Yes, Hypnosis works! No, it’s not mind control.
Hypnosis can be tremendously effective in personal care, change and development. But most people have serious questions about it as a therapeutic tool. I’m sure you’ve seen stage hypnosis with subjects who cluck like a chicken or believe they’re drunk on stage. That’s unfortunately where much of the skepticism about hypnosis as a behavioral treatment comes from. I mean, if I can make you think you’re on stage without a stitch of clothing on – what else can I do to you…
Truth be told. Nothing. I can’t do anything to you or make you do anything you don’t want to do. Firstly, I make an ethical promise to work with you – within your values and direction. Secondly, all hypnosis really is self-hypnosis… you have all the control.
You see, hypnosis has been around for as long as humans have been around – but under many different names. That’s because hypnosis is a natural state of the human consciousness. It’s one that can be triggered by a variety of experiences. Around the turn of the 20th-century, while modern medicine was being developed, the study of the mind occurred right alongside that development.
The mind science of hypnosis (geek out if you’re so inclined – I do)
During the induction stages of hypnosis, the body becomes more and more relaxed and the brain enters changing levels of brain wave pattern. There are five brainwave frequencies, with four main different brainwave patterns when looking at hypnosis. These are Beta wave pattern, Alpha wave pattern, Theta wave pattern and Delta wave pattern as measured by an EEG (Electroencephalograph).
In the fully engaged and focused state, the brain will show a Beta wave pattern which is from 15 to 40 cycles per second
While in a restful state, the brain will show an Alpha wave pattern which is from 9 to 14 cycles per second
In a deeper state of hypnosis, similar to dreaming and some meditative states, the brain shows a Theta wave pattern which is from 4 to 8 cycles per second
And in the deepest state of hypnosis, the brain shows a Delta wave pattern which is from 1 to 4 cycles per second and it is associated with deep dreamless sleep. The deeper the sleep, the higher the number of delta waves.
The other brainwave frequency is Gamma (40Hz – 70Hz) associated with Processing of various attended stimuli (visual, auditory, touch) and the grouping of the various features of a given stimulus, particularly visual, into a coherent whole.
An important point is that there is no such thing as a “gamma state” of mind. Gamma waves largely play a supporting though integral role in the brain. From an EEG perspective, they will be present mostly while a subject is awake, but they will always be supported by other waves in the beta, alpha, theta, or delta ranges.
Brainwave patterns change in a gradual way. That is to say that it will not switch immediately from say 27Hz (27 cycles per second – Beta Waves) to 2Hz (2 cycles per second – Delta Waves). They shift, their frequency gradually decreases or increases. The speed of this gradual change can be fast or slow depending on the individual and the ability of the hypnotherapist. During reorientation, the brainwave patterns will gradually increase towards the Beta waves bringing the client back to full state of awareness.
All brainwave frequencies are normally present together in the brain. However, the dominant frequency in the EEG pattern determines what we’ll call the current state of the brain. If the amplitude of the alpha range frequencies is highest, then the brain is said to be in the alpha stage. Note, that other frequencies still exist and it is impossible to give any “exact frequency your brain is operating on.” However, for discussion purpose, it is often assumed that such a single frequency exists.
Generally, we are using the beta brain rhythm. When we shift the brain rhythm to alpha, we put ourselves in the ideal condition to learn new information, retain and recall facts, perform elaborate tasks, learn languages and analyze complex concepts, etc. Meditation, relaxation exercises, and activities that enable the sense of calm, also enable this alpha state. It is considered an integral part of the relaxation process before sleep. The alpha frequency has been studied extensively in meditations of various kinds (like Zen, TM etc) and an increase in alpha waves are noted.
In the Theta state associated with dreams, deep meditation, sleep, and hypnosis, this is seemed to be involved with short-term memory. It is a state of somnolence with reduced consciousness. The theta-state is described by sleep researchers as stage 1 sleep or the twilight state. In this state, subjects pass out of the alert alpha-state into a theta-state in which they lose their sense of lying in bed, though still being awake.
