While definitions can vary, the American Psychological Association describes hypnosis as a cooperative interaction in which the participant responds to the suggestions of the hypnotist. Fortunately or unfortunately, hypnosis has become well-known thanks to popular acts where people are prompted to perform unusual or ridiculous actions.
However, there is much more to this technique. Hypnosis has been clinically proven to provide medical and therapeutic benefits, most notably in the reduction of pain, anxiety and stress.
The concept of hypnosis started with Franz Anton Mesmer, a German physician with an interest in astronomy. Mesmer theorized that there was a natural energetic transference between all animated and inanimate objects which he called animal
magnetism, later also referred to as mesmerism. The application of the theory further moved from different psychologists of that time from James Braid to Milton Erickson.
“What if I get stuck in the subconscious and am never able to come back to conscious state?” I frequently face this question from clients. Let me try and de-bunk some of the myths that surround Hypnotherapy.
SELF HYPNOSIS- you might already be doing it!
Self hypnosis involves one hypnotizing oneself. It can also be described as an altered
state of consciousness which can be achieved when one relaxes and focuses on self
suggestions/affirmations. Actually one achieves this state several times in a day while daydreaming, driving etc. Remember how you drift away in thoughts while your eyes continue to read and you start over because you didn’t grasp what you just read?
Because it is easy to drift away from our thoughts, a hypnotherapist helps achieve this state either via imagery or visualizations, and sometimes by just focusing on how the client is feeling. In my observation, hypnotherapy uses the same path of visualizations that our subconscious mind uses to analyse and give out dreams thereby making an impression on our sub-conscious.
In fact some hypnotists describe the state of hypnosis as being observant of the interaction between the conscious(actions, reactions, thoughts) and the sub conscious mind (beliefs, memories and instinctual thoughts). Just like how smells trigger off memories and thereby a chain of chemical reactions in our body and brain, a trained psychoanalytical hypnotist aims at root cause analysis. Using tools and techniques they can help you heal and continue to live a positive, desired life.
MYTHS ABOUT HYPNOSIS
Myth #1: The Hypnotist will be able to control my mind.
Myth #2: I will be made to perform embarrassing acts, such as bark like a dog, or walk like a
Myth #3: Hypnosis comes from “Black Magic” or is “Supernatural”.
Myth #4: If I become hypnotized, I may not be able to snap out of it, or Hypnosis is
Myth #5: I have never been in hypnosis before.
Myth #6: Hypnosis is a “Miracle Cure”.
Myth #7: Hypnosis is a great tool to get someone to “confess”.
Myth #8: When hypnotized, I will lose all sense of my surroundings, and will have no
memory of the session.
Myth #9: I can’t be hypnotized because my mind is too strong/ disciplined.
About the Author
Aldrina Da Costa is a practicing Hypnotherapist based in Bangalore and Goa. She is highly trained in Hypnosis by the California Institute and also holds Bachelor and Master degrees in Psychology. Her extensive experience with a variety of clients from multi-cultural backgrounds, enhances her skills tremendously. Da Costa is more than happy to give you a consultation or even answer your questions should you have any. Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or 97642-67368