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What is Hypnosis?

         Hypnosis or Clinical Hypnosis  uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance. The person's attention is so focused while in this state that anything going on around the person is temporarily blocked out or ignored. In this naturally occurring state, a person may focus his or her attention -- with the help of a

trained clinical hypnotist on specific thoughts or tasks.

  • the relaxed, focused, absorbed feelings associated with being in hypnosis (sometimes called a 'hypnotic state' or 'trance state'), or

  • the interesting things people can do when hypnotized (such as not feeling pain, or experiencing altered sensations or perceptions) – these are often the result of suggestions.

  • In simple words, it is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination.

          But... Can I be Hypnotized? And how does it work? 

        Truth to be told, we get hypnotized about 6-8 times a day. The smarter the person is, the easier for him to get hypnotized. We all experience this everyday, from driving a car( road hypnosis) to being in the movie theater. In the everyday trance of a daydream or movie, an imaginary world seems somewhat real to you, in the sense that it fully engages your emotions. Imaginary events can cause real fear, sadness or happiness, and you may even jolt in your seat if you are surprised by something (a monster leaping from the shadows, for example). Some researchers categorize all such trances as forms of self-hypnosis.

In modern hypnosis, you approach the suggestions of the clinical hypnotist, or your own ideas, as if they were reality. If the hypnotist suggests that your tongue has swollen up to twice its size, you'll feel a sensation in your mouth and you may have trouble talking. If the hypnotist suggests that you are drinking a cold apple juice , you'll taste the apple juice and feel it cooling your mouth. If the hypnotist suggests that you are afraid, you may feel panicky or start to sweat. But the entire time, you are aware that it's all imaginary. Essentially, you're "playing pretend" on an intense level, as kids do. 

           In this state of heightened awareness, you begin to examine your subconscious mind, and you’re provided with suggestions that can help you reframe, improve and enhance how the subconscious operates.

The process typically includes three steps:

  • Hypnotic Induction: You first go through a process to reach hypnosis, called the hypnotic induction. In general, you’ll be seated in a chair (or lying on a couch, bed, or anywhere comfortable) with your eyes closed. You may also use controlled breathing techniques and/or a script to relax and focus. People can follow a memorized script, a recording, or they can be induced by a professional hypnotherapist.

  • Hypnotic State: Following induction, you reach the hypnotic state. In the hypnotic state, you feel mentally and physically relaxed, you are calm and focused, and you experience heightened awareness.

  • Hypnotic Suggestion: Once in hypnosis, the patient receives hypnotic suggestions. These suggestions are designed to replace and update your subconscious thoughts. Suggestions can be formed in different ways. Traditional hypnosis for example uses direct commands, while Ericksonian hypnosis uses metaphors. Neuro-linguistic programming, on the other hand, uses suggestions that closely mimic our thought patterns.