What Is Hypnosis & How Does It Work?
How Does Hypnosis Work?
Despite what many people believe, hypnosis is not some magical state of mind whereby a hypnotist has some sort of control over their subject.
In fact, when under hypnosis the subject is in full control and can wake up at any time they wish to do so.
The suggestion of being able to wake up at any time is usually given during the induction.
The subject does not go into any kind of magical sleep whereby they cannot open their eyes either, unless they specifically believe this to be the case, as a result of that suggestion being given.
The word hypnosis is actually a very misleading title, as the word is derived from Hypnos, the greek God of sleep.
A more accurate description of hypnosis would be to call it a state of heightened receptiveness brought about by the use of suggestive techniques, or simply put, the power of suggestion (which should never ever be underestimated).
It's true that a person can only hear something so many times before they actually start believing it to be true and this is the case with hypnosis.
However, repetition alone isn't sufficient enough so a state of heightened suggestibility must be brought about which can be achieved in many ways.
Suggestions are then basically just being repeated until they become embedded in the subconscious. The suggestions themselves must also be well constructed and artfully vague, as linguistics is an important aspect of hypnosis.
Another misconception about hypnosis is that a persons suggestibility is the same thing as their gullibility. This isn't true either.
Gullibility is whereby a person can be fooled easily whereas suggestibility is a natural human trait required for the learning process. Without suggestibility we would be unable to learn anything and would become dysfunctional.
Therefore to say that you believe that only weak minded or vulnerable people can be hypnotized, as many people believe, you are thereby saying that you believe that only mentally dysfunctional people can be hypnotized.
Usually the opposite is the case, strong minded and highly intelligent people are actually easier to hypnotize because they are simply better at following orders.
However, generally a hypnotist cannot force a subject to do anything that goes against their morals.
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Whenever we go into a daydream or our mind wanders and we continue to do what we are doing on autopilot we have gone into a trance. A trance is basically whenever someone is focusing their attention internally.
In other words, a trance is when we are thinking about something and focusing on it in our mind, the same as when we are dreaming.
To say that hypnosis only works on weak minded people is effectively the same as saying that you believe only weak minded people can have dreams.
Hypnosis can also be scientifically proven to work by means of EEG (ElectroEncephaloGraphy) by measuring our brainwaves.
We have brainwaves which cycle at different speeds measured in Hertz (Hz). When we go into a state of deep relaxation such as being asleep or being hypnotized these brainwaves slow right down.
While we are in this state the critical faculty part of our mind, which acts as an information filter, also becomes relaxed.
The critical faculty is the part of our conscious which filters out input that we are not willing to accept.
When in a relaxed state, it is much easy to bypass a subjects critical faculty and by using artfully vague and indirect linguistics to perform hypnosis, the critical faculty can be completely bypassed without the awareness of the subject and suggestions can be implanted into the subconscious.
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