Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy is a therapy where the subject is guided into a state of deep relaxation. They are then more able to receive suggestions that will influence and improve how they feel and act during their waking life.
Hypnosis is one of a number of therapeutic techniques that aim to reduce tension in the body leaving the mind more open to the introduction of positive suggestions. A Hypnotherapist guides an individual into a state of deep relaxation and focused concentration. Therapists use a number of techniques but these will usually include deep muscular relaxation and guided imagery.
The Hypnotic State, which may or may not include going into a trance, results in a number of physiological changes. These include decreased blood pressure, a slowing down of the heart rate and increased brain wave activity.
Hypnotherapy is seen as a way of reaching into the subconscious mind. The behaviour and thought patterns that are having a negative affect on life are sometimes ‘set’ and difficult to change. By accessing the deeper layers of consciousness it is possible to ‘install’ suggestions that will remain once the subject wakes up. It can also influence thought processes and negative emotions that are proving hard to dispel.
Hypnotherapy is often used along with other techniques to adapt behaviour and encourage change. It is also widely used for pain relief, to control allergies, reduce stress and in helping to stop negative behaviours such as smoking.
It has proved effective with patients suffering from anxieties such as dental phobia. It is used by health professionals involved in pain relief and the treatment of chronic illnesses.
Individuals vary in their ability to be hypnotised. One study has suggested that 90 per cent of people can be hypnotised and that 20-30 per cent are ideal subjects for hypnotic suggestion.
Most individuals are able to learn techniques that will encourage deep relaxation. Self Hypnosis may be learnt with the assistance of books and tapes and regular practice has been shown to have a positive affect on a number of behaviours. It has proved useful in relieving pain, reducing anxiety and improving confidence.
Hypnosis and Age
Research has shown that susceptibility to hypnosis decreases with age. Most research has been involved with younger subjects and elderly people may have a resistance to this form of therapy.
Sleep and Hypnosis
Deep Relaxation is an important weapon in the battle for sleep. Hypnosis has been shown to be effective in treating a number of the conditions that have a detrimental affect on sleep. Anxiety, pain, smoking and illness all affect sleep and cause insomnia. Learning how to relax and changing the thought processes and behaviours that support these behaviours will improve sleep quality.
Doctors and therapists use Hypnotherapy for a number of conditions, and techniques are tailored to the individual. It may be used as part of a programme to resolve sleep problems and Insomnia.
Self Hypnosis can help with learning relaxation techniques and with removing some of the anxiety that often affects sleep. There are a number of books, CDs, workshops and other resources available that provide information and guidance. Qualified Hypnotherapists work with individuals to resolve negative behaviours and initiate improvement in sleep quality.
People are looking beyond pills and potions to find a long term solution for insomnia and to improve the quality of their sleep. Hypnotherapy is one of a number of Mind Body approaches that aim to achieve long term improvement and increase health and well being.