Q: What is hypnosis?
A: Hypnosis is an altered state of mind in which the critical or rational mind is suspended to allow access to the subconscious mind, which is very suggestible. The subconscious mind controls 95-99% of all mental abilities, and also controls the physical function of every part of the body. All your habits and long term memories are in your subconscious mind. Did you know you actually enter into some form of hypnosis several times every day? Just as you are falling asleep or waking up, when engrossed in a book or TV show, while meditating or even while driving.
Q: How does hypnosis work?
A: Hypnosis is a tool to help you help yourself to cope with the normal problems of everyday living. The critical, thinking mind, which acts as a filter for everything we see, hear, feel or experience is bypassed to allow the hypnotist access to the highly suggestible subconscious mind. The Certified Hypnotist is trained and experienced in giving properly worded suggestions to replace old, negative programming with strong, positive suggestions to adjust habits of thought, feeling and behavior to achieve the changes you desire. Hypnosis works easily, safely and effectively. By moving from your wide-awake state (beta brain wave level) into a more relaxed state of consciousness (either the alpha, theta or delta brain wave level), suggestions are easily accepted by your subconscious mind. These suggestions then carry over into your daily life, especially when reinforced over a period of time.
Q: What does it feel like to be hypnotized?
A: You will not feel strange, dizzy or like you’re in a “trance.” Most hypnosis is accomplished through a relaxation process and it is a very pleasant feeling. Most people report that they feel very relaxed and awaken refreshed-like they had a “power nap.” Absolutely every client I’ve had says they feel great afterwards. They are always amazed at how relaxed they feel.
Q: What if I can’t be hypnotized?
A: It is true that some people are more suggestible than others, but with very few exceptions, if you WANT to be hypnotized, you CAN be hypnotized. The best subjects have average to high intelligence. Yes, even strong-willed and analytical people make excellent subjects. People who think it didn’t work for me were very likely in a light state of hypnosis (alpha) where they were physically relaxed but still aware of everything. The alpha state is an effective level of hypnosis for all but regression or anesthesia purposes. Remember, hypnosis is a natural state of mind. All hypnosis is considered to be self-hypnosis because you ALLOW yourself to be hypnotized. The exceptions are those who really don’t want to be hypnotized or who have an unwillingness to cooperate with the hypnotist’s instructions (close your eyes and take a few deep breaths). Hypnosis does require a level of trust. That’s why I allow enough time for us to get acquainted and discuss your goals.
Q: What if I don’t go very deep?
A: It is not necessary to go really deep for most hypnosis sessions. Except for anesthesia purposes, a light to mid-range level of relaxation is perfect. Also remember, you may not be able to tell how deep you are, but I will be able to observe the signs that indicate how deep you really are. People who think it didn’t work for me were very likely in at least a light state of hypnosis (alpha) where they were physically relaxed yet still aware of everything. The alpha state is a very effective level of hypnosis for most purposes. You’ll do just fine.
Q: What if I get “stuck” and can’t wake up?
A: You positively cannot get stuck in hypnosis. Any time you want to emerge from hypnosis, for any reason, you will be able to simply open your eyes and become fully alert. Even if you drift off into sleep (delta brain wave level) you would still awaken normally on your own, even if no one were around to awaken you. Remember, you naturally go through all the various brain wave levels each night as you sleep and you awaken just fine.
Q: Will I remember what happened during the session?
A: Most people DO remember all or most of their session. Some deep level subjects feel like they were asleep and are therefore unaware of what was said. Even if you went into delta, which is sleep, your subconscious mind was still hearing the suggestions because it takes longer than the 45 minutes of your session to go into deep delta.
Q: What if I’m afraid to let someone “control my mind”?
A: This is a common first-time hypnosis fear. You will not be unconscious or under the control of the hypnotist. It is nothing like the hypnosis or “mind control” portrayed in movies and fiction, and “brainwashing” requires the use of drugs, sleep deprivation, etc. You have great control over what you will or will not do. Hypnosis is always a 100% consent state. The truth is when you are in hypnosis, you are deeply relaxed physically, but mentally, you are 100 to 300 times more alert. You can hear and respond to everything and can be an active participant in the session if necessary. A hypnotist CANNOT make you do anything you do not want to do. Your subconscious mind will not accept suggestions that go against your desires, morals or beliefs.
Q: Will I be made to do something foolish?
A: This is another common fear. During stage hypnosis, audience volunteers are made to do silly stunts as part of the entertainment. The stage hypnotist is careful to select the most hypnotizable people. Those volunteering enjoy being part of the entertainment or having an excuse to do outrageous things. And of course, those not cooperating with the stage hypnotist are asked to sit down. Clinical hypnosis is nothing like stage hypnosis. No one can hypnotize you against your will. Hypnosis is always a 100% consent state. You will never be embarrassed or humiliated in any way during your individual hypnosis session.
Q: Will I blurt out all my secrets or be forced to “tell the truth”?
A: No. Hypnosis is not a truth serum and does not create any compulsion to “tell all your secrets.” A person will usually refuse to answer or simply come out hypnosis rather than answer something they do not wish to reveal. You cannot be made to say or do anything you do not want to. Your subconscious mind is always watching out for your own welfare. You are always in control.
Q: Does hypnosis always work?
A: Hypnosis CAN work for everyone because we all have a subconscious mind. Hypnosis is a tool you can use to tap into the power within you to adjust habits of thought, feeling and behavior. For some it seems to work instantly, like flipping a switch. For others, it is more of a process, requiring persistence and patience to coax the subconscious mind into making the desired changes. Hypnosis should not be thought of as a “magic wand.” It still requires cooperation and commitment on your part. Remember, hypnosis cannot make you do anything you do not want to do. Research indicates it takes at least 21 days to change any habit or behavior.
Q: How many sessions are necessary?
A: This depends upon the individual and the purpose of their hypnosis. Some habits or behaviors may require only one session. Certain problems may require several sessions, such as smoking, pain management, overcoming an apprehension or losing weight. People usually come for a session, use their reinforcement CD for a week or two, then come back for reinforcement sessions as needed until the problem is improved or resolved. The success of the sessions depends a lot upon the individual’s priorities and how consistently they listen to their reinforcement CD or schedule reinforcement sessions if needed. Follow-up sessions usually do not take as long and are at a discounted rate.
Q: How can hypnosis help me lose weight?
A: Hypnosis can boost your motivation to exercise, drink more water, and eliminate cravings. Controlling stress, improving self-esteem and increasing confidence are the keys to successful weight loss. It can be used to identify and clarify the physical, habitual and emotional factors for your weight problem and can help change those patterns. Positive suggestions are used to reprogram your subconscious mind to help you meet your goals in healthy, pleasant ways. My hypnosis sessions generally focus on eating smaller portions, making healthy choices, recognizing normal hunger/satiety cues, eliminating emotional eating, and increasing physical activity. However, they are very compatible with healthy weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers, South Beach Diet, or diabetic and other doctor prescribed diets. Weekly sessions are best in the beginning to keep you motivated and to reinforce your goals. A reinforcement CD is used between sessions. See [WEIGHT LOSS] for my 4-session Weight Loss Series to jump start your program.