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Self-Hypnosis
by Geoffrey Knight
Geoffrey Knight

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 it.

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 helpful are:

  • Management of stress, anxiety, insomnia and phobias
  • Relief from allergies and asthma
  • Improving many skin conditions
  • Control of pain and speeding healing
  • Natural Childbirth
  • Increasing your self confidence and problem solving ability
  • Maximizing performance
  • Weight management

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.net.

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.
E-mail Geoffrey@Knight.net,
Web: Geoffrey.Knight.net

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