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What is Hypnosis?

All of us have experienced hypnosis, it is a state of consciousness one enters and leaves naturally during your day-to day experiences, such as day dreaming,  when you take yourself away and get lost in thought for a few moments. May you remember taking a journey and  when you arrived at your destination safety you remembered little about the journey as your thoughts were elsewhere. Hypnosis is the state between sleeping and waking and in this state of relaxation you are more open to suggestions. In this state (also called alpha) your brain wave vibration rate slows down, giving you access to your Subconscious Mind. While your Conscious Mind is still completely aware of what is going on the whole time. In this relaxed state of mind, your subconscious mind has the ability to accept information given to it by the hypnotherapist, the hypnotic state is an optimum state for making positive changes in your life and is a valuable tool for self-empowerment and continuous personal growth.

Hypnosis has always been surrounded by an air of scepticism but recently people’s opinions have started to change, as Professor Peter W Halligan, of Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, explains

"HYPNOSIS uses the powerful effects of suggestion to produce and modify a wide range of compelling experiences and clinical symptoms.

With its origins in Mesmerism, and later associations with mysticism, quackery, literary fiction and stage entertainment, it is understandable that formal research involving hypnosis was not always been valued or believed by mainstream science. This however, is changing
. Recently, hypnosis has begun to attract renewed interest from cognitive and social neuroscientists interested in using hypnosis and the striking effects of hypnotic suggestion to test predictions about normal psychological functions but also to explore how simulating symptoms from clinical conditions using hypnosis may help better understand the responsible brain systems involved."


Hypnosis is not a new science, it has been practised since ancient times and first studied scientifically around 1775 by Anton Mesmer, who used hypnosis to help people that found no relief from mainstream medical treatments. Countless individuals have been successfully cured of medical problems with the use of hypnosis. It has validity and scientific support its effectiveness in treating medical problems, pain, stress, anxiety, depression, as well as other psychological disturbances and is considered to be a vital way to expose psychologically driven problems.

alt"The term hypnosis only gained widespread use in the 1880s, initially amongst those influenced by the developments in France, some twenty years after the death of James Braid – who had adopted the term hypnotism in 1841." The New Hypnotists. Today Hypnosis is widely used in the NHS as a valuable treatment for pain relief in Cancer patients and the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) believe Hypnosis treatments could be used on a range of medical conditions, including pain management and stress. Hypnosis services are widely recognised now as a tool to help motivate and guide the individual to a better state and help anyone wishing to address any issue that is overwhelming them.

Can anyone be Hypnotized?

altHypnosis works because it helps us change the way we think, feel and see things, it helps us to change our state. Most if not everyone have the ability to relax so, yes anyone can be hypnotised, as it’s just a heightened state of relaxation and increased receptivity. It has been said, “I can’t be hypnotized.” Or “I don’t think I went under.” or “No one can hypnotize ME because I have such a strong mind. “ These all basically say the same thing and that is that you haven’t really gotten the true understanding yet of what hypnosis really is.

We are all influenced by suggestions. Hypnosis uses this natural human process to change negative patterns into positive patterns of behaviour. There is nothing mysterious about hypnosis but if you say you cant be hypnotised, you are right. A hypnotherapist can not do anything you don’t wont her/him to do and there are five necessary components;

  •     Motivation - You must want to be hypnotized
  •     Relaxation – Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation.
  •     Concentration – You will use your ability to concentrate.
  •     Imagination – You will use your vivid imagination.
  •     Suggestion – You will hear and respond to suggestions.

Its application is based solely on the relationship between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind because the subconscious mind, has no power to reason, accepts and acts upon any fact or suggestion given to it by the conscious mind.

We use this commonly occurring, and natural state of mind, unknowingly, all the time. It is just natural for us. For example, if you have ever watched a television program or a movie and became really absorbed into the program, you were probably in a trance.
Advertisers understand this as they use television programs to induce a hypnotic trance and then provide you hypnotic suggestions, called commercials! Everyone has already experienced hypnosis, by accident or intentionally.

Another common example of this naturally occurring state of mind is when you are driving down the road, with your mind focused on some other task, day dream perhaps, and then before you realise it you have passed your exit.

You hypnotised yourself when you were daydreaming and missed that exit, you have been hypnotised when you enjoyed a television program, and you have followed hypnotic and posthypnotic suggestions when you preferred some brand name that you saw repeatedly on television.

Does Hypnosis Work?

The NHS now work with Hypnotherapist and see it as a valuable treatment for pain relief in Cancer patients and much more, they state "The Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) believe Hypnosis treatments could be used on a range of medical conditions, including pain management and stress to save the NHS millions of pounds, according to a group of medical experts. The Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) believe the therapies help relieve pain and stress, for more details click the link below.

Conditions such as depression and irritable bowel syndrome affect millions of people in the UK and a great cost to the NHS. But hypnosis can often work where other treatments have been unsuccessful.With almost twenty years experience, the Academy of Clinical & Medical Hypnosis offer externally validated training in hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, stress management, coaching and NLP. In addition, we run 'fast track' hypnotherapy training for Doctors, Anaesthetists, Dentists, Radiographers, etc concentrating on medical hypnosis for pain management, IBS, dental work, anxiety and most stress-related conditions"

Hypnosis works because the  state hypnosis is the optimum state for making changes in your life, you can set aside or confront any limiting beliefs that may have been preventing you from moving toward a more healthy, and happier you. In order for you to understand how hypnosis works, it is very important for you to understand the relationship between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind.

