What is Hypnosis?
The actual experience of being hypnotised is very difficult to describe as you are neither asleep nor awake. All hypnotic states are characterised by a tremendously pleasant state of relaxation, an altered state of consciousness into which individuals allow themselves to enter so that desired, beneficial suggestions may be given directly to the unconscious mind. Thus, hypnosis is a natural and effective way of making contact with the inner (unconscious) self, a source of many of our problems as well as a tremendous reservoir of unrecognised potential strength and knowledge, i.e. our forgotten assets.

History of Hypnosis
Hypnotic or suggestive therapy is the oldest of all healing techniques. From the Sleep Temples of Egypt through the histories of ancient Greece and Rome some form of hypnosis has always been an intimate part of all cultures.

In the Middle Ages, healing through touch and prayer became the major way of treating disease. In the 18th Century – when it was believed that illness was caused by the magnetic influence of astral bodies – Franz Anton Mesmer would induce people into a trance like state by what he (erroneously) believed to be Animal Magnetism. Although Mesmerism was soon discredited, it continued to be used even after the death of Mesmer as it often produced ‘miracle’ cures. When James Braid re-examined Mesmerism in the 19th Century he discovered that simple suggestion was just as effective as Mesmerism or any other method to induce trance-like states. It was he who coined the name Œhypnosis¹ and for a time hypnosis became a scientific technique with scientific respectability.

In the early part of the 20th Century the clinical use of hypnosis fell by the way-side as technical advances in medicine swiftly took over and, unfortunately, hypnosis became used almost exclusively by stage hypnotists thereby projecting a hopelessly distorted view of this very powerful therapeutic tool. However, in 1955 the British Medical Association endorsed the practice of hypnosis in Medical School education. Today, many people are once again turning to it as it is now widely recognised as a valuable addition to conventional medical treatment.

Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy means the use of hypnosis for the treatment and relief of a variety of somatic and psychological symptoms. Modern Hypnotherapists use Hypnosis not only for medical purposes but also as an aid for the resolution of many problems of psychological origin.

It is estimated that approximately 85% of people from all age groups will readily respond to Hypnotherapy. It is often successful when other, more conventional, methods of treatment have failed. Nobody can ever be hypnotised against their will and, even when hypnotised, people can still reject any of the suggestions given if they are not appropriate.

Hypnosis Sessions
A session of hypnosis takes around one to two hours. The treatment involves working with your specific problem to ensure that you not only effect a remission from the symptom, but find a more appropriate way of coping for the future. It involves treating both situational and emotional triggers and includes emphasis on any concerns you might have about your problem. These are then incorporated into the treatment so you do not replace the problem with anything else. You leave feeling fine and relaxed.

Clinical Applications

Listed below are some of the conditions for which Hypnotherapy is indicated as a practical treatment:

  • Breaking unwanted habits (e.g. smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, nocturnal enuresis, nail biting, stuttering).
  • Obtaining relief and often remission from symptoms such as: Asthma, Migraine, gastro-intestinal and neurological disorders.
  • Dermatological conditions such as Eczema, Psoriasis, Neuro-dermatitis, Herpes Simplex and Warts.
  • Gynaecological problems such as PMT, Amenorrhea, Dysmenorrhea, Psychogenic Infertility, and in Obstetrics for painless childbirth.
  • Pain control for minor surgery, dentistry, Arthritis and general neuromuscular aches and pains.
  • Hypnosis can free the individual from phobias, compulsions, emotional problems, insomnia, inhibitions, guilt feelings, jealousy, and many of the worries and anxieties of everyday life.
  • Sexual problems such as Impotence, Premature Ejaculation, Frigidity, Vaginismus and others.
  • The use of Self-Hypnosis will help prevent stress and tensions caused by modern day living, reduce high blood pressure (hypertension) and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Hypnotherapy is effectively used for weight control, enhancing work/study/sporting performance, improving concentration and memory, developing the imagination, boosting self-confidence, and achieving more of the potential which we each possess.

Hypnotherapy is completely natural and safe and there are no harmful side effects. When administered by a professionally trained and skilled Hypnotherapist the benefits are long lasting and often permanent.

Questions

Are there any side effects?
Yes, you sleep better and feel more confident about everything.

Am I in control?
You will hear everything that is being said, but do not need to listen. Everything you wish to take on board you will.

Can everybody be hypnotised?
Yes, but only if you want to be.

How does it feel?
Different for everybody, but always pleasant.

Can I have someone there with me?
Yes, if you wish. Most people feel more comfortable on their own, but it is entirely up to the individual.

What if I don¹t really want to change?
On a conscious level we all want to change, but sometimes it seems as if a part of ourselves holds onto a problem longer than necessary. Hypnosis helps the individual to change at a speed and in a manner which is appropriate for them.

How long does it take?
Often one session is sufficient to effect an improvement to the symptom. Your therapist will be able to give an estimate of the number of sessions you will need. Remember, change will occur in a speed and manner appropriate to you.

Information Courtesy of:
British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH) 15 Connaught Square Marble Arch London W2 2HG Tel: 020 7499 2813 Email: sec@bsch.org.uk

For Further information visit the website www.bsch.org.uk

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