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What is Hypnosis?

There are many miscomprehensions about hypnosis. Although many people are afraid to be hypnotized because they feel they will lose control, the truth is that no one can make you do anything that you don't truly want to do. You will never be "under the control" of a hypnotist.

When you experience hypnosis, you are deeply relaxed physically, while mentally many times more alert than in your normal state of awareness. You'll be able to hear, smell, feel, and respond to everything and become an active participant in the therapy. You have tremendous control over what you will, or will not, do.

Hypnosis allows you to connect with your subconscious mind. All that you do and feel in the world originates in your subconscious – your behavior patterns, your thought patterns, your beliefs (both limiting and empowering), all reside in your subconscious (or unconscious) mind. You could call this your “programming,” like a computer. Every experience you’ve ever had is stored there and has shaped what’s been programmed, which in turn, affects everything that shows up for you in life, through your behavior - through the patterns and "ways of being" that you have adopted, and adapted, in your life.

When you become aware that there’s something that you want to modify or change, you must shift your belief system in the particular area – that is, you must change your programming at the subconscious level. When the programming is modified, you will naturally shift your behavior, as we instinctively act (external) in alignment with what we believe (internal).

If one makes changes in the code of a computer program, the way the program operates will be changed in some way - something about its functioning will be different. The challenge is, very few of us know how to change computer code. We've worked with the program in the fashion we've become familiar with, but when we become aware of something that we want to change, or add, or perhaps delete from the program, we're not always sure how to change the internal code affecting that given function. Hypnosis allows access to that internal place where all change is possible, a place where healthy, non-judgemental, and loving feelings are inherent.

Hypnosis involves facilitating a trance state – similar to state of mind when your driving in your car and your mind just wanders, and before you know it 20 miles have gone by – or you seemingly nod off while listening to a boring speaker and aren’t sure whether 2 or 10 minutes just when by. It’s during times like these that the conscious mind begins to relax and the subconscious mind becomes more active – like a sponge - naturally taking in the positive suggestions it hears.

How does it work?

1. At your intial session, we'll sit down, get acquainted, and any questions you may have about hypnosis, me, hypnotherapy, etc. will be addressed. We will then begin to discuss your particular matter - what's going on with you that you've identified and want to shift in some way. It might be that you want to quit the habit of smoking cigarettes, or affect the pattern of eating too many sweets during the week, or identify the origin of the migraine headaches that occur every time you have a big presentation coming up. Whatever it is for you, we'll get clear on it.

2. Together, we will define your goals or challenges and recommended courses of action that will most rapidly help you achieve your desired outcomes.

3. When you're ready - fully comfortable with our discussion about hypnosis, hypnotherapy, and understand our objectives together - the actual hypnosis session will begin.

It works like this… First, you’ll get real comfortable in a cozy chair or couch. Then, the hypnotherapist will ask you to close your eyes and relax. You’ll be guided through a full body relaxation – but will be extremely alert mentally. You will be aware of everything around you. In a relaxed trance state, your subconscious mind is active. At this time, the hypnotherapist will give you positive suggestions and visualizations – based specifically on the very things you wish to modify. Things such as “you are very energetic, exercise is fulfilling and fun for you,” or “you relax and sleep deeply at night, you leave stresses at the office.” After a short while, you’ll be brought back up to full consciousness and you’ll feel relaxed, refreshed, and invigorated.

Remember, the hypnotherapist is simply a facilitator of this process. You can never be made to do anything that opposes your moral or ethical code. There is no danger of becoming stuck in a hypnotic state - you have the power to come out of a trance at any time.

The suggestions given immediately integrate into your belief system and through your own efforts you begin to change and re-pattern your behavior. You will have re-programmed, as you wish, a component of your personal computer and your operating system will behave differently. The old programming, which was keeping you from achieving your goal or was causing a problem, will be removed allowing you to accomplish goals and eliminate problems. You will emerge from hypnosis with strong suggestions of good health, a positive self-concept, and an expanded perception of what is possible for yourself. You will feel better than you have for a long, long time.

4. Your session will conclude with a brief discussion of your experience, to further "cement" the suggestions and make sure your desired change is internalized. Often, you will leave with further behavior changing “homework” to do between sessions. NLP (neorolinguistic programming) and EFT (emotional freedom technique) approaches are commonly employed.

The subconscious mind can be engaged to alleviate stress, stop smoking, lose weight, eliminate addictions, relieve pain, increase motivation, and much more. While a personal desire is necessary to make the changes you wish, hypnotherapy can engage the power within you and serve as catalsyt to help make those changes occur.

I don’t think I can be hypnotized.

Hypnosis is a natural state of mind. You can enter some form of hypnosis several times every day. ANYONE can enter hypnosis very easily, providing you have the following two things:

1. You must want to be hypnotized (no one can be hypnotized against his or her will).
2. You must not have any fears or misconceptions about hypnosis and how it works.Hypnosis is a 100% consent state

If at any time you want to emerge from the state of hypnosis, for any reason, you will instantly, naturally open your eyes and become fully alert. No one can keep you in hypnosis against your will.

Can Hypnosis hurt you?

In over two hundred years of recorded hypnosis history, there is no documented case of anyone being hurt with hypnosis. Hypnosis can only be used in a positive way. If anyone tries to give you suggestions against your morals, religious beliefs or anything you feel strongly about, you could instantly emerge from the state of relaxation on your own.

What is being in hypnosis like ?

It is quite an ordinary experience. In fact you will have already experienced what hypnosis is like in your everyday activities. Daydreaming is hypnosis. When you  are reading a book on a train and are oblivious to other noises  and passengers, that is hypnosis. We experience hypnosis   throughtout our day whether we are aware of it or not.

Will I be forced to accept suggestions?

No. Your mind is very protective of you and you will not accept any suggestions that go against your morals or beliefs.

How many sessions will I need?

This all depends on the change that you want to make. I can see two different people who have the same problem. One person might need two sessions and the other might need four sessions. The reason for this is that we are all unique and respond differently.

What is the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is the state that a person experiences. Hypnotherapy  is using that state for beneficial purposes.

So how can being in hypnosis help resolve a problem?

When we are in hypnosis we are more relaxed, physically and mentally. When this occurs our mind operates more efficiently and effectively. An example of this is when you try and remember  someone’s name. Its on the tip of your tongue but you just cant  get to it. After you stop trying and may be five minutes later the name comes back to you. The difference here is that you were putting your mind under tension trying to force it to remember. However when you stopped and thought of something else, you allowed your mind to relax and the name came to you. When the mind and body are relaxed we have better access to our memories. We are a product of our memories and past experiences. Sometimes we need to return to a memory in order to resolve what happened for our peace of mind before we can move on in the future.

How long does a session last?

A typical session is 60 minutes. However, figure 90 minutes for the initial session to include adequate time for evaulation/interviewing.

How often will I need to see the hypnotherapist?

This completely depends on your circumstance. If you require 2 or 3 sessions, I'll commonly see you once a week. However some clients see their hypnotherapist once or twice a month for continued support as they implement various changes in their lives. My coaching approach supports making change at your desired pace.

What should I do next?

Just click on this address to email Martin Matthews, or why not call him for an informal chat on 415-235-2960.

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