Sunday, April 15, 2012


What is hypnosis? Hypnosis is a powerful therapeutic tool for accessing the subconscious mind and achieving personal goals or affecting desired changes. It may be used alone or in conjunction with other therapeutic or medical techniques.

Despite its incredible power, there are few therapeutic tools less understood or more plagued by misconceptions. Hypnosis has existed since prehistoric times and modern western medicine has been trying to understand it since the 1700’s. It has only been within the last two decades that we have truly begun to understand how hypnosis works and what it can do for us.

Unfortunately, many misconceptions that have developed over the centuries still persist today. If you ask the average person on the street what he or she thinks hypnosis is, they may respond with any number of answers including sleep, unconsciousness, mind control, or even magic. All of these ideas are wrong, but unfortunately continue, perpetuated by Hollywood novels and films. Many vampire and spy movies for instance, portray hypnosis as a way for the villain to gain control over the victim. These fallacies prevent many people, who could truly benefit from hypnotherapy, from ever trying it. Those who do try hypnotherapy often spend their first session unlearning their misunderstandings.

Hypnosis is not sleep, unconsciousness, mind control, or even magic. In fact, it is a heightened state of awareness. In most cases, the subject is fully aware and able to respond to requests, either verbally or by signaling, such as raising a finger. Ask a hypnotized person to make a specific, reasonable movement and they will comply.

There is no surrender of control or will-power, no magic. No one can be hypnotized against their will, and what is more, no hypnotized person can be forced to do anything against their will, beliefs, or core values.

Scientists now know hypnosis to be a state of selective thinking in which the subject, who is in control of his or her own thoughts, chooses to experience only what is relevant to the task at hand, thereby blocking out all other stimuli.

However you think of it, hypnosis is a simple, relaxing method for communicating directly with the subconscious mind. Few people realize the immense power that their own subconscious mind has over their life. The causes of many bad habits are rooted in memories or mistaken perceptions that have long been forgotten by the conscious mind but retained in the subconscious. Hypnosis helps to access the subconscious to change those unwanted habits quickly and easily.

Although hypnosis is not a panacea, there are many areas in which it has proven to be tremendously helpful including memory enhancement, improving concentration and focus, relieving insomnia, overcoming phobias and fears, eliminating harmful habits such as smoking and nail-biting, relieving pain, and stress management.

Hypnosis is a self-improvement tool anyone can learn and everyone should use.

© Dr. Shanimah Ra, Certified Hypnotherapist and Angel Therapy Practitioner® 2012

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