Hypnotherapy (or Hypnosis)

In this article we will demistify all you need to know about Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy. We will cover the following:

What Is Hypnosis & How Does It Work?

How and what all Can be treated with Hypnosis?

Common Issues that can be healed with Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy

Common Misconceptions about Hypnotherapy

The terms Psyche (soul) and Therapeia (treatment) are derived from the Greek words Psyche (soul) and Therapeia (treatment) ( to care for ). The word “holistic” originates from the Greek word “holos,” which meaning “total” or “complete.” Holistic psychotherapy is a comprehensive procedure that allows emotional, mental, or spiritual problems to be transformed into possibilities for growth, achievement, and pleasure. These difficulties range from depression and anxiety to problematic relationships, addictions, and emotional disorders such as helplessness, guilt, loneliness, and rage, among others.

The importance of a holistic approach to therapy cannot be overstated. As humans, we have varying levels of life experience. We are in a condition of well-being when we are at ease on all levels of mind, emotion, and physicality. When we face a difficulty in any of these areas, we lose our equilibrium and become ill. We usually restore equilibrium with the aid of friends and family, but there are instances when we are unable to do so. That is when we should seek expert assistance.

Hypnosis is a completely natural condition that is pleasant and soothing, comparable to the sleepy state that occurs before sleep and in which the physiological relaxed state exists. Hypnosis is best described as conscious relaxation. When we become absorbed in our reading, watching television, or listening to music, we often fall into self hypnosis.

The hypnotherapist’s job is to assist the client in switching into this natural state of mind rather than waiting for it to happen on its own. People are frequently startled, and even disappointed, by how natural hypnosis seems. Because hypnosis is a normal state of consciousness, such reactions are common. Some individuals anticipate being entirely ignorant of what has occurred.

Strong positive suggestions are given to the patient while their minds are relaxed, influencing the subconscious part of their minds for dynamic positive change. This is especially beneficial in providing skills to promote a greater sense of confidence and well-being, resulting in long-term habit change.

Stage hypnosis, for example, has done a lot of damage to the notion of hypnosis as a therapeutic. This should be recognised for what it is: a type of entertainment including audience involvement. What’s more concerning is that such acts create erroneous negative views, preventing individuals from utilising hypnosis as a legitimate and effective therapy that, more often than not, produces positive results.

The spectrum of possible advantages is too numerous to measure because the mind controls both itself and the whole body system. Indeed, while there is no universal cure, holistic hypnotherapy is arguably the most significant medical discovery ever — and it may frequently be of tremendous benefit when traditional medicine is unable to aid.

Hypnotherapy is a suggestion-based treatment in which the patient is presented with a notion, idea, or suggestion. With the aid of hypnosis, we may realise our full potential by bringing our conscious and unconscious minds together to believe in the same thing and work as a very resourceful team.

At a deeper level, hypnotherapy is used to analyse and liberate a mental state, with the goal of learning why a person is who he is and what he wants to be. Panic attacks, phobias, self-confidence, goal-setting and achievement, anxiety, and interpersonal issues are common difficulties that require this technique.

In the third stage, the hypnotherapist use his talents and expertise to enlist the help of the mind in the healing of the body. Self-healing may be quite powerful.

Stress, depression, obsessional issues, sexual dysfunction, habit grieving and behavioural problems, fear of flying, driving, pre-test, exam nerves, blushing, anger, public speaking, dentistry, addictions and sport issues, panic attacks, and numerous phobias are just a few of the many conditions that can benefit from hypnotherapy.

  1. To Stop Smoking (Smoking Cessation)

Hypnosis has been proven extremely successful when it comes to smoking cessation. It enables someone to change the way they think about smoking at a deep and profound level, helping them find the motivation to quit within themselves.

In fact, research shows that hypnotic suggestions can help increase a person’s motivation to resist smoking urges, which can be particularly effective when combined with a more traditional smoking cessation program.

  1. To Manage & Control Weight

In his article published in the Huffington Post, weight loss master Steve Miller reveals 10 ways hypnosis can be used to help someone lose weight.

First up he lists how hypnosis makes it possible for the unconscious mind to take back control of a person’s eating habits. So instead of food controlling their life, control moves back into their own hands.

A hypnotherapist might use the concept of “frames” to help a subject approach losing weight from a different perspective.

By using frame control, they can lead a subject in any direction, putting the problem in a more appropriate context.

The 3 types of frames include:

  • Preframe – setting the scene before an event to help your subject zoom in on the real issue
  • Reframe – changing the subject’s perception of an event or circumstance
  • Deframe – making the subject’s viewpoint or objection irrelevant

Frames offer a quick and easy way to help someone make significant lifestyle changes.

