What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind, a focused state of awareness, or “trance,” that every one of us experiences on a daily basis.
Although the term is derived from the Greek word for sleep, hypnosis is not sleep, but rather simply a relaxed state of focused concentration.
Hypnosis is also not a state of unconsciousness. And contrary to popular myth, you will not “go to” a magical sixth dimension place, but instead will simply feel relaxed, just as you have many, many times in your daily life.
To some, hypnosis feels like daydreaming.
You may even recall such times.
For example, you may remember times when you were driving and arrived at your destination, only to notice you didn’t remember the journey. You were not asleep, nor were you unconscious.
Or when you were watching a movie and you felt sad when the hero died, even though you knew the actor was going to wake up the next morning just like you, and have breakfast with his family.
Or perhaps you can remember a time when you were listening to a boring lesson or lecture and your mind wandered, only to be brought back to alertness suddenly because you were asked a question.
Have you ever been so involved in a task on the internet that you have lost track of time? Or have you ever read a book and become so absorbed in the plot you can see the scenery and hear the characters speak?
These are all everyday examples of a natural focused state of awareness, or ’trance’.
So, as you can see, everyone can be hypnotized!
What does it feel like to be hypnotized?
You will feel relaxed, and in control at all times, as if you are relaxing in your favorite chair after a busy day, or lazily swinging in a hammock on a well-deserved beach vacation!
You will know exactly what's going on around you, and you won’t be giving up your ability to think. You will continue to think even when you're hypnotized.
In fact, most people think they're not in a trance, or that they're doing something wrong, because they're still thinking.
In fact, only a light level of trance is necessary for the work to get done. Many people prefer a deeper trance state because it feels good to be deeply relaxed.
But achieving deeper trance state is usually simply a factor of how much you practice.
How does hypnosis work?
So, if you don't feel any differently in a trance, if you can still think and you can accept or reject suggestions, how does hypnosis work?
Hypnosis works because the highest prime directive of your subconscious mind is the preservation of your body. And the way you are currently functioning is not in the best interest of your body. Therefore, if you ask your subconscious mind to run your body in a more appropriate way, in a way that it can understand, then it's usually willing to comply. And through these hypnosis audios, all we're doing is asking your subconscious mind to run your body in a better way. We're helping it to fulfill its highest prime directive.
Does it make mean I’m “weak” or “gullible” if I can be hypnotized?
Some people are concerned that it says that they are weak-willed, if they're able to go into a hypnotic trance. On the contrary, a strong-willed person is more likely to be successful in hypnosis.
Strictly speaking, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. As your hypnotist on these audios, I’m really simply a glorified tour guide. I can help you get into that trance state, and I know what tours to take you on, for your best success. But you're the one who has to go on the tour.
So there's no way that you can be hypnotized against your will. No matter how well you've learned to go into a hypnotic state, you can always refuse to do so if you desire. Think of it this way - you've learned to drive a car, and go a certain route to a destination, but you don't have to drive that way unless you wish to. Hypnosis is the same.
It isn't even necessary for you to believe in hypnosis in order to go into hypnotic state, or for you to be benefited by a hypnotic trance and the suggestions given to your subconscious mind. You must, however, be willing to go along with the instructions that the hypnotist gives you.
As your hypnotist on these audios, I simply help you get into that relaxed state when you desire to be in it, instead of only when it overtakes you. And then we use that naturally occurring trance state to have easier access to talk to your subconscious mind.
What happens that makes hypnosis work?
If hypnosis is not sleep or unconsciousness, if it's not being weak-minded and gullible, if it's not being controlled by someone else, then how does it work so well?
It works so well because the body is like a robot - your subconscious mind runs your body very much like a computer runs a robot. Which means that whatever the mind sees, the body tends to do.
In the natural course of your daily life you don't have to think about those millions of chemical processes that go on in your body just to allow you to be able to digest your food. You don't have to consciously orchestrate all those complex electrical impulses that make your heart beat or your muscles move. Your subconscious mind does all of that for you.
Your conscious mind (the analytical, decision making part of our mind that we like to think is in control) can think of a maximum of nine thoughts per second. In that same second, your subconscious mind (the powerful, automatic part of the mind which controls our habits, behaviors, long term memories, emotions, imagination and even our central nervous system) is processing 2,300,000 bits of data.
Through these audios, we simply utilize the relaxed trance state to bypass the analytical, critical, decision making part of our mind that likes to think it’s in control, and gain access to our powerful subconscious mind, giving it the opportunity to remove unwelcome, unproductive, and even destructive learned patterns, with those behaviors and habits that support a healthy, happy life for you. And as we communicate with it in a way that it can understand, your subconscious easily and naturally accepts these opportunities, as we're helping it to fulfill its highest prime directive – the health & well-being of your body!
In hypnosis, as you communicate with your subconscious in the proper way, it says, “Okay, what's next”?
And there's the real key to change – communicating with your subconscious in the correct way.
Your conscious mind thinks logically and communicates through language, like you and I do. But your subconscious mind doesn't. Your subconscious mind communicates through imagination and pretend, not in the logical way our conscious mind does.
