What Is Hypnosis And How Is It Done?
To better understand hypnosis for weight loss, let us first understand what hypnosis is. There are two kinds of hypnosis, one for therapeutic purposes and one for entertainment. What we will be discussing is the therapeutic kind called hypnotherapy.
To give a layman definition of hypnosis, let us use the most common idea of hypnosis as reference. When the topic of hypnosis is touched, the first thing that comes into mind is a swirling hypnotic spiral or that swinging pocket watch that captures the “victims” attention until finally the sinister looking hypnotist can make the “victim” do anything, such as quacking like a duck or hopping about like rabbit.
But this “idea” of hypnosis is partially true on some aspects albeit a little cartoony. Although it is silly to associate hypnosis with seedy characters in trench coats, it is true that hypnosis on some level can make you do things.
Hypnosis is a mental state of highly focused concentration. The word itself is derived from the term neuro-hypnotism meaning nervous sleep. Hence the popular “you are getting sleepy… and sleepy” chant in cartoons.
But subjects of hypnosis do not enter a state of unconsciousness similar to sleeping (with eyes open), on the contrary, they are fully awake but with their attention fully focused and their peripheral awareness significantly decreased.
Simply put, when you say peripheral awareness, this refers to other things other than what is in front of you or what you’re doing at the moment. So during hypnosis, you become detached from background noises as well as what may be happening around you. As you enter this mental state, you become relaxed whilst being induced by mental concentration, making you more open or have a higher response to suggestion.
Hypnotic suggestion can either be induced by a hypnotherapist to a subject (that’s the patient) or it can be self-administered by the subject through self-hypnosis or auto-hypnosis.
In this mental state, patients can access capabilities that they were previously unaware that they had. So, going back to the cartoons that we have seen as children, sinister hypnotists making their victims backflip or somersault do have some basis in facts.
How is it done?
Induction of hypnosis can be done by way of suggestions that will make the subject focus on one specific occurrence, such as paying attention to his/her breathing. The patient’s concentration is further encouraged by means of suggestions of relaxation and focused attention. I cannot really delve any further on how this is done exactly and what actually happens to the brain to make the person react like this without sounding very technical to the point of being boring. Let us say that this is somewhat like very deep meditation. Once the patient is absolutely relaxed and focused, their altered awareness is further enhanced through verbal cues and suggestions in a process that is referred to by hypnotherapists as “deepening”. If self-administered, changing breathing patterns can be done to deepen this state.
Once a deep state of hypnosis is entered, appropriate suggestions to the patient are then expressed.
Written by Jocyl Macasa