They do this by getting to the core of the problem (the preframe), making them aware of its ramifications (the reframe), and making it difficult for them to argue (the deframe).

And all of this serves to put things into the right context.

  1. To Control Pain

Research has shown hypnosis to be an effective way to reduce acute and chronic pain.

Studies going back to 1996 show the value of hypnosis in reducing cancer pain, and it has proven equally as effective with pain related to burns, rheumatoid arthritis, and the pain and anxiety associated with surgery.

So how does it work?

Well, during hypnosis your conscious mind is tuned out. That means you’re able to relax, block out distractions, bypass that critical conscious mind and access the unconscious mind.

That’s where you begin to focus on a single thought or idea, and if your focus is strong enough, it can help to target and reduce pain.

  1. To Manage Addiction

Hypnosis is a powerful tool to fight addiction because it enables you to get in touch with the unconscious mind, the place where suggestions are able to take root and grow.

Research indicates that it can be used successfully, under the right conditions, to curb withdrawal symptoms, provide an alternative, legal escape, and to “traumatize” an addict against the use of a needle.

  1. To Combat Allergies

In a different study using hypnotherapy to treat irritable bowel syndrome, patients of Dr. Peter Whorwell from Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, UK, who had also suffered from hay fever, reported that their noses were “less runny” following hypnotherapy.

  1. To Enable Hypnobirthing

There’s no getting away from it. Giving birth is painful. Pain produces stress hormones, increased heartbeat, and pushes blood to the arms and legs and away from the uterus, causing even more pain.

And it’s obviously impossible to be in this flight-or-fight mode and to be relaxed at the same time.

That’s why many people, including celebrity moms Jessica Alba and Tiffani Thiessen, are turning to hypnobirthing as a way of coping with the pain and making it less intrusive during the process.

The idea is to replace the stress and fear with relaxation, releasing a different set of chemicals such as endorphins that relax the muscles and act as an analgesic to relieve pain.

  1. To Conquer Bad Habits

Hypnosis has long been used to battle and obliterate bad habits including everything from nail biting to procrastination.

Again, this is down to its ability to get at the unconscious.

If you keep hitting it with positive suggestions and keep telling yourself you don’t need to do whatever it is you’re doing (eating fast food, picking your nose, drinking too much coffee) your unconscious will eventually get the message, you’ll start to believe it, and you’ll gradually change your behavior.

And as soon as you change your behavior, the habit is broken.

  1. To Overcome Sexual Dysfunction

A big part of hypnosis is its ability to help people relax on their way into a trance state. Since stress can be a contributing factor in so many health issues, including problems such as sexual dysfunction, it makes sense that hypnosis can be used to help treat those issues.

This can be achieved using focused awareness, deep breathing and visualization. Sometimes there are psychological issues causing the problem, issues perhaps relating to a previously bad experience.

Hypnosis can help by taking someone back to the experience and releasing it, helping to lift the pain, shame or anxiety that’s getting in the way of a healthy sex life.

  1. To Cope With Emotional Trauma

Emotional trauma occurs as a result of a stressful event that can leave a person feeling insecure, helpless and alone.

One of the ways hypnosis can tackle this problem is through the use of regression. This involves taking the person back to the traumatic experience so that they can relive it and realize the danger is in the past.

It no longer exists and is no longer the threat that it once was.

Whatever the experience, hypnosis can help deal with the trauma and improve the person’s quality of life.

It has been shown to be effective for survivors of sexual assault and accidents, in addition to children and ethnic minorities who have experienced trauma. Hypnosis is also being integrated into therapies for the treatment of PTSD and its symptoms.

  1. To Deal With Depression

Following on from point number 9, depression can be triggered by a traumatic event or experience.

But because hypnosis can help treat the trauma, it’s also a great tool for dealing with any of the after effects such as depression.

Certain traumatic events act as triggers for depression, including things like the death of a loved one, the loss of your job or of your home, divorce, and so on.

Hypnosis works by enabling you to get at the unconscious mind to deal directly with the traumatic event, removing the need for the depression, although it may take some time to remove it depending on its severity.

  1. To Relieve Anxiety

Hypnosis is a powerful technique for dealing with or relieving anxiety.

That’s partly because hypnosis is entirely natural with no side-effects. You can’t get hooked on it. And unlike medication, which can simply cover up the problem, hypnosis helps you get to the root of the problem.

It changes the way you respond to stress and anxiety, helping you deal with the physical and emotional aspects of your life that can lead to anxiety and stress.

Hypnotherapy For Stress Relief And Anxiety Is Highly Effective, it puts you back in control of your life by literally helping you to reprogram your brain.

