5 Things Everyone Should Know Before Trying Hypnotherapy
Why is it so hard to break a habit when you know that it’s not good for you?
Chances are, you're experiencing a battle between the conscious and subconscious mind. The conscious part of our mind houses logic, rational decision-making, and willpower. But did you know that this part of our mind makes up only about 12% of our total brainpower? The remaining 88% is ALL happening on a subconscious level.
If you're struggling to change a behavior or habit, it's because on some level there is a subconscious motivation to keep it.
Let’s say you want to lose a few pounds but almost every night before bed you eat a few bowls of cereal. You may consciously understand that this habit isn’t supporting your weight loss goal. But, your subconscious mind (whose job is to keep you safe at all times) says in essence: “But this makes me feel comfort, safety and pleasure.”
In order to change an unhealthy habit we have to build positive associations to a new behavior at the subconscious level, first.
Using relaxation techniques, imagery and the power of suggestion, hypnotherapy is a fantastic tool to “reprogram our software.” So what is hypnotherapy anyway? Many people are curious about it, but hesitate because of what they’ve seen on television or stage shows. The most challenging part of my job is explaining to people that hypnosis is a very normal and natural state.
What if I told you that you already go into hypnosis several times a day — would you believe me?
Have you ever missed your freeway exit because you were zoned out? Been overcome with emotion at the movies? Fallen madly in love? You know that twilight state right before you fall asleep at night? If you answered yes, then congratulations! You’ve already been hypnotized.
Typically, a client comes to a hypnotherapist for assistance with personal development goals such as increasing confidence, focus, breaking a habit, improving health, wellness, weight loss, stress relief, etc. Whatever the goal, hypnosis is an incredibly effective tool to assist with reprogramming the subconscious mind on a deep level.
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Here are the five most important things you should know before seeing a hypnotherapist:
1. Hypnotherapy sessions are different from what you've seen onstage.
Yes, the stage shows are real, but they are for entertainment purposes only. Barking like a dog or clucking like a chicken is just part of the spectacle, and are nothing like a therapeutic hypnosis session. You are always in control, and will never bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken … unless of course you want to.
2. Hypnotherapy "miracles" are just a myth.
The good news is that hypnosis is safe, effective, and works very quickly compared to other types of therapy. But, hypnosis is not a magic wand and in most cases, results won’t happen overnight.
Remember, it takes 21 days to create a new habit and then a minimum of 3-6 weekly, consecutive sessions to yield the best results.
3. Everyone can be hypnotized.
It’s important to remember hypnosis is a willing state. You cannot be hypnotized against your will, and working with a hypnotherapist is a co-creative process. The most common reason for failure to induce a hypnotic state is a lack of rapport with a hypnotherapist, or working with someone without proper training.
Always check into the education and background of a new hypnotherapist before committing to a session, and choose to continue working with someone with whom you feel a sense of trust and rapport.
4. Hypnosis is not the same as sleeping.
Hypnosis is a heightened learning state where the body is deeply relaxed and the mind is alert. On occasion, a person may drift into sleep, but this is not the goal of the session. It is the hypnotherapists’ job to make sure the client maintains a relaxed awareness during the session, and remains awake.
Although the mind may drift, you should still be able to hear everything that is being said to you during the session.
5. Hypnotherapists are not doctors.
Hypnotherapy is not meant to replace medical care; rather, it is a self-improvement tool to enhance the healing process.
A hypnotherapist specializes in general self-improvement and behavior modification. They are not licensed by the state as healing arts practitioners, and cannot diagnose or treat medical or psychological conditions.