Hypnosis is a state of directed relaxation, to the exclusion of other distractions. This is a very simple definition, but you get the idea. In session I will put a client through an induction, or a relaxation prelude, to get their unconscious mind ready to receive the information, while relaxing the body so that it doesn’t detract from the focus. What hypnosis feels like can vary.
What hypnosis feels like – recent client comments
To some clients, hypnosis feels like a numbing sensation where they cannot move their body, but they have a heightened awareness of what I am saying to them at the time. Sometimes clients cannot feel their arms or legs. This is a common reaction and it is a pleasant feeling, rather than one of loss of control. Think about lying in bed, not quite ready to get up.
Other clients will drift in and out of consciousness and only partially remember the session. This is also common. When I test them afterwards and ask what they experienced, these clients will often say that they can’t remember, but that something happened. Think about recalling an elusive dream.
Sometimes hypnosis feels like a very new experience, eliciting the comment, “That was really weird. It’s like nothing I’ve felt before”. This type of reaction usually comes from clients who are very logical thinkers, unused to daydreaming or acknowledging gut feelings, for example. It’s a break from themselves, for this type of client.
A recent client told me that he felt as though the sun was shining in his eyes and on top of his head. This was a beautiful experience of what hypnosis feels like. He could see and feel the heat of the sun and its glare, behind closed eyes. He said there were moments when clouds would waft by and the sun would subside, but then it would shine strongly again. My client found this to be a very powerful session. He had come in with extreme anxiety and the session had allowed him to literally see the light. We did a fair bit of neuro-linguistic programming as well.
Should I be afraid?
Hypnosis is not mind control, like you might see on stage. In fact I’ll correct myself there… even on stage it is not mind control. The reason why someone may allow themselves to cluck like a chicken for example is that the sensation of hypnosis is so relaxing and enjoyable that they will do anything to perpetuate the feeling. Another important point here is that it is a very small percentage of the population who can be so suggestible as to cluck like a chicken when told to. What you don’t see in these performances is the hypnotist, or their assistant, busy before the show, vetting the audience to find that small percentage. Let me put it another way, of all my clients, I believe I may have experienced only five who would cluck like a chicken if I instructed them to. And seriously, why would I do that (especially without an audience lol)? You see my point.
So, having established that I am not in the least bit interested in whether or not you can cluck like a chicken, and that under no circumstances would you be asked to cluck like a chicken, the answer is no, you should not be afraid. There are some medical conditions where hypnosis is contraindicated but these are covered on my booking page (epilepsy and psychotic disorders mainly).
Hypnosis requires your collaboration. Rather than mind control, hypnosis depends upon what you will allow. It is a team effort. I collect the information that I need to help you based upon the nature of the problem, I work it into a script, I feed it back to you. Keep in mind that I rarely only do hypnosis. Most of the change work I do requires a multifaceted approach and I use various neuro-linguistic programming and regression techniques as well.
What can I expect?
What hypnosis feels like for you will depend on many factors, including your experience with hypnosis and/or meditation, and your current frame of mind. If you are anxious about the hypnosis itself, you will probably experience a calming of your body and mind, but possibly not a deep enough response to go numb in the body. The session should make a positive impact upon you so that the change process can begin, especially as we would be using other techniques as well, however session 2 will probably yield a deeper sense, once you have realised there is nothing to worry about. Trust is also key in hypnotherapy because after all, it is your mind and you should be careful about who you allow into it. If you would like to try hypnosis safely and with expert guidance, give me a call.