking the time to read and comment:)