Of course, stage hypnotist cabaret acts and hypnotherapy is not exactly the same thing but they both tap into the power of your mind. And when you use hypnosis for your own reasons and are not just a fall guy for a stage hypnotist and the amusement of your friends, the results can be surprisingly effective.
What is Hypnosis?
Many of us go into hypnotic trance like states throughout our day. The period between sleep and waking is a common one, likewise when you have been carrying out an action or even driving and suddenly remember you can’t actually remember the last few minutes or the journey. This light trance state is like daydreaming and comes with a pleasant feeling of deep relaxation. You are still wide-awake and will probably be able to respond to anything if you need to but otherwise you are in a “floaty, not quite here” state.
The hypnotic state is a different state of consciousness from your normal state of being and one, which you can enter so that beneficial corrections and messages can be given directly to your unconscious mind as hypnotherapy. You are still fully aware of your surroundings but in a slightly altered state. When you are feeling like this, you are extremely susceptible to suggestion and learning but because you are so relaxed, it is as if you do not really notice it.
The American Psychological Association defines hypnotism:
as a cooperative interaction in which the participant responds to the suggestions of the hypnotist
and it is important to remember that. Even a stage hypnotist will not be able to hypnotise you if you are reluctant to let him. However, if you want to benefit from hypnosis or hypnotherapy, and are open to the experience you may find that it helps you.
Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy What is it Good For…?
Just about everything! Hypnosis can be used for a range of applications. Stress, stopping smoking, pain management, overcoming phobias, stage fright and weight loss.
It is also being medically researched into its effects upon the reduction of the symptoms of dementia, pain relief during childbirth, irritable bowel syndrome, and nausea during chemotherapy and similar and proven to have some very positive results.
Hypnosis is also used to achieve weight loss and many people have found that it has helped them lose weight more easily by changing the way they think about food. There can be complex reasons why we are overweight and hypnotism can help deal with these often deep-rooted mental issues and build a new healthy relationship with food.
Can Everyone Be Hypnotised?
Most people can be hypnotised if they are willing to be hypnotised and there are very few exceptions. You cannot be hypnotised against your will and even in a hypnotic state you will reject any suggestion that you do not want to do or hear. The whole focus of hypnotherapy is that it will help you sort out your problems yourself. Your hypnotist is simply a facilitator who helps you work with the power of your mind and you always remain in control.
Hypnotism for Weight Loss
Some people find that dieting does not work and that they struggle with their weight on an ongoing basis. Hypnotherapists believe that in many cases diets do not address the root causes of what makes many individuals to over eat.
There can be many reasons. You may continue to eat despite feeling full or you never seem to feel full enough. You may have been conditioned at an early age to “clear your plate” and not waste food.
Some people eat because they are bored or depressed and comfort eating relieves these negative feelings. Sometimes this can be traced back to an emotional event that has remained locked in the subconscious mind. Many people use food as a reward or give into social pressure to eat too much.
The reasons for over eating can be varied and complex and go beyond simply enjoying the taste of food and eating too much of it. According to hypnotherapists, hypnotherapy can change the role that food plays in your life and may be the key to successful weight loss.
How do I Find the Right Hypnotherapist?
There are many different hypnotherapy methods for weight loss. One of the best ways is to visit a hypnotherapist near you and have a consultation but if you are reluctant to commit to the expense, and alternative therapies can be expensive, there are a range of self-help hypnotherapy CDs, books and DVDs available. Stage hypnotist Paul McKenna – a respected hypnotherapist as well as an entertainer has a range of self-hypnosis tools available and even a phone app, which may help.
You can also find group courses in some areas that specifically target weight loss and run sessions that are relaxing and enjoyable as well as effective. Many of these cost around £15 or $25 per session.
If you do look for a local hypnotherapist, you need to be sure that he or she is fully accredited and has some training. Anyone can call himself or herself a hypnotherapist and set up in business but there are some professional bodies that monitor the profession.
In the UK, professional bodies include:
- National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)
- The British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH)
- The National Hypnotherapy Society
- General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR) – an International body
In the USA, professional hypnotherapy bodies include:
Types of Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss
There are many types of hypnotherapy that may help with weight loss and it all depends on your hypnotherapist and how he or she works. It also depends upon you and what is most effective for your circumstances.
Many people believe that negative messages such as “avoid donuts – they’re poison” are the sort of hypnotic messages that you are likely to receive but in truth, although these can work short term they do not last for long. After initial consultation, your hypnotherapist may help you think of some positive messages because these are found to be more effective.
A positive hypnosis suggestion could be something along the lines of a mantra that you make up yourself. One suggestion discussed on the Oprah Winfrey Show was created by a middle-aged woman who has successfully lost over 50 lbs.
Unnecessary food is a burden on my body. I’m going to shed what I don’t need.
Repeating this every day and truly believing it, has worked for this lady!
It may sound strange but once you are in the hypnotic state and open to positive suggestions and imagery it can make a real difference to how you think about things in your everyday life.
Hypnotherapists believe that you have the answers and the solution to your weight problems and will help you believe in yourself and your own abilities to do it. They can find you ways to deal with food cravings by using powerful symbols to simply remove them from your thoughts. They will help you reinforce positive feelings and behaviour so that you can achieve a more healthy relationship with food.
Your hypnotherapist may help you look back into your post to identify emotional triggers to food and give you the strategies and tools to deal with them as they arise as well as solve these old emotional conflicts. Understanding why you act in a certain way can help you change your behaviour.
Gastric Band Hypnotherapy
This form of hypnotherapy sounds bizarre but is helping people lose weight although it is not suitable for everyone. The procedure mimics the real gastric band operation minus the surgery. The therapist puts you into a deep hypnotic state so that you are practically asleep and then you are taken through the surgical procedure step by step as if you were really having this operation.
Following the “operation”, many people find that the results are the same as if they had undergone the real operation. They eat less and feel less hungry. Follow up sessions mimic the follow up of the real operation where the gastric band is “adjusted”.
Hypnosis for Losing Weight – Is it for Me?
Hypnosis is not effective for everyone and not everybody needs it. Losing a few extra pounds does not have to be difficult and many people manage to give themselves all the encouragement they need to lose weight successfully.
Sometimes a course of diet pills will do the same job as hypnotherapy. The act of committing to buy and then take some safe weight loss pills in a regular routine is enough to tell your mind that you mean business. In addition, anything that the supplements will do to help you physically will be a bonus. Boosting your antioxidant levels, increasing serotonin levels and managing hormones are all physical processes that affect your weight and your metabolism. But the power of the mind is also crucial and especially when it comes to choosing whether or not to eat too much!
Hypnosis may not work for everyone but if you are really struggling with your weight, it may be worth a try and an added benefit is that it is a very enjoyable experience. And if you want to change your relationship with food long term, it may be an easy way of making a difference.