Hypnosis is an effective method for looking at behavioural changes, learned habits and a large number of physiological and psychological conditions. Hypnosis work is directed towards the unconscious mind, the storehouse of all our memories and the location of all our automatic-programs. Tying shoelaces for example - rarely would you actually need to stop and think about how to tie your shoelaces having tied enough shoelaces that you can accomplish this tricky little twist of string entirely oblivious to its intricacies in the moment. Your unconscious mind simply learns and to do stuff at which point you consciously disengage with the process. But it doesn’t just stop at tying shoelaces...
We utilize countless unconscious programs every day that run without conscious engagement. Most of our unconscious programs are wonderful attention savers that help greatly in managing our lives, like brushing teeth, buttoning a coat, or tackling the many complexities involved with checking e-mail. For these learned habits, not having to pay much attention to their undertaking comes from repetition, without which you’d have to invest considerable mental energy every time you wanted to make a cup of tea. However, not all learned unconscious programs are in our best interests to continue.
“Mindless” activities can become habits that persist long after their initial use, like lighting another cigarette today because 15 years ago your first experience with nicotine helped ease a specific anxiety at the time and the habit has generalized to become the immediate “no-brainer” solution to any measure of perceived anxiety, even anxiety about the harms of smoking! Even eating habits that cause distress can be an outdated unconscious program that initializes the urge to eat in response to any stress. For some people, their distress over eating is mindlessly managed by the calming act of eating - something that defies conscious logic, but then, the conscious mind has very little to do with it.
It is in hypnosis’ connection with the unconscious mind that makes it such a powerful method of communication, something that has been studied in the western world since the 1800’s. In fact, Sigmund Frued’s first explorations of the human unconscious after graduating with a medical degree, began with his studying of hypnosis back in 1885 with with one of the world’s pioneers of neurology, french neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot. Among Charcot’s legacy is the diagnosis and naming of multiple sclerosis in addition to significant advancement in the understanding of Parkison’s disease.
Some of the greatest medical minds have recognized the power that hypnosis has to offer in clinical settings; from doctors and dentists to psychiatrists and psychologists. Far from being the showy parlour trick of a stage hypnotist, hypnosis has long been accepted both academically and clinically as a legitimate mechanism for accessing deep unconsciously learned habits that influence human behaviour and affect our thoughts and emotions. Almost every aspect of a person’s personality is the result of learned experiences that are stored away in the unconscious, out of the reaches of intellectual conversation, leaving almost all aspects essentially open to renegotiating.
Hypnosis offers the possibility of accessing our unconscious programs, recognize them, re-assess them and even form new thought patterns that will develop into more effective, self-enhancing unconscious programs. This is achieved by bypassing the usual barrage of conscious thoughts that flood the average mind with around 40,000 - 70,000 thoughts every single day (which is almost one distinct thought every single second!) and allowing some constructive re-thinking to occur. By reaching a calm and passive trance state, your mind will be far more receptive to direction and suggestion from your therapist so that you may have profound realizations and epiphanies that will serve you well in your quest for self-improvement.
Hypnosis can be used to benefit almost anything. Basically, anything that involves your brain, whether something you think about (either consciously or unconsciously) or have an emotional response to, can be enhanced or improved by purposeful contemplation in a hypnotic state. Even your blood pressure is regulated by your brain and is therefore open to hypnotic influence. So whether you are looking to delve into your vast memory bank of personal history, understand the contents of a dream, change a certain compulsion or habit, modify a particular behaviour or simply change the way you think or feel about something or someone, hypnosis can help.