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You’ve probably heard of hypnotherapy, but have you ever tried it for yourself? Does hypnosis work? There are plenty of myths and misinformation surrounding hypnotherapy, but the truth is, this therapy can be one of the most effective and long-lasting treatments for all kinds of things, from phobias and anxiety, to quitting smoking or even overcoming self-doubt. In this article, we take a closer look at the truth about hypnotherapy and how it could help you!

Despite what you might have seen on TV or in the media, hypnotherapy isn’t about your therapist taking over control of your mind and body, in order to make you do some pretty crazy things. In fact, hypnotherapy has been a safe, tried and tested form of therapy since the late 1800s, and is still used today in clinical and therapeutic settings to relieve patients of all types of concerns.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, hypnosis is a:

“Special psychological state with certain physiological attributes, resembling sleep only superficially and marked by a functioning of the individual at a level of awareness other than the ordinary conscious state. This state is characterized by a degree of increased receptiveness and responsiveness in which inner experiential perceptions are given as much significance as is generally given only to external reality.”

Simply put, hypnotherapy is the process by which an individual is put into a state of hypnosis, allowing for a deeper level of connection to the inner self, rather than focusing as heavily on external surroundings. This state allows your therapist to help you explore your subconscious thoughts and feelings more closely, in order to unlock the deeply held beliefs and patterns of behaviour that are causing you distress or holding you back.

Although techniques differ slightly between practitioners, hypnotherapy will generally involve being in a calm, therapeutic environment, where your therapist guides you into a deeply relaxed and focused state. Unlike what you’ve seen on TV, you will at no point be unconscious or out of control of your mind or body. Instead, hypnosis will allow you to focus deeply on thoughts and feelings suggested to you by your therapist, which allows you to work through these without distraction from the outside world.

Often, when we try to change our habits or overcome something that’s troubling us, we might have great success at first, only to fall back into our old patterns before long. The reason for this is that our deepest feelings and beliefs are held at a subconscious level, and we are only partially aware of how these affect us in our conscious state. Despite our best waking efforts, we’re fighting an invisible enemy that is sabotaging our progress at every step. Hypnotherapy works so well because it allows us to dive into these thoughts, feelings, and beliefs without interruption from our conscious mind or outside surroundings. This means we’re not worried about the fear of facing our fears, we’re not concerned with what others might be thinking about us, and we’re not trying to ‘put on a brave face’, for example. In the safe and supportive environment of your therapist’s office, or in the comfort of your own home (find out more about continuing your hypnotherapy at home), you can explore your feelings and behaviours without the fear of judgement, and truly begin to understand why your mind does the things it does. You’ll also discover how these deeply-held beliefs and behaviours are affecting your life, and how to change them.

Although hypnotherapy is an incredibly safe form of therapy, it should always be performed by a trained and experienced hypnotherapist. This is because, in your deep state of relaxation, you are incredibly open and receptive to suggestion. This is important for reaching into your subconscious and uncovering the truth about your thoughts and behaviours, but can also mean being vulnerable to potentially harmful or at the very least, unhelpful suggestions and ideas. Always ensure that your hypnotherapist is trained, experienced, and has a good reputation in your community.

Hypnotherapy is an incredibly versatile form of therapy and can help with a range of concerns, including:

  • Quitting smoking or overcoming other ingrained habits
  • Overcoming stress and anxiety
  • Beating phobias
  • Treating insomnia and poor or unrestful sleep
  • Tackling nervousness and low self-esteem
  • Becoming more confident and enhancing assertiveness
  • Losing weight
  • Helping to manage pain
  • Improving motivation
  • Becoming a better public speaker
  • Enhancing performance or improving study habits

These are just some of the things that hypnotherapy can assist you with, to help you tap into your subconscious mind and discover what’s really holding you back. If you’re looking for a tried and tested therapy, which is proven to be safe and incredibly effective, now’s the time to try hypnosis. Don’t see your particular concern above? If you’re battling with something you’ve been living with for a long time, there’s a great chance that hypnotherapy could work for you. It has been proven to be one of the most powerful tools available for harnessing the power for personal growth, and could be the key to unlocking your true potential.

To find out more about hypnosis can help you, and about our approach here at Integrated Health Specialists, get in touch with us today.

Michelle van Namen
Author: Michelle van Namen