Think about this. How hard is it to break a bad habit of yours—whether it’s smoking or even eating sugary snacks late at night? That’s right. It’s definitely easier said than done.
If you’re curious why, it’s because it is a conflict between your conscious and subconscious mind. The conscious part of our mind is where logical thinking and rational decision-making live, but interesting enough this only makes up 12% of our total brainpower.
And if you’re wondering where that remaining 88% is, it’s all within our subconscious mind. It’s thought that in order to change a bad habit or behaviour, we have to access it on a subconscious level. And this is where practices like hypnosis and hypnotherapy can come into play.
So firstly, what is hypnotherapy? Using relaxation techniques, imagery, and the power of suggestion to reach a trance-like state, hypnotherapy is designed to help change an individual’s thoughts, words, and actions. Whether this means increasing confidence and focus, breaking a habit, improving things like mental health, wellness, or even weight loss, hypnosis can be an incredibly effective tool to assist with what you may call “reprogramming” your subconscious mind.
If you are interested in trying out hypnotherapy, visit a certified and registered hypnotherapist. But before you do, let’s address some of the most common misconceptions when talking about hypnotherapy.
1. Hypnotherapy involves a swinging pocket watch in front of your face.
While they can be entertaining, barking like a dog or behaving like a monkey onstage are just that—entertainment. It’s part of the spectacle, but they are nothing like what a therapeutic hypnotherapy session is actually like. You will always be in control of what is happening.
2. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy is a myth.
Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are completely safe to practice. But what most people misunderstand is that it is a miracle fix. It is not a magical cure and results will not occur immediately—it’s a process that takes consecutive sessions, and is dependent case by case.
3. Everyone is able to be hypnotised.
One of the most important things to know is that hypnosis is a voluntary state. That means, if you’re open to the idea of being hypnotised, treatment may be beneficial to you. You cannot be hypnotised if you don’t want to be hypnotised, and working together with a hypnotherapist is a cooperative process! This is why it’s extremely important to build rapport with a hypnotherapist with a strong qualification and expertise, whom you trust and can continue to work with.
In a study by the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2012, researchers looked at the activity of three different networks in the brain: the default-mode network (used when your brain is idle), the executive-control network (involved in making decisions), and the salience network (involved in deciding when something is more important than something else). While it was inconclusive about the part of the brain that hypnosis effects, using MRI technology, it was discovered that people who cannot be hypnotised tend to have less activity in salience and executive-control parts of the brain.
While that may not give you a conclusive answer (yet), the best way to find out if hypnotherapy is for you, is to try it out!
Hypnotherapy has been used in the past to help with behaviours including bed-wetting to smoking, and now, it has become more popular for treating conditions including anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, sleep problems, and even weight problems.