What is Hypnosis? How Does Hypnosis Work?
Have you ever daydreamed, visualized or meditated? If you have then you have been in an altered state of consciousness or “self-hypnosis”. Every day we experience being totally absorbed by TV, music, pictures, people, memories, and feelings. We are lost in our thoughts for a few moments or hours, yet remain aware of our surroundings and our ability to come back to the present.
Smells Trigger Old Memories
The sense of smell is extremely powerful. It is our oldest and most primitive sense, yet it has not evolved much. In times past it saved us from the smelly predator sitting outside the cave, waiting for its lunch, being us.
Fast-forward to today. You walk into a party and the smells are delicious and you feel warm and friendly. You are reminded of those smells, a celebration of new job, fun times with friends in college or at the club when you felt on top of the world, favorite foods Mom made. You just relax enjoy the comfortable feeling. You notice you stand taller, feel more sexy, an overall feeling of well-being and happiness. Love those good smells!
What happens when the smells trigger another kind of feeling, the unpleasant kind?
Wow, just a moment ago I was feeling great and enjoying my life. I don’t know what happened, I was just walking down the street. What took me out of my happy state of mind was a whiff – a whiff! — of vanilla and peaches. It makes me think of school bullies and what a miserable time that was. It seems like yesterday but it was decades ago. What is wrong with me? I want to get back my sense of well-being.
Your spouse and you are having dinner and you find yourself getting more and more irritated, seemingly out of the blue. You’re having a nice time but you’re getting angry and the longer you’re there, the more agitated you’re getting. But he hasn’t done anything! It’s the smell of that aftershave that takes you back to a painful breakup!
Has any of this ever happened to You? Similar situations happen frequently and with varying intensity. In each case, the person was no longer present and aware of what was taking place and was reliving a past experience, good or bad, triggered by smells, intense or so subtle that they don’t even register consciously.
Smell bypasses critical thinking and goes straight to the unconscious, to the feelings, habits, and memories part that have guided us since age six, when our personalities begin to take shape.
Hypnosis can help replace old, negative associations with more positive ones.
It is a wonderful tool to help you access long-forgotten programs and associations.
- Uncover the patterns that keep you stuck in an unhealthy cycle
- Discover new empowerment that will allow you to establish a new reality
Hypnosis uses guided imagery and positive self talk – sometimes referred to as ‘rehearsing’ – to have a conversation with the subconscious.
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. No one can be hypnotized if they don’t want to be or if they don’t want the suggestions, and no one can be made to do anything against a belief system. Anytime a person says no under hypnosis, the suggestion is not accepted. Hypnosis is truly “by permission only” – Yours!
As you enter the hypnotic state, your senses become more acute, your concentration becomes focused on the positive changes you desire, and your subconscious mind becomes more open to suggestions it accepts, to make positive changes in behavior more rapidly.
What you can expect
“There are a variety of techniques for hypnosis. The approach you choose depends on what you want to accomplish and your personal preferences. Your hypnotherapist may make a recommendation about the best technique for your situation.” By Mayo Clinic Staff
In general, a hypnotherapist explains the process of hypnosis and reviews what you both hope to accomplish. The hypnotherapist typically induces you into hypnosis by talking in a gentle, soothing tone and describing images that create a sense of relaxation, security and well-being.
When you’re in a deep trance-like state, the hypnotherapist suggests ways for you to achieve specific goals, such as reducing pain or eliminating cravings to smoke. The hypnotherapist also may help you visualize vivid, meaningful mental images in which you picture yourself accomplishing your goals, such as shooting baskets accurately. When the session is over, either you are able to bring yourself out of hypnosis or your hypnotherapist helps you end your trance-like state.
A typical hypnosis session lasts about 30 to 60 minutes. You may benefit from just one session or several sessions of hypnosis. You can usually resume normal activities immediately.
Contrary to how hypnosis is sometimes portrayed in movies, on television or on stage, you don’t lose control over your behavior while under hypnosis. Although hypnosis makes you more open to suggestions, you can’t be forced to engage in behavior involuntarily. Also, you generally remain aware of who you are and where you are, and you typically remember what happened when you were under hypnosis.
You may eventually be able to practice self-hypnosis, in which you induce a state of hypnosis in yourself. You can use this skill as needed — for instance, after a chemotherapy session.”
You can, for example, learn to relax and behave differently to people, places, or events that cause stress; overcome self sabotaging habits, phobias, fears and anxieties; build self-confidence and skills; and learn to decrease pain, stop smoking, lose weight, and manage frustration.
Hypnosis can also help in all areas of your life, and it is fast, safe, effective, and affordable.
Contact Darielle at(206) 282-4068 or email Darielle@thepositiveworks.com