By Lorraine Ireland Of Mind And Health Matters
History of Hypnosis
Hypnotic or suggestive therapy is the oldest of all healing techniques. From the Sleep Temples of Egypt through the histories of ancient Greece and Rome some form of hypnosis has always been an intimate part of all cultures.
In the Middle Ages, healing through touch and prayer became the major way of treating disease. In the 18th Century – when it was believed that illness was caused by the magnetic influence of astral bodies – Franz Anton Mesmer would induce people into a trance like state by what he (erroneously) believed to be Animal Magnetism. Although Mesmerism was soon discredited, it continued to be used even after the death of Mesmer as it often produced “miracle” cures. When James Braid re-examined Mesmerism in the 19th Century he discovered that simple suggestion was just as effective as Mesmerism or any other method to induce trance-like states. It was he, who coined the phrase Hypnosis and for a time hypnosis became a scientific technique with scientific respectability.
In the early part of the 20th Century hypnosis was used almost exclusively by stage hypnotists, thereby projecting a hopelessly distorted view of this very powerful therapeutic tool. However, in 1955 the British Medical Association endorsed the practice of hypnosis in Medical School education, since when it has become a valuable addition to conventional medical treatment.
What is Hypnosis ?
The actual experience of being hypnotised is very difficult to describe, neither asleep nor awake. All hypnotic states are characterised by a tremendously pleasant state of relaxation, an altered state of consciousness into which individuals allow themselves to enter so that desired, beneficial suggestions may be given directly to the unconscious mind. Thus, hypnosis is a natural, effective way of making contact with the inner (unconscious) self, a source of many of our problems as well as a tremendous reservoir of unrecognised potential, strength and knowledge, i.e. the forgotten assets.
Nobody can ever be hypnotised against their will and even when hypnotised, people can still reject any of the suggestions given if they are not appropriate. You can not remain in a state of hypnosis – it would naturally turn into sleep and you would wake up.
What is Hypnotherapy ?
Hypnotherapy means the use of hypnosis for the treatment and relief of a variety of somatic and psychological symptoms. Hypnotherapy is completely natural and safe and there are no harmful side effects. When administered by a professionally trained and skilled Hypnotherapist, the benefits are long lasting and often permanent.
Clinical Applications of Hypnosis
Modern Hypnotherapists use Hypnosis not only for medical purposes but also as an aid for the resolution of many problems of psychological origins. It is estimated that approximately 85% of people of all age groups will readily respond to clinical Hypnotherapy. It is often successful when other more conventional methods of treatment have failed.
Listed below are some of the conditions for which Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy is indicated as a practical treatment:
Hypnotherapy offers a deeply relaxing, totally safe and highly effective method of dealing with many of today`s problems. It is a positive and enjoyable way of helping to bring about changes in your life. It can help with a whole range of conditions.
This natural and powerful therapy enables you to break away from negative thought patterns and so improve the quality of your life, enabling you to feel balanced, whole and complete, able to cope with any situations in your daily life in a much more relaxed calm manner, and so much more….
In a sense all hypnosis is self-hypnosis because in essence you put yourself into a hypnotic state by focusing on the instructions from a Hypnotherapist as you listen to their voice and the words being spoken which naturally guide you into a relaxed state of mind / trance / hypnotic state. Self Hypnosis is a wonderful, rewarding tool that can be used throughout your life for a whole range of life experiences, circumstances and situations, including physical and emotional well being. Many people use it to alleviate day to day stresses and tension, which in turn can help improve sleep patterns. The average amount of time to spend in Self Hypnosis varies from person to person dependant on lifestyle and dedication to self development. You could start with just 5 minutes and build it up to around 20 minutes. The more you practice the more proficient you will become.
You can learn Self Hypnosis in a variety of ways:
Instructions for Self Hypnosis
Please follow these three simple steps:
All you have to do is to tell yourself that you are going to practice self hypnosis, make yourself comfortable sitting or lying down and tell yourself how long you wish to spend in self hypnosis, close your eyes and imagine 10 safe steps that will lead you down to a safe place, take your time – there is never any rush – in your imagination walk down your safe steps – each step down will enable you to become 10 times more relaxed than you were on the step before – when you step off step 1 you find yourself in your own private sanctuary, the most peaceful place in the word – see your special place in full colour, feel your sanctuary, notice any fragrance, or tastes from breathing in the atmosphere. Really connect in every sense of the word to you private space, where you can see and understand things much more clearly.
Thoughts not relevant may come in your mind but just imagine acknowledge them, thank them and watch them rapidly float out of your mind as quickly as they enter, like passing clouds in the sky. Once in your sanctuary you can spend the time relaxing or you may give yourself positive suggestions that you have thought out before entering into self hypnosis or you could use your imagination and see yourself in as much vivid detail as you can, living a more beneficial lifestyle, letting go of unwanted habits or experience yourself achieving all of your worthwhile goals.
When you are ready to come out of self hypnosis (if you have set a time your mind will remind you when that time is up or you may think to yourself “I`m ready to come out now”) all you have to do is to imagine yourself walking back up the steps – each step up brings you more and more awake and when you are on step 8 you can open your eyes and when you are on step 10 you will find yourself fully wide awake, refreshed, alert and enlightened by your experience. Remember to practice, the more your practice the more proficient you will become.