Hypnosis has been in use for thousands of years. There is a great deal of evidence to support the belief that Hypnosis was being used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans – for therapeutic benefit – as far back as about the fourth Century B.C.
Egyptians even had very popular ‘sleep temples’ in which people were asked to lie down and listen to somebody chanting to help cure illness and problems as far back as 1550BC.
Unfortunately for most people their first encounter of hypnosis is through watching television and stage hypnotists at work. This can lead people to believe that they may be controlled or manipulated or made to do something silly.
Firstly this type of Hypnotism only works with a small percentage of the population and interestingly the people you see being hypnotised would only do the things they are if at an unconscious level they are happy to do so.
As a clinical hypnotherapist and a member of the British Institute of Hypnotherapists and NLP (a professional body regulated by the Complimentary and Health Care Council) I am not permitted to perform stage hypnotism.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that if you go to see any Hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner, you should check they are members of a professional body.
This will confirm that they have completed a course of a minimum duration and qualified to a clinical level.
Again at all times you remain in control and will be perfectly awake. Hypnosis for therapeutic purposes is just about relaxation. You may feel very heavy, relaxed, lethargic or quite light and tingly. It’s just a wonderful, deeply pleasant and relaxing experience.
Realistically no-one can be hypnotised against their will and even when hypnotised, a person can still reject any suggestion.
Thus hypnotherapy may be considered as a state of purposeful co-operation.
A good technical definition of hypnosis is: “A state of relaxation and concentration at one with a heightened awareness induced by suggestion”.
In fact the word hypnosis is derived from the Greek word ‘hypnos’ meaning ‘to sleep’ but it is actually far from being asleep, but by the time the early users of hypnosis realised this and tried to change the name, it had already stuck.
So – Hypnosis – true or false?
“In hypnosis you are asleep” FALSE – you are wide awake at all times.
“You can be made to do something against your will” FALSE – Nobody can make you do anything that you do not want to do.
“Hypnosis is a natural state of mind’ TRUE – It is completely natural state of concentration and relaxation. It has been used for hundreds of years. ’
“There are some people that can’t be hypnotised” FALSE – Everybody can be, if they want to and when they follow simple instructions on how to relax; excepting persons with learning difficulties, although of course the degree varies from person to person. The only other exception would be people ‘high’ on the effects of alcohol or drugs.
“You can’t remember what happened’ FALSE – There isn’t any amnesia after hypnosis, you will remember everything that took place.