5 Myths about Hypnosis
What do you think of when you hear the word Hypnosis? Is it these weird people on a stage waving arms like wings and clucking like hens?
There are some common myths about hypnosis. Let’s talk about them.
My purpose is to show you that if you are not using special states of your mind like hypnotic trance you are missing out on the exceptional abilities of your mind.
Myth 1 – Being completely out of control
While most people fear losing control in hypnosis, it is in fact a means of enhancing mind-body controlDavid Spiegel, neurobiology professor at Stanford University
Many people are scared of hypnosis. They believe that the hypnotist will take complete control over them and make them do things they do not want or benefit from them.
The idea comes probably from seeing the stage hypnosis and seeing people acting weird.
In practice, you remain in control all the time, you can leave the hypnotic state at any moment for example because you need to pee!
Some clients are worried about staying “stuck” in hypnosis and not being able to come out of it. But this has nothing to do with reality.
You cannot get stuck in hypnosis more or less than in a simple conversation.Mike Mandel, Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy
Myth 2 – Being unconscious of what is happening
Some clients ask: “Will I remember what I experienced during hypnosis?”
Of course, you will! The state of hypnosis is quite opposite to unconsciousness – it is a state of high alertness and focus on the subject of the session.
You also stay very active in communicating and answering questions from your therapist that are crucial for your understanding and healing.
Myth 3 – Having out-of-this-world experiences
Some clients expect supernatural experiences from hypnosis: “Can I take a quantum leap into a parallel universe and change things there?”
There is nothing supernatural about hypnosis!
Hypnosis has to do with a natural state of your mind. It is comparable with everyday-life experiences like a state of full immersion in observing a sunset, losing oneself in an exciting book, or a movie.
Hypnosis is also compared to a guided meditation in which suggestions are given or visualizations are used that improve the state of your mind or health.
Myth 4 – “I cannot be hypnotized”
Some people claim: “I do not believe in hypnosis” or “Noone can hypnotize me”.
Hypnosis is about giving yourself and accepting certain suggestions. And the above statements are such suggestions that became a belief. So practically, they are nothing but a great self-hypnosis!
Only you decide if you accept or reject suggestions given by anyone. And therefore any hypnosis is in the end a self-hypnosis.
Myth 5 – “I was not hypnotized at all”
Clients are often expecting some extraordinary “out of body” experience, being out of control, not remembering anything.
Because their experience turns out to be very natural, they may think they were not hypnotized at all.
I had clients asking me astonished: “What was it? We just talked but suddenly everything is different in my life!”
You are surely aware that knowing what is good for you does not necessarily make you do it. Rational knowing does not make you change your thinking or behavior.
Smokers know that smoking is harmful but cannot quit smoking even if they want. Obese people know that overeating destroys their health but cannot stop it. Anxious people are unhappy but cannot stop their anxiety.
Your emotions and feeling-based beliefs will always be in the way of adopting a new way of thinking or behaving even if this is in your very own interests.
Or for example, if you are upset and someone tells you not to be, this does not make you feel less upset at all. But a good story, a metaphor, creating an emotional image in your mind can cheer you up rather quickly.
With the help of hypnosis, you can bypass the limited, critical, logical, and resistant mind and achieve the changes that you want and need. This shifts easily and positively your state of mind, perception, and behavior.
Hypnosis has been proven to be effective for such purposes like:
- treating anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder,
- elevating self-esteem, recovering from depression,
- alleviating physical pain related to surgeries, childbirth, or chronic pain,
- quitting smoking or stopping any other addiction,
- weight control,
- resolve sleep issues,
and much more (see the references for research studies below).
It has been shown that hypnosis substantially enhances treatment outcomes in combination with other therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), compared to receiving CBT alone.
What is Hypnosis
Hypnosis has to do with a special state of your mind being highly responsive to suggestions.
Hypnosis itself is not a therapy. It is a tool that can be used in therapy to achieve desired improvements in your mindset and mental and physical health.
Sharp and Stable Focus
Hypnosis is not sleep. Whatever sleep is, hypnosis is not… to put is succinctly, hypnosis is an altered state of attention which approaches peak concentration capacity.Herbert Spiegel, an American psychiatrist who popularized therapeutic hypnosis as a mainstream medical treatment for patients suffering from pain, anxiety, and addictions
In a hypnotic trance, your mind is highly focused. You are not distracted by any thoughts but fully engaged in a specific topic of hypnosis.
