Hi, my name is H Kelvin. I am a certified hypnotherapist from National Guild of Hypnotist. I am also a certified NLP Trainer from American Union of NLP. I had taught short hypnosis courses at Community Clubs and written a book titled “Wisdom From Space”. The theme of that book is about Perspective. Perspective is about how you look at things. And the subject of Hypnosis one that requires you to adopt the right perspective in order to truly knows about it and its relevance to us. The studies of hypnosis is what I am passionate about.
I adopt the name “White Glove Hypnotist” across my hypnosis materials because it signifies the purity of hypnosis. This is to encourage people to have a proper perspective about hypnosis. On the other hand, I see myself performing the role of a mind surgeon (not brain surgeon) that wears a white glove and operating on the mind to discover the relationship between the mind and hypnosis.
What is hypnosis
Hypnosis is a very big subject by itself. It probably encompasses more than what most people think. We are not going to delve into the ‘vast land’, but just to keep it simple and relevant here.
We are talking in the context of a hypnotist working on a person who is lying on a therapy chair (or recliner) and listening to what the hypnotist says. The hypnotist, in this context playing the role of a therapist, is known as “hypnotherapist”.
The Key characteristics of hypnosis are:
- Trance state – or also known as altered consciousness. This is because in hypnosis, we enter from a waking consciousness into a more dreamy conscious state. The person can be feeling sleepy, drowsy in this consciousness. Though in sleepy state, the person’s mind is still very alert and is conscious of what is happening around her.
- Imagination – In most hypnosis session, you will be asked to imagine. It could be imagining a big cocoon with you sitting in it and feeling perfectly safe or visualising yourself feeling confident in front of a crowd. You may also be asked to imagine a colour that makes you feel peaceful and using that colour to trigger a peaceful state in your daily life.
- Highly suggestible – During hypnosis, the mind is less critical and more open to suggestions. And the suggestions that come from the hypnotherapist are positive and empowering, thus amplifying the good effects in the person.
- Focus – The person is alert and conscious during hypnosis. He is now focusing on what the hypnotherapist says and blocks out most internal and external stimuli. Unlike during wakeful state where our mind is trying to multitask and attend to many activities. For example, you could be typing on the computer and the phone rings. You are now performing two tasks simultaneously. Then, you open your drawer to search for the thing that the person on the other line is asking. You are attending to a third task. This is a simple example of how our mind may not be focused. In hypnosis, our mind is only focused on what the hypnotherapist says and that is why the result could be phenomena. You could say hypnosis is about concentration.
- Relaxation – Both the mind and body are relaxed during hypnotherapy session. However, hypnosis can also be a state of wakefulness where the mind and body are not relaxed. For this, I shall explain in another of my book.
- Pacebo effect – Most people who consult hypnotherapist have already a preconceived idea of what will come. Hypnotherapist will often does a pre-talk before going through the session with the subject. The pre-talk is about what hypnosis is, its benefits and what it can do and also to understand the person’s unique situation. Even without a pre-talk, the person who comes in to get his issue resolved in the clinic may already have an idea of hypnosis and thus is looking forward to be healed. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Awareness of Hypnosis
Hypnosis was more widely accepted by the society in the 60s onwards and had been gaining popularity in recent years because there is increased awareness of hypnosis, what it can do and its benefits over the various social media platforms.
Though there are some misconceptions held about hypnosis, the definition and concept of hypnosis will only get clearer in the near future.
What Can Hypnosis Do
Hypnosis can be used to:
- Resolve issues – Issues like phobia, anxiety, insomnia, weight loss etc
- Overcome undesired behaviour – Like smoking, alcohol addiction, shopping spree, nail biting etc
- Cure Illness – Like mild depression etc
- Pain Control – Like pain associated with arthritis, dental, headache, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome etc
- Enhance Performance – Like concentration, improve studies, optimal performance in sports, achieve goals etc
Danger of Hypnosis
There is no actual danger connected to hypnosis being documented. This is because hypnosis is a natural state.
