FAQs about Hypnosis
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural and pleasant state between waking and sleeping, marked by deep relaxation and inner focus, which allows access to the subconscious mind. In this altered state the mind is more open to learning new things, retrieving memories, and creating imagery. The 'critical factor' is relaxed, which allows positive suggestions to be accepted more readily.
We have all experienced a hypnotic state many times:
• As we wake up and as we fall asleep each day.
• Doing repetitive sports, like long distance running or swimming
• Watching TV and movies puts us into a hypnotic state.
• Reading novels that are so engrossing you lose track of time, is also hypnotic.
• Driving along the highway and losing track of what exit you are near...that's "highway hypnosis".
• During guided visualizations, or relaxation at the end of yoga class, or during massage
• Boredom and/or confusion can put us into a hypnotic state (remember fighting sleep in a boring lecture class?)
• Music can transport us into a hypnotic state.
Why does hypnosis work so well?
In the hypnotic state, the 'critical factor' of the conscious mind is relaxed, and we have more access to the deeper, subconscious mind. That is where memories and habits are stored. That is the level at which we can change habits. When we offer suggestions to the subconscious mind, they are more readily accepted.
Scientific Research on the Effectiveness of Hypnosis
Hypnosis has been accepted by the American Medical Association since 1959 and recommended since then for habit change, pain control and stress management.