What is Hypnosis?
What it feels like
You can probably think of a time where you’ve been in a boring meeting or lecture, perhaps even driving to an all too familiar destination when your mind begins to wander. Your conscious mind begins to take off into your imagination and you start to daydream about all sorts of wonderful things.
You’d also probably agree that during these times you’re quite relaxed and generally enjoy being in this place in your mind… This is Hypnosis.
A quick history
Hypnosis has been around for many centuries, starting out in the early ‘Sleep Temples’ of the Ancients and the principles of Hypnosis are often found in religious ceremonies ranging from Tribal Shamans to todays Pastors and Imams.The Hypnosis you see today really began in the 1800’s by a Scottish surgeon called James Braid. He based his practice from the ever popular Franz Mesmer who came to the peak of his career in mid to late 1700’s.
In the early 1900’s two more notable greats; Milton Erickson and Dave Elman refined the field.
Don’t fear hypnosis
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that we all go through, each and every single day. It’s not something to be afraid of, in fact it’s something we can all use a little bit more of. When you’re in this state of mind all your senses are heightened yet you’re body and mind are relaxed, allowing you to truly focus on what it is you are doing. It’s not often in this day and age we get the chance to shut out the distractions of the busy world around us and going into hypnosis is a great way to take a little break.
People often ask if they can get stuck in hypnosis.. you know and never wake up…
This is ludicrous! You can never get ‘stuck’ in hypnosis. You will eventually rouse yourself and come out of it, fall asleep and wake like you normally would or if Isaac’s hypnotised you he will always bring you back out… we promise!
Sleep & Hypnosis
Contrary to popular belief and what you see when someone is hypnotised, hypnosis is not actually sleep. In our normal waking state of mind where we are wide awake and fully conscious of our surroundings we are running on Beta brain waves. When we enter a light trance or meditation we use a slower frequency of Alpha. Just before we drift to sleep or as we are waking up we are in Theta. When we have entered the true sleeping state where our bodies are rejuvenating themselves we enter Delta.
Hypnosis has been found to be in Alpha and Theta, thus it is not actually sleep.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural trance state of mind in which we become highly responsive to suggestions. This state is the ideal state of learning and everyone has experienced this either in a classroom, work meeting or simply when you’re driving; getting lost in your own imagination, reflecting on ones’ past and imagining what ones’ future holds.
Everyone experiences hypnosis differently and some often wonder if they’ve been hypnotised at all. Common Phenomena or ‘convincers’ of hypnosis are:
- Heightened emotions
- Feeling refreshed
- Feeling relaxed
- REM (Rapid Eye Movement)
- Catalepsy (loss of muscle control)
- Out of character behaviour
- Out of body experience (watching oneself act upon a suggestion)
- Increased tolerance to pain
- Some may experience one of these, others may experience all of them, it just depends on how skilled a hypnotic subject they are.
What to Expect When Hypnotised
You can expect to feel good. You can expect to feel relaxed. You can expect to leave this experience refreshed and with a new respect for the power of your own mind!
What you shouldn’t expect is to feel completely zonked out or turned into a zombie. Whilst in hypnosis you will be aware of your surroundings although very relaxed and focussed on the hypnotist. You may have other thoughts drift in and out of your mind and that is quite OK too.