However, as in anything else, there is always a good and bad side. People who undergo hypnosis may get dizzy, headache, false memory and anxiety.
Dizziness and drowsiness – This may not be a negative thing because as explained earlier, hypnosis is a change of consciousness from waking state (beta) to drowsy state (alpha). This shifting of consciousness is a natural state. All of us experience drowsiness when we take certain medicine or about to fall asleep/ just about to wake up or are confused.
Headache – People can get headache easily as there could be many contributing factors, such as when they do not have enough sleep or have poor sleep / undergo scan / take medicine / take deep fried food that is heaty in nature / drink alcohol etc. The headache one gets after the hypnosis session could be a result of the person gradually relaxing his mind and body and the relaxation only gets deeper and deeper as time passes. And before they enjoy the relaxation totally, the hypnosis session is over and the hypnotherapist emerges them out of hypnosis. This abrupt change in mind and body from relax to readiness causes some bodily reactions.
False Memory – This is what hypnosis termed as “distortion”. When entering into hypnosis, distortion is another common phenomena. Some people have time distortion eg. They find that time passes faster than normal. Some see things that are not there or not able to see things that is right in front of them. This is common. Another explanation for false memory is that the person could be temporarily confused between real and actual memory stored in the brain and those that are hallucinated or imagined. However, this would only occur when a person is instructed to “travel back” to past events which we called “age regression”. Because it is something in the past, the person may not accurately recall what had happened. During the recall, he may add on his imagination since the past events are already vague and has lost some of its details.
Anxiety – People may experience anxiety due to a few reasons: first time undergo hypnosis; regress to their early childhood time or on a timeline where they were having a bad, traumatic experience. They resist revisiting such memory and start to feel anxious. This is their brain trying to protect them from being hurt.
Benefits of Hypnosis
The most obvious benefit a person gets from hypnosis is the “Feel good” effect partly because of the relaxation of the mind and body. Especially in our society where things are happening fast and we are always trying to do things even faster, it is difficult to totally relax our mind and body. If we do have time for it, this becomes a luxury to us. If you have not had a good relaxation for a long time, go for a hypnosis session to get yourself relaxed. Remember that you need not have to had an issue in order to see a hypnotherapist. You could just visit a hypnosis clinic for the purpose of purely relaxing your mind and body. As it is common sense, if you can relax yourself, it will bring you a lot of benefits.
Hypnosis is an effective method for you to achieve your desired results in a relatively short time, sometime as obvious as 2 hypnosis sessions (with each hypnosis session lasting an hour).
Even in a worst case scenario where a person does not get the benefits out of hypnosis, the most she gets is remain neutral (no harm done to the mind and body) and there is no losses mentally, emotionally and physically. The benefits of getting relaxed during hypnosis are already a bargain.
Who Can Be Hypnotized?
Most people can be hypnotized, as long as they are:
- Ranging from 6 – 75 yrs old (this is a rough guide) as much depend on the person’s ability to concentrate. Some children cannot stay still and thus hypnosis is not appropriate for them. Likewise, elderly people who cannot focus well may also not be hypnotizable.
- Can use imagination – Most people can imagine and this is usually not a problem.
- Understand simple language – Depending on what your main language is, you need to be able to understand it. For example, if your language medium is English, you must be fairly good in English so that you can follow what the hypnotherapist says.
- Able to follow instruction – Most people are able to follow However some people could be obstinate enough to do the opposite of what is being told. These are not good subjects for hypnosis.
- Keep an open mind – At least be in a neutral position and do what is being instructed by the hypnotherapist and then see the effect for yourself when the session is over.
Effectiveness of Hypnosis
Alfred A. Barrios, Ph. D. has conducted a longitudinal survey of the psychotherapeutic literature and discovered the following success rate for hypnotherapy versus therapeutic methods:
- Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions
- Behavior Therapy: 73% recovery after 22 sessions
- Hypnotherapy: 94% recovery after 6 sessions
What the findings show is that most issues can be tremendously improved at about 6 sessions of hypnosis.
