What is it?
Hypnosis is a natural state of heightened awareness, where you are able to open your mind to beneficial suggestions and where you can make use of your imagination to help make positive changes in your life. It is similar to what you might experience whilst reading a book or watching television or while driving and you suddenly arrive somewhere and donâ€™t remember the journey. Your mind has drifted off but you are still fully aware of everything that is going on around and you are still in control.
What does it involve?
The therapist will ask you to sit in a comfortable chair or lie on a couch. Your attention will be shifted away from external events or mental stresses and you will be asked to focus on your breathing and increasingly relaxed state. Hypnotherapy is rather like being in a daydream, it is a state called "trance". It might be a Deep trance or it might only be a light trance. You're not asleep but you're not awake either Once you're relaxed, therapeutic suggestions will be made such as, 'you will no longer feel the desire to have a cigarette'.
You'll then gradually be brought out of your relaxed state and back into the present.
You may be given self-hypnosis exercises to use at home, which typically involve:
- deepening - counting yourself down into an increasingly relaxed state
- suggestions - repeating positive statements that relate to your intended goal
- ending - counting yourself back into a fully alert state
How does it work?
As you enter a relaxed state, your breathing, heart rate and metabolism all slow down and your brain waves change and it's believed that in this state the mind becomes particularly receptive to suggestion.
What's it used for?
Hypnotherapy may help overcome anxiety, insomnia, stress, panic attacks and phobias, pain, headaches, irritable bowel problems, weight loss, addiction. Hypnosis has been found to be particularly effective with children.
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