Hypnotherapy has a long and honourable history, and it's benefits are now being more fully accepted by the medical profession, but unfortunately there seem to be many misconceptions surrounding the hypnotic state.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a tool used by a skilled therapist to administer various forms of therapy.  It is simply a state of highly focused concentration and heightened awareness.  You unknowingly experience this natural state several times every day.  It's simply a way of tuning out distracting thoughts, and focusing your attention, just as you do when you're daydreaming, or when totally absorbed in a film, book, TV show, or favourite hobby, or even when driving.

Hypnosis alters your state of consciousness, in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is distracted, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert.  This allows the unconscious mind to come to the fore, where it is able to accept beneficial suggestions more easily.  The unconscious mind contains all your memories and experiences, from conception to the present day and controls your automatic thoughts and behaviours, it is this part which has to change for your behaviour and physical state to alter.

Contrary to popular belief you are NOT asleep although your outward appearance may suggest you are.

There is no question of being controlled or manipulated.  A Hypnotherapist has no special powers or control over you.  While in the state of hypnosis you remain in complete control, but extremely relaxed.  Nobody can be made to do anything they do not want to do and with a few exceptions, anybody can be taught to enter the hypnotic state at will.

There are various techniques used to help someone overcome their difficulties when in the hypnotic state.  Two types of therapy are prominent:  Suggestion therapy, which makes use of heightened susceptibility to beneficial suggestions in order to change bad habits for good ones and to build confidence. 

It is known particularly for its high success rate in helping people to stop smoking, to change eating habits and so lose weight, to control nail biting, pre-test nerves and nervousness in making business presentations and so on.  Suggestion therapy and self-hypnosis form part of a range of techniques that are effective in enhancing sporting performance.


What is hypnotherapy?

In hypnotherapy you are guided into hypnosis for therapeutic purposes.  It is literally therapy done while in hypnosis and can be thought of as an effective and speedy form of psychotherapy.  Hypnotherapy can change your patterns of behaviour and perceptions, enabling irrational fears, phobias, habits, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions to be overcome.  With the help of the hypnotherapist, you are able to look at problems differently and maybe discover solutions to problems that had been missed before.

Using hypnosis to gain access to the unconscious mind allows the therapist to suggest positive and beneficial ideas, which become firmly planted in your unconscious.  These replace erroneous and often negative beliefs and ideas that have been causing the problems you have experienced.  It is also possible to recall and resolve past memories which relate to current blockages.

Although a hypnotherapist is widely known to help people stop smoking or control weight, a major part of a hypnotherapist's practice is in dealing with such problems as stress, anxiety, panic attacks, and certain physical complaints such as migraine, arthritis, digestive disorders, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and numerous psychosomatic illnesses.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy has recently uploaded an interesting interview with a person who underwent hypnotherapy. Press here to play

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