Health Benefits of Hypnosis Therapy

By Val Silver

There are many health and life benefits of hypnosis therapy. This popular and sometimes misunderstood method of holistic healing helps you create positive results in all aspects of your life.

If thoughts of being hypnotized conjure up images of someone dangling a pocket watch in front of you while chanting, "You are getting sleepy", you may want to give this well-documented technique another look. Hypnotherapy has the potential to help you achieve wellness and life goals. It can help you:

  • release excess weight
  • stop smoking
  • improve self-esteem
  • reduce stress and calm your nerves
  • sleep better
  • ease pain
  • ease symptoms of IBS
  • quell hot flashes
  • achieve life goals
  • explore a repressed past

Medically, the benefits of hypnosis include helping people recover from surgery with less pain, to speed healing, and to ease chemotherapy side effects.

What is Hypnosis?

During hypnosis therapy you are guided into a relaxed state. As you relax, your brain waves slow. Suggestions are able to bypass the ever vigilant amygdala, or gatekeeper, and be delivered t to the subconscious and superconscious mind, which are now receptive to new programming.

With slower brain waves comes a heightened state of concentration and focus. You are very aware of the visualizations and suggestions being made. You may feel as though you are more of an observer of thought and images instead of being a part of them.

In this state of deep suggestibility and concentration, the statements bypasses the intellectual barriers of the left brain and make their way into the creative right brain. When your brain absorbs what the hypnotist says, the words will begin to guide your behavior.

These suggestions, implanted as images and words, help you let go of old negative or limiting patterns, beliefs and feelings, some of which you aren't even aware of. They are replaced with positive and affirming suggestions, creative ideas, and new insights aligned with what you want. It is much like overwriting an outdated computer program with an upgraded version.

Another aspect of hypnotherapy is regression. Hypnotherapists may regress patients into childhood and past lives in order to find the cause of present day troubles and belief systems.

Some people want to experience regression because they are curious about their forgotten pasts. Even if you don't believe in reincarnation, what comes up during a session may serve as a metaphor for what is causing you to think and behave in certain ways.

If you had a traumatic early life or have mental health concerns, do not regress except under the personal guidance of an experienced medical hypnotherapist.

Medical hypnosis is recognized by the American Medical Association as an effective alternative medicine modality.

Myths about Hypnosis Therapy

There is a lot of myth around being hypnotized. These myths, and the fears they give rise to, convince some people to forego the positive changes hypnosis can help them achieve in favor of playing it safe.

Some people fear it because they think they will lose control and will do something they don't want to do. They envision barking like a dog or saying they married the man on the moon with no memory of the event. We can thank stage hypnosis for these common misconceptions.

benefits of hypnosis

Stage hypnosis is done for entertainment using highly suggestible volunteers. My son, the eager to please extrovert, volunteered once. He doesn't remember the experience, but from what his friends told us his actions were good for a few laughs. 

Another myth is that someone hypnotizes you. Not so. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You are fully in charge of the experience whether you are using self hypnosis techniques or working with a therapist in a live session. You cannot be entranced against your will. 

You can end a session any time simply by opening your eyes.

Another common misconception is that you only have to be hypnotized once to make permanent changes. Sometimes this is the case, but for lasting positive changes, hypnosis suggestions need to be repeated several times until your mind accepts and runs the new programming. Clients often receive audios after a live session so they can continue to experience further benefits of hypnosis therapy at home.

Three Stages of a Hypnosis Therapy Session

A hypnotherapy session usually consists of three parts.

Induction is the first phase consisting of words, phrases and imagery that guide your attention into focused awareness of your inner world. Although relaxation isn't essential, you may be asked to visualize a relaxing scene. This is where the progressive relaxation and the familiar ten-to-one count down occur. If you are working with a hypnotherapist, a touch may be used to deepen the induction.

The second stage is the hypnosis experience. At this stage that you have access to the subconscious and superconscious mind as appropriate and where the benefits of hypnosis are gained. You listen to statements and may be asked to visualize, or  go through guided imagery meditation. Your attention may be directed to a part of your body, an issue or a memory.  How long this stage lasts and what is said or done will vary based on the purpose of your session.

Entrancement generally happens at the alpha level of mind we all experience throughout the day. When you are lost in a daydream while driving, you are basically mesmerized. You also enter this deep hypnotic state daily as you fall asleep and just as you wake up.

The next time you are deeply engrossed in work or a movie, notice how you are aware of nothing else. This is the alpha. In order to achieve the benefits of hypnosis, you must be in alpha or an even slower brain wave frequency

As you gain trust in the practitioner and the process, you may find that you allow yourself to enter the hypnotic state with more ease speed, and depth.

The last stage is emergence, a simple five-to-one count with direct suggestions that guide you to your normal conscious state. The emergence is usually quite brief.

These are the three parts of a hypnosis script. Scripts are also often used for guided visualization, imagery, relaxation and meditation, but these techniques may not include all three stages.

Experiencing the Benefits of Self Hypnosis

If you are interested in trying self hypnosis techniques, choose a written script or write your own. Written scripts geared to your specific desired benefits of hypnosis are readily available on-line at reasonable prices and sometimes for free.

Be sure the script includes all three stages. Write the affirmations you will instill in your subconscious to be read in the second stage. Read the script into a recorder using a calm, steady drone-like voice. Then, find a quiet place to sit or lay down, relax and close your eyes. Play back your recording.

You may have success using your own voice, but generally people respond better when guided by a trained professional. 

One of the benefits of using self hypnosis downloads created by experts is that whether live or by audio, they know how to modulate their voices and guide you in and out of hypnosis. They know how to craft and play with words in a way that makes them more likely to affect your subconscious mind the way you want them to.

Many reasonably priced self hypnosis downloads are available on-line in a great variety of topics. Experiment with audios by different professionals to see who you is the best match for you.

Purchasers of Dr. Rick Levy 's book, Miraculous Health, get free access to professional hypnosis downloads conducted by him. The sessions correspond to lessons about using mind power, hypnosis for healing, and scripts in the book. This is a real bargain.

The first few times I listened to the recordings, I had control issues and did not go very deep. I was aware that I could have opened my eyes at any time and wasn't feeling open to suggestion. I thought hypnosis wasn't for me.

Realizing that just the opposite was true was a pleasant surprise. Once the doctor earned my trust and I became familiar with the audio, it was easier to quiet my monkey mind and accept his instructions. I now find it quite enjoyable to experience the benefits of hypnosis with the help of professional audios.

I highly recommend that if you are mentally healthy you give audio hypnosis programs from a reliable practitioner a try. You are likely to be pleased with the positive changes hypnosis helps you achieve.

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