How Does Hypnosis Work

Hypnotherapy, making a bad life good again

Hypnosis, a name given to the phenomena of Trance!

To help us navigate our world, sensibly, we love to give things names or labels, hypnosis, is merely the name given to a deeper derivative of the natural phenomena of trance, a state from within which a therapeutic intervention occurs, a process termed 'hypnotherapy.' Although, in truth, therapeutic interventions occur throughout the conscious talking part of the process, much the same way they do in psychotherapy or counselling. So, hypnotherapy, therefore, is just an adjunct to help consolidate the process and acts as an interface between conscious awareness, the deeper world of our subconscious and ultimately; the brain. This is because the process we call "life" is a natural function within the brain and because hypnosis creates a natural connection, via the mind, to the brain, it is potentially safe. I say potentially because anyone who has influenced you to do or say something you did not want to do, used processes like hypnosis.

Salespeople use mind influencing techniques as a stock in the trade process. Perhaps one of the greatest in modern times was Bob Geldof's Band Aid project, where he influenced the minds of millions of people to help the starving people of Africa. Charities were pleading for help as thousands of children were dying every day through starvation but Geldof et al, really got people's attention, he went straight for the heart and changed many peoples lives in the process. Clinical Hypnotherapy is a way of doing a Geldof on yourself, a way of getting your attention and bringing about the change you want. You may be a smoker and wish you weren't, you've tried gum, patches, will power, none of those techniques worked, you just couldn't sell yourself the idea that smoking was killing you, then, one day, you tried hypnotherapy and Bingo, your mind bought it, the way your brain worked and related to smoking changed. Now you have a few extra bob (an old British currency coin, the shilling) to give to Bob!     

Hypnotherapy really does change lives, so why not change yours? You see, life is a work in progress, an experience of emotions and is judged by the way it feels, if life feels good, chances are you'll be quite happy and if it feels bad, well, you can answer that one yourself? Because hypnotherapy is a process that works with the way your brain works, it is perfectly safe, natural, it's often quite fast too (compared to other therapies), It is also an effective and, mostly, permanent way to emotional happiness! That said, occasionally our brain goes out of sync, it could be due to a viral or bacterial infection, injury an environmental experience or trauma! In such circumstances, the brains ordinary functioning is out of kilter and life goes off the rails. Hypnosis allows us to get you back on track. I say "us" because any work done with a client is a collaboration and consequence of the therapeutic alliance, "Client and Therapist!" So, together, we make your world right again, sometimes, even better than alright!

The Hidden Power - Hypnosis:

Hypnosis has long been proven, both empirically and scientifically, to communicate with the brain at the level of the subconscious mind (read more). Evidence exists to suggest that trance states have been around since at least the beginning of recorded history and because trance (hypnosis) is natural it is an effective method for a life to change, often dramatically so! Hypnosis could be described as the brain's onboard management system. Every second of every day we are bombarded with sensory inputs and most of those are handled by subconscious neural processes; if they weren't we would have a system overload. So, Hypnosis is the essential bridge between consciousness and the realm of subconscious neural processing. 

Hypnosis, as a natural phenomenon, works in our brain and mind, simply because it evolved to do so, and its purpose is to influence our thoughts and behaviour, it helps us change the many problems we face in today's modern world. In that context, the hypnotherapist merely a facilitator of this natural process (akin to a software engineer), whether it's for repair, maintenance or an upgrade. Repair is necessary when things go wrong, life just isn't working for you. Maintenance is keeping it working well, essentially, life management. And an upgrade is where you learn to take your mind, thinking and behaviour to another level, Maslow referred to this as "self-actualisation!" Very often life issues are a result of poor lifestyle choices, many of which don't feel at all like they were chosen. These life matters, most of which are circumstantial, have the potential to create negative trance states which influence our lives, so my work usually involves de-hypnotising as often as hypnotising!