Your awareness is dissociated from the immediate reality but focused on your past experiences or imagery.
Transformational hypnotherapy sessions last up to two hours. But the clients stay easily absorbed in the therapy process. They do not even notice how time passes.
(Hypnosis is) a state of intensified attention and receptiveness, and an increased responsiveness to an idea or to a set of ideas.Milton H. Erickson, an American psychiatrist, psychologist, and genius hypnotherapist
As already mentioned above, hypnosis is a state of suggestibility. This allows you to change your habit of thinking, feeling, and reacting.
The desired transformation happens fast because hypnosis enhances dramatically the ability of your brain to change (neuroplasticity). This is due to a calm and focused state of mind.
Instead of allowing pain, anxiety, or other negative experiences to control you, hypnosis helps you to apply more control over your thoughts and perceptions.
Like one of my clients wrote to me once:
“I had several morning shifts in a row, got up every day extremely early, have not been sleeping enough, but kept listening to your (hypnotic) recording daily in my breaks at work. Amazingly, I feel good and am full of energy.”
Read about the possible side effects of hypnosis in a separate post here.
Transformational hypnotherapy uses hypnosis, principles of psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Neuro-linguistic Programming in combination with unique tools.
Transformational hypnotherapy is highly effective. Often one session is sufficient to resolve the psychological root cause of an issue and to make possible remarkable improvements.
At the end of the hypnotherapy session, clients receive a unique hypnotic audio recording. They continue to listen to such short audio daily at home and this supports the desired change.
- There are some common misconceptions about hypnosis. Most of them are based on impressions from stage hypnosis but have nothing to do with clinical hypnosis.
- Hypnosis is a highly focused and suggestible state of your mind with enhanced control over your mind and body.
- Using hypnosis in therapy, like transformational hypnotherapy makes possible remarkable improvements in healing, your mental state, and achieving desired changes in your mindset.
Do not hesitate to let me know in the comments below if you have any other worries about being hypnotized!
Also, tell me if you are still doubting the advantages that hypnosis offers to accelerate your healing and personal development!
- T. P. Carmody, et al, Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation: A Randomized Trial, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Volume 10, Issue 5, May 2008, Pages 811–818, https://doi.org/10.1080/14622200802023833
- Catsaros S, Wendland J. Hypnosis-based interventions during pregnancy and childbirth and their impact on women’s childbirth experience: A systematic review. Midwifery. 2020 May;84:102666. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2020.102666. Epub 2020 Feb 12. PMID: 32087396.
- Jensen MP, Patterson DR. Hypnotic approaches for chronic pain management: clinical implications of recent research findings. Am Psychol. 2014 Feb-Mar;69(2):167-77. doi: 10.1037/a0035644. PMID: 24547802; PMCID: PMC4465776.
- Jiang H, White MP, Greicius MD, Waelde LC, Spiegel D. Brain Activity and Functional Connectivity Associated with Hypnosis. Cereb Cortex. 2017 Aug 1;27(8):4083-4093. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw220. PMID: 27469596; PMCID: PMC6248753.
- Keara E. Valentine, Leonard S. Milling, Lauren J. Clark & Caitlin L. Moriarty (2019) The Efficacy of Hypnosis as a Treatment for Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 67:3, 336-363, DOI: 10.1080/00207144.2019.1613863
- Kirsch, Montgomery, Sapirstein. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol 63(2), Apr 1995, 214-220
- E. V. Lang, et al. Adjunctive non-pharmacological analgesia for invasive medical procedures: a randomized trial. The Lancet VOLUME 355, ISSUE 9214, P1486-1490, APRIL 29, 2000
- Spiegel D. Tranceformations: hypnosis in brain and body. Depress Anxiety. 2013 Apr;30(4):342-52. doi: 10.1002/da.22046. Epub 2013 Feb 19. PMID: 23423952.
- Thompson T, Terhune DB, Oram C, Sharangparni J, Rouf R, Solmi M, Veronese N, Stubbs B. The effectiveness of hypnosis for pain relief: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 85 controlled experimental trials. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019 Apr;99:298-310. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.02.013. Epub 2019 Feb 18. PMID: 30790634.
- Ann Williamson, Palliat Care. 2019; 12: 1178224219826581