Paul Hessinger

NLP Master Practitioner - Hypnotherapist

About Hypnosis

Here you'll learn how hypnosis can help you tap the powers of your inner mind and learn some of it's many uses. First, let's dispel some of the common myths about hypnosis, correct some inaccuracies and learn the truth. All of this will help you to benefit more from your experience of hypnosis.

Myths and Misconceptions

Many people get their ideas about hypnosis from television, books or motion pictures. While the plot lines of these entertainment vehicles make for good stories, they are often inaccurate.

Many misconceptions about hypnosis are because the term "sleep" is often used when discussing hypnosis. Hypnosis is not sleep but because many times, people experiencing hypnosis are very, very relaxed, it may outwardly appear like sleep. One difference is - in a hypnotic state - you can think clearly.

And did you know while in hypnosis, your morals and ethics remain intact? In other words, you will never do anything against your will. You can easily reject or accept suggestions - it's your decision. Scientific experiments have proven that, if someone were to give you suggestions that you disagreed with, you would simply reject them.

Some ill-informed people think it's possible to become stuck in trance. In fact, if someone hypnotized you and then decided to take a trip to Tahiti, in the middle of your trance, you would simply continue to relax for a few moments and then choose to emerge when you felt like it. In hundreds of years of hypnosis this has always been the case.

Because hypnosis is not truth serum, people can lie while experiencing hypnosis. In hypnosis, the psychological law "Law of Self-Preservation" is in effect. You can control whatever you choose to say. So while in a hypnotic trance you won't "spill the beans" or tell your secrets.

Some people believe that in order to be hypnotized you must have a weak mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because hypnosis is not a contest of willpower, a highly intelligent, strong-willed and imaginative person can make a great hypnotic subject.

Many people think that in order to experience hypnosis, they must become unconscious. This is probably the most common misconception about hypnosis. In hypnosis, you are aware and can hear clearly, in fact, hypnosis is a state of increased awareness. In a trance state your hearing may be sharper, you may feel subtler sensations and your imagination and memory are enhanced.

You may drift in and out of related or non-related thoughts, sounds may sound far away or closer or time may seem to go faster or slower than normal.

Naturally Occurring Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a natural state, in fact; we are in hypnosis many times each day. We pass through hypnosis on our way to sleep and when we wake up each morning. Recent studies of ultradian rhythms, these are bio-rhythms that are less than one day long, conclude that every 90 - 120 minutes we pass into a state physiologically identical to hypnosis. So when people ask, can I be hypnotized? The answer is; you already are.

Here are some other times in which people experience hypnosis naturally. If you,ve ever woken up, feeling very relaxed but not needing to be anywhere and thought something like "Maybe I'll get up and brush my teeth", but your body is too relaxed to move, you've been experiencing hypnosis. Becoming bored or allowing your mind to drift away leads to hypnosis. Driving on long trips on automatic pilot is known as highway hypnosis. Becoming extremely engaged in something and allowing your mind to focus means that you are experiencing hypnosis. Because of the rhythmic sounds and swaying, riding the train is often a highly hypnotic experience.

Hypnosis is a state in which you can think clearly and your imagination is active. It's a state where you could move if you wanted to or if there were an emergency you could respond to it, but short of that you would rather just rather remain delightfully relaxed. It feels comfortable, familiar and quite pleasant. It's a state in which beneficial ideas can more quickly and easily gain access to the inner mind. And because we all experience trance each day, we can understand just how safe it is.

What is Hypnosis?

We all have a conscious mind, and what some people call either a subconscious or an unconscious mind. Hypnosis deals with your unconscious mind which, for the sake of clarity, I'll call the inner mind. Your conscious mind is responsible for logical, analytical, linear thinking.

Though our belief systems and behaviors reside in the inner mind, the conscious mind is responsible for guarding them So, when someone tells you something that you think is not true, your conscious mind may reject the idea or suggestion.

Your inner mind is more symbolic and holistic in nature. Emotions are the domain of your inner mind as are perceptions, habits, beliefs and automatic bodily functions such as breathing and digestion.

Often times we learn something consciously, then the inner mind takes over that learned behavior. So behaviors that we once learned step-by-step, like tying our shoes, are now "second nature" or automatic, unconscious behavior. These are things we've learned to do so well we don't have to thin too much about them. Habits are another example of this automatic behavior.

And what about ideas that our conscious minds accepts? Once an idea is accepted by the conscious mind it can pass through to the inner mind. Once accepted by the inner mind, the mind behaves "as if" it is true. If the conscious mind is willing to play along, is not paying attention, is in shock or is not yet fully formed (as in the case of a child) new ideas can establish themselves in the inner mind. That is why it is so important to be positive with children.

