How does hypnotherapy work?

What is hypnotherapy?

Are you unsure of what to expect from hypnotherapy and how to get the most out of it? For most issues, it will be a four-session process—best spaced weekly or fortnightly. The rule of thumb is 3-6 sessions. I’ve learnt from experience that four is usually the required number of sessions to get traction and long term change happening.

The hypnotic process

In the hypnotic state, our brain waves alter. Beta (14-40Hz), is the ‘normal’ waking and it is associated with alertness, logic and critical reasoning. Still, it can also translate into stress, anxiety, fear and restlessness. In the hypnotic state, we experience the Alpha (7.5-14 Hz). Alpha waves are present in profound physical and mental relaxation.

Alpha state is the hypnotic trance state and it usually occurs when the eyes are closed. Other examples are,  light meditation, or in during a daydream. It offers the opportunity to program the mind for success, the key to the subconscious and the voice of your intuition, which becomes more apparent and more profound the closer you get to 7.5Hz. One also enters the parasympathetic side of the autonomic nervous system. The parasympathetic system is sometimes called the rest and digest mode. In the parasympathetic state, the subconscious conserves energy to the whole system. Slows the heart rate, increases endocrine gland activity, and relaxes muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. Or in other words, it’s a pleasant, relaxing experience that effectively prepares you for making the changes you want and achieving your life goals.
Quite often, clients penetrate the alpha-theta border. Theta brain waves are from 7Hz to 8 Hz, the optimal range for visualization, mind programming, and using your mind’s creative power. In this mental state, we can create our reality, yet we are still aware of our surroundings. I find it fascinating that the base atmospheric electromagnetic resonant frequency of Earth is 7.83 Hz, so we are in sync with the planet.

Unlike other therapies such as psychology and, the therapy aspect of hypnosis does not take place in the conscious waking state, but in the less familiar, natural and more resourceful subconscious state of the hypnotic trance. Adults & children especially are spontaneously moving in and out of shallow trance states during each day. Being lost in a daydream, or absorbed in a beautiful sunset, are considered light hypnotic trances. These natural trance states are the body’s way of taking a step back from the stress and tensions of daily life. Breathing slows down, blood pressure drops, it’s very beneficial.

The inhibitions of our conscious mind, in the waking state, are markedly reduced in the trance state as the neural pathways can change. Neural plasticity has evolved as the study of the plastic, or malleable nature of the brain becomes open for processing the emotional history or trauma that may have been the cause of various issues.

In the ‘trance state’, thoughts, senses and feelings that are dealt with that are rarely reached through conscious psychology strategies like CBD. Once they are acknowledged, the unwanted behaviours and patterns can be changed within a few sessions.

Most people who seek help suffer from depression, stress, anxiety, sadness, guilt, shame, or rage. This unprocessed mental ‘dross’ effects behaviours & patterns, these patterns could manifest commonly as unhealthy eating habits, panic attacks, hair pulling or harmful and toxic behaviour in private interpersonal relationships or in their professions & careers. It is essential to understand the connection between feelings & actions, actions & consequences. We all live in a stimulus-response world, hypnosis can break a negative pattern, by repairing a negative response from the past.

“Depression is like a woman in black. If she turns up, don’t shoo her away. Invite her in, offer her a seat, treat her like a guest and listen to what she wants to say.” C. Jung.

With the help of hypnotherapy, the negative feeling/patterns can be acknowledged and dissolved. In the process of being freed from the negative emotions, clients begin to feel happier, more resilient, stronger and more self-assured than before. The changes made in the subconscious world naturally change the conscious world too. The cool thing is we don’t have to “do it” with conscious action either, it’s the nature of the subconscious mind to be successful, and it creates success as a habit.

What happens at the first hypnosis session?

The initial session is 1.5 hours and involves a ‘pre-talk’. I will gather all the necessary information that I need. You will have the opportunity to discuss what you want to achieve. At this stage, both parties commit: I, as the hypnotherapist, to help you achieve your goals. You, the client to comply with the clinical process and any suggestions made. The first hypnosis session is the foundation for all future sessions.

The hypnotic process

After a brief catch up to note the progress, the subsequent sessions concentrate much more on the hypnotherapy. By then you will be familiar with the comfortable reclining chair and the hypnotic process. The process begins with a hypnotic induction, which is a quick and pleasant process designed to bypass the conscious part of the brain and establish direct communication with the subconscious. This is where habits, memories and learnings are stored. Whilst in the hypnotic state, suggestions are made directly to the subconscious brain. These suggestions override even the oldest, most ingrained patterns, replacing them with new ones which align with your goal.

Once the hypnotherapy session is over, clients express feelings of relaxation, clarity and energy.

For clients planning an extended series of sessions (3 or 4), each subsequent session offers the opportunity to go deeper and deeper into the subconscious and experience profound states of being. These experiences not only help build towards the client’s goal/s, they also have the effect of recharging the immune system, reducing cortisol (stress hormone) and adrenaline levels. This leaves clients feeling calm and confident.

How to get what you want from hypnotherapy

Before I go ahead with the hypnosis, I always go through preliminary steps to understand the clients’ desired outcome. Success and goal scoring is more likely when one has a clear target in mind.

Over the years, I’ve noted definite patterns with clients that achieve their goals.

They know what they want and what they don’t want.

They have an open mind.

They expect to get the desired result.

There is a willingness to collaborate.

It is usually straight forward for most changes to occur, of course, there can be more challenging cases, and they take a little more time.

I encourage any of you who are still in the decision stage to take action and experience and the natural and rapid life-changing benefits of hypnosis and NLP.

“When a man says ‘I cannot’, he has made a suggestion to himself. He has weakened the power of accomplishing that which otherwise would have been accomplished.” – Muhammad Ali

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