Hypnosis Case Studies
There are many cases of hypnosis being effective in resolving issues and curing illnesses. The following are some excerpts:
90.6% Success Rate for Smoking Cessation Using Hypnosis
“Of 43 consecutive patients undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent from tobacco use at follow-up (6 months to 3 years post-treatment). This represents a 90.6% success rate using hypnosis.”
University of Washington School of Medicine, Depts. of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66. Barber J.
81% Reported They Had Stopped Smoking After Hypnosis
“Thirty smokers enrolled in an HMO were referred by their primary physician for treatment. Twenty-one patients returned after an initial consultation and received hypnosis for smoking cessation. At the end of treatment, 81% of those patients reported that they had stopped smoking, and 48% reported abstinence at 12 months post-treatment.”
Texas A&M University, System Health Science Center, College of Medicine, College Station, TX USA. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2004 Jan;52(1):73-81. Clinical hypnosis for smoking cessation: preliminary results of a three-session intervention. Elkins GR, Rajab MH.
“Prenatal hypnosis preparation resulted in significantly less use of sedatives, analgesia, and regional anesthesia during labor.”
Vandevusse L, Irland J, Healthcare WF, Berner MA, Fuller S, Adams D. Hypnosis for childbirth: a retrospective comparative analysis of outcomes in one obstetrician’s practice. Am J Clin Hypn. 2007;50(2):109-19.
“An objective baseline of the bruxing was established using a portable electromyogram (EMG) detector attached over the masseter muscle during sleep. Hypnotherapy was then employed…. The bruxers showed a significant decrease in EMG activity; they also experienced less facial pain and their partners reported less bruxing noise immediately following treatment and after 4 to 36 months.”
Clarke JH, Reynolds PJ. Suggestive hypnotherapy for nocturnal bruxism: a pilot study. Am J Clin Hypn. 1991;33(4):248-53.
“Patients slept significantly longer when on autohypnosis alone.”
Anderson JA, Dalton ER, Basker MA. Insomnia and hypnotherapy. J R Soc Med. 1979;72(10):734-9.
“Researchers analyzed 18 studies comparing a cognitive behavioral therapy such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self monitoring, or goal setting with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis.
Those who received the hypnosis lost more weight than 90 percent of those not receiving hypnosis and maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended.”
Allison DB, Faith MS. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: a meta-analytic reappraisal. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996;64(3):513-6.
“One of the first modern applications of hypnosis with cancer patients…[multiple] studies reported positive results.”
Montgomery GH, Schnur JB, Kravits K. Hypnosis for cancer care: over 200 years young. CA Cancer J Clin. 2013;63(1):31-44.
“Study One: Six weeks after an ankle fracture, those in the hypnosis group showed the equivalent of eight and a half weeks of healing.”
“Study Two: Three groups of people studied after breast reduction surgery. Hypnosis group healed “significantly faster” than supportive attention group and control group.”
Harvard Medical School, Carol Ginandes and Union Institute in Cincinnati, Patricia Brooks, Harvard University Gazette Online.
5 Reasons Why Hypnosis Is A Good Alternative Medicine
Reason 1 – Most people meet the hypnotizability criteria and thus can undergo hypnosis.
Reason 2 – Hypnosis can be used in different facets of our life: performance, issues and illnesses.
Reason 3 – Hypnosis has proven to be a quick and effective method.
Reason 4 – Hypnosis is a straightforward process. The hypnotherapist talks and you just relax and listen. There is no analysis about you and your issues. There is no medicine to be taken. There is no undergoing of scan of any sort using medical equipment or device. There is no need to use your willpower to resolve your problem. There is no need to trace your family tree to detect the root cause of your issue. There is no need to visit the clinic many times and over many years.
Reason 5 – Hypnosis is a natural state, just like sleep is natural occurrence for us. It is not dangerous or hazardous to health. Conversely, it heals our mind and body like what sleep can do. It is safe.
Though hypnosis is considered a good complementary and alternative medicine, it is not suitable for everyone. If you have a more severe kind of illness or has been consulting doctor, the best for you is to seek doctor’s advice about using hypnosis alongside the mainstream treatment.
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