By Stephanie Jarmuth
Most have heard of or have seen hypnosis in the form of a comedy or entertainment stage show, where the hypnotist instructs the volunteer to quack like a duck or fall asleep instantly. Few have heard of hypnosis being utilized in a therapeutic setting, and if they have, it typically ends at the knowledge that hypnosis can be successfully used for smoking cessation or weight loss. Hypnosis, in a therapeutic setting, can help almost anyone with almost anything.
As a hypnotist, I have asked many people what they think hypnosis is and am still shocked to hear the common misconceptions so prevalent. The most common responses I hear are that hypnosis is “mind control,” or that it “can make you do things against your will.” In a fully alert and conscious state, as well as in a trance-like, hypnotic state, you cannot be made to do anything against your will or that doesn’t align with your morals. Hypnotists do not have any special powers. Before I go into the science, beauty, and benefits of hypnosis, let me just debunk what you may be thinking, “If hypnosis is not mind control, explain how the stage hypnotists can ‘make’ someone think they are and then act like a duck!”
Simply put, hypnosis’s success relies heavily on belief, desire and acceptance. The belief that the hypnosis is going to work, the desire for the suggestion and the acceptance of the suggestion. In a stage show, the one on stage is a volunteer, meaning they have the desire to be a part of the show and therefore believe that they will be hypnotized, and therefore, accept the suggestion.
When we talk about hypnosis, we have to talk about the subconscious. Your subconscious is a part of your mind, not a part with a specific location in the brain, with a specific job. After a conscious decision is made, the subconscious kicks in and you operate from your stored habit or behavior. This is why while you are driving you can daydream and then forget part of your drive because your subconscious has taken over, you are in autopilot and do not need to use your conscious mind—your intellect—to drive. The same goes for beliefs, if you have a stored belief that you are a failure, your subconscious mind will operate from that belief. If you have a core belief that you will succeed at anything, your subconscious mind will operate from that.
In your everyday normal waking state, your conscious mind acts as a barrier or protector for your subconscious. If you have a belief that healthy grass is green, and someone comes to tell you that grass is purple, your conscious mind and its reasoning ability and intellect can say “Nope, not adopting that belief; that is false.” And so, your belief remains that healthy grass is green. During hypnosis, just like when you go to sleep, the conscious mind is switched off and that critical factor of the thinking process is dulled. Therefore, the hypnotist can speak and suggest positive change directly to your subconscious mind for you to adopt.
With that being said, it may be easier now for you to see how hypnosis can positively affect so many different areas of your mind and life and beneficially change those same areas. Since hypnosis can access, change and speak directly to the part that hosts your beliefs, habits, emotions, tendencies, etc., you can make some very quick, lasting and beneficial alterations to your negative or limiting beliefs, bad or unhealthy habits, memories that have strong emotional attachments to them, as well as self-sabotaging behaviors.
When someone comes to my office with a core belief that they are not confident, we do two things: we address the first memories in which they felt that way and we suggest to the subconscious mind while the client is in hypnosis that they are indeed confident. How could it be so simple? Remember that formula the stage hypnotist depends upon belief, desire and acceptance. This client has the belief that hypnosis will create the life-altering change they seek and has the desire to no longer lack confidence. Therefore, they are now in the perfect state of mind to accept the direct suggestion.
When doesn’t hypnosis work? When one of the parts of the formula is missing. If you do not believe it will work, it will not. As the saying goes “Whether you believe you can or you cannot, you’re right.” If you do not desire the change you are coming to hypnosis for, then the suggestion given during hypnosis will not stick. Your mind and that suggestion to, for example, lose weight will not connect because your mind does not desire to. Similarly, if a man or women comes to me to stop smoking, if they are only coming because their spouse is pestering them, they are not coming because they desire to not smoke.
In the first session, you discuss with your hypnotist exactly what it is you want from the experience. The hypnotist can then choose the techniques that will work for you and come up with a one to three session plan to get you to where you want to be. At times, it can take more than one session because there may be a past influence, trauma or conditioning that must be worked out before the positive suggestion for the future can successfully be given.
As far as what hypnosis feels like, hypnosis leaves one feeling utterly and completely relaxed. In fact, many clients tell me it is the most relaxed they have ever felt. Being hypnotized is very similar to guided meditation; you sit or lay back and listen to the hypnotist’s voice. At times your mind may wander, but more often than not, you will hear everything being said and you will always have full control over yourself and your actions.
Hypnosis gains more and more credibility each year. Famous sports teams use it to increase performance, public speakers use it to speak confidently, actors and actresses use it to enhance their focus when getting into character. Each year, more medical and scientific studies are published as to the benefits of hypnosis to reduce and manage pain in chronic pain sufferers, relieve, reduce, or conquer depression and anxiety, and more. Hypnosis relaxes the mind, relaxes the body, and in turn allows the subconscious to become susceptible to desired suggestion.
You do not need to have anxiety, smoke, be overweight, have a traumatizing memory, or have self-sabotaging behavior to benefit from hypnosis. Hypnosis is fabulous for things such as increased performance, maintaining a healthy and forward-thinking mindset, self-development, etc. You do not need to take something negative away to add betterment.
Remember, the subconscious runs your life for you 90% of the time, maintaining a healthy, optimistic subconscious will certainly aid or boost your overall success internally and externally. Fill your subconscious with positivity and specific goals so that when you are on autopilot you operate from a positive place and your goals are naturally being accomplished. Why is it so important to maintain a healthy mind? Because everything is derived from the mind! The invention of the chair was once just a thought. That person only nailed that presentation because of the core belief that they would. A fit and healthy person goes to the gym five times per week because of the adopted habit. Whether or not you are open to life and its opportunities are dependent on your comfortability with and mindset around change, your willingness to expand your comfort zone and optimism.
Do you want to experience change with ease, experience what it is like to not have that limiting belief or traumatizing memory, or better yourself in a natural and empowering way? Even if you are still on the fence, reach out to a hypnotist, set up a free consultation and ask as many questions as you can. This tool helped me change my life to the extent that I became a nationally certified hypnotist. I now can create such changes in people’s lives.
Stephanie Jarmuth, owner of ReRoot Hypnosis, is a Nationally Certified Hypnotist determined to change people’s views on hypnosis from “mind control” to “having control of the mind.” She offers life changing in person sessions and custom recordings. Call 630-675-0794 or visit www.ReRootHypnosis.com.