  1. To Overcome OCD

OCD often shows up in the form of obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors. These thoughts or behaviors can be genetic, or the result of damaged or malfunctioning neural pathways, or as in the majority of cases caused by emotional or developmental issues.

You can see a trend developing here. This is yet another psychological issue that hypnosis can treat effectively by once again bypassing the conscious mind and penetrating the unconscious.

Regression therapy is also useful in this instance, taking the person back to a time when the OCD began, finding the cause, and realizing that the cause or situation no longer exists.

  1. To Assist With Stress Management

Just as with anxiety, hypnosis has been proven useful in helping to keep stress at comfortable and manageable levels.

It can do that by focusing on the underlying emotions that are feeding the stress and that are keeping it at the forefront of the person’s mind.

This is another issue that regression therapy can be used to tackle, returning the individual to a time when the stress first became a problem.

Once they know where the stress comes from, they can begin to address it, and realize that it no longer needs to exert such a hold on them.

  1. To Fight Fears & Phobias

Fears and phobias are conditioned responses that present themselves in the form of heightened anxiety in given situations.

They’re often the result of a feeling that’s associated with an unpleasant event or experience. While some fears appear to serve a purpose (fear of heights, fire, etc.) most phobias seem to be totally irrational, such as the fear of balloons.

But even these seemingly irrational phobias did serve a purpose at one time. What hypnosis does is to find the root cause of the phobia to enable the sufferer to deal with it and eliminate it from their life.

  1. To Facilitate Athlete Coaching

Sportsmen and sportswomen need to be fit and healthy, not just physically but also mentally.

Hypnosis can help them prepare for a game or their next challenge using techniques such as relaxation, visualization, and focusing, all designed to improve their mental stamina.

These techniques help them stay calm and eliminate distractions from their mind, letting them concentrate completely on what lies ahead.

Big names like Michael Jordan, Mary Lou Retton and Tiger Woods have all made use of sports hypnosis to bring them unprecedented success in their fields.

  1. Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is becoming a common disorder nowadays especially in the workplace and within family dynamics. 

It usually occurs when you think that your success and capabilities are due to luck, and not due to your efforts, qualifications, or your own intelligence. Basically, these people are unable to take credit for their own success. 

Imposter syndrome commonly occurs within the following situations and settings:

  • Academic setting
  • Workplace
  • A new or unfamiliar setting
  • A social setting where relationships are being formed
  • Familial settings

Specialists and therapists tried to apply various methods to combat imposter syndrome, and most of them are Psychotherapy techniques. Some methods include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), self-esteem building and reframing. 

But recent studies point to hypnotherapy as one of the best ways to overcome imposter syndrome.  

And that’s not the end of it. It may surprise you to hear that hypnosis can also be used for other issues.

It’s extremely effective for building confidence, boosting self-esteem, increasing creativity, setting and reaching goals, and a host of other applications.

Hypnotherapy is still considered controversial, as many mental health professionals dispute its effectiveness and people are sometimes afraid to try it. There are a number of myths and misconceptions about hypnotherapy that can affect how people view this therapeutic tool.

  • Hypnotherapy is often confused with stage hypnosis. Stage hypnotists are performers who are excellent at reading people. They seek extraverts who will put on a great show for the crowd. Whether or not their subjects are truly hypnotized is debatable, but they are willing to go along with the sometimes outrageous suggestions of the stage hypnotist.


  • Hypnotherapy doesn’t cause you to forget what happened. You will remember the things that occur during your hypnotic state, you will not be asleep or unconscious, and you will be able to break the hypnotic trance at any time.


  • Hypnotherapy doesn’t cause you to lose control. During hypnotherapy, you remain in control. It is not possible for anyone to force you to do anything against your will, even under hypnosis. You will be tuned into the work at hand, and so may not pay attention to your surroundings, but you will always be in charge of your own actions, behaviors, and statements.


  • Being hypnotizable doesn’t mean you are less intelligent. While some people believe that they cannot be hypnotized, research suggests that most people are hypnotizable to a certain degree. Only about 10% of people are difficult or impossible to hypnotize.

Hypnotherapy is used to treat a wide range of conditions, issues, and unwanted/unhealthy behaviors, such as:

  • Fear & Phobias
  • Addiction
  • Relationship/Family/Work Conflicts
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Exam anxiety in children
  • Stage Performance anxiety
  • Memory & Concentration Enhancement
  • Depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Grief and Loss of a Loved One
  • Cessation of Smoking
  • Weight Loss
  • Body Pain
  • Sinus
  • Asthma
  • Schizophrenia 
  • Headache/Migraine
  • Hypertension
  • Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)
  • Arthritis
  • Skin allergies
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Infertility/ Reproductive Disorder

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