About Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy
Have you ever watched a movie where an individual under hypnosis appears to be drugged, doing silly things, or sleepwalking? This couldn’t be further from the truth. Unlike what you may see in a movie or television drama, one is not “zoned out” while in a hypnotic trance. In fact, one experiences a heightened sense of awareness because they can access information that is blocked while the conscious mind is active.
Most myths about hypnosis are fear based. They generally have something to do with control. The fear being that, while hypnotized one turns into a zombie, whereby the hypnotist takes control of the individual’s mind and makes suggestions without the individual’s knowledge or consent, implying that the outcome will be unfavorable. This is not true. At all times the individual is awake, aware, and in control. The hypnotist cannot make the individual say, do, or falsely remember anything. The individual has free will, and accepts only that which he/she chooses to accept. It is true that on occasion an individual is so relaxed that they fall asleep during hypnosis, however, as in any sleep state, the individual’s unconscious and subconscious minds are fully functioning. Therefore, the individual is always in control.
So, what is hypnosis?
The simplest answer I can give is that hypnosis is a deep form of relaxation making possible focused concentration. We have all experienced hypnosis in one form or another. For instance, when we are fixated on something, such as watching waves crashing on the shore, or listening to music that transforms us to another time and place, or while enjoying a soothing massage. Do you remember someone talking to you without you noticing or hearing him/her? Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming? You were hypnotized.
To be hypnotized, one must allow their conscious (or critical) mind to rest, just as they do during sleep, in order to allow access to the higher mind (sometimes referred to as the universal mind or the Higher Self), the unconscious mind, and the subconscious mind. It is a very natural, very pleasant state of being. So pleasant, that when it is time to return to the conscious mind, many people say to me, “I don’t want to.”
Do you remember how clear your thoughts are while you are in trance or immediately afterwards? Very productive and very successful people take time from their daily lives to go into trance so that they can resolve issues that they are dealing with. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the issue is, or what it relates to. While in trance one blocks out all the noise and commotion around them and within themselves, allowing their higher mind to bring forth the knowledge they need to resolve their dilemma.
For some people, it is very difficult to relax their conscious mind, or to recognize the information they receive while in trance. Hypnosis, with guided imagery and directed questions, is a wonderful means by which to connect with the higher mind.
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is the quickest, most successful, drug-free, enduring method to create and maintain a peaceful, fulfilling, healthy life. It works by accessing information not readily available to the conscious mind, understanding situations more clearly, and changing one’s perception of what he/she thinks is to what really is.
With the help of a certified hypnotherapist, it is easy for an individual to go into trance, access their higher mind, and find the root cause of any dis-ease—emotional, behavioral, psychological, and health or injury related. Once the root cause is identified and understood, the hypnotherapist will work with the client to release the pain. Accessing the higher mind is key to understanding life’s situations, releasing fears, anxiety, depression, grief, weight, etc., and freeing oneself from negative thinking and doing.
Accessing the subconscious mind is important when one is trying to change behavior. By bypassing the critical mind and speaking directly to the subconscious mind, one can accept positive changes in their life. This is the key to successful weight loss, quit smoking, concentration, study, exam taking, enhancing athletic achievement, putting an end to obsessive compulsive behaviors, and building self-esteem, to name a few. Dr. A. M. Krasner, founder of the American Institute of Hypnotherapy and the American Board of Hypnotherapy states in his book, The Wizard Within, “For the process to be effective there are two components that must be present: belief and expectation. In my classes I teach the simple formula, BELIEF + EXPECTATION = HYPNOSIS.” When we believe something or believe in something, we are delivering a message to the brain about what is occurring. The brain then orders the body how to respond. Under hypnosis, one can visualize or imagine an outcome, i.e., being content. By doing so one puts into motion actions to reach that goal.
We have all read or heard about people who have surgery without anesthesia. We have all seen or read about people who can miraculously walk, see, or speak with the touch of a healing hand. Achieving and maintaining good health is easy through hypnosis. The hypnotherapist will teach clients how to send positive messages, through thought and visualization of health to organs and cells, and to the subconscious mind which assists in accepting and integrating the new information, i.e.: reducing blood pressure, eliminating insomnia, or maintaining a healthy heart. It is vitally important for anyone contemplating surgery, to work with a hypnotherapist before, during and after medical intervention to reduce bleeding, pain, the need for medication, and to speed recovery. Modern medicine is finding that alternative medicine, with new discoveries into nutritional supplements, homeopathic medicines, treatments and cures is accomplishing what we once said could be accomplished only by a miracle.
Christina Gikas, C.Ht., Msc.D.
I can assist you on your journey toward self-actualization, self-fulfillment, and healing with the use of hypnosis, imagery, specific inquiries, and counseling.