by Bob Walsh

Hypnosis has long been rumored to have powerful mind-altering properties which can help to treat a range of psychological conditions and lifestyle habits. Conjuring images of elaborate stage shows with unsuspecting ordinary people making a fool of themselves, hypnotism has been seen as a joke, or entertainment for decades. Although conventional medicine may still be a little skeptical as to the effectiveness of alternative treatments like hypnosis, there are hundreds of thousands of success stories around the world in favor of these alternative methods. By conducting the mind of the patient (or victim?) in a state of total relaxation, the hypnotist can change the pattern of thought, for example to turn a patient off smoking cigarettes. It is thought that whilst the mind is reduced to this placid, almost semi-conscious state, the hypnotist can access the inner most anxieties and feelings of the patient to make a permanent change to their mental well-being.

The process of self-hypnosis takes conventional hypnotism one stage further. Rather than hypnosis for stage performance, or for treating others, self-hypnosis revolves around sending one’s own mind into a state of relaxation. By learning the key techniques to hypnotizing one’s self, you can treat a variety of your fears and anxieties, and allow a platform for self-improvement at many different levels.

It is important firstly to make the distinction between hypnosis, and what is known as hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is the actual treatment of patients with psychological needs, such as those who wish to break life-long habitual behavior, and those who want treatment for some underlying mental condition. Hypnosis on the other hand refers to the natural mental we may all experience from time to time, which relaxes the mind and opens it to the power of subtle suggestion. Hypnosis is generally reserved for improving self worth and an overall sense of well-being, and can be a very powerful and relaxing technique.

The first thing to do to hypnotize yourself is to find a relaxed and comfortable environment. Lie down, or sit down in a comfortable chair. Be conscious of the weight of your body being absorbed by the platform on which you are sitting, and feel relaxation through your arms, legs and torso. Close your eyes, and try to forget about the world, focusing on deep breathing and utter calm. After around a quarter of an hour, you should awake as if from a sleep, and you will feel significantly more relaxed and refreshed, ready to continue your daily business and deal with the stresses of every day life.

Hypnosis is a very natural process, and it is certainly not to be feared. Think of hypnosis as a conscious sleep, and understand that you are still in complete control of your actions throughout. It is merely a process whereby we can feel comfortable and deal with stress in a more constructive and healthy way.

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