The Conscious Mind

The conscious mind accounts for 10% of our mind, is working right now as you are reading this. It is that part of you that is aware of what is going on right now, processing the thoughts and images that come to mind and trying to rationalise them. The choices and decisions are made by the conscious mind, and no action ever takes place unless it has been approved or negotiated by the conscious mind, it is logical and analytical and it is where we spend most of our time. It basically performs four functions.

  • The conscious mind analyses and it is a problem-solver by evaluating whatever concern, situation or issue has its attention
  • The conscious mind makes decisions that we often think are automatic, but in reality, engage a part of our conscious mind
  • The conscious mind exercises what we call will power. Will Power seldom lasts, does it? You mean well, but conscious intent fail and the  old behaviour reoccurs.
  • The conscious mind is also the place of working memory. It is the memory we use every day to function.

All of the above require a certain amount of awareness, the level below this level of awareness is the subconscious mind and this accounts for the other 90%. The subconscious mind is where our emotional intelligence lives; you can learn more about this by clicking on the Emotion Intelligence, and all our conscious decisions are influenced by the data stored here.The subconscious mind, which accounts for 90% of our mind, can be compared to a computer in that it stores the data for all the experiences we have ever had, and forms all our values and believes, it makes us who we are.

One of the most important functions of the subconscious mind is that it automatically controls our bodily functions; breathing, heart beating, eyes blinking, the immune system and organs, muscles, bones and tissues from the cellular level to its inter-relatedness as a whole body functioning. The subconscious mind is creative, intuitive, irrational, and emotional. These can work for you or against you, thank about being irrational can work for you or against you in any given situation.

Because the subconscious mind is illogical, it can be compared to a computer, following your command. However, the subconscious mind has to have a positive intention in everything in order to bend to your will, which is why you can get stuck in negative behaviour. Remember your first smoke, did it feel good? Over time and perseverance didn’t it bend to your will after you kept telling yourself it feels good, it relaxes me? How about drinking to excess, don’t you get light headed, lose balance and yet the attempts of the subconscious mind are overlooked because you satisfy an emotional need. Can you recognise any of these examples? If not have a think about and analyse some other example that applies to you.

If you have programmed something into your subconscious mind that you would rather not have, just like a computer operates only on its programming, so does your subconscious mind. Also like a computer, your subconscious mind can be reprogrammed. We are constantly reprogramming our subconscious mind through our experiences and self-talk. If our internal dialogue is saying we are fat, a smoker, a success, a failure; then that is what we become, in fact we tend to focus on those negative thoughts and that’s what the subconscious mind reacts too, a sort of self fulfilling prophecy.

How do we change our mindset?

There is a part of the Conscious Mind called the critical factor. It’s kind of like a guard at the gate between the Conscious Mind and the Subconscious Mind. It has the power to accept or reject suggestions from entering the Subconscious Mind. It has very good intentions and its job is to protect us. Because change is viewed as a threat to our nervous system, any suggestion that does not match the existing programming automatically gets rejected, that’s why we get cravings. That is how it accomplishes its goal of protecting us but unwittingly keeping us hooked to a bad habit. The only way a real change can take place is to get the new programming into our subconscious mind is to bypass the critical factor, through our memories, habits, and emotions.

Memories are created through experience and you may need many positive experiences to diminish the effects of the negative experience. This could take a long time to create.

Habits require willpower and time in order to become habits, we learn them so we can chose to learn something else,

Emotions either happen randomly or require changing the way you think about a situation and that can be enormously difficult to do and also takes time.

Hypnosis brings you a much easier solution, a way of bypassing the critical factor. Through the induction of relaxation, the critical factor goes to sleep for awhile. The Conscious Mind stays awake, and can still make decisions. The difference being that you are now in control because your subconscious is receptive to any suggestion that your conscious mind wants to let in.

How does Hypnosis feel?

Since everyone has experienced light levels of hypnosis at different times, don’t be surprised if you don’t feel hypnotized. All that is required to be hypnotized is a motivation to be hypnotised, concentration, imagination, relaxation, and the willingness to respond to suggestion. There are ways to check for the depth level of hypnosis, usually in a one-on-one session but you may notice some of the following when you use one of our Hypnosis CDs or audio's for self hypnosis.

During hypnosis, you will remain conscious of your surroundings and you can hear what the voice speaking to you. Some of the sensations you may experience are:

  •     Tingling in your fingertips or limbs
  •     A sense of numbness or limb distortion
  •     A sense of being light and floating away from your body
  •     A heavy feeling like you are sinking
  •     A sense of energy moving through your body
  •     Feelings of emotions
  •     Fluttering eyelids
  •     An increase or decrease in salivation, and
  •     Time distortion.

Just expect the trance to occur gradually and it will, hypnosis is totally safe and the suggestions stay with some individuals indefinitely, others need reinforcements through self hypnosis but remember the effects of hypnosis are cumulative: The more the techniques are practised and posthypnotic suggestions are brought into play, the more permanent the results become. There is no silver bullets, you have to want to rid yourself of whatever it is that overwhelms you, if you come to Affronte because someone else wants you to, we will be unable to help you. We look forward to meeting you and working with you to bring about a positive change in your life!



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