Getting Real with Hypnosis

Feb 02, 2023

Hypnosis has not ceased to amaze me since the first time I was hypnotized on stage at Springville High School for our last-day-of-school Senior all-nighter party. Even though stage performance hypnosis is not the clinical hypnotherapy I use in my office to help people, hypnosis in general has captured my imagination (pun intended) off and on for the last 15 years.


Image result for the court jester trance


It’s funny though. Hypnosis has been portrayed in movies as voodoo, woowoo, mystical, horrific, embarrassing, and downright evil. Just google the top 15 movies with hypnosis in them and you’ll see the intense fear factor surrounding hypnosis. I watch my favorite oldie movies like The Court Jester and it even portrays hypnotic trance as a mind control technique to be used on the weak minded (star wars anyone?). If you haven’t seen Danny Kaye as the Jester in that movie you really should it’s a classic!


Unfortunately, hypnosis has gotten a bad rap. Not only has it been portrayed negatively, Hollywood has sensationalized and misrepresented what hypnosis actually is and does for people. They’ve created a hypnosis mind monster that controls the subject and makes them do things they’d never otherwise do, usually to their own embarrassment.


THE TRUTH IS its one of the most natural states of mind you could possibly enter. Ever gone to sleep at night? Ever taken a nap? Ever gotten lost in a good book? Ever gotten sucked into a great movie that made you cry? Have you ever driven home from work and as soon as you pulled out of your parking lot at work you pulled into your driveway and wondered how in the world you got there completely on auto-pilot, having lost track of time? The hallmark characteristic of someone in hypnosis is that they’ve relaxed their mind enough to “lose” themselves thinking about one particular thing.


It goes by many names. When its inadvertent we call it daydreaming. When its deliberate its called stress-management or meditation. Religion calls it prayer or pondering in one’s heart getting. Science calls it a slower brain-wave state: Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, Gamma. New agers may call it by any number of names: Law of Attraction, Noetigenesis, Trance, or Manifesting. There are also many names people call that state that gets entered when relaxed this way, the “unifying field” or “quantum sea of vibration” or “collective unconscious.” Some people call it the “light of Christ” or “mind of God.”


The crazy thing is that in our 24/7 wired society, constantly bombarded with depressing news, social media to compare you with everyone else, TV to numb your mind, musical lyrics to subliminally give you messages (think Inception), most people are walking around in a low Beta state, which is actually the lightest state of hypnosis. It is one in which they are not really paying attention to what is going on around them. They’re in their own world and think they are the center of it. They are in a highly suggestible state in which marketing, TV, music, and the local preacher can dupe them in their very gullible state. Basically it’s like turning on a tractor to plow a field and letting it go without a driver. It tears up everything that could have been beautiful if only the driver would have taken control of what was being plowed up.


Image result for runaway tractor


When people are in this state, and I would dare say it’s most people, we call them gullible. But when entering this relaxed state is purposefully used to help someone reach the innermost core of themselves in order to desensitize unwanted imaginations, alter the perception of negative memories, and collapse unhelpful emotions, it is called Clinical Hypnotherapy. Instead of gullibility it is a highly suggestible state in which the subject is highly responsive, voluntarily. Hypnosis is actually a more sensitive, aware, and heightened state of mind when it is entered deliberately.


I started using it by implementing what I believed to be self-hypnosis while I was playing tennis at Weber State University, and hounding the school psychologist for everything they knew on mental toughness. Then I moved to sporadically reading books early on like Hypnotism by Estabrooks, and Self-Hypnotism by LeCron. I was amazed at the changes that took place in those willing to subject themselves to a part of their mind which was previously entirely consciously unknown to them. I read many other things on hypnosis and became enamored with the possibilities, because the mind seemed to be infinitely powerful and we humans have hardly scratched the surface. Think quantum science, where it is claimed everything we can see is about 3% of what is in the world around us.


Eventually I decided that the mind is the final frontier and began to search out the best schools to teach me all about this mind of mine that I’m not very familiar with apparently. By the time I finished my certification I had witnessed and participated in some astounding powers of the mind. Just to name a few: my IBS of 12 years disappeared in just 3 sessions, a woman’s life-long asthma disappeared in one, another woman’s debilitating allergies disappeared in one session. I watched a man who wore corrective eye glasses do a session on simple hay fever and walked out, according to him, with 85% clearer eye sight. I was witnessing life-changing results in the span of a one-hour hypnotherapy session.


When it comes to what hypnotherapy can help with, one needs to understand that there are pathological issues (lab exams of body tissue to trace a cause of disease) and psychosomatic issues (emotional and stress induced dis-ease). Hypnotherapy has a 100% recovery rate with the latter, psychosomatic issues. Not all physical issues trace back to a piece of your body tissue that is causing the problem. We may think that the body is the problem because we can identify what hurts and where, BUT when we dig deeper into the mind through hypnosis we can uncover whether that physical illness is actually stemming from an emotional trigger, what we term an initial sensitizing event.


What I’m talking about is the first time you watched a scary movie, it horrified you, and now you can never get out of bed at night for fear of what is under your bed or in your closet or going to bite your bum on the toilet. That’s what we call a fixation, and that emotion can be collapsed by going back to that first time you decided to be scared, and altering the perception of that memory. In this example it may mean allowing yourself to teach yourself (in hypnosis) that the fear was unfounded and you don’t need to be handicapped by it any longer.


But how does it all work, really??? Come in for a session and I’ll tell you. Just kidding, I’ll give you a bird’s eye view here. You have at least two portions of your mind, one of which you allow to control your day-to-day alert and conscious living. That’s the conscious mind. But you enter the second and far more powerful part of your mind when you start to stimulate your imagination, memories, and emotions. That’s the subconscious mind. You think your conscious mind is running the show, but the reality is your subconscious mind runs the show. It’s akin to a peon in the mail room (your conscious mind) trying to send a memo on how to operate a mega-corporation up to the board of directors (the subconscious mind) and actually get that memo paid some attention.


Mind division - Conscious & Subconscious Mind


You can see how difficult it is to control the subconscious, hence the fear of going there I suppose. But what hypnotherapy does, when you can find a well-qualified Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, is teach you the rules of the mind and give you the tools and skills to harness and direct that power for your good, so, for example, when you have an emotion that wants to dump off somewhere you can dissipate and minimize it instead of allowing it to dump off into your body and create a kidney stone, or asthma, or liver problems, or IBS, or allergies, or… fill in the blank with your given bodily complaint. Tapping the subconscious mind is the trick, and that’s my specialty.


Hypnotherapy is organic, non-invasive, side-effect free, non-chemical, and despite most people’s fairly myopic view based on what they’ve seen in Hollywood and stage performance, extremely effective especially in the medical context. What needs to be changed is people’s perception of their own mind. When they can confront the fact that their own mind is causing most of their problems, and learn to take control of it instead of fear it, then control is regained. So is hypnosis mind control? Yes! It’s you getting control of your mind, learning to control it instead of letting it be controlled by everyone and everything around you.

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