Hypnosis has been known practically in almost all countries since the early times. It has been documented in Egypt in the 3rd century. It is a form of transpersonal portal, which includes primary process thinking, a feeling of acute increased awareness, a lowering of perceptual boundaries, and shares the unique psychobiological signature of high-voltage, slow-wave hippocampal-septal hypersynchrony (HSHH) (Wilbur, 2000; Robbins, 2000). I modern cultures, it has been one of the most common approaches to psychotherapy since the 1980’s.
Hypnosis is generally defined as a peculiar state of cerebral dissociation that enhances a person’s ability to focus on particular attention through increased suggestibility to return to the original state of past events and allow the brain to access the unconscious state of mind or recorded memories in the early stages of life to have the opportunity to `reprogram’ the `hardwired’ beliefs, generalizations and reactions (Winkelman, 2000). It enables a person to attain an altered state of consciousness in which he experiences higher levels of alpha brain waves (slow neurological activities in hypnosis that occur at 8-12 hertz or cycles per second), theta brain waves (slower and deeper brain activities that range from 4-7 hertz or cycles per second) and delta brain waves (slowest brain activities which happen during sleep and deepest levels of hypnosis), which is usually experienced predominantly for the first five years of life (London et al., 1969; Chen et al., 1981; Crawford, 1994). The altered state shares certain fundamental patterns of brain activity, characterized as integrative of the cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of the person that experiences them. It involves a shift toward increased slow-wave activity across the frontal lobes, coupled with increased dominance of limbic system activity (especially in the hippocampus, septum, and amygdala), a shift toward parasympathetic dominance in the autonomic nervous system, synchronization of left and right frontal lobe electroencephalogram (EEG) activity, along with a general shift toward right brain dominance. As the state deepens, there is a gradual decrease in frontal lobe activity followed by a similar decrease in limbic involvement, both of which seem to be associated with transcendent states of consciousness.
In layman’s terms, it is simply a technique in focusing oneself to desired goals by putting positive suggestions into the subconscious mind through relaxation. A hypnotized person experiences a state similar to that of childhood, and the deeper the hypnotic trance, the slower the brain wave activity, and the earlier in life is being approximated. Hypnosis does not involve mystery or magical powers as many used to believe. It is a powerful means for change and improvement. It occurs when some striking phenomena – such as catalepsy, rigidity, hallucinations, time distortion, age regression, and post-hypnotic amnesia – are experienced by an individual. Primarily, individuals, healers and health professionals use hypnosis as a tool for relaxation and concentration.
The practice of hypnosis has become more and more popular and its benefits have increased since many people were interested in considering the physical and psychical aspects of human beings for improving health and wellness. It’s no wonder that hypnosis has gained a definite scientific status and place in the field of medicine. For instance, therapists have employed various memory recovery techniques to retrieve memories such as hypnosis, dream interpretation, and guided imagery. It produced positive results in helping sexually abuse women to confront the alleged abuser and then to cut off all contact during their therapy (Poole et al., 1995).
Perhaps, most of us are unaware that we are, in fact, experiencing self-hypnosis many times during the day. Some examples of activities in which hypnosis can happen in our day-to-day life includes daydreaming, playing sports, driving a car for a long period, watching a movie or television, reading a book, doing crosswords or listening to music. Hypnosis can be used to improve one’s physical, emotional and psychological conditions, improve memory, distract or divert unpleasant thoughts, overcome sleep disorders, achieve greater success, make better decisions, have a happier relationship, improve health, deal with phobias, control weight, quit smoking, reduce stress, release pain or simply achieve deep relaxation.
Have you ever thought that something in your life needs change or has to be improved? It is never too late to get ready to do what your heart, mind and body want. Hypnosis is an effective way to make it happen. There is nothing to worry about because hypnosis is a safe process to achieve your goal even without the guidance of a professional hypnotist. For many people, hypnosis has helped them change their life for the better.
Self-hypnosis, in which an individual puts himself into a state of hypnosis, is possible. Indeed, all hypnosis are actually considered as self-hypnosis because, although in hetero-hypnosis a hypnotist hypnotizes his subject, the subject controls the response to suggestions and he is the only one who can make himself achieve an altered state of consciousness or the hypnotic condition. Trying self-hypnosis isn’t risky at all and there is nothing to lose. The Internet provides too much information and self-help materials about self hypnosis. Therefore, you have to be careful in determining the best way to hypnotize yourself.
Typically, hetero-hypnosis procedure starts with suggesting the subject to get ready for relaxation, followed by a request for the subject to focus his attention on a particular object. The hypnotist then tells the subject to close his eyes as they become heavy and tired. Immediately, the hypnotist suggests that he will be in a deep hypnotic state. He continues to guide the subject until the deepest state of consciousness is achieved as he directs him to accept further suggestions without question or equivocation.
The same procedure is performed in self-hypnosis. Follow this link to read more about how to perform self-hypnosis: How to Perform Self-Hypnosis (for AccelerateMe, NZ).doc – 33KB
Hypnosis has a lot of benefits to offer in achieving well being by allowing us to address change or thoughts that will help overcome our problems, weaknesses or limitations. Self-hypnosis requires extreme relaxation and other few things to get you started. It takes more than a week to achieve the best result of enforcing your belief through repetition of positive suggestions. Self-hypnosis, which is similar to meditation, is easy to achieve, especially when practiced regularly and effectively. So what are you waiting for? Spend some time and find the perfect place for you to perform self-hypnosis and consider the steps presented.