FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. What is an altered state of consciousness?
An altered state of consciousness is any state of being which differs from our ordinary "rational" state of mind.
2. How does an altered state of consciousness differ from a hypnotic state?
The hypnotic states form a large part of the spectrum of altered states of consciousness, the latter being a more inclusive term. As examples, daydreaming and meditation are other forms of an altered state of consciousness. You are in a focused state of being.
3. How does the hypnotic state feel?
Hypnotic states can be broadly classified as light, medium and deep. In the first two there may be few specific sensations other than feelings of great relaxation. You may feel a tingling, a warmth, you may feel your arms or eyelids are heavy all normal feelings. You are aware of the room. You are aware of yourself. Clients may be surprised or disappointed because, other than this great sense of relaxation, they don't feel any different. This is normal, and the best advice is to enjoy your sense of relaxation.
4. Does a person in hypnosis lose self-control?
You will not stay in hypnosis. Hypnosis is a relaxed state not really sleep. Even if you did sleep, you would wake up just as you do when you sleep.
Fear of what you might say or do? You do not do anything you wouldn’t do in a waking state. Movies have people programmed to commit crimes through hypnosis—not true. If you would not normally rob a bank then you would not be programmed by hypnosis to do so. All hypnosis is self hypnosis. You are in charge. You will not lose control of yourself during hypnosis. You will do nothing in hypnosis that you would not be ordinarily willing to do. Suggestions given to a person in hypnosis, must be acceptable to both the conscious and the unconscious parts of the mind.
5. Are people able to self-induce a state of hypnosis?
Yes. Spontaneous self-induced hypnotic states are quite common and you have experienced them many times yourself without knowing it. Whenever you become absorbed in anything, as in daydreaming, reading a book, or watching a television show, you may slip into hypnosis to varying degrees. During such times, you are usually very relaxed, oblivious of outside distractions and very focused. Self-induced states of hypnosis are very common among artists and creative people in general.
6. What preparations are necessary for hypnosis?
No preparations are necessary on your part for your first session of self-hypnosis. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You do not go anywhere you do not want to go. Come with an open mind. Wear comfortable clothing. Also, do not take tranquilizers or relaxants within three hours of the session.
7. What is the difference between hypnosis and meditation?
Hypnosis is a state in which you can "program" your own subconscious mind. With the use of hypnosis or self-hypnosis you will be able to program for the (behavior change results you want or access any memories from any point in your life.
Hypnosis differs from meditation in that during hypnosis the subconscious mind is in a state of focus and receptivity - alert, accepting and digesting the specific suggestions that are being given. Although meditation provides a very comfortable and relaxed state, generally the subconscious mind is in a state of relative inactivity.
Hypnosis is very effective and for all practical purposes completely safe with a word of caution at this point:, people may attempt to alleviate pain without first checking with their doctor to determine the cause of the pain. This can be dangerous, in that pain is a signal that something may be wrong and could cause ultimate damage unless properly diagnosed by someone with a proper medical background. Hypnosis can be done quickly and easily, and while in the hypnotic state you can stop the hypnosis yourself at any time, for instance, if your baby was crying or a fire alarm went off you would be up in a flash.
8. How does the subconscious mind differ from the ordinary consciousness?
The subconscious tends to accept as fact any idea that is presented to it. It is capable of thinking and reasoning, but it does so in a different way from the conscious mind, in accordance with a different set of rules. It also can remember, in complete and unselective detail, everything that has happened to the person, including events which the conscious mind has totally forgotten. In hypnosis, you can go back to the day you were born and recall what your parents were saying.
9. What is the relationship between hypnosis and the unconscious?
Hypnosis is a state which allows the client to reach their subconscious, unconscious, or "inner mind" and influence it. Some feel that it provides an opening into a wider psychological or spiritual dimension transcending the limits of the individual's unconscious.
10. Can hypnosis totally block out all attention to things that happen in normal life?
Rarely do people go to such a deep state they do not recall what was said during the session. Yes, if the client specifically wants to go to that state, they will. However, people in hypnosis usually are aware of everything that goes on around them; they are merely so relaxed that they do not pay attention to anything except the matter they are focusing on.
11. What kinds of people make good clients for hypnosis?
If you have normal intelligence and a desire to be hypnotized, then you are a good client. It is the consensus of professional opinion that more than 90% of the population can achieve varying depths of hypnosis during their first experience, and with continued practice can enter deeper states of hypnosis with greater ease. Within the set of good clients for hypnosis there are many variants, but each can, with practice, achieve greater results through experience.