Subjects can be easily awoken from this stage of sleep, and it has many interesting properties. For a brief time as we lie in bed at night, neither fully awake nor yet asleep. We pass through a mental twilight zone. Many people associate this drowsy stage with hallucinatory images, more fleeting and disjointed than dreams, and compare it to the viewing of a speeded-up, jerky series of photographic slides. Artists and scientists both have credited the imagery of this twilight state with creative solutions and inspiration for their work.
Meditative states associated with the increased presence of delta waves seem to occur mostly in very experienced practitioners. Most likely because entering a delta state and maintaining consciousness at the same time is tremendously difficult.
Hypnosis and Pain Management
Before the advent of modern analgesics and anesthetics, hypnosis was often the most effective approach for eliminating pain and increasing survival in major surgical operations. James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon in the early 1800’s performed hundreds of surgeries and amputations using hypnosis as the pain reliever. James Braid was another surgeon famous for his speedy amputations. His use of hypnosis significantly reduced shock and dramatically increased his patients’ survival rates.
Even today hypnosis is still used in surgical situations. Below is a link to a video of a dental surgery being performed without any chemical intervention (pain meds). CLICK HERE https://youtu.be/cSMehIYupv8
Hypnosis and Post Surgery Healing
The use of hypnosis to speed up the recovery time after surgery has been shown time and again. Two studies from Harvard Medical School show hypnosis significantly reduces the time it takes to heal.
“Since 1992, we have used hypnosis routinely in more than 1400 patients undergoing surgery. We found that hypnosis used with patients as an adjunct to conscious sedation and local anesthesia was associated with improved intraoperative patient comfort, and with reduced anxiety, pain, intraoperative requirements for anxiolytic and analgesic drugs, optimal surgical conditions and a faster recovery of the patient. We reported our clinical experience and our fundamental research.”
Another study showed that six weeks after an ankle fracture, those in the hypnosis group showed the equivalent of eight and a half weeks of healing. That effectively demonstrates that using hypnosis helped that group heal bone fractures 41% faster. The second study focused on people having breast reduction surgery. The group treated with hypnosis healed “significantly faster” than supportive attention group and control group.
Hypnosis and Addiction
One of the area’s hypnosis has been repeatedly shown to have success is in the area of addictions. Hypnotherapy is routinely used in the top addiction and recovery centers to help people reduce cravings, develop motivational strategies, and counteract learned helplessness. Although hypnosis is used in all areas of addictions, there are many studies showing the effects of hypnosis when treating tobacco cessation. On a personal note, I quit a 2PPD habit in one session.
A study was done in 2005 to test the effectiveness of guided imagery (hypnosis) VS placebo in quitting smoking. It found that guided imagery was more than twice as effective as placebo to keep those patients smoke free after 2 years.
Hypnosis and you
In the late 1950s, Stanford University was the first to establish a reliable “yardstick” of susceptibility (aptly called the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scales). Through subsequent studies, researchers learned that 95 percent of people can be readily hypnotized (with most scoring in the midrange on the Stanford Scale) and that an individual’s score—reflecting the ability to respond to hypnosis—remains remarkably stable over time. Even twenty-five years after their initial Stanford Scale tests, retested subjects were getting almost the same scores, the same level of hypnotic responsiveness.
Because of the wide range of things that hypnosis can effect, there are many different research studies and clinical trials testing hypnosis and how it treats various disorders. Within my 3 decade practice, there’ve been only a handful of cases where hypnosis needed the boost of additional tools for successful outcomes.
Hypnosis and self-esteem
The unconscious mind holds beliefs and “truths” about us that really aren’t changed much by external facts or proofs. So you can be gorgeous, brilliant and charismatic. But if your unconscious mind is convinced that you’re a loser, you’ll approach your life with dread and hesitancy. On the flip side, if you’re simply pretty average and you believe that you are gorgeous, brilliant and charismatic, you’ll be gorgeous, brilliant and charismatic!
Hypnosis and Weight loss
“Researchers analyzed 18 studies comparing a cognitive behavioral therapy such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self-monitoring, or goal setting with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis. Those who received the hypnosis lost more weight than 90 percent of those not receiving hypnosis and maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended.”
