Many people mistakenly refer to hypnotherapy as “alternative medicine”. In fact, it was first adopted as an “orthodox” (meaning officially sanctioned) medical treatment in 1892, by the British Medical Association. This was ratified again in 1955. Many nations, including Australia and America, have since officially endorsed hypnotherapy as a legitimate form of treatment, for a huge variety of conditions.
So what is it, exactly?
The current accepted definition of a hypnotherapist is, “a therapist who utilizes hypnosis as a primary tool for assisting clients to achieve their goals. A hypnotherapist often differs from other therapists by focusing on the role of subconscious behaviours and influences on a client’s life”.
Hypnotherapy has the ability to empower people to change their lives for the better; it is a proven and extremely effective solution for many problems.
The most common uses for hypnotherapy are to assist with:
- Pain management
- Weight management
- Overcoming addiction (especially smoking and gambling)
- Self-esteem and confidence
- Controlling phobias
- Overcoming personal trauma
- Stress-related illnesses
- Facilitate Healing
- And so much more
A recent study (1) concluded that if a patient used treatment for their condition, in the form of medication (valium, sleeping tablets, pain killers etc), targeted products (weight loss shakes, diet pills, nicotine patches etc), or “self-help” (books, tapes, exercise equipment etc), the initial success rate of these treatments was 27%. If hypnotherapy was included as part of the initial treatment, then the success rate more than doubled, to 74%. The study found that if a person was serious about wanting to take back control of their physical body, the best weapons they had was their own subconscious mind, and their hypnotherapist.
Hypnotherapy is used to create a deeply relaxed state, in order to communicate directly with the person’s subconscious, in order to achieve goals that have been set by that person.
The human body is an incredible healing machine. Hypnosis can remove the blocks to healing that allow the machine to do what it knows how to do – and that is to be well and healthy.
The core techniques used in hypnotherapy have been studied, developed, and perfected over a century of practice. These techniques are:
In order to access the subconscious in the best way for hypnotherapy to work, a person must be in a deep state of relaxation. When we are alert, our brain waves are known as Beta. During hypnotherapy, a person is gradually brought into a deeply relaxed state, generating brain waves known as Theta. This is where the subconscious functions, and accessing it directly via relaxation is the reason why hypnotherapy works. People are more receptive to ideas and suggestions while relaxed, sleeping, or in a trance.
The hypnotherapist uses this technique in order to give you a new relaxing, beneficial, positive experience.
This one’s self-explanatory. The hypnotherapist makes direct statements during the process, such as “You feel safe and secure”.
The more an idea is repeated, the more likely it is to be accepted, and, more importantly, acted upon.
During hypnosis, the hypnotherapist provides you a suggestion to assist directly after the session, usually along the lines of, “When you re-awaken, you will feel refreshed and happy”.
The client recalls moments from his/her past, but in a safe, secure setting. It is possible for the client to then calmly re-examine the moment that has caused pain in the past, confront it, understand it, and then release all the associated negative emotions, allowing him/her to move forward once more. It is similar to psychoanalysis, but less stressful (due to the deep state of relaxation), and much quicker.
Being guided through a situation, where the client “sees” himself or herself successfully achieving the desired outcome (not smoking, no longer in pain, no longer phobic etc). Rehearsing events in the relaxed subconscious mind before they take place significantly increases the client’s success rate when confronted with the “trigger” situation.