Truth #1: Hypnosis works, even when everything else has failed!
Hypnosis is a powerful tool that helps you reveal the root cause of and resolve the issue you want to address—whether it's stopping smoking, losing weight, overcoming bad habits, relieving stress and anxiety, managing pain, etc.
Even if you’ve tried other ways to resolve your issue, hypnosis can still work because it works differently.
Through hypnosis, you tap into the power of your subconscious mind where your memories and emotions are stored. By doing so, you make associations that your conscious mind couldn't—thereby gaining more information about and insight into your issue to help you resolve it.
Truth #2: Hypnosis is a normal and natural state of mind.
You’ve likely been in a state of hypnosis thousands of times in your life. For example, a light state of hypnosis is achieved anytime you lose track of time.
Without realizing it, we experience self-hypnosis several times during our day. Everyday states of hypnosis include: listening to great music; getting “lost” in a book; or missing your exit on a highway because you were daydreaming.
We also experience a light hypnotic trance when we begin to fall asleep because we naturally slow down our brainwaves to reach the deep sleep (REM) state.
Simply put, hypnosis is a state of relaxed and focused attention that bypasses the judgemental conscious mind.
As your hypnotist gently walks you through breathing and visualization exercises, your body relaxes deeply, which enables your mind to enter a light to medium state of hypnosis and naturally shifts your focus inward so that you may communicate with your deeper subconscious mind and inner wisdom.
Truth #3: You’re always in control during hypnosis.
Contrary to popular belief, hypnotists do not “put” people into trances.
Instead, hypnotists arrange circumstances to increase the likelihood that their client will shift herself or himself into a trance state so that the individual can gain access to her or his subconscious mind.
As your hypnotist, I have no control over you because hypnosis is about giving control back—to you! I simply serve as your guide and coach.
You may have an image in your mind of a hypnosis stage show or YouTube segment where people are being made to quack like ducks. Or, depending on your age, you may have an image of John Barrymore as the sinister hypnotist Svengali who seeks to control the woman he loves.
The fact is, the stage hypnotist has carefully assessed and picked volunteers whom he knows are willing to join in the fun and who are very well aware of what is expected of them.
For its part, Hollywood has created negative stereotypes of Svengali evil-doers with magnetic features and intense stares in order to thrill and frighten the audience.
Most psychological models of the mind show us that the mind has a protective function that makes it impossible for a hypnotist to “brainwash” you into believing and/or doing things that are contrary to your moral code or core values.
Moreover, professional hypnotists like myself working one-on-one with our clients do not find that quacking like a duck particularly helps our clients meet their important life-change goals!
Truth # 4: You’re conscious and alert the whole time.
It’s important that you remember all the insight you gain from your hypnosis sessions.
During hypnosis, the conscious mind is temporarily by-passed so that the subconscious mind can take in information without the interference of the conscious mind.
Therefore, while you'll be very focused on your inner journey of discovery, you’ll still be conscious and alert the whole time. You'll remember as much of what you've experienced in the hypnotic state as you would from taking in a lecture or talking to a friend, and you'll emerge from hypnosis feeling refreshed and renewed.
There are no recorded cases in history of people unable to emerge from hypnosis. There are, however, cases of people not wanting to emerge because they feel so relaxed and at peace.
Truth #5: Hypnosis works below the level of conscious thinking.
Hypnosis is a guided altered state of consciousness that enables you to gain access to your subconscious mind.
It's a well-known fact that our conscious minds are limited to retaining only seven pieces of information at a time, whereas the subconscious mind has unlimited capacity. As such, hypnosis helps you discover the hidden motivations behind the things you do or the reason why you have certain limiting beliefs about yourself.
This means you become aware of things that you've not been aware of before—leading to powerful insight!
Once you understand what your brain is doing to keep you trapped in behaviours you don’t want in your life, you're able to make quick and significant changes.
Truth #6: Hypnosis works for nearly every issue.
As you become aware through hypnosis of things you weren’t aware of before, you gain important insights and mental clarity.
These insights help you feel more empowered and confident in everything you do, and can help you achieve your goals—whether it's to lose weight, stop smoking, overcome bad habits, relieve stress and anxiety, manage pain or to deal with many other common, everyday issues.
Moreover, there are absolutely no negative effects from hypnosis. It is a natural, safe process that allows you to feel relaxed, calmer and, as a result, more confident in yourself and your abilities to change the things you want to change.
Although hypnosis does not cure disease, it can be used to diminish pain that's linked to stress or conditions for which traditional approaches have failed. This is because hypnosis works directly with the autonomic nervous system, which controls many of the body's functions.
Just the simple act of relaxation through hypnosis can create great improvements throughout your mind and body.
Truth # 7: Hypnosis works very fast.
Most clients begin to feel better after their first hypnosis session.
Because hypnosis gets to work right away on the root cause of whatever is keeping a person blocked or repeating the same old patterns.
For example, just as your brain can quickly learn a phobia (which is a learned fear), with the help of selective desirable suggestions your brain can also learn a new and more healthy response very quickly by using the brain’s ability to reorganize itself and form new neural connections.
Truth #8: Hypnosis is a state of mind.
Hypnosis isn’t a feeling. Rather, it’s a state of mind where you're highly focused and receptive to selective positive suggestion.
In this state of mind, you become aware of things you weren’t aware of before, leading to important insights and mental clarity. This natural, altered state of awareness allows you to (a) become oblivious to external distractions and (b) get in touch with the inner, powerful you that has the solutions to all of your problems.
Some people in hypnosis feel light, like they’re floating. Others feel grounded and safe, like a tree. Some feel a light buzzing feeling. Others feel nothing at all. All of these feelings are correct and, as each of us is unique, we experience the hypnotic state in our own individual way. Most commonly, people report a feeling of pleasant, deep relaxation.
And importantly, upon emerging from hypnosis, people report having gained insights and clarity into the issues that have kept them feeling blocked.
Truth #9: Hypnosis isn’t sleep.
As a professional hypnotist, I may use the word ‘sleep’ during your hypnosis session as a kind of shorthand for ‘look and act as if you’re asleep’—meaning 'become deeply relaxed with your eyes closed'. However, sleep is by no means the goal of a hypnosis session.
The fact is, if you did fall asleep, you’d no longer be able to tap into your inner resources, answer questions or even remain hypnotized! And worst of all, you’d miss the whole hypnosis experience!!
Hypnosis is actually focused awareness—a state in which you’re highly receptive to positive suggestion. As a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, I do have you focus on relaxation during your sessions, but there will be many times where you actually feel excited or filled with energy.
Truth #10: Hypnosis is very powerful and helps you be your best self!
A key to change is knowing your own story, and there is no better way than hypnosis to learn who you really are.
Most people are trapped in hectic work and family lives that leave them little personal time for self-reflection and awareness of their own needs.
Hypnosis is a safe, gentle and effective way to help you tap into who you really are and to realize your inherent power to make the positive changes you want in your life.
It's also an effective way to reduce stress and get to the root of emotional and physical pain. Many hypnosis clients report that they've benefited from learning the origins and the truth behind the difficult challenges they face.
For those who don't have time for one-on-one hypnosis sessions, a short daily practice of self-hypnosis increases focus, concentration, and the ability to relax and recharge quickly.
About the author: Solange Dunn, BA, CH
I’m a Consulting Hypnotist certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists. I'm also certified as a Master Hypnotist, a 5-PATH® Consulting Hypnotist, 7th Path Self-Hypnosis® Teacher and Regression Hypnotist. To learn more about my background, please see my 'About' page.