Mrs Francoise LOTERY
DipM, D.Hyp, MNCH (Acc), MASC (Ad.Psy.), MASC (NLP), BSY (Sp.Psy), UKCHO Reg,

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  • What is Hypnosis ?

    Definitions of hypnosis are aplenty !
    Practically everyone, hypnosis professional or not, will give a different answer to the question. Basically hypnosis is a state of trance induced by suggestions.

    The hypnotic trance used in therapy is lighter than the deep trance used in stage hypnotism. The client reaches a deep relaxation of body and mind induced by the therapists suggestions but does not lose consciousness. He/she remains aware of surroundings, of the voice of the therapist as well as any other sounds around. It is very similar to a state of daydreaming.

    Being in a state of trance is a very natural thing, for example if we are engrossed in a book or a film our attention is totally focused on what we are seeing or reading, it becomes our reality and the real world around us does not "exist" anymore; daydreaming is another type of trance which occurs naturally and automatically when our body and mind are in need of rest after a time of alertness; long distance driving or driving along the same route everyday creates a trance state during which you use your driving skills competently but at the end of your journey you have little or no recall of it.

    Those are examples of trance states we experience spontaneously as opposed to trances used in hypnotherapy as well as in yoga, meditation and creative visualization which are induced deliberately by a therapist or by oneself.

    What happens in an Hypnotic Trance ?

    At this stage it is essential to know more about the mind to understand how hypnosis works and what it can help achieve.
    Without going into details in the sophisticated structure and functioning of our brain, we can say that we have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind working together and communicating with each other at all times.

    The conscious mind is rational, logical and functions on facts, it is the mind involved in our everyday thinking. The subconscious mind is creative, imaginative and irrational; it is also a huge "memory bank" where every event in our lives and emotions associated to it are filed. It works by association linking a present situation to a past event without using logic. Our subconscious mind is the seat of our own individual programming: beliefs, ideas, emotions, thoughts and behaviours. In addition the subconscious mind controls the main functions of the body (breathing, blood circulation, digestion, elimination, tissue regeneration, hormonal production etc....), it keeps us alive.

    Hypnosis is an altered state of consciouness which involves relaxation, concentration, goal orientation and suggestibility. It allows the mind to easily and deeply focus on one subject and furthermore it is the only time we can communicate with the subconscious mind and reprogram it.

    During hypnosis the conscious and subconscious minds receive the same message given through suggestions but the conscious mind records it logically while the subconscious mind absorbs it by association.

    Let's take the example of an adult suffering from a phobia of spiders: consciously the person knows that it is a small creature, unable to harm a human (in our temperate climate) and can easily recognize that fearing such a small creature is irrational, however all this logical approach does not remove the end result: fear. Why does this happen? The answer is the programming in the person's subconscious mind; spiders = danger, often caused by a past frightening experience during childhood or "inherited" from phobic parents, siblings or friends.

    Hypnotic suggestions given in such a case will state for example that a spider is a small and harmless creature and that when in contact with an arachnid the person will remain calm, unconcerned and free from fear. The conscious mind will receive the message logically (small, harmless and therefore not dangerous) while the subconscious mind will accept by association that seeing a spider is NOW a non-threatening situation.
    Of course suggestions have to be repeated again and again to alter the subconscious programming from its original stance (spiders=danger) to a new one (spiders=no bother).

    What can Hypnotherapy Do ?

    It alleviates all sorts of difficulties, problems and conditions by using the power of the mind and all inner resources. It aims at creating long lasting changes, it is never a "quick fix" . A list of conditions that can be dealt with hypnotherapy is available further on (it is by no means an exhaustive listing!) but the problems Hypnotherapy can help with fall into the following broad categories:

    Thoughts and ideas
    low self-esteem and unworthiness, obsessive thoughts about something or someone etc...

    Feelings and emotions
    anxiety, fears, phobias, panic attacks, jealousy, guilt, anger, inadequacy, lack of confidence etc...

    Habits
    nail-biting, hair-pulling, nervous cough, twitching as well as more deep-seated compulsions etc....

    Psychosomatic conditions
    conditions which have been proved medically to have no physical cause but which result in great distress for the sufferer: headaches, backaches, IBS, fatigue, sleep disturbances etc....

    Addictions
    smoking, alcohol, recreational and medical drugs, chocolate etc.....

    Stress
    It is often the cause of many of the above mentioned problems and its effects will be covered in more details later on.

    Everyone can benefit from hypnotherapy regardless of age, sex and background, all that is required is the will to change with the help of the therapist. Hypnotherapy is safe, effective and totally natural

    Click here for a list of the Problems and Conditions that can be helped with Hypnotherapy

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