By Lori Lines
Hypnosis has been found to ease mental health conditions like anxiety, phobia, and post-traumatic stress, reduce pain associated with childbirth, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory diseases, and curb undesired habits such as smoking and overeating. Hypnotherapy has minimal side effects, if any at all, can be done in a matter of sessions, and is all-natural. Most people could benefit from hypnosis at some point in their lives, including you!
“But I don’t think I can be hypnotized”
What most people mean when they say they can’t be hypnotized is that they don’t think they could fall into a catatonic trance at the snap of fingers, speak Martian gibberish, or cluck like an oversized chicken. Often, those unfamiliar with hypnosis confuse stage hypnosis with the healing practice of hypnotherapy or the soothing exercise of self-hypnosis.
Stage hypnosis is just that; it is meant for the theatrical venue of the stage. To achieve the desired effect, highly extroverted people are hand-picked from the audience, and, with a little suggestion and a lot of encouragement, they put on quite the performance.
Therapeutic hypnosis isn’t the process of will-draining zombification you see on tv! Hypnotherapy doesn’t turn you into a hapless observer of your own actions; It requires you to be an active participant in your personal development.
“I’ve never been hypnotized”
Because hypnosis engages the unconscious mind, we are often unconscious of our hypnotic experience, failing to realize we are hypnotized. For instance, people can still engage in conversation and reason during hypnotherapy sessions. If you have ever drifted off into thought while driving a long stretch of highway, lost track of time watching hours of tv, achieved a deep state of relaxation doing yoga, or concentrated on your breath to ease pain or panic, chances are you have been hypnotized!
Hypnosis is a state of increased attention, relaxation, concentration, and at times suggestibility. It is trance-like, not because we zone out but because we have zoned in so intently. Often viewed as a sleep-like state, hypnosis is a very active, high level of consciousness. Moreover, people in a hypnotic state seem so “out of it” because they have bypassed the chatter of their conscious mind and entered the more expansive, tranquil focus of the unconscious mind.
“I don’t want a hypnotist controlling my mind”
Suggesting that a hypnotherapist will control your mind is like saying a tour guide has kidnapped you. Yes, the tour guide knows the city and its streets very well, but you must agree to go for the trip and stay for the journey. You can disembark at any time. Meaning being hypnotized is a choice, and to reap the benefits, you need to be willing and motivated every step of the way. Therefore, while the hypnotist facilitates the journey, you are required to actively participate in reaching your destination. In fact, it isn’t enough to be willing. There are two prerequisites that only you can fulfill.
#1 – You must harness the intellectual mind
To harness the intellectual or conscious mind, you must first bypass your critical faculties, the processes by which you automatically accept or reject information. Like a computer antivirus, your critical faculties automatically label something as detrimental or already established and safe. The only way to bypass the conscious critical faculty is to focus on something else. This is how the image of the stopwatch became so synonymous with hypnotism. However, anything that fosters hyper-focus can be used, be it breath, sound, sight, or sensation.
#2 – You must open the unconscious mind
To open the unconscious mind, you must be able to engage in selective thinking. Essentially, selective thinking is the ability to have steadfast conviction in an idea or suggestion to the degree that you ignore all unrelated or contrary concepts or arguments. The four fundamental selective thoughts and ideas of being successfully hypnotized are:
Concrete understanding of how hypnotherapy works
Positive expectations based on this understanding
A clear vision of what you want to achieve
A firm belief that you will accomplish this vision
“What if I still can’t be hypnotized?”
The truth is if you still believe you cannot be hypnotized, chances are you are resisting it. It isn’t a harsh criticism or a personal failure; it simply means you must learn the art of allowing. Consider practicing more mindfulness and meditation and reaching out to a certified hypnotherapist like myself to help establish and strengthen the selective thoughts and beliefs you need to guide your desired journey.
“The art of allowing is the conscious, gentle guiding of your thoughts in the general direction of the thing you desire.”
In love and truth,
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.”
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.