Today I'm sharing some very reliable information from an article on hypnotherapy which I found on The University of Maryland Medical Center website. Pay particular attention to the "stages of hypnosis' to get a better idea of what to expect in an actual session.
How does hypnotherapy work?
When something happens to us, we remember it and learn a particular behavior in response to what happened. Each time something similar happens, our physical and emotional reactions attached to the memory are repeated. In some cases these reactions are unhealthy. In some forms of hypnotherapy, a trained therapist guides you to remember the event that led to the first reaction, separate the memory from the learned behavior, and replace unhealthy behaviors with new, healthier ones.
During hypnosis, your body relaxes and your thoughts become more focused. Like other relaxation techniques, hypnosis lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and changes certain types of brain wave activity. In this relaxed state, you will feel at ease physically yet fully awake mentally and may be highly responsive to suggestion. Your conscious mind becomes less alert and your subconscious mind becomes more focused.Some people respond better to hypnotic suggestion than others.
There are several stages of hypnosis:
- Reframing the problem
- Becoming relaxed, then absorbed (deeply engaged in the words or images presented by a hypnotherapist)
- Dissociating (letting go of critical thoughts)
- Responding (complying with a hypnotherapist's suggestions)
- Returning to usual awareness
- Reflecting on the experience
What happens during a visit to the hypnotherapist?
During your first visit, you will be asked about your medical history and what brought you in — what condition you would like to address. The hypnotherapist may explain to you what hypnosis is and how it works. You will then be directed through relaxation techniques, using a series of mental images and suggestions intended to change behaviors and relieve symptoms. For example, people who have panic attacks may be given the suggestion that, in the future, they will be able to relax whenever they want. The hypnotherapist will also teach you the basics of self hypnosis and give you an audiotape to use at home so you can reinforce what you learn during the session.
Becoming a hypnotherapist provides a unique opportunity to assist people who want to make changes in their lives. Hypnosis is often thought of as a stage act or party trick but I've developed a lot of respect for hypnotherapists who use the power locked within a persons mind to heal old emotional wounds and to teach teachniques that help change negative thoughts and behaviors into positive ones.