So, in order to get new, beneficial ideas to be accepted by the inner mind, we must relax the conscious mind and communicate directly with the inner mind. If this idea is accepted by the inner mind, the whole mind is focused and tuned in to making that idea true. Since the inner mind runs the body, our perceptions and emotions, as well as habits, it can line up all those resources to make things happen. Deep in your mind, changes can take place that allow you to feel different emotions, have different habits, learn things quickly and respond with a more thoroughly resourceful physiology.

In hypnosis, we temporarily relax the conscious mind and gain access to the powerful inner mind. In this beneficial, relaxed state, we can more easily get positive ideas across to the most powerful parts of our minds.

So one definition of hypnosis is this; Hypnosis is a temporary relaxing of the conscious mind allowing positive and beneficial ideas to become accepted by the inner mind. When these ideas are presented with sufficient skill and connected to an individuals motivation they become powerful, permanent allies for healing, personal development or habit control.

Some prominent hypnosis scholars take the position that all hypnosis is self- hypnosis. In other words, the person hypnotizing you is merely your guide, showing you how to achieve hypnosis. Another way of putting this is - you must agree to be hypnotized.

What is Hypnosis Like?

People describe the experience of hypnosis as highly pleasurable and often comment upon emerging that they feel like they've had a refreshing nap. You might feel any number of sensations while in trance. Most people's muscles grow loose and relaxed. Many report various pleasant feelings. Often the breathing grows deeper and slower as a result of increased relaxation. Feelings of warmth or tingling are common. Often people report an increased ability to visualize much like daydreaming. Some people's perception of time is altered - the trance state may seem much longer or shorter in duration than it actually is. While some continue to listen to the words of the hypnotist, others report that they mind drifts away to some pleasant memory or imagined scene. Because the conscious mind may drift away, some report only a general sense of what was said in trance - just like seeing a movie but not perfectly remembering every scene. Each individual's experience of trance is unique.

Uses of Hypnosis

In the hands of a qualified and skilled person hypnosis can be a very valuable ally for healing, self-improvement, pain management, habit control and much, much more...

It is possible to comfortably and almost effortlessly assist you in changing patterns, unresourceful behaviors and giving you great release from stress as you incorporate those patterns and behaviors you DO want in your life.

Both the American Medical Association and the British Medical Association approved hypnosis as a valid therapeutic modality in the late 1950's.

Though many people are familiar with the success of hypnosis in smoking cessation and weight loss, most are unaware of its powerful uses an an anesthetic and to speed healing.

Hypnosis has long been used to help people suffering from trauma and to overcome roadblocks originating from past experiences.

Hypnosis has been used by law enforcement to help witnesses increase recall. Hypnosis can be used to overcome anxieties fear and phobias.

Hypnosis is a powerful tool for performance enhancement and goal setting.

The hypnotic state is a great stress buster.

Every situation can benefit from having the powerful inner mind on your side.

I hope you now better understand how hypnosis can help to improve your life. You've learned that in trance you can hear clearly and your morals are intact. You've learned that no one has ever gotten stuck in trance. You've learned that having a strong mind can actually help you to enter hypnosis easily. You've just learned just how safe and natural hypnosis is. Perhaps now you're feeling more comfortable about experiencing hypnosis. If you are about to be hypnotized and you have any further questions, feel free to ask the person who is hypnotizing you.

Enjoy your trance experience.

The following information may assist you in further appreciating hypnosis and getting the maximum benefit from your experience it.

Outward Signs of Hypnosis

  • Eyes closing or slowed blinking/fluttering of eyelids
  • Breathing changes (usually slowing down)
  • "Waxy" skin tonus, flushing of skin or change in skin color
  • Lack of movement
  • Flattened facial muscles
  • Increased lacrimation (tears or wetness of the eyes)
  • Increased redness of the eyes
  • Jerky or twitchy "unconscious" movements
  • Inhibited swallowing reflex
  • General physical relaxation
  • Signs of drowsiness
  • Catalepsy
  • Eyes straight ahead and defocused
  • Body warmth
Inward Sensations
  • Lack of desire to move
  • Time distortion (minutes seem like hours and vice versa)
  • Sounds fading in and out
  • Feeling of personal freedom - carefree
  • Feeling of lightness
  • Feeling of floating
  • A feeling of detachment as if part of the body is not there
  • Amnesia (occurs naturally occasionally and by suggestion often)
  • Increased ability to visualize
  • Hyperamnesia (increased memory)