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Hypnosis: The Power of the Mind
by Lorri Heller, C.Ht.
Hypnosis and its uses in the practice of hypnotherapy is widely recognized by
researchers as a safe, natural state of deep physical and emotional relaxation.
The ethical and practical uses of hypnosis has been recognized in many fields
including medicine, dentistry, law enforcement, professional sports, education,
self-improvement, and behavioral modification. In 1958, The American Medical
Association approved the practice of hypnotherapy, calling hypnosis a "viable
and beneficial health alternative".
Most people don't realize it, but they are in a state of hypnosis many times
during the day. Reflect, for example, on what happens if you are in a movie
theatre. At first, you are aware of your surroundings, who you are sitting next
to, and the feeling of anticipation waiting for the movie to begin. Within
fifteen minutes after the start of the movie, you are so absorbed in the action
on the screen that you are essentially in an altered state of consciousness, you
have become unaware not only of your environment, but any problems or concerns
you may have had before you walked into the theatre. This altered state is
called hypnosis. Daydreaming is another state of hypnosis experienced by
everyone as a natural everyday occurrence. In this state, one quite naturally
loses consciousness of his or her surroundings and allows the mind to wander,
mimicking the state of disassociation experienced by the movie viewers.
Reading, painting, working on your car are all defined as states of hypnosis, if
your attention becomes disassociated from your present surroundings during the
All hypnosis is, in reality, "guided self-hypnosis". One of the best times to
experience self-hypnosis is right before bed or upon waking up. This wonderful,
dreamy state is an excellent time to imagine reaching your goals because the
conscious mind has relaxed and the subconscious mind becomes accessible, thus
giving us expanded possibilities for change. Daily affirmations of experiencing
yourself the way you want to be will allow your subconscious mind to accept this
information as truth. This process makes it easier to transform your desires
Hypnosis doesn't hurt or harm us in any way. When we are hypnotized, our bodies
become physically relaxed. As in meditation, the awareness of the person in the
state of hypnosis is considerably altered. In fact, a more accurate definition
of hypnosis would be guided meditation or guided daydreaming. When used
therapeutically, hypnosis is a powerful way to help people reach their
potential. The subconscious mind is very alert and focused when the body is
relaxed, and therefore responsive to positive suggestions. The subconscious mind
is also self-protective; it will only accept what is true for the individual.
When using hypnosis to eliminate a habit such as smoking or overeating, the
subconscious mind responds to a new way of being, making it easier to maintain
control. The same is true for emotional concerns. Fears, phobias, and anxiety
can be minimized or eliminated as the subconscious mind accepts more appropriate
ways of responding to the situations that trigger these feelings.
When choosing a hypnotherapist, it is important to find someone who is
responsive to your needs as a client, and one who explains the process of
hypnosis in a way that makes you feel safe, comfortable, and fully prepared to
proceed. This will afford the best opportunity for success.
The subconscious mind is a powerful tool for self-change. Hypnosis is one of the
vehicles by which a person can access this power and effect radical and
long-lasting changes in the psyche, thereby opening the path to a more