Hypnosis, briefly stated, results in a trance-like state of consciousness along with increased focus.
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Originally, hypnosis was regarded as something that does not work, but in 1958, the American Medical Association listed hypnosis as a viable form of therapy.
There are benefits to practicing hypnosis, including reducing stress and pain, if you are considering this method of treatment. And these benefits are only the tip of the iceberg of this complementary medicinal practice.
What Hypnosis Helps
Studies have shown numerous benefits for patients who choose to undergo hypnosis. In fact, hypnosis has been shown to:
- Help improve deep sleep, and according to M. Cordi at the University at Zurich, hypnosis has no negative side effects, unlike sleeping pills.
- Help ease the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This study was conducted in 2003. The results demonstrated that after 12-hour-long weekly hypnosis sessions, 71 percent of the participants reported a decrease in IBS symptoms.
- Help decrease the frequency of hot flashes, according to a study conducted in 2013. The subjects all reported over 50 hot flashes each week, but after five hypnosis sessions per week over twelve weeks, the frequency of hot flashes decreased by 74 percent.
- Help calm one’s nerves. Research suggests that hypnosis helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorder, or general anxiety. It also alleviates symptoms of depression.
Techniques For Effective Self-Hypnosis
Hypnosis is somewhat similar to meditation, so if you are already familiar with how to meditate, hypnosis may be easier for you.
There are some guidelines to follow, prior to attempting to hypnotize yourself, such as making sure that your phone is on silent, that you will not be disturbed, and that you pick a time during which you are not tired so you are less likely to doze off.
Here is a list of self-hypnosis methods that help produce that trance-state of consciousness:
- The first method primarily employs the use of the imagination; the imagined peaceful place brings about the peaceful feeling. The first step to this technique is to imagine yourself in place that you deem as calm and peaceful and allow yourself to relax there. Allow yourself to take in the peacefulness of this place, while allowing your mind to relax. Allow any peaceful sensations that the place might have, for instance, if you are imagining yourself in a meadow, feel a comforting light breeze.
- The second method relies primarily on focus and can help you achieve a future goal. Again, relax yourself as you did in the first method, but this time, think of a goal you want to achieve. Imagine what steps you would need to take to accomplish that goal and see yourself performing those steps effortlessly. Eventually, see yourself accomplishing the goal, while speaking a motivational phrase such as, “I will accomplish this goal.”
- The third method focuses on re-experiencing an emotion you had in the past that you want to experience right now. This could be peace, confidence, courage or any other positive emotion. Relax and imagine you being in a moment or situation where you experienced the desired emotion and then focus on the emotion.
- The fourth method can be incorporated to both the first and third methods; its focus is intensifying the peacefulness or mood experienced. During the session, once you feel yourself drifting into the trance state, imagine a dial in front of you. Gently reach for the dial and turn it up, thereby intensifying the mood that you are experiencing.
- The last method is similar to the fourth, but it can produce a deeper trance state. While in your session, feel yourself “sinking” deeper and deeper into a trance and allow this deeper trance state to occur.
The way to conclude a hypnosis session is simple and takes just a few seconds. Tell yourself that you are about to end the session, and then count up from one to five, while knowing that after you count to five, you will return to a normal, everyday, state of consciousness.
How Hypnosis Works
Hypnosis primarily uses relaxation techniques, focus and concentration to achieve the trance state, or higher state of awareness.
In this heightened state of awareness, focusing on a peaceful location can help increase your own sense of peace.