In 2004, I traveled to Las Vegas and trained in my first mind-body technique: hypnotherapy. It was my introduction to how amazing and dynamic the relationship between our body and our mind is. I will admit that, before becoming certified, I knew very little about hypnosis. I even had some of the cultural preconceptions that it involved waving an antique pocket watch in front of people until they fell into a dream like trance.
The Truth About Hypnosis
“Hypnotic trance is what happens when the mind and the body relax and feel safe enough to drop the defensive strategies of the conscious mind.”
It didn’t quite happen that way, but I will say, it defied many of my expectations. Inducing a hypnotic trance in a person was far less magical than I thought it was. In fact, it was downright simple.
Hypnotic trance is what happens when the mind and the body feel safe enough to drop the defensive strategies of the conscious mind (referred to as “the critical factor” in the world of hypnosis).
This actually happens to all of us, all of the time. Let me give you an example.
When you are driving in the car to work, and you arrive and realize you barely remember half of the drive – that is because you were in a “hypnotic trance”. You were awake, but your conscious mind was off-line (which is why you don’t remember certain aspects of the drive) because the drive is so familiar to your brain that the autonomic subconscious mind (often referred to when people talk about ‘muscle memory’- in other words, the body will “just do it” without having to consciously think about it) took over.
Whenever we are in situations that our brain accepts as safe and familiar, it drops the conscious “critical factor.” In other words, due to familiarity, it no longer feels the need to defend you. Once the brain is no longer utilizing the critical factor, the body can relax, and the subconscious mind can take over. The subconscious mind contains the learning that the mind has already “vetted” and accepted as safe as a result of repetition.
It Starts With Safety
So, when you are in this relaxed state of body and mind, you are more open to receiving suggestions. When your body feels safe and relaxed, the body interprets that as permission, as if the body is saying, “All clear…green light! We are safe to proceed and you can trust whatever comes next”. This then creates the state of mind needed to internalize and integrate the suggestions that your hypnotherapist will follow with.
I have practiced the use of hypnosis and guided imagery in my own life for years, and am 100% in awe of the power of this mind-body technique. Not only is it effective, but it’s so simple. You simply find a relaxing space, lie down, close your eyes, and listen to the hypnotherapist. (I record all my sessions as well so that each session becomes an mp3 that you can then listen to at home)
There are so many reasons why hypnotherapy is good for us. This mind-body therapy has been shown to do the following:
- Promote relaxation
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce problems related to stress
- Help to reach goals, and promote healing
- Assist in preparing for an athletic event or for public speaking
- Aid learning, creativity, and performance
- Help you feel more in control of your emotions and thought processes, which may improve your attitudes, health, and sense of well-being
If you have never tried hypnotherapy before, I encourage you to look into how it could be an added tool in helping you achieve the results you are looking for. Contact me today if you’re interested in learning more.