What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of heightened attention, concentration and focus, during which your subconscious mind is highly receptive to positive suggestions that enable you to reprogram your mind and body for change and success. This integrative process enables you to replace self-limiting or false beliefs with positive messages and ideas that are acceptable to you, and, likewise, enables you to empower your subconscious mind to eliminate bad habits and unwanted behaviours. Often considered mysterious and frequently misunderstood, Hypnosis is actually a completely natural trance state we all experience every day; just as we wake up, just before we fall asleep, and other times, like when we day dream. In fact, you have already experienced hypnosis thousands of times in your life — and probably were just not aware of it. Hypnosis is not something that is “done to you” but one of your naturally occurring mind states that a professional hypnotist knows how “to bring out in you.”
Will I lose control?
No, in fact, it’s the complete opposite. During the process, hypnosis allows you to take control and better guide your subconscious mind to achieve the change and success you want. You are harnessing control of your own mind power. While allowing yourself to act upon suggestions may feel as though the effect is happening by itself, hypnosis is a cooperative and collaborative relationship, and a natural state of mind that you control — and it’s a state of mind that requires your consent. You cannot be hypnotized against your will. You retain full control and responsibility for your actions at all times. You will not doing anything while hypnotized that you would not do when not hypnotized. As such, the silly old presentations of hypnosis in cartoons and movies as ‘mind control’ or magic certainly make for funny entertainment, but they are not true. It often surprises a person to discover that while in a state of hypnosis, they are completely aware of everything that is happening and being said — and the remember it after the session ends. Because hypnosis is and you are aware of what’s happening at all times, while hypnotized you are open only to suggestions that are acceptable to you — therefore, hypnosis will not make you reveal your secrets, or do anything against your values or morals. Our process can also teach you self-hypnosis, so you finish the sessions more in control of your mind’s full potential.
Will I be asleep?
No. Hypnotists often use the word “sleep” in stage shows and elsewhere as a cue word as people easily associate the word with the hypnotic state but, in fact, hypnosis is neither “awake” nor “asleep” but shares properties of both. If you were asleep you would not be able to listen to suggestions or remain aware of everything that is happening. In a state of hypnosis, your senses are heightened and more acute. During our session, you will hear my voice, music, and at times other office noises; you are aware of these, but they do not hamper the process. They are indications that you remain alert, in control and aware of the session. One analogy that resonates with many people is awaking in the morning to hit the snooze button on your alarm clock to get those few extra minutes of sleep: you drift a little between being awake and asleep. You know you were just awake, but as you drift along the border between asleep and awake, you also are conscious your clock will soon ring again. Sometimes you even start to dream a little but know it’s a dream and that you will soon awaken. That little ‘space’ between “Awake” and “Asleep” that often feels fuzzy and timeless is where you will discover the state of hypnosis. Technically, it is known as being in an “active theta state” — one of the five main frequency waves of your brain — and a completely natural state you experience daily. When a 5-minute snooze results in an elaborate dream that felt like an hour, that’s an indication of being in a trance state.
Can anyone be hypnotized?
Yes. Knowing hypnosis is a natural state of mind that requires your consent, if you are willing to be hypnotized and follow the hypnotist’s instructions, you will enter a state of hypnosis. If you actively resist and fight the process, you won’t. It’s as simple as that. It’s natural, of course, that the first time that you may be hesitant or even a little nervous because hypnosis is a new experience for you, but with your genuine interest and commitment, an experienced professional hypnotist has a range of techniques and will customize the process to guide you into hypnosis. The notion that intelligence has any bearing on one’s ability to be hypnotized is false. Equally, ‘strength of mind’ has no bearing — if you consider yourself to be strong or weak minded; want it to happen, concentrate and follow the process. The common misconception that “Type A” personalities are “too strong willed” to be hypnotized is false; the stronger your ability to take control, focus and concentrate, you can guide yourself into hypnosis faster and easier. Also beneficial to the process is that hypnosis is progressive and cumulative. Each time you are hypnotized you will enter the state of hypnosis faster and go deeper, which enables you to practice and develop your susceptibility to hypnosis.
Is hypnosis dangerous?
Hypnosis should not be used while driving, operating equipment, or during any form of activity that presents a level of risk to your safety. Practice hypnosis and use self-hypnosis products only in a comfortable, safe environment. Recognized by medical associations since the 1950s, there are no documented cases of hypnosis doing harm to a person. You cannot “get stuck” in hypnosis. If you were ever left in a state of hypnosis, you will either come out of hypnosis on your own (remember, you are completely aware of what’s happening when hypnotized), or drift into sleep and then awaken as if having had a nap. More so, you can emerge yourself from hypnosis at any time.
What does it feel like?
People experience being in a state of hypnosis differently. To some, the sensation is lighter and floating, like a relaxed dream-like state; others experience a heavier feeling, or pleasantly lethargic. Others are surprised that the experience feels quite ‘normal’ to them with little sensation. One is not better than the other; there is no wrong or right. Your experience will be your experience and it will not hamper your results. While being in a state of hypnosis is a state of heightened attention and focus, many people experience a sense of profound relaxation and a release of stress and tension. Whatever the feeling you experience, your mind will remain alert and with focused concentration on the suggestions being given to you. It is common to experience a feeling of time distortion, as when your are hypnotized time passes quickly; for example, it may only feel like your were hypnotized for 20 minutes, but in reality 45 minutes passed.
What about people who say “it” doesn’t work?
Foremost, there is no magical “it” like a spell or magic button — the success of hypnosis is you, and completely within your control. Equally, you are not constrained by other people’s beliefs, nor your success limited by their success. Working with a skilled professional hypnotist, your strong desire and willingness for change paired with your focused attention on the process, will enable you to enter hypnosis and then harness the power of your subconscious mind to accept suggestions your agree with. But the honest desire for change must be there. For example, if you are seeking out hypnosis, let’s say to stop smoking, but only to please your spouse and you really don’t want to be there, and you’re not doing it for yourself, it’s unlikely you are committed to accepting the suggestions required for positive change. But, if you’ve grown to the point of hating your habit and genuinely want smoking out of your life, and you’re doing it for you, then you are positioned for success. Hypnosis is not a “one size fits all” approach. At Red Chair Hypnosis, we work with you to identify your goals, and will develop a customized, client-centered program for you that incorporate advanced hypnotherapy techniques that get to the root cause of your unwanted behaviours or self-limiting beliefs.