12 Who should use hypnosis?
Anyone who wants to explore regression or change behavior could choose hypnosis. Hypnosis needs to be a second step for people who are emotionally unsettled, or deeply depressed and should first consult a qualified mental health professional and seek professional psychological, medical or psychiatric help.
13. Does a person in a state of hypnosis lose consciousness?
A client in a hypnotic state never loses consciousness, even in the deeper stages. He knows what is happening around him at all times. He can talk even while still remaining in the hypnotic state. However, there are very deep states in which the person experiences such intense bliss or ecstasy that it would be unwise for a person in such a state to attempt, for example, to drive a car.
14. Is it easier to return to a state of hypnosis once you have been there?
Unquestionably, yes. Passing from ordinary states of consciousness into hypnosis is a technique which, with some practice, can be employed almost automatically, like a habit. Just as a musician finds it easier to play a difficult piece after much practice, so the person who practices reaching hypnosis finds it easier to enter that state each time he practices it.
15. Is sleep an altered state of consciousness?
Yes. Sleep is a different type of altered consciousness than that used in hypnosis. In the altered states used in hypnosis, you are emphatically not asleep and are completely aware of yourself and your surroundings
16. Does time pass quickly while in a state of hypnosis?
Usually, yes. Your inner mind has its own sense of time. In fact, a half-hour can seem like a few moments in hypnosis. Conversely, you can take all the time you need to really learn how to experience your various responses in that special hypnotic time where every moment in hypnosis can be equivalent to minutes, hours, days, or even weeks of regular time.
17. Won't the preparation for entering the hypnotic state simply put me to sleep?
Normally, not. However, if you are very tired you may pass from hypnosis directly into normal sleep. This, however, can usually be prevented by suggesting to yourself that you will not fall asleep.
18. What has a state of hypnosis to do with better health?
It is the unconscious mind that holds the ideas and attitudes that erupt in psychologically caused illnesses. In hypnosis we can (1) learn what these ideas and attitudes are and (2) influence our minds to accept new ideas and attitudes leading to better mental and physical health.
19. What is a psychosomatic illness?
In general, illness springs from one of two causes. It may be entirely physical in origin or it may be psychosomatic, that is, a physical illness was psychological or emotional causes. This latter type of illness suggestion while in a state of hypnosis can help us overcome. (Many physicians now claim that over half of all illnesses fall into the category of psychosomatic.)
20. What are suggestions?
Suggestions are the phrases you say while in a state of hypnosis to influence your inner mind. Usually these suggestions are repeated a number of times. Also, it is not necessary to verbalize or vocalize your suggestions. It is more important to visualize or sense the results of your suggestions as an accomplished fact
21. Can hypnosis be used to remove pain?
As stated before, suggestions given in hypnosis are not magic or panacea, but they can be effective tools in preserving and restoring your physical and mental health. An aspirin, for example, can relieve a headache but it doesn't remove the cause of the headache. Similarly, hypnosis can be utilized to remove the pain, but does not cure the cause of pain. Hypnosis is one way to relieve pain, but remember to consult your physician!
22. Can hypnosis help me reduce tensions in my life?
Yes. Merely being in a state of hypnosis can make you feel more relaxed than you ever were before. While in hypnosis you can suggest to yourself that the relaxed feeling will carry over into your ordinary consciousness. Suggest to yourself that you will be able to see your problems and challenges in a more productive way. Confidence in yourself and in solving problems also helps, naturally, to decrease tension.
23. What happens in Regression?
Your soul remembers everything. If you can remember your first day of school or your first date or your first day at a new job, then you have already experienced regression. Classic regression is getting relaxed and allowing your focus to recall experiences you may have forgotten. You can even go back to the day you were born.
24. What happens in Past Life Regression?
You follow the procedure of regression as in #23. You may explore and visit pleasant lifetimes. Often, your soul takes you to a time that effects your current life so you understand why something is happening. You can have a knowing or sense or feel or see yourself in another time and place. It may seem odd to be in the time of pyramids or the old west with covered wagons or in an oasis in a caravan in the desert. You just go with the flow and report whatever comes to mind. Sometimes, you get symbols that do not make sense like a modern aluminum table in a cave in caveman times, a pioneer in buckskin clothing on a high-speed modern train. Your brain and soul may give you symbols as a shortcut to figure out why you enter that specific scene. You may not figure out the meaning until after the session and that is OK. Your soul knows you have a limited time to get information, so you just go with the flow.