What is hypnosis? Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness.
It is a natural state and everyone experiences hypnosis at least twice daily: when they're falling asleep and when they're waking up.
In addition, one may also enter into a hypnotic/altered state while watching TV, reading, working on the computer or even daydreaming. The term hypnotherapy comes from the Greek word hypnos which means sleep and the Latin word therapeau which means God's work. So we can technically define hypnotherapy as doing God's work through a sleep-like state.
The practice of hypnosis is ancient, going back thousands of years. In ancient times, it was usually related to religious rites such as the sleep temples in Egypt and tribal rituals such as fire-walking and body piercing. Sigmund Freud and Milton Erickson are probably the most well-known medical hypnotherapists. Erickson had certain beliefs about humans which he employed in his practice:
Most of one's life is unconsciously determined.
Everyone has powers they can use to effect change and improve their life.
One can trust the unconscious.
A trance is a natural state and is the most effective state to achieve change through suggestion.
One can expect to reach a very deep state of relaxation with a hypnotherapist. Once the hypnotic state is induced, suggestions are given by the hypnotherapist to help the person reach the desired goals.
The mind is very powerful and when suggestions are given to a person in a hypnotic state, they bypass the conscious mind and go directly to the subconscious. It is much easier to make changes since the subconscious does not judge, criticize or analyze. It simply acts on what it is given.
Sometimes it seems like magic. After undergoing just one hypnotherapy session, people are amazed that their behavior and/or attitude is changing and they don't even have to think about it.
Hypnotherapy is helpful in any area a person wishes to change such as fears, habits, health, anxiety, stress, enhancing creativity, improve memory/concentration, sports performance, insomnia and others.
It is a perfectly safe technique. Anyone who is willing can be hypnotized ... there is no truth to the myth that if someone is very intelligent or has a strong will, it is impossible to hypnotize them. As a matter of fact, highly motivated, intelligent people are the best subjects because of their ability to concentrate.
Remember, anyone can transform their life by using the power of their mind.
Mary Kay Pinnick is a hypnotherapist who practices in Walla Walla. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8067. She also can be found online at marykaypinnick.com.