Everyone has experienced a trance-like state
many times. We go into light hypnotic states every day of our
lives. Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming and not been
aware of things happening around you? Have you ever been so absorbed
in a book or watching a movie that you haven't realized an hour
or two has gone by? What about driving in your car and at the
end of your journey not remembering a thing about the details
of your journey? These are all forms of hypnotic trance. The main
difference between these types of trance and purposeful self-hypnosis
is the lack of specific motivations and suggestions towards a
goal. Hypnosis channels the trance to achieve some desired result
like pain or stress relief.
The trance state is so familiar that it is common
for people to disbelieve that they have been hypnotized the first
or second time it occurs. The trance state is a subtle phenomenon
and we all experience hypnosis differently.
No one has yet discovered how hypnosis works;
we can only describe its effects. People in a hypnotic state appear
to be asleep, but their brain wave patterns show alert wakefulness.
You are physiologically deeply relaxed but your unconscious mind
is absorbing the images and instructions the hypnotist is giving
A lot of people don't realize that all hypnosis
is self-hypnosis. The hypnotherapist is simply the facilitator.
In fact, you can put yourself into hypnosis without a hypnotist.
In my practice I regularly teach my clients self-hypnosis because
using it between sessions helps compound the suggestions and speeds
up reaching the desired goal. It can be used in any situation
where you need to change your physical, mental or emotional state.
In fact, it is such an important tool for making changes that
I regularly teach classes in self-hypnosis.
Some of the areas where self-hypnosis is really
of stress, anxiety, insomnia and phobias
from allergies and asthma
many skin conditions
of pain and speeding healing
your self confidence and problem solving ability
In my experience the easiest way to learn self-hypnosis
is in the hypnotic state, so I teach it to my clients whilst in
session and then we practice it together. You can also learn self-hypnosis
from the many books on the subject, or from tapes and videos made
by hypnotherapists. You can find a variety of good products on
the market or you can make a tape for yourself.
So, how do you go about learning how to hypnotize
yourself? It is a bit like meditation in that you should chose
a convenient time of day, such as first thing in morning, and
sit in a comfortable chair, feet on the floor and no limbs crossed.
If you do it when you are tired or lying down, you are likely
to fall asleep. Take several deep breaths, holding your breath
for as long as possible, and as you breathe out relax your body
from head to toe. Feel yourself sinking into your chair as the
relaxation spreads throughout your body.
Then I like to visualize going down a marble
staircase, counting from ten to one, and saying to yourself with
each step that you are doubling the relaxation. Continue the deepening
of the trance state by, for example, going into and exploring
a garden of your own imagination. As you explore your garden,
use all the five senses as this deepens the trance rapidly. Use
your sense of touch and feel by imagining, for example, taking
your shoes off and walking on the lawn in your garden. Enjoy the
freedom of walking barefoot and feel the cool, moist grass on
the soles of your feet, 'squidging' up between your toes! Smell
the flowers, listen to the hum of the bees…
Then when you feel yourself in a comfortable
and relaxed hypnotic state, visualize the positive outcome you
desire. For example when you want to lose weight, visualize yourself
three months from now weighing 25 pounds less, see yourself eating
more fruits and vegetables, cutting out sugar and snack foods,
getting slimmer and more attractive. Make it so real that you
feel yourself zipping up the clothes you had put away and admiring
yourself in the mirror. You know in the depth of your being that
you are achieving your goal.
One client of mine using self-hypnosis has lost
nearly 80 pounds. It is a powerful tool for changing your own
reality, and in some ways self-hypnosis is similar to prayer.
The more real you make it, the more feeling you put behind it
the more powerful the effect.
If you would like to make a self-hypnosis tape
for yourself, you will find some sample scripts on my web site:
Geoffrey Knight is a clinical hypnotherapist and
Director of the Knightsbridge Institute for Hypnotherapy and NLP.
He is a Member of the Oregon Hypnotherapy Association. He can
be reached at (503) 246-7300.
Address: 2387 NW Kearney St, Portland, OR 97210.