How Did Hypnosis Begin?
I would like to begin by giving you a little bit of history on the beginnings of Hypnosis:
So that you have a better understanding of what it is and how it can help you, Hypnosis as we know it today began in the 1950s, and did not come into total acceptance until the 1980s. But, there are two people from the early history of hypnosis who deserve mention for their implementation of major trends. Fran Anton Mesmer, the man who gave hypnosis its original name, produced his first theories of Mesmerism in 1765. He believed that he possessed the power to magnetize people into his control, and during the 1780s some followers accepted the concept of magnetism, while others believed that the state of control of Mesmerism resulted from nothing more than the personality of Mesmer himself. In other words, his personality could pull you in, which is where we get the term “Mesmerized.”
One who disbelieved the theory of magnetism was Dr. James Braid, a physician of the 1840s. He believed that Mesmerism was a suggestable state resembling a nervous sleep. Today Mesmerism bears the title Braid gave it -Hypnotism- from the Greek word meaning sleep. While observing hypnotized subjects, Braid found that many physiological changes took place. As the subject entered a deeper state resembling sleep, he noticed that the subject was easily influenced by verbal suggestions, even to the point of controlling many of his involuntary functions. Braid tested his subjects by giving them suggestions in the waking state, as well as in the hypnotic state, and concluded that the subjects appeared to be more receptive in the hypnotic state.
Since then, we have recognized that many different suggestable states exist and that subjects respond differently in each of them. We further determined that these various states can be created by understanding the difference in suggestibility from one subject to the next.
The Truth About Hypnosis?
Many people get their ideas about hypnosis from television, books, or movies. While the plot lines of these entertainment vehicles make for good stories, they are often inaccurate. Many misconceptions about hypnosis are due to the fact that the term “sleep” is often used when discussing hypnosis. Hypnosis is not sleep, but because many times people experiencing hypnosis are very, very relaxed, it may outwardly appear like sleep. One difference is – in a hypnotic state – you can think clearly. And did you know while in hypnosis, your morals and ethics remain intact? In other words, you won’t do anything against your will. You can reject or accept suggestions – it’s your decision. Scientific experiments have proven that, if someone were to give you suggestions that you disagreed with, you would simply reject them.
Some ill-informed people think it’s possible to become stuck in a trance. This is false. In fact, if someone hypnotized you and then decided to take a trip to Tahiti while you were in the middle of a trance, you would simply continue to relax for a few moments and then choose to emerge when you felt like it. In hundreds of years of hypnosis this has always been the case.
Because hypnosis is not truth serum, people can lie while experiencing hypnosis. In hypnosis, the psychological “Law of Self-Preservation” is in effect. You can control what you choose to say. So, while in a hypnotic trance you won’t “spill the beans” or tell your secrets, some people believe that in order to be hypnotized you must have a weak mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because hypnosis is not a contest of willpower, a highly intelligent, strong-willed and imaginative person can make a great hypnotic subject. Many people think that in order to experience hypnosis, they must become unconscious. This is probably the most common misconception about hypnosis.
In hypnosis, you are aware and can hear clearly. In fact, hypnosis is a state of increased awareness. In a trance state your hearing may be sharper, you may feel subtler sensations, and your imagination and memory are enhanced.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural state. We are actually in a hypnotic state many times throughout each day. We pass through hypnosis on our way to sleep and when we wake up each morning. Recent studies of ultradian rhythms, bio-rhythms that are less than one day long, conclude that every 90 to 120 minutes we pass into a state physiologically identical to hypnosis. So, when people ask; Can I be hypnotized? The answer is; You already are.
Here are some other times in which people experience hypnosis naturally: Becoming absorbed in a good book or movie is experiencing hypnosis; Driving on long trips on automatic pilot is known as highway hypnosis; Becoming bored or allowing your mind to drift away leads to hypnosis; Becoming extremely engaged in something and allowing your mind to focus means that you are experiencing hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a state in which you can think clearly and your imagination is active. It’s a state where you could move if you wanted to or if there were an emergency, but you would rather remain delightfully relaxed. It’s a state in which beneficial ideas can more quickly and easily gain access to the inner mind. And because we all experience trance each day, we can understand just how safe it is.
What to Expect?
People describe the experience of hypnosis as highly pleasurable and often comment upon emerging that they feel like they’ve had a refreshing nap. You might feel any number of sensations while in trance. Most people’s muscles grow loose and relaxed. Many report pleasant feelings. Often the breathing grows deeper and slower as a result of increased relaxation. Feelings of warmth or tingling are common. Often people report an increased ability to visualize much like daydreaming. Some people’s perception of time is altered – the trance state may seem much longer or shorter in duration than it actually is.
While some continue to listen to the words of the hypnotist, others report that the mind drifts away to some pleasant memory or imagined scene.
Because the conscious mind may drift away, some report only a general sense of what was said in the trance- just like seeing a movie but not perfectly remembering every scene. Each individual experience of trance is unique. In the hands of a qualified and skilled person, hypnosis can be a valuable ally for healing, self-improvement, pain management, habit control and much, much more…
Though many people are familiar with the success of hypnosis in smoking cessation and weight loss, most are unaware of its powerful uses as an anesthetic and to speed healing.
Hypnosis has long been used to help people suffering from trauma and to overcome roadblocks originating from past experiences. Hypnosis has been used by law enforcement to help witnesses increase recall. It can even be used to overcome anxieties, fears, and phobias.
Hypnosis is a powerful tool for performance enhancement and goal setting. The hypnotic state is a great stress buster.
How Hypnosis Can Help You?
Every situation can benefit from having the powerful inner mind on your side.
I hope you better understand how hypnosis can help to improve your life. You’ve learned that in trance you can hear clearly and your morals are intact. You’ve learned that no one has ever gotten stuck in trance. You’ve learned that having a strong mind can actually help you to enter hypnosis easily. You’ve learned just how safe and natural hypnosis is.
I would like to leave you with this, you may be aware of everything I say during the session and that is OK, because you are still in hypnosis.