• Josh McDonald

What Is Hypnosis

Hypnosis is one of those topics that a lot of people think they know, but actually know very little about. In fact, even most people who do know about hypnosis know very little about it.

This is because hypnosis, as a field of study, is so broad it is impossible to know everything there is to know about it.

Psychologists spend years studying the brain and the waking conscious mind in relation to human behaviours, while the hypnotherapist studies the sub-conscious mind, which is vastly more complex, and not nearly as well mapped out.

What is hypnosis

Hypnosis, simply put, is the process of actively entering a state of altered consciousness for a purpose.

This means that you are actively making the decision to alter your state.

Why is it important that I state actively here? Because you can dip in and out of altered states of consciousness throughout the day.

There are several states of consciousness that we could discuss, I will be sticking to the states that correlate to certain brain wave activity:

  1. Beta

  2. Alpha

  3. Theta

  4. Delta

There is a fifth band of brain wave activity above Beta, but for now I will skip this one. This has only recently been accepted in science, and there is still a lot of study that needs to be done to understand what it is.

So let's start with Beta.

Beta is the brain wave frequency that is most active in our waking state. It is closely associated with a "conscious waking state".

Beta brain waves are between 14-21Hz per second, and is the brain wave that we experience when we are focussed on a task or activity.

Just below Beta are the Alpha brain wave frequencies.

Alpha frequencies are 7-14Hz per second, and are the considered the first stage of sleep.

You need to pass through the Alpha level in order to go to sleep, but you can still be conscious when you're at this level. This level is most closely associated with the sub-conscious mind.

You may experience Alpha as that fuzzy, sleepy feeling you get when you're falling asleep. When you start to see geometric patterns behind your eyes and your mind starts playing scenes of what happened throughout the day.

During the normal waking state, throughout the day, you will dip in and out of Alpha many times.

You might dip into Alpha when you are watching a movie that you get really engrossed in, where it's an intense scene, and the phone rings, causing you to jump. If you jump at this point, it's because you've dipped into Alpha and allowed the sub-conscious mind to take the drivers seat for a while.

Another time you may dip into the Alpha level is when you're sitting in the passenger seat of the car on a long drive. You allow your mind to drift off and your imagination starts in full force.

These are examples of when you have entered an altered state of consciousness separately.

There is also, of course, the sleeping states of consciousness (or un-consciousness). These are:

  1. Theta - 4-7Hz per second. This is where you do your dream sleeping, so your REM sleep is common here

  2. Delta - 1-4Hz per second. This is where you do your deep sleeping, your body is healing in this phase

So hypnosis is the process of actively seeking the Alpha brain wave frequency or lower for a purpose, usually to restore your mind and/or body to a state of normalcy.

What is hypnosis not

Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not mind control.

No matter how skilled the hypnotist, they will not be able to make you cluck like a chicken whenever anyone says a secret keyword, unless you want to cluck like a chicken.

Hypnosis is not about controlling the mind, it is about the client focussing the mind, and following suggestions.

Hypnosis is also not about going to sleep.

There are some hypnotists who take you to the somnambulistic level (the level below sleep), but I am not one of them.

Going to the somnambulistic level is required in some cases. The benefit of this level is that you forget what you have been programmed to believe, so for example if you want to be free from cigarettes, you can be programmed to forget you ever touched them in the first place.

But that's not necessarily what Hypnosis is.

When I take on a client, I use hypnosis as a tool to get to the root cause, this means that I need to be working with my clients to understand how, when, where and why they picked up a belief that is causing them pain.

You can't do this when the client is sleeping.

Often when a client comes to see me, they think that there will be some sort of shift, that they will feel themselves enter an altered state of conscoiusness.

In fact, it's often so subtle that they don't even realise they are hypnotised. They just have a feeling of deep relaxation.

Can I be hypnotised

The answer to this is yes, absolutely!

Everyone can be hypnotised, the difference is how quickly you enter the hypnotic level.

People who are creative find it much easier to enter the hypnotic state than those that are not creative, but this is a very rare person.

Often people think they aren't creative, they don't have an imagination and they can't visualise anything. My question to those people are "how do you find your car when you park it in a big parking lot"

The truth is, we can all visualise in some way, and that ability to visualise makes us creative by nature.

It is a very small percent of the population that truly can't visualise, and that find it takes a little longer to enter hypnosis.

Free Gift

I hope this helps shed a little light on the topic of hypnosis. If you found this information useful and are ready to try hypnosis for free, I have a recording that you can try. This recording helps you reset your confidence to be ready to take on the world. You can find it here.

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