What is Hypnosis?
The power of positive suggestion.
Hypnosis is a state of mind where the body is very relaxed. The person in hypnosis looks as though they are asleep. But, when a person is asleep they are unconscious. Or it could be said that they are unaware. Certainly they are not aware that they are asleep – unaware of what is going on around them. Their conscious mind is asleep. While they are asleep they are not thinking such things as “it is good to be asleep.” Whereas when that person is in hypnosis or in the hypnotic “sleep”, they are VERY aware, very conscious. They hear very clearly and are aware of where they are and who is there with them. As well as being very conscious, they can think and reason and have full control of their mind and actions.
They will not undertake dangerous things nor will they act on suggestions which are against their moral nature. You cannot get people to steal, cheat, murder or things like that. Any suggestions along that line will result in the person opening their eyes and coming out of the hypnotic state. Hypnosis is, then, a conscious state where the body is asleep and the mind is awake. The phrase often used that a person is “under hypnosis” is completely erroneous. It is not the capability of the so-called hypnotist that puts people in the hypnotic state, but it is always the ability of the subject that results in hypnosis. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and any reputable practitioner knows this.
What is Hypnotherapy?
How can it help you?
The easiest definition of hypnotherapy is “the giving of therapeutic suggestions to a person while they are in a state of hypnosis”. Why would we want to do this? First of all, it is a fact that everything that we have learned has been learned by suggestions and these suggestions lodge in the subconscious mind and become our knowledge. That knowledge in the subconscious mind is what causes us to behave the way that we do. The conscious mind is the mind that we think with, whereas the subconscious mind does not think but simply records all the things that we experience through the senses. Everything we touch, taste, smell, hear and see, records in the subconscious and this begins to occur the moment that we are created. This learning carries on and every time we experience something through the senses like touching, smelling, tasting, seeing and hearing, this experience lodges in the subconscious mind. Each time we experience these things, it reinforces in the subconscious exactly what muscles, nerves, sinews etc it needs to move in order to accomplish what we wish to do. The subconscious then answers to the call of the conscious mind.
Where problems arise is when the programming of the subconscious mind is such that it overrides the intention of the conscious mind. A person may decide that they will stop smoking and this decision is made by the conscious mind, which is the thinking mind. However, if the person’s subconscious mind is programmed for smoking by consistent use, a conflict arises between the two minds and it is the subconscious mind that always wins for it overrides the conscious mind’s decision to stop smoking. The person then goes to see a Hypnotherapist because they think they have a weak will. The truth of the matter is that it has nothing to do with weak willpower but has everything to do with the programming of the subconscious mind. Now if the subconscious mind were re-programmed, we would then have a position where the conscious mind and the subconscious mind are in agreement. When the two minds are in agreement, we have a consensus – a winner. Now the way to re-programme the subconscious mind is to talk to it directly by bypassing the conscious mind. There is only one way to bypass the conscious mind and talk directly to the subconscious mind and that is when the person is in hypnosis. In fact the bypassing of the conscious mind, and talking directly to the subconscious mind, is the one and only reason why we use hypnosis. Thus it can be seen that hypnotherapy is the name given to the giving of suggestions directly to the subconscious mind.
Hypnosis. What it is NOT.
There has often been confusion about what hypnosis or hypnotherapy is all about. Much of the confusion is brought about by the lack of knowledge of the phenomenon of the hypnotic trance and the misuse of this trance state for the purpose of entertainment. Sensible and dedicated Hypnotherapists do not contaminate their work by demonstrating on a public stage the healing abilities of hypnosis. One cannot visualize a member of the medical profession, or any other professional, charging money for people to come and watch their clients make fools of themselves.
In New Zealand, and indeed around the world, at this time, it seems that a large proportion of so-called Hypnotherapists have as part of their modus operandi, endorsed stage hypnosis and this has served and will continue to serve the opinion that hypnotherapy and hypnosis is a gimmick.
Lindsay Cook trained with the New Zealand School of Hypnotic Science – and graduated in 1994 with a Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy. She is a Professional Member of the Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists and is also a full member of the New Zealand Society of Clinical and Applied Hypnotherapy. Lindsay places the interests and health of her clients foremost and has always been, and will always be opposed to stage hypnosis.