By Lori Lines
We’ve all come across a characterization of a hypnotist saying “you are getting sleepy” in an intonation somewhere between Dracula and cartoonish Sigmund Freud. As a clinically certified hypnotist, I help people overcome many issues, complaints, and bad habits in a safe, professional environment. I am not interested in making you cluck like a chicken or act like a creature from another planet! Of course, it is natural to have questions; it should be encouraged! So, let’s find answers by demystifying the 10 most common hypnosis myths!
Hypnotists have special “powers” and use a pocket watch to put you in a trance. This is a fun one, but you’d be surprised how many people believe it! Hypnosis, like psychotherapy, should be performed by a certified practitioner. I don’t have magic powers; I have my training and years of expertise, powerful tools in their own right! Nor do I use a pocket watch; this is an archaic practice based on inducing hypnosis through eye fixation. Nowadays, we know you can simply close your eyes or lower your gaze.
Hypnosis is against my religion because it is supernatural or involves black magic. There is a vast difference between stage “hypnosis” and hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is based on years of scientific study and clinical practice. Much like the previous myth, the idea that there is something magical or otherworldly about hypnosis comes from the flamboyant performers that “hypnotize” audience members for others’ amusement.
Hypnosis is a gimmick or parlor trick. Hypnotherapy is sometimes mistakenly lumped in with pseudo-medicine like phrenology; pardon the pun! However, hypnosis has been scientifically proven to ease and remedy many physical, mental, and emotional complaints such as chronic pain, IBS, depression, PTSD, phobias, and eating disorders.
“I don’t know if I can be hypnotized; some people can’t.” Hypnosis generates natural brain waves that most people experience at least twice a day! These brain waves can occur when we are so immersed in a show or book that we forget the actors are acting, when we are driving or riding the bus and we “zone out” missing our stop or exit, or when we are engrossed in daydreams.
As you see, everyone can enter at least light hypnosis. The deeper, clinical state of hypnosis is attainable for most, though it may require a skilled hypnotist who has several approaches to experiment with to find what is right for you.
If you can hear the hypnotist, you are not hypnotized. As we just touched upon, hypnosis is different for everyone. People respond to different techniques and have different experiences. Some people may hear the practitioner’s voice throughout the session, while others may let their minds drift during hypnosis. Neither is more indicative of the efficacy of the hypnotherapy or hypnotherapist.
When you are hypnotized, you are under the hypnotist’s total control. This is another misconception rooted in stage “hypnosis,” when people do embarrassing things that you couldn’t imagine them doing otherwise. When you are under hypnosis, you are still in complete control. No hypnotist could make you do something against your will because you are not totally unconscious; you just have greater access to unconscious thoughts and processes.
Hypnosis can cause you to make embarrassing or private disclosures. While under hypnosis, because part of your conscious mind is still active, you still have voluntary control over what you say or do. If you make a sensitive disclosure, it is likely part of your healing journey and done intentionally for your greater good, even if on an unconscious level. Still, would you be ashamed to disclose something personal to a doctor or counselor? A certified hypnotherapist will give you the same level of discretion and consideration.
You can get trapped in a hypnotic trance. How many times have you taken a nap and not been able to wake up? Despite everyone loving a good midday snooze, you were still able to rouse yourself. Even though hypnosis is not a sleep state, the example illustrates how to enter and exit brain states throughout the day. Hypnosis is simply another brain state that we can shift into or out of at will. Even if the hypnotist falls asleep during your session, I guarantee you I won’t; you can still exit hypnosis by opening your eyes and reorienting yourself to the room around you.
Hypnosis is the same as sleeping, mindfulness, or relaxation. No, actually, none of the above. Studies have shown that brain waves recorded on an EEG are quite active during hypnosis, too active for the participant to be asleep. Furthermore, because hypnosis can be entered while we are physically active, during exercise, for example, while not ideal, of course, it is not a brain state exclusive to relaxation. Finally, mindfulness practice is the non-judgmental, non-involved observation of thoughts, while hypnosis often requires us to deeply explore, engage, or challenge our thoughts.
Hypnosis is done in one session. While hypnosis is a relatively quick and highly effective healing modality, you should plan for anywhere from 1 to 6 or more sessions, depending on your specific needs. Another form of hypnosis I provide, Quantum Healing Hypnosis, can create transformational healing in just one session, depending on your goals.
Don’t deny your sovereign power to choose healing, happiness, and wholeness! Contact me for a consultation to discuss the best approach for you. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.
“Ask lots of questions. Don’t give away your power to anyone. Make up your own mind and discover your own truth.”
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Author Lori Lines
Disclaimer: Lori is a high-level channel. The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.