We have an innate ability to learn subconsciously but the way societies, cultures and life itself have evolved have allowed us to replace natural intuition with logical analytical thinking! The conscious mind is very logical, rational and analytical; however, in contrast, the subconscious mind is more literal! Conscious thought is our physical awareness of the emotional world, it allows us to articulate how we want things to be. However, for the most part, our experience of life is determined by subconscious processing and when there is a mental conflict between the conscious and subconscious minds, the subconscious usually asserts its will! Have you ever said, "I won't do that again" and then immediately do it? Clearly, your subconscious doesn't concur with your conscious thought or will. Hypnosis helps us to break the chains that keep us bound to old patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour! Essentially it changes the way memory expresses itself; because everything we do, say or think, is in some way connected to memory.

The empowering effects of hypnosis work through intricate brain networks and is evoked by the stimulation of specific brainwave states, namely PGO (Ponto Geniculo Occipital) waves, as well as Theta (R.E.M and Non.R.E.M.) waves. PGO waves begin in the pons and travel through the lateral geniculate nucleus, to the occipital lobes (primary visual cortex). Theta (R.E.M. and Non.R.E.M.) waves are involved in the many memory-related activities of sleep (where we do our dreaming), where the brain consolidates new memories into long-term memory. Auditory stimulation (the hypnotist's voice) generates new PGO waves, which in turn consolidate the memory of the therapeutic intervention. Ideas, theories, questions etc. are posed to the client during the conscious part of the therapy, thus creating short-term memories of potential solutions, wants, desires, goals etc. These are later fed into the client's mind during the hypnotic, subconscious, part of the session. Thus creating self-reinforcing long-term behavioural changes. This happens so seamlessly the client often loses the connection between hypnosis and the change that occurs. Often they say, "I just decided to do it." The hypnotist is or should be, content with their client's success after all that is mostly why they do it; we love to help people; help themselves!

Hypnosis creates a unity of mind, converting intellectual language into emotional language; it helps you get what you want! But to get what you want, you have to know what that is. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, the experience of 18 years as a Clinical Hypnotherapist has taught me that most clients I see do not know what they want. By that I mean, they cannot fully explain what they mean! For example, often a client will say "I want to be happy", yet they cannot explain happiness. If you can't explain it; how can you fully achieve it? However, defining what you want is a multifaceted proposition; it's about what you want in every aspect of your life. That is why governments, organizations and environmental groups focus so much on the value of life balance, Life in totality is much bigger than any one aspect alone. In a sense, the experience of life is the result of all of its parts and how they interact with each other. For that reason, alone, balance is so important! Happiness thus becomes the resultant awareness of the richness of living a fulfilling and wholesome life. Someone who is happy at work, happy at home and happy from within; is truly successful in life. Once you begin to love all that represents yourself; you WILL love life

Calming the Ripples - Hypnosis:

Life is a journey we all embark on at birth. And during that journey, we can and often do have an awareness of the way we would like life to unfold. But when life isnʼt going the way we want, it feels unpleasant and these unpleasant feelings can feel like the ripples on a pond, the unwanted effects ripple out into our life; perhaps into every aspect of it! It affects the quality of our relationships, our career, our finances, as well as our physical, mental and spiritual life! In the pursuit of peace and wellness, many people turn to meditation, religion or therapy. They are looking for something to calm this inner turmoil; seeking to calm and create smoothness on the pond of life. Many clients tell me that they find it difficult to empty their minds, or when prayer fails them; they feel their faith is not deep enough. In one sense I believe that God lives within us and for that reason, all we need is faith in yourself - i.e. to have faith in the creation of the Creator!

Hypnosis actually helps us to achieve and reach that place of INNER PEACE and CALM. However, the way we do it is not by emptying our mind, but rather by filling it with different and better thoughts! In my practice, I help clients find this inner calm. But I don't want to stop there, because there is a place beyond the calm, a place called the Halcyon. It is my desire to teach you how to discover the ability to calm the turbulence of everyday life; a way to find the calm within the calm. When we reach this level of calm, we calm our thought's, we calm our mind, we calm our body and soul. This is achieved by managing your mind. Active mind management helps you decide how to live life mindfully. Life is merely the consequence of brain chemistry; active mind management teaches you how to use your mind and how to create positive and empowering brain chemistry!

