Hypnotherapy is psychotherapy used under hypnosis. Hypnosis is a wonderful relaxed state similar to the feeling just before you drift off into a pleasant sleep. It allows access to the subconscious mind where we hold all of our beliefs and behaviours.
What is the subconscious mind?
Focus on your breathing. A few seconds ago your breathing was controlled by your subconscious, it is now a conscious activity. When your conscious moves onto something else your subconscious will take over again automatically and with ease.
You can think of your subconscious as a giant warehouse filled with every single thing that is not currently in your conscious mind, all of your memories, hopes, dreams, skills, every situation you have ever been through along with every image you have ever seen is stored here.
It is an incredibly powerful – and for most people – untapped resource.
You can understand the subconscious by remembering when you first learned to drive. It took incredible focus of the conscious mind to be able to drive at first; you needed to concentrate and focus in order to safely maneuver the vehicle. You couldn’t have carried on a conversation or any other conscious process while driving.
A few short weeks later and driving can become a natural skill that can happen automatically. In other words it can be controlled by the subconscious. Now a conversation is entirely possible. Your mind transferred the skill of driving from the conscious to the subconscious mind.
Tapping into the subconscious
The subconscious mind is largely untapped, - some believe that less than 3% of us are utilising the potential of our subconscious mind.
Scientific consensus 60 years ago was that to run a four-minute mile was impossible for the human body. Roger Bannister believed it was possible. Once Bannister achieved the four-minute mile in 1954, other athletes performed the same feat within months.
The athletes hadn’t undergone any extra special training to equal the feat, they just now knew it was possible. They had changed their belief, they had removed the limit that the conscious mind had set and could now tap into the limitless possibilities of their subconscious mind.
Your conscious mind sets limits, when you let the subconscious mind take over you can do what was thought to be impossible. The power of hypnosis is the ability it creates for communication with and access to the subconscious mind.
What is Hypnosis?
At the moment your access to the subconscious mind may be thought of as looking around a giant warehouse with a torch. Hypnosis acts like a light switch revealing the entire contents of the warehouse to you.
The dark warehouse now changes to a place where you can now work things out, change beliefs and behaviours. It is a wonderful and relaxed state, which we also refer to as the alpha state. You will still be aware throughout the session as we begin to change by the use of hypnotic language and suggestion any behaviours or beliefs which you would like to change.
What if I can’t be hypnotised?
Everyone can be hypnotised - if you are certain that you can’t be hypnotised you may not allow yourself to relax enough to get to the hypnotic state, If you feel you may resist the process then it may not be for you, on the other hand, If you feel you can be open to the process then the hypnosis will help to change the way you think and feel.
Will I be in control?
Hypnosis works best with intelligent people because it is a form of concentration. It is not sleep and it doesn't feel like sleep. Hypnotised people are awake, alert and very responsive - ECG scans demonstrate a high level of alpha waves in hypnotised people which is the complete opposite to a sleeping state.
Hypnotised people are still in touch with their morals and usual standards of behaviour. You can find that your inhibitions may be decreased and you will be more open to suggestion.
Neuroscience & Hypnosis
Important discoveries in neuroscience are providing evidence that the most effective way to change the neural pathways in the brain is through accessing the subconscious mind. The best way to access the subconscious is through hypnosis.
It has also been discovered that effective access to the subconscious is achieved through even a 'light' trance state - in other words hypnosis should be effective for all open and willing participants - i.e, those that fall into either a deep trance or light trance.
We now understand that the brain has a neuroplasticity which means that it is able to change throughout our adult life.
We used to believe that the brain became fixed at a certain age; we now know that new neural pathways can be created in the brain, which literally change the way we think, feel and act in situations.
We now know that we have multiple brains and that our heart as well as our gut have their own set of neurons. Understanding that if we are out of alignment in one brain this can have a high impact on the other brains is a revolution in how we treat many common disorders.
In hypnosis we are able to access all of our brains including the gut brain that has the fear, fight or flight response. By calming and soothing the amygdilla the part of the brain responsible for fear and the link between the vagus nerve and the stomach we are able to move clients to a state of calmness and courage where they are in control of their state not the other way around.
Overall hypnotherapy creates powerful change that is lasting and permanent when done over three to six sessions it helps to create and strengthen new pathways in the brain. Ultimately it puts you back in charge of your life by giving you clarity and focus and providing an understanding of what works for you and what doesn’t.