MYTHS ABOUT HYPNOSIS
Most people are ill informed about what is Hypnosis and/or Hypnotherapy.
The first thing that comes to people's mind when they hear the word HYPNOSIS, is the scenes of Hollywood movies, where Houdini (for example) is on a stage in front of a big audience and his subject is floating in the air asleep, or is in a box handcuffed and later disappears...Actually, people like Houdini, are what we call "Illusionists" and stunt performers, which are meant to entertain a public. HYPNOSIS, obviously has nothing to do with this....and is very far from the Hollywood entertainment business...
myth # 1
"AN HYPNOTIST IS A PERSON WITH SPECIAL, MYSTICAL OR UNUSUAL POWER"
An hypnotist is a regular human being who has no unusual or mystical powers. A well-trained and experienced hypnotist understands that the person hypnotizes himself. As Dave Elman, one of the forefathers of contemporary hypnosis, put it, "All hypnosis is self-hypnosis." A hypnotherapist uses the effective delivery of suggestions to facilitate an altered state of mind and teaches his client to bring about or self-induce the hypnotic state. This, however, could be misleading because to induce the right level of trance and teach a client to self-induce the altered state, a person has to be guided very precisely by a well-trained hypnotist. Self-hypnosis in its pure form, without an experienced facilitator, takes years or practice and mastery to achieve the same results on your own. This way the critical factor is bypassed and beneficial suggestions are easily and naturally accepted by the subconscious mind.
"A PERSON MAY NOT BE EASILY AWAKENED AND MAY REMAIN IN AN HYPNOTIC STATE AND GET "STUCK IN THAT STATE..."
No one has remains indefinitely in an hypnotic state. The state can be terminated at will. It is as simple as opening the eyes. You cannot get stuck in hypnosis and not “wake up.” There have been cases where people stayed in a hypnotic state a bit longer than usual and they have all reported it was their own choice not to come back to a regular waking consciousness simply because "it felt so good and relaxing". Getting out of the state is as easy as opening your eyes and you always have control over it*.
"HYPNOSIS AFEECTS A CURE IN ONE OR TWO SESSIONS."
In many instances one or two sessions of hypnosis may enable a person to break a habit. However, in the majority of cases it requires a number of sessions before a favorable and a long lasting result is obtained – it is not a panacea (it cannot cure all human problems; and it cannot do it instantly.) Like with anything in this world, there is no magic pill. Yet, hypnosis has proven to be significantly more effective than other modalities. According to the study of Dr. Alfred Barrios, Clinical Psychologist, PhD, published in American Health Magazine, Hypnotherapy has a 93% recovery rate in just 6 sessions, compared to 72% recovery rate for Behavior Therapy in 22 sessions and 38% recovery rate for Psychoanalysis in 200(!) sessions.
"MANY PEOPLE CANNOT BE HYPNOTIZED"
A general consensus is that 90% of all people can be hypnotized. According to Dave Elman, the famous hypnotherapist who trained hundreds medical doctors and dentists to use hypnosis in their practice instead of anesthesia, this number is actually 100%. “Remove fear [skepticism], and one hundred people out of one hundred will enter hypnosis easily,” he wrote. It is true that all people are not the same when it comes to their general capacity to enter a trance. Yet, it all boils down to identifying blocks or what is known as "blocking parts" and transforming them in order to get their agreement to put the critical factor (the guard that protects our subconscious mind) out of the way.
You cannot be hypnotized against your will. You have to “want” to be hypnotized in order for it to happen.
To be hypnotized
1. You must want to be hypnotized
2. You must have confidence in the hypnotist
3. You must be willing to accept suggestion
4. You must be free from fear
5. You must be free from the need to be in control
"HYPNOSIS IS SLEEPING. AN UNCONSIOUS STATE OF MIND AND AN HYPNOTIZED PERSON IS NOT AWARE
OF HIS SURRONDINGS"
In hypnosis awareness is increased. If she falls asleep she is not in hypnosis. In hypnosis you are aware of everything that is going on around you. Hypnosis might resemble sleep, yet it is not sleep, and is in fact a state of expanded awareness. You are fully aware of what is being said to you when in hypnosis and can reject any suggestion that is given to you at anytime.
The ego never totally dissociates when in hypnosis. The ego is present when in hypnosis and therefore you would never act outside of your code of ethics.
A person in hypnosis is in a state of CATALEPSY and can remain in that state and not wake up
According to the medical section of thefreedictionary.com, catalepsy is "a condition of diminished responsiveness usually characterized by a trancelike state and constantly maintained immobility". It can occur in or out of trance and is not hypnosis in and of itself.
The apparently “catatonic” state known as the hypnotic coma is not an unconscious or cataleptic state, but is such a state of profound relaxation that the person does not want to move, think or speak. However, he is fully conscious and can terminate that state anytime he would want to. In a medium or deep hypnotic state catalepsy is common and is generally perceieved as a very pleasant state.
"HYPNOSIS IS BRAINWASHING".
Brainwashing – The American Heritage Dictionary defines Brainwashing as “Intensive, forcible indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at destroying a person's basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs.” Brainwashing involves an altered state where some form of deprivation is present. A hypnotist cannot make someone do something that they would not do normally and empowers his client to access this state himself and to make his own positive changes.
"HYPNOSIS IS A TRUTH SERUM AND A PERSON COULD BE MADE TO SAY ANYTHING, REVEAL SECRETS OR SAY
You can lie in hypnosis. You can edit and withhold information in hypnosis. You do not have to reveal secrets. When hypnotized, you will not do anything against your will. You can reject any suggestion that is given to you. A client will never divulge or do anything that he or she would not say or do in a regular waking state.
"HYPNOSIS IS ANTI-RELIGION"
There are no religious connotations associated with hypnosis. As it is a naturally occurring state, the trance state is equally common to those who practice religion and those who do not.
As prayer, meditation or contemplation are quite common for all religions, we naturally find ourselves in a self-hypnotic state while doing these activities. Additionally, those who preach and educate in a religious setting quite often use many techniques of group hypnosis whether they realize it or not. Whenever your critical faculty of the mind is bypassed while you are listening to anyone, you are naturally in a state of hypnosis which means that all suggestions given by a speaker tend to be easily accepted on a subconscious level. Therefore any public prayer at a place of worship is hypnotic by nature.
In my practice I see people of all religions with various degrees of religiosity and I find it very beneficial if clients have strong religious beliefs as they open them to wider possibilities with healing with hypnosis. Additionally, hypnosis can help people excel on the spiritual path. If clients are agnostic or atheistic, on the other hand, they can equally benefit from hypnosis as well.