Hypnosis has been used throughout history for healing, pain management and for spiritual awakening. Unfortunately it went out of favour with the introduction of anaesthetics and psychiatric medication.
Have you ever wondered whether hypnosis really works? Have you seen stage shows and thought the subjects were just pretending to be hypnotised? Prior to my first experience of hypnosis I must confess I was very sceptical. After the session there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that hypnosis is a very real and a very powerful phenomenon. It’s fascinated me ever since.
So what is hypnosis and how can it help? Well, it’s common knowledge that we only use about 10% of the ability of our mind. Hypnosis can help you access the other 90%. Let me explain. The part of our mind that we have easy access to is known as the conscious mind. It’s the rational, logical part of our mind. The other 90% is the subconscious mind. This is where our memories, beliefs, habits and emotions are stored. The subconscious is also in control of our physiology, our biochemistry and our perception of sensations including pain.
In our normal, everyday waking state there’s a filter between the conscious and the subconscious mind that acts a little like a firewall. It protects and maintains whatever is already programmed into subconscious mind. Now that can be a good thing in some cases, but it’s not necessarily helpful if our subconscious is holding traumatic memories, limiting beliefs or unwanted habits. Our subconscious may be flooded with distressing emotions like anxiety and depression or it could be creating pain or dis-ease in our body.
So what if we could somehow access and alter things at a subconscious level? What if we could hack into the system and change the programming? That’s where hypnosis comes in. During hypnosis, when a person is guided into a very focused and relaxed state of mind, that filter relaxes. The client goes into a very serene, day-dreamy trance. It’s a little like the feeling of gazing at an open fire or watching a waterfall. It’s a process where the conscious mind can step aside temporarily to allow the hypnotherapist to communicate with the subconscious mind. In that relaxed state the subconscious mind is accessible, open and receptive. Therapy can then occur and suggestions can be given to create change at a deep level.
Many misconceptions and fears about hypnosis still exist but in reality a client is always in control and will normally remember everything that happens during the session although it may feel a little like a dream.
Modern hypnosis is being used in many medical settings including the maternity units of five major hospitals in Australia, the burns unit in a hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, and research at Monash University has shown hypnosis to be surprisingly effective for irritable bowel syndrome.
Alison Burton is one of Melbourne’s leading Hypnotherapists and owner of Simply Natural Therapies, a busy natural health centre in Doncaster East, VIC. Alison is fascinated by the mind-body connection and is dedicated to bringing common-sense back to health care.
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