For example, if I were to ask you to close your eyes and imagine yourself in a favorite, relaxing place, you may picture yourself at a beach, in a lush forest, or a peaceful, colorful meadow. Then, allow yourself to really get into it. Really associate into that imagination. See the sight of the waves through your own eyes. Hear the waves washing the shores, or a comforting breeze as it gently blows through the trees, all through your own ears. Feel the sun in the air on your skin.
The more fully you can associate your senses into your imagination, the stronger the communication will be with your subconscious mind. It's similar to tuning a radio dialing for the clearest signal. It’s fun… and it works!
Does hypnosis really work?
Research shows that hypnosis is an effective treatment for many physical problems (such as pain management, migraines, IBS, and more) as well as in helping with the accomplishment of personal goals (habit changes like weight management, quit smoking, stopping nail biting, as well as test-taking, performance goals, confidence, self-esteem). Hypnosis also has been proven to help us relax (and manage stress, overcome fears, reduce anxiety, anger or other unproductive emotions) as well as to improve sexual and intimacy issues. The amount of research that demonstrates the efficacy of hypnosis is too long to list all of them here, so I have listed just a sampling of those related to weight loss at the end of this.
Hypnosis has had the full certification of the American Medical Association since 1958. And in many areas of medicine it has been used extensively since then.
Every day it is gaining and growing in popularity in the medical field because it is not invasive, unlike medications, or supplements, or needles. It does not violate the integrity of the body and therefore it's safe. The only known side effects of hypnosis are that your blood pressure will stabilize more closely in the normal range. You will have a greater sense of well-being. Your body becomes more stress-hardy. And wonderfully, of course, none of those are negative.
Research statistics on the effectiveness of hypnosis:
Hypnosis Over 30 Times as Effective for Weight Loss
Investigated the effects of hypnosis in weight loss for 60 females, at least 20% overweight. Treatment included group hypnosis with metaphors for ego-strengthening, decision making and motivation, ideomotor exploration in individual hypnosis, and group hypnosis with maintenance suggestions. Hypnosis was more effective than a control group: an average of 17 lbs lost by the hypnosis group vs. an average of 0.5 lbs lost by the control group, on follow-up.
Cochrane, Gordon; Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492.
Two Years Later: Hypnosis Subjects Continued To Lose Significant Weight
109 people completed a behavioral treatment for weight management either with or without the addition of hypnosis. At the end of the 9-week program, both interventions resulted in significant weight reduction. At 8-month and 2-year follow-ups, the hypnosis subjects were found to have continued to lose significant weight, while those in the behavioral-treatment-only group showed little further change.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1985)
Hypnosis Subjects Lost More Weight Than 90% of Others and Kept it Off
Researchers analyzed 18 studies comparing a cognitive behavioral therapy such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self monitoring, or goal setting with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis.
Those who received the hypnosis lost more weight than 90 percent of those not receiving hypnosis and maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended.
University of Connecticut, Storrs Allison DB, Faith MS. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: a meta-analytic reappraisal. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996;64(3):513-516.
Hypnosis More Than Doubled Average Weight Loss
Study of the effect of adding hypnosis to cognitive-behavioral treatments for weight reduction, additional data were obtained from authors of two studies. Analyses indicated that the benefits of hypnosis increased substantially over time.
Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments–Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64 (3), 517-519.
Hypnosis Showed Significantly Lower Post-Treatment Weights
Two studies compared overweight smoking and non-smoking adult women in an hypnosis-based, weight-loss program. Both achieved significant weight losses and decreases in Body Mass Index. Follow-up study replicated significant weight losses and declines in Body Mass Index. The overt aversion and hypnosis program yielded significantly lower post-treatment weights and a greater average number of pounds lost.
Weight loss for women: studies of smokers and nonsmokers using hypnosis and multi-component treatments with and without overt aversion. Johnson DL, Psychology Reprints. 1997 Jun;80(3 Pt 1):931-3.
Hypnotherapy group with stress reduction achieved significantly more weight loss than the other two treatments.
Randomised, controlled, parallel study of two forms of hypnotherapy (directed at stress reduction or energy intake reduction), vsdietary advice alone in 60 obese patients with obstructive sleep apnoea on nasal continuous positive airway pressure treatment.
J Stradling, D Roberts, A Wilson and F Lovelock, Chest Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, OX3 7LJ, UK
Hypnosis can more than double the effects of traditional weight loss approaches
An analysis of five weight loss studies reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 showed that the “… weight loss reported in the five studies indicates that hypnosis can more than double the effects” of traditional weight loss approaches.
University of Connecticut, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 (Vol. 64, No. 3, pgs 517-519).
Weight loss is greater where hypnosis is utilized
Research into cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments established that weight loss is greater where hypnosis is utilized. It was also established that the benefits of hypnosis increase over time.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1996)
Showed Hypnosis As “An Effective Way To Lose Weight”
A study of 60 females who were at least 20% overweight and not involved in other treatment showed hypnosis is an effective way to lose weight.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1986)