Question 1: Will I be unconscious and not remember our session?
The type of hypnosis used most commonly these days is a "trance-state" which is very similar to a meditative state. The client is merely very relaxed but still conscious and aware. The awareness can even be heightened to the degree that they may notice the way their body feels laying down or sitting up in the chair, they become aware of their breathing pace and of the ambient sounds of the room. While in the hypnosis session they are expected to talk and direct the therapist in their experiences and are as much of the facilitator as the therapist. The memories about the session are usually very vivid and unforgettable to the client. In same cases, like for hypnotherapy in placement of anesthesia, the point is to bring the client into a somnambulistic state which is a very deep state with no conscious recollection and no thoughts. But in most therapy settings hypnotherapy use the trace state.
Question 2: How does hypnosis work on the brain?
Like mentioned above, hypnosis is a "trance-state" so your brain is still awake and fully conscious of the world around the client. If a fire alarm would go off or a door were to slam shut loudly the client may be easily awakened out of the meditative state. The trace-state is explained as being similar to the feeling of going to sleep. When you are not fully awake or fully asleep, it is the "day-dreaming" state of mind. When you are fully awake and engaged in your daily activities your brain is in a Beta state, but when you begin to sit still and relax your mind goes into an Alpha state which is slightly slower brain waves. This is when your brain waves slow down and people tend to flow between an Alpha state and Theta State which are both just before a sleeping state. This brain state allows the mind to slow down, quiet and clear all the mental clutter. This brain state is also very peaceful and relaxing for the client. It is in this state that the sub-conscious mind is accessed and influenced more easily. This is why hypnotic suggestion works differently in the trance state than in the wakeful state. The sub-conscious mind operates out of the same center as our imagination, this is how we can “see” images and experience sessions with such vivid detail and richness.
Question 3: I have only seen stage hypnosis where they make people cluck like chickens, does that mean you will have complete control of my mind?
In stage hypnosis people are selected because they are highly suggestable and they have volunteered to do the “performance”. By raising their hand and volunteering they give themselves permission to act in such ways. However if the hypnotist were to ask the stage client to perform some act they were not comfortable with they would wake out of the hypnotic state and not respond to the suggestions. There is no need to worry about someone making you do anything you would not morally do. People act like chickens because they have been suggested to do so but also because they have no resistance to do so.
Question 4: How do you get a person to go into a trance-state or hypnotic state? What type of induction methods do you use?
There are many methods and it depends on the person. If someone has been hypnotized and had a successful time getting into the trance state then we would most likely use the same method. If it is a new client then some questions could help determine what might feel most relaxing to the client. Some typical inductions include: stairs, guided imagery, progressive relaxation, deep breathing, eye fixation. There are also methods to help the client go deeper if they feel they are not deep enough for the session; many of which are similar to the induction itself. People who meditate regularly have an easy time getting into the hypnotic trance state because it is essentially the same level of relaxed but aware state. The trance state is an expanded inner awareness. You tend to notice your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and emotions more clearly because it helps to block out all of the external world chatter. If your interested in hypnotherapy I would recommend practicing quick meditations so that you can become familiar with what it feels like. If you were to even just simply close your eyes, breathe deeply with the intention to slow your breathing, and tune out as many thoughts as you can.. you would and could experience what it’s like in hypnosis.
Question 5: I am interested in experiencing hypnosis but I do not know exactly what I would like to work on.. what do you recommend?
As a client the session is always up to you. I would recommend thinking about what goals you have, what dreams you have and what you wish to improve in your life currently. We then could identify what may be keeping you from achieving those goals and work on improving your perceptions around those issues. You could also make note of any repeating patterns of events that may be in your life and we could explore what your sub-conscious mind has to show you about it. For example, if you have been in car accident after car accident and it was never your fault or if you seem to be getting the same type of love partner and would like to see change. If you seem to struggle with finishing projects or getting inspiration for new ones we could explore those topics as well.
Question 6: What if I am not hypnotizable?
Everyone experiences a trance-state every day. So to say that you are not hypnotizable is simply false. Every night when you fall asleep your mind takes you to that state, every time you drive your car and arrive at your destination not remembering the ride… that was your mind on autopilot which is a trance like state. Every time you stare at the Television and zone out without noticing who and what is going on in the room around you, that is a trance state. Every time you find yourself daydreaming about the future, that is a trace like state.
Question 7: How can something like hypnosis help do healing on the physical body?
Hypnosis works with your sub-conscious mind and therefore it can help reduce the stress response in daily life which may be leading to your body having disease and or illness. Many times therapists see physical symptom improvements just by exploring the past traumas and releasing emotions that have been suppressed for a very long time. The level at which our mind and body effects one another physically is a mystery that research is revealing more and more every day. Our bodies operate as a whole. The brain creates hormones which affect our body and our bodies automatic response to stress tells the brain to create stress hormones so the communication goes both ways. Accessing the sub-conscious mind allows the client to become aware of the body state and the mind state and empowers the client to gain control of the emotional responses to everyday life. This can change a situation to where once the clients body was having dysfunction which fed the illness, to now the client becoming mindful and helping to regulate emotions and therefore reduce the bodily dysfunction which it was ultimately contributing to the illness.
Question 8: What types of conditions is hypnosis most proven effective to help?
The answer below is from the University of Maryland Medical Center's website and summarizes peer reviewed research supporting hypnosis as treatment for the following ... you can find this info at http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/hypnotherapy "Hypnosis is used in a variety of settings, from emergency rooms to dental offices to outpatient clinics. Clinical studies suggest that hypnosis may improve immune function, increase relaxation, decrease stress, and ease pain and feelings of anxiety." "Hypnotherapy can reduce the fear and anxiety that some people feel before medical or dental procedures. For example, studies show that dental patients who underwent hypnosis had a significantly higher threshold for pain than those who were not hypnotized. Hypnosis may also improve recovery time and reduce anxiety and pain following surgery. Clinical trials on burn patients suggest that hypnosis decreases pain (enough to replace pain medication) and speeds healing. Other studies show hypnosis results in decreased use of pain medication, higher pain thresholds, shorter hospital stays, less surgical intervention, fewer complications, and a more satisfying birth experience among women in labor. Generally, clinical studies show that hypnosis may reduce the need for medication, improve mental and physical health before an operation, and reduce the time it takes to recover. Dentists also use hypnotherapy to control gagging and bleeding." "A hypnotherapist can teach you self regulation skills. For instance, someone with arthritis may learn to turn down pain like the volume on a radio. Hypnotherapy can also be used to help manage chronic illness. Self hypnosis can enhance a sense of control, which is often lacking when someone has a chronic illness. Clinical studies on children in emergency treatment centers show that hypnotherapy reduces fear, anxiety, and discomfort." "Other problems or conditions that may respond to hypnotherapy include:"
Irritable bowel syndrome
Labor and delivery
Skin disorders, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema (atopic dermatitis)