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JOURNAL

Q&A: What Is Hypnosis?

3 min read
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Hypnosis is essentially a simple, down-to-earth and common-sense therapy. Opinions on the precise definition of hypnosis can vary greatly, however in the Cognitive-Behavioural model, hypnotherapy is thought of as:

“a combination of various naturally occurring physiological and psychological states in which we become more responsive to positive suggestions.”

Is Hypnosis safe?

Hypnosis is completely safe when used in a responsible and professional manner. Nobody has ever been ‘stuck’ in hypnosis. Given time, the subject will either rouse themselves naturally or drift off to natural sleep.

What does Hypnosis feel like?

Hypnosis is a state of pleasant relaxation and everyone has a different experience. Some people liken it to daydreaming, or the moment when you are just about to drift off to sleep at night.

Is Hypnosis like being asleep?

No, hypnosis does not normally feel like being asleep or unconscious. In fact, most people (roughly 90%) are aware of everything that happens while hypnotised. Although the word hypnosis comes from the Greek word for ‘sleep’ (hypnos), it is actually an abbreviation for ‘neuro-hypnotism’ meaning ‘sleep of the nervous system’.

Can anyone be hypnotised?

Yes, anyone can be hypnotised, it is actually very easy. It does not take any special skill or ability. Entering into hypnosis is as easy as daydreaming. If you can daydream or relax your mind in any other way, then you can enter into hypnosis. It is important to remember that hypnosis is essentially a matter of belief and imagination. To really benefit from hypnotic suggestions it is important that you really want to accept them. It helps to imagine smiling inside and agreeing with everything that is said during treatment.

Are some people easier to hypnotise?

Absolutely, some people are exceptionally good at going into hypnosis. However, anyone can do it and people tend to get better and better at hypnosis each time they do it.

Am I under someone else’s control in Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is definitely not a state of mind control. You cannot be made to do anything against your will. On the contrary, normally you must want to accept suggested ideas and actively imagine responding to experience their effects. The idea of being ‘under somebody else’s power’ stems from movies, cartoons and comedy stage hypnosis. Stage hypnosis has very little to do with Clinical Hypnotherapy and has been shown to foster misconceptions which can prevent people from benefiting from treatment. Take what you see on television with a large pinch of salt — it’s just entertainment.

How many Hypnotherapy sessions will I need?

Hypnotherapy — apart from smoking cessation — usually requires more than one session. However, it is probably one of the briefest forms of psychological therapy and in clinical studies the average number of sessions is around 4-6.

What can be treated with Hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis can help with an enormous range of issues. Research tends to provide most support for its use in:

  • Anxiety management
  • Pain management
  • Overcoming sleep disorders
  • Phobias such as fear of spiders, flying, needles etc.
  • Treating certain psychosomatic or stress-related illnesses
  • Weight loss

Hypnosis is also used to overcome habits such as nail-biting or smoking cigarettes, and for personal development in areas such as sports performance, public speaking, or creativity.

Is Hypnotherapy a recognised therapy?

Yes, in the United Kingdom hypnotherapy is classified by the Department of Health as being a branch of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), while hypno-psychotherapy is recognised in the UK, and internationally, as a branch of integrative psychotherapy.

Quit Smoking Now
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5 MONTHS A NON-SMOKER

I had wanted to give up for ages but always failed until I came across this treatment.

Before treatment my day was geared around when I was going to have a cigarette and I would rush home sometimes to have one or rearrange my day around them. I only smoked when I was alone as I felt ashamed and the smell upset others. I can honestly say that the Stop-in-seven treatment was excellent and the support wonderfully reassuring. It was all encompassing about how one was making oneself ill but also encouraging about how much better one would feel after giving up. One of the hardest aspects of the week was when we had to change the brand of cigarette. Oh how I craved for my own brand of cigarette I had smoked for 30 years. As I write this I think I can now call myself a non-smoker and it is amazing I have given up. I had wanted to give up for ages but always failed until I came across this treatment. Physically I don’t cough anymore and I can smell better and am eating healthier and enjoying it more. Emotionally I feel stronger clearer and realise I am proud of myself for eventually stopping the habit which I never thought I would. I would recommend Stop-in7 treatment to anyone trying to stop smoking. It is well organised extremely supportive and it works. Thank you.

Gill, Brighton
"
6 WeEKS A NON-SMOKER

I have tried various methods including hypnosis sessions previously, but to no avail.

Alex, I just wanted to take a moment to contact you. Since taking your Stop Smoking course It’s been a revelation ! It’s not even like I am an ex-smoker… I am a NON SMOKER ! I literally have not had a single thought about wanting to have a smoke ! For years on and off I have stopped and started again.. The lead up to the main event and the fact that the videos are available after the main session have proven to be just what is needed ! I have tried various methods including hypnosis sessions previously, but to no avail. So I just wanted to say a big thank you from me and my wife.

Peter, Hartford
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Heal’s online Stop-In-7 Smoking Cessation Treatment Plan is expertly curated and accessible from the comfort of your own home, without the need for face-to-face therapy.

Combining techniques from Hypnotherapy, C.B.T, and Mindfulness-based therapies, this 7 day course provides you with — and guides you through — everything you need to break through your habit and stop smoking once and for all.

Stop Smoking TodayExplore Treatment Plans

References  

  1. AMA (1958). ‘Council on Mental Health: Medical uses of Hypnosis’, JAMA, Sept 13 1958: 186-189
  2. BMA (1955). ‘Medical uses of Hypnotism: Report of a Subcommittee appointed by the Psychological Medical Group Committee of the British Medical Association’, Supplement to the BMJ April 25, 1955: 190-193, ~Appendix X.
  3. BPS (2001). The Nature of Hypnosis. Leicester: BPS
  4. APA (1997). Update on Empirically Validated Treatments, The Clinical Psychologist, 1997
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