Meditation is effective, but many people find it challenging. Many clients who try meditation tell me that they find it hard to stay focused or follow their teacher's advice. Some find it extremely difficult to erase all though and indeed it can be, although it is possible. In reality, when you try to empty your mind, you actually fill it with thoughts of how to empty it? You can, not think of something; without thinking of it! Thoughts are the primary language of cognition and at some level are intrinsically linked to emotion. You can allow your mind to rule your life or you can make changes today; changes that allow you to decide how to actively use your mind. When we use active mind management we employ effective - positive - thought management and because of this our experience of life becomes better; and so do we!

The peaceful and often pleasant induction of hypnosis guides you somewhere special, somewhere where it is very easy to go to! This is done using the senses of sight, sound and touch! This is necessary because we all access our mind's inner resources in different ways.

As an experienced and skilful clinical hypnotherapist, I will slowly and gently guide you to where you need to be and to do so in a way that allows you to experience, in your mind, in your body, the change you want to happen! And also, because many clients tell me they find it hard to practice hypnosis on their own, I provide two FREE recordings one, a recording that will help you reach the deeper levels of trance, peace and relaxation and another specifically tailored to your very own needs and goals of your therapy. N.B. These recordings are only available to those clients who take one of my therapy packages: more info

Emotional Growth - Hypnosis:

Emotion is the feeling side of life, cognition is our description of how the emotion of life feels. We are designed to seek the emotion of wellness, an emotion so strong that it helps us to heal at all levels; in mind, body and spirit! We subconsciously know this (neurochemical) emotion as LOVE and seek it through acceptance, approval and bonding. When you develop a loving heart, you will have a loving nature. When you have a loving nature, it's what oozes from you, you will literally transmit and receive love. This is the real law of attraction, it is the universal cycle of life; what comes from you; comes to you (what goes around comes around)!

As humans, we are chemically engineered to seek and attract the emotion of love. When we experience its chemical correlates - the conscious feeling of chemical love - we are at the threshold of life itself! At the heart of my therapy is this inner search for the emotional correlates of the emotion we call Love! The chemical experience of the emotion of love, is what drives life and it is this chemical experience that drives most people to mind-enhancing drugs; be it alcohol, nicotine or harder drugs. Most addictive drugs excite the brain's pleasure centres. The danger comes because they affect the brain's ability to do this naturally and hence create the craving. You are artificially trying to recreate nature but nature has a predilection for chemical love to evolve normally! Mankind's destiny lays in the enjoyment of nature; not the unnatural re-creation of it!

Herbert Benson MD, author of The Relaxation Response, says "Love regulates Stress, Stress regulates everything else and I could not agree more; LOVE IS! That said, we are chemically engineered to survive and do this through the fight or flight response. Its agenda is survival, not the quality of life. I believe we have two primary emotions, they are LOVE (Life overcomes virtually Everything) and FEAR (False Evidence Appears Real). Love is a creative emotion; the creation of life itself. Fear is a protective emotion; ensuring our survival

We are by our very nature engineered to succeed and survive. In seeking love, we seek to thrive and therein lays our difficulty; we want to thrive but seek to survive! The primary emotions of life are, therefore; Love & Fear! Love creates Fear protects. When we begin to focus on the negativity within our everyday language we can begin to influence the use of more positively inclined words. Words have the capacity to excite the brain's pleasure centres and this can lead to the feeling, chemically speaking, we know as love. Love is far more than the expression of our feelings towards others, it is the internal expression of our inner and outer awareness of a good life! And without any doubt, the most important aspect of love; is love for the self. When we learn that the real value of love comes from the experience of it, not the knowledge of it, we begin the journey towards life fulfilment. To put it simply, know what you love and then do what you love. Life is the enjoyment we experience when the emotion of love becomes us. it is the feeling that comes from the awareness of specific neurotransmitters flooding through our veins; love is LIFE!


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