Hypnosis is not what you see in the movies. It is not slipping into deep sleep while watching a pendulous string. It is but a natural state of focused attention. And while it is pretty normal and 100 % natural, it is considered to be one of the most fascinating aspects of the human mind. Just the very entrance into such a conscious state of mind, opens windows of opportunities to heal and self-explore. It is a meditative art that has been recognised by the world over for thousands of years and for multiple purposes.
The word "hypnosis" is derived from the Greek word hypnos, which means "sleep." In this therapy the practitioner typically uses exercises to create deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness, known as a trance. In trance, a person is unusually responsive to an idea or image, but it is not that a hypnotist can control the person's mind and free will. Basically hypnosis teaches how to master one’s own state of awareness. In this way, the patient can affect his/her own bodily functions and psychological responses. Hypnosis is used in several settings such as in emergency rooms, dental offices and outpatient clinics to ease circumstances with an emotional or psychological component. Studies on hypnosis suggest that it can perhaps improve immune function, increase relaxation, decrease stress, and ease feelings of anxiety.
It is effective in allaying fear and anxiety that are associated with pain and uncomfortable medical or dental procedures. Hypnotherapy is recommended as a treatment for chronic pain. Some other conditions in which hypnotherapy is effective include anxiety and addiction.
It is not difficult for some people to relax, but it can get a lot difficult for another. Scientific evidence states that about 85 percent of the people are able to dive into a state of at least light trance. But, a light trance is enough to meet a lot of therapeutic goals. For other situations that require a deeper level of trance such as at the time of childbirth or labour, the patient may have to first determine his/her level of trance capability before making the decision of picking hypnosis over anaesthesia.
Considering that children are imaginative, it is easier for them to go into trance more quickly as well as more deeply than other people.
Hypnosis works by altering the state of consciousness in a manner that the left-hand side of the brain, which is analytical, is shut down. The right-hand side of the brain, which is non-analytical, is made more alert. The sub-conscious mind is awoken during the session. Because the subconscious mind is the more deep-seated and instinctive force compared with the conscious mind, it can help in changing the behaviour as well as physical state of the patient.
For instance, if a person consciously fears height and has done everything possible to consciously get rid of the phobia but in vain, his/her sub-conscious needs to be programmed so that the deep-seated instincts as well as beliefs are altered or abolished.
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