1What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural and normal state of the mind in which the body experiences a state of deep physical relaxation while the mind remains clear, alert and focused. In this altered state of awareness, the subconscious mind becomes open and suggestible. A person naturally enters this state many times during a normal day - just most of us are not aware that it is happening. How many times have you been thinking about something while driving your car and suddenly realised that your exit was 3 miles back? Most of us go to the movies and get so caught up in the drama of the story we forget that we are only watching a movie. Most of us daydream from time to time. All of these are examples of a natural state of hypnosis called "environmental hypnosis."
2How can I tell when I'm hypnotised?
It depends on the individual. Some people are more aware of changes felt in their bodies than others. It also depends on how deep into the hypnotic state the person has allowed himself to drift. You may experience sensations of feeling very light or floating, very heavy, tingling sensations, dry mouth or just pleasantly relaxed.
3What does it feel like to be hypnotised? - Does it feel good?
It feels great! Most people will experience different bodily sensations ranging from a dry mouth, limbs feeling very heavy or light, or tingling sensations. Most people feel wonderfully relaxed and enjoy the hypnotic state very much.
4Can anyone be hypnotised?
Yes. Any person of at least average intelligence and ability to focus and concentrate can go into hypnosis. The better one is able to concentrate and focus and the more intelligent a person is, the easier it is for him to go into the hypnotic trance. Above all, the person must be willing. Nobody can hypnotise you if you don't want to be hypnotised. Your natural defences in your mind will prevent this from happening.
5Will I be asleep or will I know what is going on around me?
No, you are definitely not asleep, though to an observer your body appears to be sleeping because you are in a state of deep physical relaxation. You are completely awake and aware of your surroundings. You hear everything. Since all your senses are magnified 8 times, you are actually more alert and aware while you are in hypnosis than you are in your normal waking state.
6How does the hypnotist put someone into hypnosis?
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, and the power comes from within the mind of the person being hypnotised. The hypnotist is merely the guide who directs and leads the person into the hypnotic state. The hypnotist induces the hypnotic trance by using certain words and phrases the subconscious mind understands, as well as using various techniques like deep breathing, imagery and tone of voice.
7Is hypnosis dangerous?
No, hypnosis is not dangerous. It is just a natural state of the mind utilized by the hypnotist for purposes of entertainment (as on stage) or to help the individual change certain habits or pattern of behaviour. The mind has natural defences built in which will automatically reject any suggestions it deems harmful.
8Is hypnosis "mind control"?
No, hypnosis is not mind control. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The hypnotist cannot make you do or say anything you ordinarily would not do, unless you wanted to. You always remain in control and are awake and alert the whole time.
9Will I lose control when I'm under hypnosis?
No, you will not lose control while you are in hypnosis. You are fully conscious and very aware of what is being suggested. You are always in control. The mind will reject any undesired suggestions automatically.
10Aren't people who can easily be hypnotised just gullible, stupid or weak-minded?
Quite the opposite! A gullible, unintelligent or weak-minded person is incapable of maintaining the necessary focus and concentration necessary to go into the hypnotic state.
11Won't being hypnotized make me become weak-minded or cause me to develop a "weak will"?
No, hypnosis is used often to boost a person's concentration and will power.
12How much will I remember when I wake up? Will I forget everything that went on?
Most people remember everything that went on while they were in hypnosis, but sometimes, if they went into a particularly deep state, they may forget what happened. Sometimes the hypnotist will suggest that they will forget what happened, and they do. Other times people have the misconception that they are supposed to forget everything, so they do - because they gave themselves the suggestion to forget!
13How deep into a trance will I go?
That depends entirely upon the individual himself as to how willing he is to enter into the hypnotic state and how far he is willing to let himself go. Some people are naturally able to enter a deeper hypnotic state (somnambulists), while others are capable of entering into deeper states because they have been hypnotised in the past, practice yoga or meditation. It is not important how deep you go, just that you are willing to give hypnosis a chance to work.
14Does the hypnotist have any special "powers"?
Absolutely not! The hypnotist is just an ordinary person like you or me. He has had special training to learn how to speak directly to your subconscious mind in a way it understands. There are no Swengalis or hypnotists like you see in the movies. The hypnotist has no mystical or supernatural powers. Anyone with the same training can learn to hypnotise
15Can the hypnotist make me do things against my will - like in the movies?
No! A hypnotist cannot make you do anything against your will, morality or ethics. What you have seen in the movies is fantasy. Your mind has natural defences against harmful suggestions. It will always protect itself.
16Will I wake up afterwards - What will happen if I don't?
Yes, the majority of people who are hypnotised will come out of the state when brought out by the hypnotist. On occasion, someone will choose to remain in the hypnotic state because they either entered a particularly deep state or it feels so good they want to remain in hypnosis. They will drift into a natural sleep state and wake themselves up naturally.
17What can hypnosis be used for?
Hypnosis can be utilised in many ways, though the hypnotic state is not always called "hypnosis." Hypnosis is used for entertainment purposes (stage shows) or in a clinical setting such as in hypnotherapy to make positive changes in a person's life. It is used often in the medical and dental fields as well. It is used by psychologists and psychiatrists as an adjunct to their treatments. Self-hypnosis is an integral component in yoga, bio-feedback and meditation. Top athletes are using self-hypnosis when they focus during competition to "get into the zone."
18Can hypnosis help me?
Yes, definitely! Hypnosis can be used to make positive changes in your life. Some examples are: stop smoking, lose weight, improve self-esteem and confidence, improve sales ability and memory retention. Practically any bad or destructive habits or behaviours can be removed via hypnosis. It can help ease fears and phobias, improve relationships and communication - the list goes on and on.