- An “awake” state of heightened awareness
- A state of relaxation and focus
- Exercise for your mind
- Rapport with your unconscious
- A naturally occurring state
- An artificial way to access the REM state
Hypnosis is not:
- A state of unconsciousness
- Being gullible
- Being weak minded
Self-hypnosis is an art and skill which a person can refine for accelerated growth by practicing over time.
A hypnotherapist is a guide or teacher who can help a client in the development of their personal self-hypnotic technique. The emphasis is on nurturing a therapeutic trance – a pleasant, comfortable feeling that enables creativity, closure, healing, progress and inspiration.
Hypnosis has been practiced since the beginning of ancient civilizations. The Egyptians in 2000 BC, created “sleep temples” to induce a feeling of relaxation and heaviness. Under these conditions, ancient Egyptian priests described white healing lights moving towards body parts in need of healing with apparent great success.
After thousands of years of refinement, modern hypnosis was finally acknowledged by the American Medical Association in 1958, largely due to the extraordinary clinical success of Dr. Milton Erickson. The AMA clarifies the point that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. In other words, no one can force a person into trance.
If sufficient rapport occurs between the hypnotherapist and the client, the client can allow the hypnotherapist to assist them into a state of trance.
Dr. Erickson was reluctant to define trance because, “whatever I say it is will distract me from recognizing and utilizing the many other possibilities that are available”. Erickson also stated that no matter how well hypnosis was defined, it was no substitute for the experience itself and could not be made applicable to every subject.
Hypnosis is focusing one’s attention inwards. According to Erickson “hypnosis is a means of communicating ideas, a means of asking people to accept ideas and examine them, to discover the intrinsic meanings, and then to decide whether or not to act upon those particular meanings.” It is also a way of accessing parts of the mind other than the conscious mind i.e. subconscious or unconscious minds.