Can hypnosis promote healing? The founder of hypnotherapy Frans Mesmer gave us the verb mesmerise when he created what we now know as hypnotherapy. Mr. Mesmer certainly thought hypnosis could be used positively.
How long hypnotherapy has been around is not quite clear. However, it is thought that the art of “mesmerising” or hypnotising is not something new. Shamans may have induced the state by drumming or tapping. The techniques don’t differ much from what see in ASMR videos.
For some time, we have recognised that by using words and actions, you may be able to make a person fall into a deep state of what is best described as daydreaming. Modern-day hypnotherapy is so much more than what many call quackery.
It is believed that hypnotherapy has therapeutic effects which can benefit both the mind and the body. Many doctors and especially psychotherapists consider hypnotherapy a mainstream tool with many uses.
History of Hypnotherapy
The history of hypnotherapy is somewhat shrouded in mystery. We know that many cultures throughout the world have verbal traditions of people falling into trances. In many ways, this describes the state of hypnosis.
However, realistically speaking, our modern perception and idea of hypnotherapy only go as far back as the 18th century.
From what we know, it was Austrian-born Frans Anton Mesmer who started the practice. At first, he was branded a fake and charlatan, but many doctors including Sigmund Freud adopted the practice.
It was not until the 1950s and 1960s when American psychotherapists delved further into the therapy and developed what we recognise as clinical hypnotherapy.
Today, it is recommended in doctor’s training. That being said, most doctors still don’t receive any formal training. It is only doctors and medical professionals with a special interest that go on to study hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapists believe that the mind has many levels of consciousness. When you hypnotise a person, it is believed that the conscious part of the mind is “bypassed.” This is what puts the patient in a deep state of relaxation.
The state of hypnosis is thought to influence both the physical and mental state. The heartbeat slows down and breathing also changes. It is even thought our digestion is affected by the hypnotic state.
There are different levels of hypnosis – light, medium and deep. Most of the time, practitioners use a light to medium hypnotic state when dealing with patients.
Not all of us are capable of entering a hypnotic state. It is thought that 10% of the population is impossible to hypnotise.
Evidence and Research
Although it is obvious that hypnosis works, exactly how it works remains a mystery.
Many say it is the relationship between the patient and the therapist which is the key. If you want to undergo hypnosis, it is important to trust and leave yourself in the hands of the therapist.
How you react to hypnotherapy seems to be very individual. Many say that it has helped them to lose weight, stop smoking and overcome trauma.
The more insight we gain into the realm of the mind, the more we appreciate how amazing our mind and brain work. What is the difference between the mind and brain? If we could answer that question, we may be able to understand the benefits of hypnotherapy better.
One thing we do know is that the brains produced alpha waves when under hypnosis. Alpha waves are essential for our well-being. They help us to relax.
You can experience this yourself by watching ASMR videos, The question is have you fallen asleep naturally or have you been remotely hypnotised to fall asleep?
The Theory of Hypnotherapy
This is where it gets really tricky. There are no real theories when it comes to hypnotherapy.
There are theories that suggest that our minds and brains can possibly enter different states. When we are under hypnosis, we may respond to suggestions. This has made for many fun stage shows over the years.
Is what we are experiencing real? This can possibly depend on your personality. If you have a very creative and imaginative personality, it is likely that you will respond in a different way from a more factual person.
Is it possible to regress somebody to a past life? This is very controversial. There is a form of hypnotherapy called suggestive hypnotherapy. It is thought that even the slightest hint of a brightly lit UFO or passed life may create thoughts and daydreams in the mind that appear very real.
If you think hypnotherapy is for you, it is important to visit a practitioner with a lot of personal integrity. Be clear on what you would like to achieve.
But, it is obvious that many people benefit from hypnotherapy.
What Are the Main Uses of Hypnotherapy?
Sigmund Freud eventually went on to stop hypnotising his patients. It is thought he was not sure that it benefited them as far as it went to solving mental trauma.
It is recognised that if you experience pain or physical discomfort, hypnotherapy may help you. Many with unexplained pain syndromes claim they have been helped by hypnotherapy treatment.
Main uses of hypnotherapy:
● Skin conditions
Final Thoughts and Medical Opinion
Most doctors support hypnosis and think it has a therapeutic role in conventional medicine. If you think it could benefit you it is important to visit a qualified and licensed hypnotherapist.
In Australia, hypnotherapy is a self-regulated industry. However, some states require hypnotherapists to be licensed and registered. The Australian Hypnotherapists Association is the largest professional body for hypnotherapists in Australia.