“An analysis of five weight loss studies reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 showed that the “… weight loss reported in the five studies indicates that hypnosis can more than double the effects” of traditional weight loss approaches.”
Hypnosis and Insomnia
“Patients slept significantly longer with hypnosis alone than when they received the placebo.”
“Significantly more patients had a normal night’s sleep with hypnosis alone than when they received placebo.”
“There was a tendency for hypnosis to reduce the time taken to go to sleep.”
Hypnosis and IBS
Hypnosis is of therapeutic value in irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by abdominal pain, feelings of bloating, and episodes of diarrhea or constipation, and alters the quality of life of those affected. Studies testing hypnosis to treat this condition confirm its potential: regular hypnotherapy sessions alleviate the gastrointestinal symptoms.
Hypnosis and migraines
Hypnosis reduces frequency and intensity of migraines. Results show that the number of attacks and the number of people who suffered blinding attacks were significantly lower for the group receiving hypnotherapy than for the group receiving prochlorperazine. For the group on hypnotherapy, these two measures were significantly lower when on hypnotherapy than when on the previous treatment.
Hypnosis, a miracle?
It’s been shown that hypnosis can help with so many different problems, from cancer to insomnia and everything in between. It almost makes hypnosis out to be a miracle cure-all. Is this really the case?
Yes and no. There is a very strong connection between the mind and the body. The placebo effect is a well-accepted example of how the mind can positively affect the body. Just as powerful, but not as well known, is the nocebo effect. That is when a person’s negative beliefs create negative physical effects on the body.
Modern medicine is now realizing how strong that link is, and how much your mind really impacts your health. That is what makes hypnosis so powerful with such a wide variety of ailments. It’s one of the best tools you can use to positively impact the mind and how you think.
Just how powerful is your mind? It’s been shown that the placebo effect can sometimes be so powerful as to completely cure diseases in some cases. Just as powerful, the nocebo has been shown to cause premature death in rare instances. Each of your cells has the DNA coding for perfect health and wellness within it. Your essentially sending messages to those 37 trillion cells, that message is going to have an effect.
If that message is mostly unconscious, imagine what can be done by utilizing some of these tools consciously and purposefully, with your best interests in mind?
Hypnosis in a nutshell
1. You will not lose control
You are always in control, no one can make you do anything you don’t want to do while in a hypnotic state.
2. Hypnosis is not dangerous, evil or mind control
You go in and out of light hypnotic states every day. For instance, have you ever driven home from work and you were not sure how you got there? Have you ever been so into a book, movie or video game that someone had to call your name several times to get your attention? Have you ever daydreamed, prayed or meditated? These are examples of altered states which are similar to hypnosis.
3. You can be hypnotized
Everyone can be hypnotized once they understand what to expect.
4. You will not be asleep or unconscious
No. You look like you are asleep, you may even snore, but you are not asleep. You are in an altered state of awareness — not asleep, not awake, not dreaming.
5. Remember the chicken
You are always in control — not the hypnotherapist. Remember that in stage hypnosis the hypnotist asks for volunteers and there is an expectation to be entertained.
6. Hypnosis is
Hypnosis is a very relaxed state which allows you to make changes in your subconscious that you consciously desire but have been unable to make happen on your own.
7. All you need to do is breathe
All you need to do is make an appointment. We’ll meet, talk about what you want, and then your job is to breathe and relax. That’s it.
What Hypnosis Can Do:
Improve Your Memory, Grades, Confidence, Sports Performance, Finances, Health and Overall Well Being.
You Can Achieve Whatever You Desire; HYPNOSIS Makes it Easy.
Release Your Bad Habits, Addictions, Phobias, Pain, Trauma, Stress, Fear of Success and Limiting Beliefs.
What Hypnosis Can’t Do:
Control you, trap you or make you do something outside of your moral/ethical/values system.
Are you ready to change your life and the lives of countless others? Train with me as a Hypnotherapist – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION