WHAT IS HYPNOSIS ?
There are many theories regarding the nature of hypnosis, however, after many years of experience this is what we believe.
Hypnosis is a natural occurring state of our mind, up to around age 3 or 4. At this time the mind is very adaptable, and we learn new things and behaviors at a very fast rate.
In childhood we are in hypnosis virtually all the time.
This is why it is especially important what happens to us in our childhood,
because our minds are so open to new ideas, good and bad.
As we are trying to learn everything around us, we encounter a great many conflicts in the world, and we cannot trust everything we see & hear. The mind has great difficulty if it has to hold onto, or accept, two or more absolutely incompatible ideas at the same time.
Unfortunately we get all too many of this sort of message in our daily lives.
As a result of these conflicts, our mind will respond by developing the conscious mind to be a gatekeeper. This part of us tries to weigh the truth of new ideas. It does this by first allowing only information into the mind that agrees with what we already think we know. It partly sorts this all out in our dreams when we sleep.
While this division between conscious and unconscious mind is essential for our mental health in a very conflicted world, it
1. slows down greatly our ability to learn new things and behaviors easily and quickly.
2. makes it much more difficult to overcome beliefs we once thought were true
but now know are wrong (i.e. "I am a bad person because people told me so").
Hypnosis is a way to return to that early, natural state of mind and once there re-evaluate those old ideas and change them for good.
If a behavior is a simple habit, a simple method of group hypnosis can work well, an yet, if the behavior is a result of more complex beliefs or needs then a private session is sometimes needed.
In a way, a good hypnotist becomes a negotiator to bring the conscious mind and the unconscious parts of our mind back together into agreement through using a myriad of techniques.
Hypnosis techniques of the past or by poor hypnotists place the new suggestions into the unconscious without building agreement throughout the mind. The new suggestion might last for a time but would eventually fail.
WHAT IF I DO NOT COME OUT OF HYPNOSIS ?
This is an impossibility. Every night we go to sleep and each morning as we wake up, we pass through this same state of mind as we will experience in hypnosis. The mind normally associates an increase in sensory input as a trigger to return to consciousness. So, by turning on the lights or hearing people talking around you or just being given the suggestion to wake-up will return a person to full awareness. However if a person has starved themselves of sleep beforehand, they may drift off into a natural sleep until they would normally awaken if left to do so.
WHAT IF I CANNOT BE HYPNOTIZED ?
Everyone can be hypnotized ! If you were unable to experience hypnosis to some level you would be unable to learn anything from that moment on. Remember, hypnosis is the learning state of mind. We are never TOTALLY out of hypnosis, even though we may be fully conscious. What, in part, decides if you will enter a deeper level of hypnosis is the trust and rapport you have with the hypnotist and the skill they have in communicating with your subconscious mind. Another factor is if you are in a group setting, where a hypnotist will be forced to structure their suggestions for the average person. While they may try to vary the structure of the suggestions for a wider audience and for everyone's benefit, a few people may still need a private session in which the hypnotist can customize the suggestions and it's delivery for that person.
WHAT IF I TRIED HYPNOSIS BEFORE, AND IT DIDN'T WORK ?
The science of hypnosis has evolved greatly in the last 30 years. Unfortunately, many hypnotists are still using older, simpler methods of hypnosis which only work for a small percentage of people. The fact is, not everyone is the same and different techniques must be used depending on the clients personal learning style. You may decide your prior hypnotist has exhausted all their abilities. In which case, you may be best served by finding someone who is more skilled, and whom you feel some sense of rapport with. At the same time even a skilled hypnotist may need 3 or 4 sessions with a person to achieve maximum benefit, if the client has a rather unusual learning style or the unconscious mind has been inadvertently pre-conditioned to circumvent helpful suggestions by their involvement in some forms of psychoanalysis.
In the most difficult of cases we may utilize biofeedback as a part of the process. This can be very helpful to identify hidden issues behind the apparent problem or to verify a breakthrough in the process. In the past this has reduced the length of counseling by months or even years. Nevertheless, be aware many cases are resolved in a single session.
WHAT IS THE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP YOU GIVE ?
When you either come to a group seminar or have a private session, you receive a lifetime membership, that allows you to attend any group seminar free which is for the issue you originally paid for.
HOW DO I KNOW I WAS HYPNOTIZED ?
Sorry, but most all of the stereotypes depicted in the media and on the stage are wrong ! You will feel relaxed, but beyond this there is no reliable indicator of hypnosis unless you are hooked up to our brain wave monitoring equipment. Chances are, it will feel much like you do when you are on the verge of waking up in the morning but instead you drift in and out of a light sleep. However, people have reported a wide range of experiences that they associate with hypnosis. Even if you do not follow the instruction given, you may have been in hypnosis. Remember that both a state of hypnosis plus the skilled presentation of suggestions may be required. If a suggestion conflicts with your beliefs or values the therapist may have to instruct your unconscious mind to re-evaluate those beliefs or values in light of your current knowledge. If done properly, this will clear the way for the new suggestions.
CAN I BE MADE TO DO ANYTHING IN HYPNOSIS ?
NO ! While the Conscious mind has relaxed it's control of the information coming into the mind it still monitors what is being heard. If at anytime a suggestion is given that is contrary to a persons values or beliefs, the conscious mind steps in and regains control. If this should happen, it may result in the person being unable to go into hypnosis by the same person again until they can regain the trust that was lost. If the purpose of entering hypnosis is to change a belief or value, it is best achieved by guiding the subconscious mind to re-evaluate it's old beliefs in light of current knowledge to discover for itself a knew viewpoint.
Hypnosis does not take away free will ! Ideally hypnosis does not limit choices but increases choices. If you come in because you cannot stop yourself from repeating some undesirable action, like smoking, you come in with a habit that limits your choices in life. With hypnosis we seek to neutralize the habit so it no longer drives you to do the same thing over and over. Instead you become free to make good choices again.
IS HYPNOSIS CONTRARY TO BIBLE TEACHING ?
Many people of faith accept the benefits of hypnosis when done by an ethical practitioner. This has further been demonstrated to us by the significant number of persons being referred for hypnosis by their priests and pastors in our area. Since hypnosis is a natural state of mind which we pass through on a daily basis, it seems apparent that when the bible speaks of such things as enchantment, it is referring only to those acts which are intended to deprive a person of their free will and to corrupt their faith. This is NOT an aspect of hypnosis, since suggestions are structured not to remove free will, but instead to return free will to a persons life.
It is more accurate that what deprives us of our freedom to make good choices is any unconscious compulsions we are burdened with. At the same time, we recommend you avoid being hypnotized by unethical or unqualified hypnotherapists.
Here is an interesting article about hypnosis by a Chaplain Link
Now, let's consider this. It is not a question of if you will experience hypnosis, because we are already hypnotized many times in our lives.
Do you watch TV or movies ?
Do you ever get overwhelm by stressful event ?
Do you ever drive pass an off-ramp without realizing it ?
Do you day dream at work ?
Do you sit listening intently in church ?
All these and many more situations can induce a light hypnotic trance. The question we should ask is, "am I going into hypnosis only when I want to, and when I can trust what is being said to me ?".
We have found that many people are spending much of their day in a free floating hypnotic state, falling victim to whatever influences they encounter. In this case we can give them suggestions to avoid going into hypnosis during the day when they may otherwise pick up negative influences. In this way you could say we are fighting fire with fire, using hypnosis to avoid going into hypnosis.
Id' also like to mention, since we tape every hypnosis session and give it to you, you can always check what suggestions are being made.