Hypnotherapy: Myths and Facts

“Sit back, relax and listen to my voice. On the count of three you will fall asleep. One, two, three…” This is how the hypnotherapy sessions begin. What happens there and, most importantly, what happens next? We debunk popular myths and reveal the truth!

What Is Hypnosis

Although “hypnosis” means “sleep” in translation from ancient Greek, it is not really a dream. The best definition of this condition was given by the famous psychiatrist Vladimir Mikhailovich Bekhterev. Hypnosis is “a special modification of natural sleep.” A state when our brain works in a special mode that allows us to make corrections without being distracted by everyday issues.

Note that hypnosis is a natural physiological state in which a person remains every day and even several times a day – for example, in moments of thoughtfulness. Remember, you’ve probably had situations when you were on a bus, thought about something and… almost missed the stop where you needed to get off. These are manifestations of self-hypnosis.

Each of us is familiar with moments of immersion in memories, dreams, and emotions. Or a state of complete total concentration of attention on something.  In hypnosis, such and even greater concentration is achieved thanks to outside help. And this opens up truly amazing resources within a person.

Hypnosis can be achieved thus in various ways. Through playing online games. Let’s say you focus on all football predictions at 22bet because you really want to see the team you bet on. This total state of focus can be considered as a state of hypnosis.

What Is Hypnotherapy

It is a form of therapy using hypnosis to achieve changes in a person’s mental and physical state. When a patient is in such a state, a psychotherapist can influence his subconscious, helping to solve various problems and overcome psychological difficulties.

There are different areas of hypnotherapy: from directives, such as coding, to soft methods of working with images. Modern hypnotherapy combines various therapeutic approaches that allow us to work with the causes of problems, rather than their symptoms.

The sessions are conducted by a hypnotherapist who has special training and knowledge about hypnosis, psychology and psychotherapy. During hypnosis, a person is in deep relaxation (both mental and physical) and focuses his attention on the inner world, which is why he is able to accept the suggestions given by the hypnologist without resistance. At the maximum level of immersion, the state of relaxation is called hypnotic trance.

What hypnotherapy can do

The technique can be used to treat various psychological and physical problems.

Among them:

Stress and anxiety. Relieves tension and reduces stress levels, and also teaches you to cope more effectively with negative emotions.

Phobias and fears. Helps a person change negative beliefs and associations.

Dependencies. Helps get rid of various addictions, such as smoking, alcohol, drugs.

Trauma and traumatic memories. Helps to survive traumatic events and cope with their consequences.

Pain management. May help manage chronic pain such as migraines.

Improved sleep. Helps in the fight against insomnia, improving the quality and duration of sleep.

Is It Suitable for Everyone?

Research in recent years and my personal practical experience show that any person who is capable of learning something new is susceptible to hypnotic suggestions..

But hypnotherapy may be ineffective for those who are not yet ready to truly part with the problem.

Here are the following contraindications for conducting sessions:

Low IQ (less than 70). A person simply will not understand the commands that the hypnotherapist will voice and, accordingly, will not be able to carry them out.

Organic damage to brain structures – for example, traumatic brain injury, brain tumor, etc.

Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or another diagnosis that requires observation and treatment by a psychiatrist.

As for pregnant women, there is no reason not to perform hypnosis.  The same goes for children. Moreover, children are much easier to hypnotize than adults.

Is Preparation Necessary?

A consultation with a doctor before a course of hypnotherapy will help you tune in to sessions if they are necessary, or understand that in your case they will be useless and refuse them.

If during a consultation, the cause of a person’s emotional state may be a somatic illness or a combination of them, it is strongly recommended to undergo an examination at a medical institution and correct the identified deficiencies. If the patient does everything correctly, takes the necessary tests and starts taking medications, then the symptoms go away.

If a person has already passed all the examinations and no pathology has been identified, I will definitely conduct special testing to determine the degree of anxiety and depression. If the indicators are too high, I advise you to seek help from a psychotherapist.

Well, if a person is already taking some medications – for example, antidepressants or other drugs that affect biochemical processes in the brain, the expert warns about the possible ineffectiveness of hypnotherapy in this case, because the person’s psyche has already been changed due to this.

Does This Really Work?

Hypnotherapy is one of the oldest forms of psychotherapy, having been used since the second half of the eighteenth century. Its founder is considered to be the doctor of philosophy, German doctor Franz Mesmer.

In recent studies, scientists have found that:

Most people who participate in hypnotherapy sessions report an improvement in their mental health and a decrease in anxiety.

58% of scientific papers reviewed showed that hypnosis can help with sleep disorders.

Hypnotherapy can help with weight loss. A 2021 scientific paper found that people who completed it improved their eating habits and increased physical activity.

Hypnosis can speed up the recovery of patients after surgery. These findings were presented by a study conducted by Harvard University. It involved two groups of patients with broken ankles.

Myths About Hypnotherapy

Despite the fact that hypnotherapy is actively used today, there are still many myths and misconceptions about it. Here are the most common ones!

  1. Only Weak People Can Be Hypnotized

The ability to immerse yourself in hypnosis is associated with a person’s openness to new experiences, the ability to concentrate on something and learn.  And is not connected with the will or his mental abilities. On the contrary, low intelligence makes any interaction difficult, and a strong will helps to better reveal the body’s potential.

  1. Hypnotherapy Cures Everything

A hypnotherapist can influence a person’s subconscious to help him change negative beliefs or behavioral patterns. The subconscious is the part of our mind that stores information about our experiences, beliefs, emotions and behavior.

But hypnotherapy does not mean changing the physical features of the body. For example, it will not cure baldness or restore your vision to 100%. All this is beyond its capabilities.

  1. One Session Is Enough

In some cases, changing a person’s behavior or improving health requires more than just desire or willpower. For example, if a person is struggling with overeating to lose weight, hypnosis can work with the root causes of the bad habit – repressed memories – and thus help break it.

But for a lasting effect, several sessions may be required. The optimal amount is determined by the hypnotherapist during an in-person appointment.

  1. That Might Suggest Something Bad to Me

If hypnotherapists inspired their patients to give them all their money, they would have become millionaires long ago. In fact, our subconscious mind only accepts those suggestions that do not contradict our beliefs and fundamental base of values.

A person in hypnosis does not lose self-control and cannot be involved in something against his will.

For example, if a person in a state of hypnosis is asked to do something that he does not want to do from an ethical or personal point of view, he will either find a discreet way to refuse or will come out of the trance. And on the contrary: if someone is mentally ready, for example, to quit smoking, then hypnosis sessions will only support his decision and help him cope with the task.

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