WHAT DOES HYPNOSIS FEEL LIKE?
Hypnosis is not sleep. Although the term hypnosis is derived from the Greek word for sleep, as a clinical experience, hypnosis is simply a state of relaxation and focused concentration. Hypnosis feels a lot like daydreaming, or simply relaxing for a few minutes in your favourite chair after a busy day at work.
DOES HYPNOTHERAPY REALLY WORK?
There is so much research to demonstrate the efficacy of hypnotherapy that it is impossible to list it all here.
Research backs hypnotherapy as a treatment for physical problems such as pain management, IBS and other gastrointestinal difficulties, as well as a demonstrated effective tool to assist with accomplishing personal goals (i.e. test-taking, sports performance enhancement, confidence and self-esteem building, getting over stage fright and public speaking fears), and habit change (quit smoking, lose weight, stop nail biting, etc), and to help us relax (manage stress, overcome fears), as well as to increase intimacy, improve communication, and manage emotions such as anger, depression or anxiety.
HOW DOES HYPNOSIS WORK?
There are three primary reasons hypnotherapy is so effective:
First, hypnosis teaches you skills to become aware of your body’s physical response to stimuli, so you can control it. In a way, it is similar to biofeedback.
Second, hypnotherapy is a pathway to learning. Our subconscious mind has probably learned many negative behaviours over the years that can be re-learned during hypnotherapy.
For example, after 20 years of smoking you have essentially trained yourself to light up after each meal. Or, when eating dinner out, you have been trained to eat all of your food, even though the portions are double the dietary guidelines.
These destructive learning patterns can be relearned (healthy retraining of the subconscious) in the process of hypnotherapy.
Third, our hypnotherapy programs create accountability and help you to attain goals and feel supported in your decisions for change.
There are many other reasons hypnotherapy is so effective, and you will find your visit to be a professional learning experience that teaches you new skills to unlock new ways to live life.
WHAT IF I CAN’T BE HYPNOTIZED?
Since hypnotherapy is simply a process of natural experience and learning, everyone can be hypnotised. It is a myth that some people cannot be hypnotised; everyone has the capacity to relax, to learn and to be creative.
If for some reason you are distracted or have concerns that keep you from using these skills, simply let your hypnotherapist know and they will be happy to guide you into a process of hypnosis that is more comfortable or secure for you.
Of course, mood altering drugs can affect your mind’s ability to follow directions, relax or experience hypnosis. For this reason, you should never use any alcohol or mood altering drugs prior to any hypnotherapy session, and you should report any medications you are currently taking to your hypnotherapist.
IS HYPNOTHERAPY SAFE?
There are few risks in hypnotherapy, a process the Mayo Clinic calls “benign.” Although a very small percentage of people report feeling ‘groggy’ after a session (sometimes referred to as a “hypnotic hangover”), the majority of people report feeling invigorated, energetic, relaxed and happy.
If you are being treated with psychotropic medications or have certain psychiatric diagnoses, you will want to share this with your hypnotherapist, but hypnosis in generally viewed as a safe process with no side effects.
AM I UNDER THE CONTROL OF ANOTHER PERSON?
No. All hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis; a hypnotherapist merely guides you into your own experience of relaxation.
A good analogy is that of the hypnotherapist sitting in the passenger seat of a car, reading map directions to the driver (the client). The driver can listen and follow the suggestions given by the passenger, or they can choose to go their own way, because the driver is always in control.
A person who is hypnotised can awaken themselves at any time, and the hypnotherapist cannot make someone do something that they otherwise would not want to do.
Those who fear that the hypnotherapist has some kind of “magical” power or “mind control” ability simply do not understand how the mind works. These concepts are myths, not realities, in clinical and medical hypnotherapy. Although the results may seem amazing or miraculous, there is truly nothing ‘mystical’ about hypnosis.
ARE HYPNOSIS SESSIONS CONFIDENTIAL?
Acuity Hypnotherapy will not release information about our clients or their sessions to anyone without the client’s express written permission. We treat your information just as any doctor’s office would – with strict confidentiality.
DO YOU WORK WITH OTHER PROVIDERS OF HEALTHCARE?
At Acuity Hypnotherapy we value the therapeutic relationship other professionals have with their clients. We work with other professionals collaboratively to help resolve specific issues. We do not offer services that are a substitute for medical, chiropractic, dental or psychological care, instead preferring to work collaboratively with those who refer to us, and we refer clients who need additional care beyond our scope of practice to other licensed professionals.