“Hypnotherapy” - for some it is a fascinating world, for some it’s scary and then there are people for whom hypnotherapy has transformed their lives and empowered them. Fortunately I fall in the latter category. After graduating from my medical school, I quite unassumingly landed up in a Hypnotherapy workshop. Little did I know I will come out feeling transformed. Until then, just like many others I used to feel that hypnotherapy would be something that helps only with emotional issues. Little did I know that by the time I get certified as a Clinical hypnotherapist, I would have healed one of my most distressing physical issues. Ever since I was a child I had urticaria, I was allergic to proteins and would get rashes all over my body on consuming anything that had proteins. The doctors had categorically told me there is nothing much they can do for me and I must refrain from consuming proteins. As luck would have it, during the course of one of the hypnotherapy workshops that I was attending and I was someone’s subject, the allergy just vanished. I was completely bowled over, I realised that hypnotherapy is a powerful tool to heal even physical issues apart from emotional and mental issues. I decided to take it up as a full time profession. Ever since then, I have been witnessing powerful breakthroughs and the one that I would like to highlight here is a regression of a benign brain tumor to one tenth of its original size just with hypnotherapy sessions.
Yet I continue to meet skeptics with myths about how hypnotherapy could take control over you, make you spell out your secrets and make you dance like a monkey.
None of this is possible in a hypnotherapy session.it is in fact a means of enhancing body mind control. The hypnotic trance is a very relaxing state where access is available to the subconscious mind. It does intend to unravel the reason of the client’s issues but not by taking control of them. In fact, most of the people even in a hypnotic trance are awake and aware during the session and they remember everything after the session.
The myths come from the existence of another form of hypnosis commonly known as “Eastern form of hypnosis” where probably through thought transmission the other person could be controlled.
A hypnotherapy session in a therapeutic set up with a professional hypnotherapist would help you relax and heal without any possibility of you being controlled in any way.It is just a heightened state of awareness.
The 2014 definition of hypnosis by American psychological association describes it as “A state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestions.”
By that logic isn’t most of our existence in society in a hypnotic trance? We constantly involve ourselves in focused attention and do take so many suggestions from our environment. In fact, a shallow state of hypnosis is induced just by watching television for more than a minute. We are more likely to buy those products which we see an advertisement of simply because those advertisements go in our subconscious mind as suggestions in that mild trance state. So if most of our existence is in this state of trance, getting into a trance in a therapeutic session can be the safest thing to do.
Hypnosis has evolved since 18th century when Dr Franz Mesmer gave his theory about animal magnetism. The term “being mesmerized” is coined after his name which translates into capturing complete attention of someone. Even though his theory was dispelled by the French Royal Academy of Sciences, around a hundred years later Dr James Braid, a Scottish physician coined the term “Hypnosis” and described it as a physiologic state. His work helped hypnosis gain popularity and helped it get it’s validation as a legally practicable therapeutic modality.
Hypnotherapy popularly helps in emotional issues like stress, anxiety, fears, phobias, anger management, confidence building, performance enhancement and other areas where one can improve oneself. A lot can also be achieved through “Self-hypnosis” in the area self-improvement through auto suggestions.
Hypnotherapy has also gained popularity not only in resolving mental issues like OCD’s and other behavioral issues but also physical issues, the most common ones being pain management, asthma and skin issues.
It is also a gateway to the world of “Past Lives” which one can be regressed into not just for curiosity but Past Life Regression Therapy is an effective modality to heal current life issues, the roots of which lie in past lives.
In 1955 British Medical Association approved hypnosis for treating psycho neurosis, anesthesia in pain relief, surgery and child birth.
In 1958, American Council on mental health of American Medical Association followed suit.
Hypnotherapy also continues to show promise in cases of smoking deaddiction and weight management.
As a hypnotherapist I desire that more and more people experience the power of their subconscious mind through this effective drugless modality. This would become easy to achieve with practice-based evidence to prove the effectiveness of hypnotherapy.
The way forward is to create awareness about what hypnotherapy is and what it is not, dispel fears and misconceptions about hypnotherapy and highlighting evidence based hypnotherapy practice.
When successful hypnotherapy case studies are properly illuminated, its role will be welcomed and respected by society as a whole.