Most people’s first impression of hypnosis comes from movies, televisions shows, and magicians. It’s stereotypically portrayed as mysterious magic or as a means to control others for criminal purposes. In truth, hypnotherapy is therapeutic and also has health benefits.
History of Hypnosis
Hypnosis has been around for centuries and has been found in many ancient civilizations including China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Spiritual leaders like shamans used trances in rituals, special ceremonies and, in certain cases, as a means of healing. However, Franz Anton Mesmer, an Austrian physician in the 1700s, is credited as the creator of modern hypnotherapy, which uses hypnosis in the medical sense rather than the spiritual.
Medical Hypnosis Today
Today, hypnotherapy can be described as a process in which calms and relaxes an individual while giving them a heightened sense of awareness. Hypnosis can be used in two ways. It can be used to open individuals up to suggestions on certain destructive behaviors (like smoking) without taking away their free will. And it can also be used as a means of analysis (like dealing with past traumas or finding the source of certain emotions).
Listed below are some quick facts about hypnosis therapy.
- Pair hypnosis with other therapy. Hypnotherapy is typically not used on its own; it’s usually coupled with other treatments. It is often used to treat phobias, reduce stress, cope with mental health issues and deal with grief or depression. Some even report that hypnosis can help individuals stop smoking, lose weight and even help with childbirth.
- There’s a proper way to prepare. The hypnosis meetings can last from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. A well-trained therapist will discuss at lengthens the goals that will hopefully be achieved. The professional will then guide the individual into a trance by offering suggestions in a gentle tone or by describing mental images. The whole point of the process is to relax, not doze. So it is important that you have had enough sleep and that you’re wearing relaxing clothes.
- Medical hypnosis is not for everyone. This type of therapy should not be used by everyone. As with all medical treatments, there are some risks to consider. In some cases, hypnosis can cause headaches and anxiety attacks. In some extreme cases, it can even alter memories or create false ones. It is also difficult for some to enter a trance state. If medical hypnosis is not for you, try other forms of therapy.
- Do research on your therapist first. Before considering hypnosis, it’s important to speak with a therapist you trust and ask important questions about their qualifications and their experience with hypnosis.