Do you believe you can change any aspect of yourself? Perhaps you have uses tools such as Meditation but need something more.
Potentially, we can change almost any aspect of ourselves if we create a change in our minds. The challenge is that a lot of what goes on there is out of our reach. Your mind is like an ocean. The sun’s light can penetrate the ocean’s surface waters; however, the light is unable to penetrate the ocean depths. Similarly, the light of our awareness may not be strong enough to reach the depths of our minds.
If we could reach the depths of our minds, we could create lasting changes in many areas of our lives, including weight loss, smoking, sleep issues, stress relief, and more. We may even get insights into our past lives! Fortunately, there is a way to reach the abyss of our minds and create life-altering changes. One way of accomplishing this is through hypnosis.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a method used to reach deep levels of relaxation. While the hypnotized individual becomes very relaxed, they do not enter a sleep state. On the contrary, the individual who is hypnotized develops heightened awareness. Further, they experience greater suggestibility.
A common concern about getting hypnotized is the loss of control. There is no need for this fear. Hypnotized individuals cannot be made to do anything that they would not do when not hypnotized. Also, the hypnotism performed in a stage show cannot be compared to the hypnosis used in a therapeutic environment. When done for therapeutic reasons, the purpose of hypnosis is to remove the blockage that is preventing you from being who you want to be.
1. Hypnosis and Anxiety Relief
The use of hypnotherapy in treating anxiety can be helpful when exploring repressed memories, instilling desires for healthy habits, and reprogramming thought patterns that lead to anxiety. These changes are made possible because the hypnotized individual has focused attention, greater emotional control, and a reduction of self-consciousness.
An example of a hypnotherapy session for anxiousness would be an individual who has a fear of flying. He or she is given a posthypnotic suggestion while hypnotized. The therapist may tell the person that they will feel confident the next time they fly. Because the individual is hypnotized, they are open to the suggestion. Also, the therapist can have the person return to the memory of when they first became fearful of flying.
Because the person is in a relaxed state, they can return to that memory without experiencing anxiety. That memory can then be reprogrammed so that it becomes a positive memory. When used for treating anxiety, hypnotherapy should not be used as a standalone treatment but as a complement to other therapies.
2. Hypnosis and Weight Loss
The research conducted on using hypnosis for weight loss suggests that hypnosis may be helpful in weight loss when it is part of a program that includes diet and exercise. The value of hypnosis may be in facilitating the behavior changes that support weight loss.
In one study (1), there were two groups of subjects. One group received hypnotherapy along with dietary and exercise programs. The other group only received the dietary and exercise programs. Both groups lost about the same amount of weight. However, there was a difference when a follow-up on the two groups was made. Eighteen months later, the group provided with hypnotherapy lost additional weight, an average of 8 pounds.
3. Hypnosis and Quitting Smoking
The American Medical Association does not endorse hypnosis as therapy. At the same time, the American Cancer Society indicates that there is only anecdotal evidence that it works (2).
During the therapeutic sessions, hypnosis is used to get the individual to associate unpleasant experiences with smoking. For example, the therapist may suggest that the individual image that they are experiencing an unpleasant taste when they smoke.
4. Hypnosis and Sleep Difficulties
There is a form of hypnosis known as sleep hypnosis used with individuals who have trouble sleeping. Hypnosis is not used to get the person to fall asleep; rather, hypnosis is used to change the thought patterns that prevent the person from falling asleep. As in other situations, sleep hypnosis is not used as a standalone treatment. Instead, it is normally used in conjunction with other therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBI).
5. Hypnosis and Past Lives
Past life regression is the practice of using hypnosis to take a person back to a previous lifetime. The purpose of past life regression is to transform past life memories to positively influence one’s life today.
Whether the retrieved memories are from a past life or imagined, the important thing is that these memories impact the person’s life. By coming to terms with the memories and understanding their relevance, healing can occur today.
Hypnosis: What You Think is What Counts
This article provided a brief overview of the ways hypnosis can be used to address a variety of conditions. Several themes ran through this article. One of those themes was that research on the efficacy of hypnosis to address these conditions resulted in mixed results. It is important to realize that the receptiveness to being hypnotized differs with each person.
Further, one needs to consider the studies that were conducted. What were their methodologies? Who funded the studies, and was there any conflict of interest? Rather than going by what you read, go by what you think. How determined are you in overcoming the challenge that you are facing? How open are you to being hypnotized? If you are determined to change your life and you are open to being hypnotized, odds are that you will benefit by including hypnosis as part of your change strategy.
(1) “How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science” by Kris Gunnars. Healthline.com https://www.healthline.com/health/hypnotherapy-weight-loss#takeaway
(2) “Hypnosis for Quitting Smoking.” WebMD. (2021) https://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/hypnosis-for-quitting-smoking#1