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What is Hypnosis?

What is Hypnosis? Hypnosis is a natural yet altered state of mind with numerous beneficial characteristics. It is the ability to relax the inner chatterbox, sweep out mind clutter, and focus on positive input and desired outcomes.

Through hypnosis, self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy, we tap into our subconscious mind–that great power within us through which our experience of the outer world is created. Thomas Edison regularly used self-hypnosis to gain insights while working on patents.

Hypnosis is derived from “Hypnos”, the Greek God of Sleep. Hypnos was married to the youngest of the Graces – Pasithea (or Pasithee), a deity of hallucination or relaxation, depending on the interpretation.

Hypnosis Image
Hypnos: The Greek God of Sleep

Hollywood and the entertainment industry has popularized Hypnosis as a way of getting people to do silly things, lose control, while under a spell cast on them by another person. When in fact, it is quite the opposite. While in hypnosis, awareness of the physical environment is often heightened.

On page 687 of The Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine, written by Dr Lyle J. Micheli MD, he states that physical senses are often heightened while in trance.  He goes on to say that for athletes, this is one of the benefits.

Another way of thinking about Hypnosis is relaxing that part of the conscious mind that says, “no I can’t, no I can’t, no I can’t”, and focusing on a positive suggestion or phrase, and imagining the desired outcome. In his book, Dr. Micheli also discusses improving concentration, pain management and erasing performance blocks using hypnosis. This is quite different than the Hollywood version.

Interestingly, for several years, hypnosis has been commonly used in Belgium for surgical procedures yielding beneficial results. Among other positive benefits, Doctors have found that patient in hypnosis require less anesthesia for sedation, and that recovery times can be accelerated. This is referred to as Hypno-Sedation. There are several benefits discussed in this video.

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are wonderful tools. However, please note, Hypnotherapy is an educational and self-improvement process that facilitates access to internal resources that assist people in solving problems, increasing motivation, or altering behavioral patterns to create positive change. Hypnotherapy is not a substitute for medical treatment or psychotherapy.