I'm Tracey De Wet and a clinical hypnotherapist at TDW Hypnotherapy Harrogate. In this article I'm going to answer the question many people ask.
The sometimes astounding effects of hypnosis were discovered a long time ago. There is evidence it was used thousands of years ago to reduce pain and encourage healing so it is nothing new. What is new however, is the ability to measure brain activity in the detail currently available. So what was once considered inexplicable, magical and unscientific is now seen in a different light.
So what actually is it? we have complex brains made up of different parts, they process different data in slightly different ways. Some we are aware of, some not. And there is a state somewhere in-between thought to be accessed during hypnosis. Most of our bodily systems are considered unconscious. We don't have to think for our heart to beat, respiration to take place and organs to function. We can influence them somewhat if we consciously try. Like speeding up or slowing breathing, heart rate and sensitivity.
The hypnotic state is experienced at least twice a day. When falling asleep and just before we are fully awake. Also when you've driven home on autopilot - you got home safely so part of your awareness knew where to go and how to negotiate traffic - but you were distracted.
By inducing that state you can focus inward and access memories, thoughts, experiences and ideas. By re-processing them you can affect how your system responds to them. That is the power of hypnosis.
Whether you call it subconscious, unconscious or non-conscious doesn't matter. They are degrees of the same thing.
So can everybody be hypnotised? yes, if they can fall asleep then they can access that state naturally. Can you be made to do things you don't want to? No. Despite what you see in movies, people cannot be programmed to carry out secret missions in response to a trigger. Your subconscious' main job is to keep you safe, it will not allow you to do things you aren't ordinarily comfortable with. Hypnosis is not brainwashing, it is more like a reset.
Of course, a person may resist going into hypnosis during a session, you can't be forced. It can be a very gentle process and requires the co-operation of your ever-watchful subconscious.
What can hypnosis help with? habits, phobias, fears, negative behaviours, unwanted behaviours, pain management, symptom reduction, positive anchors, increasing confidence, finding the joy in life, letting go of the past, helping with PTSD, end of life, birthing, insomnia. Basically anything that is related to memories and experience. Something put them there, hypnosis can help release them.
The mind is extremely powerful. Sometimes it makes life difficult by holding scary thoughts in a specific area of the brain where they get more easily triggered. By accessing and reprocessing the emotional component, these can be laid to rest. As I explain to my clients, it's like taking the sting out of them.
There have been various studies over decades. Hypnosis is notoriously difficult to quantify but getting easier with more sensitive technology and insight. But has been shown to be as effective, if not more in helping with many issues as certain medications and talking therapies do. Leading to it being taken more seriously nowadays. Even the top psychiatrists like Bessel Van Der Kolk who are at the cutting edge of trauma treatment use hypnosis extensively.
So if you can't stop smoking, drinking, biting your nails or grinding your teeth, hypnosis can help. Chronic pain and unpleasant symptoms can be reduced hypnotically. You can overcome a difficult childhood, get more confidence, speak in public, stand up for yourself. You can reduce anxiety, panic attacks and all sorts of fears in a shorter timeframe than most other approaches.
I think everybody would benefit from having a hypnosis session.
Hypnosis could be the solution you are looking for.
To find out more about whether you should invest in hypnotherapy, feel free to get in touch with me at TDW Hypnotherapy Harrogate. I'm happy to answer any questions about it that you have.
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