So what is clinical hypnosis and how does hypnosis work?
Clinical hypnosis is an altered state of awareness, perception or consciousness that is used for treating a psychological and some physiological problems. It is performed in a highly relaxed state.
Hypnosis is a state of internalisation, concentration and focused attention. It is like using a magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun and make them more powerful. Similarly, when our minds are concentrated and focused, we are able to use our minds more powerfully. Because hypnosis allows people to use more of their potential, learning self-hypnosis is the ultimate act of self-control.
While there is general agreement that certain effects of hypnosis exist, there are differences of opinion within the research and clinical communities about how hypnosis works. Some researchers believe that hypnosis can be used by individuals to the degree they possess a hypnotic trait, much as they have traits associated with height, body size, hair color, etc. Other professionals who study and use hypnosis believe there are strong cognitive and interpersonal components that affect an individual’s response to hypnotic environments and suggestions.
Recent research supports the view that hypnotic communication and suggestions effectively changes aspects of the persons physiological and neurological functions.
So what is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is best described as a natural phenomenon and a state of relaxation and concentration, combined with heightened awareness. So hypnosis is (rather disappointingly one might think) just a deep natural state of physical relaxation, combined with a relaxed yet focused mind. Hypnosis is a state almost anyone can enter if they want to. You cannot be forced into hypnosis. It has to be voluntary and the client has to permit the hypnotherapist to enter the state of hypnosis.
The hypnotherapist is simply the catalyst that enables a person to enter the state by helping the client to relax their body and focus their mind by use of their imagination. In many ways the hypnotherapist becomes the bus driver of your mind. You simply climb aboard the bus and allow the hypnotherapist to take you from stop to stop, with your agreement to do so.
When a client enters the state of hypnosis, they are always completely aware of what is going on around them and can be completely oblivious to normal conscious distraction, but at the same time remain in complete control.
This then gives reason to why some people believe that they cannot be “hypnotised” which would only be suggesting or implying that they cannot relax or enter a state of relaxation. The only reason for this belief is that most people do not realise when they are actually in the state, because they do not feel any different other than the overwhelming feeling of being relaxed.
There are many levels of ‘deepness’ in hypnotic scale, during hypnotherapy a fairly light state of hypnosis is effective. This means that most people are fully aware of their surroundings.
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