Love it or loathe it, hypnosis is mind changing, for good! It offers real benefits – and research backs it. The mind control myth of TV shows is the diametric opposite of what hypnosis achieves. A real hypnotherapy session involves chilled out people talking and learning how to day-dream on purpose.
Hypnosis induces a familiar mental state of focus, often described as being in the zone, by reducing mental chatter. It helps tackle goals, worries and fears. From dental to fear of flying, interviews to infertility hypnotherapy helps join the dots – to get from where you are, to where you want to be. Focusing your mind opens up a dialogue with the part in charge of feelings and behaviour.
Check out these five ways it can help you feel better and first, a bit about hypnosis.
How does hypnosis work?
By focusing your attention, hypnosis relaxes the mind and shifts awareness in a way that bypasses your critical, conscious everyday mind and accesses the unconscious. That’s the part that minds you, keeps your heart beating and comes up with great ideas. Remember the feeling you get driving a familiar route or on fb, on a run or drifting off to sleep? Yup, hypnosis is mental down-time. Now your mind is receptive to suggestions for the changes you want, ready to plan and rehearse changes. Once your unconscious mind likes what it sees, behaviours and motivations shift accordingly. Your judgement and will remain alert.
Worry and stress
When your mind is in a negative spin of worry hypnosis can rapidly break that stress cycle and get you back into a better mindset. Over a course of hypnotherapy sessions, new pathways are built in your brain which intensify the connection to the body. One study, written up in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (Schoen, M., 2013) reports increased resilience and sharp decreases in pessimistic thinking, anxiety and perfectionism after hypnosis. On a physical level it helps people facing infertility as inflammatory cytokines are lowered after hypnosis.
Smoking ranks top of the list of unwanted habits. Most people consciously want to quit and still find it hard.Hypnosis helps reduce cravings and develop new healthier habits. A nice demonstration go the unconscious mind at work. Hypnotherapy helps dissolve cravings and associations. I help clients get into healthy eating and exercise. Many find they’re more confident and motivated to get out and exercise, join groups and shed weight. Research shows it sets you up for success.
It’s very simple. Your imagination is the language of the unconscious mind. Vividly imagining yourself healthy, and at your comfortable weight, programmes your mind for success. Exactly the way athletes do. Some people need do help with anxiety to keep weight off.
Painkillers sometimes stop working. Ever-increasing doses leave patients sleepy and forgetful. It is amazing to help people to learn hypnosis to manage their pain without side effects. A 2014 study proves hypnosis works in pain control and relaxation. Patients sleep well and feel better. Dr. David Spiegel, (Stanford) found painkiller use drops by half for hypnosis patients. The American Psychological Association endorses hypnosis for acute pain. (Jensen, Mark P. University of Washington, Hypnotic Approaches for Chronic Pain Management, 2014). Famous Scottish surgeon, James Esdaile, used hypnosis instead of anaesthetic for operations (1845-1851). He is credited with reducing post-op deaths.
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