Hypnotherapy: Using Your Natural State of Mind to Improve Your Life

Hypnosis is a natural state of altered consciousness that occurs when breathing and heart rates slow down to induce a state of deep relaxation. Innumerable people experience this state of consciousness on a regular basis, such as in the moments just before falling asleep, “zoning out” in front of the TV, and while sitting entranced in front of the fireplace.

According to The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia:

“Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness characterized by focused concentration, similar to that experienced when day dreaming or concentrating and oblivious to distraction. It allows access to the highly suggestible subconscious mind by quieting the conscious mind. Research has shown electrical changes in the brain during hypnosis; the brain waves of a hypnotized person are usually different from those of a person in the normal waking state. Most people can be hypnotized, although the ability varies from person to person. Techniques vary but usually involve deep relaxation accompanied by the focusing of the mind.”

A Brief History of Hypnotherapy

References to hypnotic procedures first appear in the Hindu Vedas, which were written in 1500 B.C. They can also be found in accounts of the ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks.

Although hypnotism may have been first introduced to Western science in the 18th Century by Franz Mesmer, hypnotherapy as we know it today was developed in the 1950s by an American psychologist named Milton Erickson.

Hypnotism was approved as a valid therapeutic treatment modality by the American Medical Association in 1958, and has grown in popularity and respectability over the last half-century.

Today hypnotherapy is considered by many to be one of the most effective techniques available for effecting positive, lasting changes that can truly enhance your quality of life.

What Types of Problems Can Hypnotherapy Help Resolve?

An effective method on its own or as an addition to any program for self-improvement, hypnotherapy has helped countless individuals:

  • Quit smoking and drinking
  • Lose weight
  • Overcome asthma
  • Reduce anxiety, stress, and depression
  • Conquer fears and phobias
  • Manage anger
  • Improve self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Resolve relationship issues
  • Acknowledge and access talents
  • Enhance skills
  • Develop better concentration
  • Enhance skills
  • Expand potential
  • Learn to relax
  • … And much, much more

How Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Hypnotherapy is a powerful and effective therapeutic process that taps into a person’s subconscious mind and uses the power of suggestion to help them overcome obstacles and move toward their goals.

For hypnosis to be effective, you must be extremely relaxed… In fact, you must be so relaxed that, for all intents and purposes, it can be said you’ve entered a trance-like state.

However, being in a trance is not the same as being asleep. Unlike when you’re asleep, a trance state allows you to maintain an awareness of what is happening around you.

Achieving a trance-like state allows your subconscious to be receptive to suggestions made by either your hypnotist or you. It is at this point that ideas will be introduced to you that can help you change your thought patterns and perceptions so you can overcome specific behavioral problems (such as smoking or overeating), ease physical pain (such as from a surgical procedure or chronic illness or disability), or resolve mental and emotional issues (such as anxieties or phobias).

All hypnosis is really self-hypnosis, so there are no reasons to be nervous about having a hypnotist “controlling your mind.” No one can be hypnotized against their will and no “mind control” techniques are used in hypnotherapy.

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are psychoeducational in nature. That is, they are processes designed to teach you how to master abilities you already have.

Once you have learned how to enter and view your trance state, you can use it to control aspects of your behavior that may have been outside your control. For example, you can learn to improve your mood, to put yourself in touch with more effective frames of mind, to move beyond pain and discomfort, and to adjust your eating or other habits.

How to Find a Hypnotherapist Near You

Locating a hypnotherapist in your area is usually a relatively straightforward process.

Ask your physician, your mental health provider, friends, family members, or any other people you trust for a few referrals. You can also use one of the major Internet search engines to locate a hypnotherapist in your area. For example, if you live in or around San Jose, California, you could do a couple of quick searches for terms such as “San Jose Hypnotherapy” or “San Jose Hypnotherapist”. Just be sure to verify your hypnotherapist’s credentials before beginning therapy.

And remember that, although positive results are often experienced after just one session, hypnotherapists do not have magical abilities to cure people instantaneously. Much of your success with hypnotherapy will depend on the rapport between you and your hypnotherapist. So, if you’re not comfortable with the first hypnotherapist you visit, continue looking until you find one that feels like a good match for your unique personality and needs.

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For more information contact:

Haleh Rambod, MFT – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
(209) 850-9023

2930 Geer Road, #115-D, Turlock, CA 95382

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