By: Pierre Benoit
There are countless books on self hypnosis, what it does, how it works, techniques for use, etc. There are even more books on relaxation, dedication, self-help and similar subjects. Many hypnotherapists teach self hypnosis as part of their offered services. Others use it as an adjunct to therapeutic procedures in specific cases. One factor is critical – the user of self hypnosis is likely to fare better if the technique is taught by a professional than if it is attempted experimentally from written instructions.
Many professionals claim that all hypnosis is self hypnosis, referring primarily to the fact that hypnosis cannot be forced on anyone. An individual who does not wish to be hypnotized cannot be hypnotized. A person who wishes to be hypnotized can take himself/herself into any of several depth levels of hypnosis. But the process is more easily learned under supervision. The learning is not difficult, and the required skills improve with every personal self hypnosis experience.
Why Self hypnosis?
Most knowledgeable people will agree that the mind is an extremely powerful force – perhaps the most powerful force in the universe. Self hypnosis provides a means of using this power to personal advantage: to achieve self mastery. Psychologists have claimed that every human has, perhaps subconsciously, the same goal – the achievement of self-actualization, the reaching of an individual maximum potential, or in sports terminology, the achievement of the “personal best.”
Hypnosis can help bring about major changes in important areas of life: habit control, emotional stability, motivational advancement, health and pain management, sexual problems and others. One of the great benefits of hypnosis is its use in hypnotherapy to reveal causes and reduce the time of treatment.
While hypnosis is powerful and effective in hypnotherapy, psychology, psychiatry, medicine and other professional fields, it can produce dramatic results when individually used by those who master the techniques of self hypnosis. It can be particularly helpful in changing attitudes, increasing self-confidence, learning enhancement, memory improvement, stress and pain management, habit control, bedwetting, motivation and countless other areas of personal concern. Self hypnosis has proved successful in advancing athletic skills and is used by Olympic contenders in many nations.
The use of imagination is important, and efforts become much more productive as skills in imagination and visualization are acquired. Most people, though they may be unaware, have experienced hypnosis. Daydreaming is a form of hypnosis. Becoming deeply involved in a book, movie, TV program, musical performance or play can be a hypnotic experience. Missing a turn while driving may result from “the mind being elsewhere,” which can be hypnosis. Hypnosis is not sleep. It is not unconsciousness. It is often described as an altered state of consciousness, where the conscious mind is attending to other things, allowing the body to operate on what might be called “automatic pilot.”
Authorities have described hypnosis as “something that you DO,” not as something that is done to you.
Self-analysis, under hypnosis, can reveal the direction needed for forward progress. Self-motivation, under hypnosis, can start the forward movement. Sell suggestions, under hypnosis, can provide the reinforcement necessary to achieve specific goals. Every individual has tremendous sources of power available on demand, once the means of accessing such power are understood and utilized.
The key? Autosuggestion
It has been pointed out by many speakers and many writers in many different world formations that “what your mind can conceive, you can achieve!” this form of positive thinking or statement of affirmation dates back to biblical times (As a man thinketh, so shall he be, etc.). The same basic thought has been the theme of countless books on self-improvement, all of which deal with the power of the mind. Self hypnosis can be the afterburner of positive thinking – the super power-thrust which can blast the dream into reality.
Self hypnosis, used in conjunction with imaging and visualization, can generate the power to change, the power to create, the power to progress toward self-actualization. One of the world’s greatest problems is the acceptance by people of self-imposed limitations: “I’m too old!” “I’m not educated enough!” “My wife (husband, mother, teacher or whoever) wouldn’t let me!” “I’m too sick!” “I don’t know how!” etc. These restrictions, limits, bonds, ropes or chains can be removed and progress resumed through the power of self hypnosis.
Preventive and restrictive emotions – anxiety, fear, depression, grief, anger, hate and other negatives – can be overcome by the person willing to meet the four basic requirements for success: Desire, belief, expectation and demand. Self hypnosis can provide the nurturing to enable these requirements to advance to the power levels necessary for fulfillment.
There are four elements in achieving a pre-planned state of hypnosis. They can be learned by study or through instruction. They are: Fixation – which clears the mind and prepares it for the work ahead; Relaxation – which diverts the conscious mind and enables the unconscious mind (far more powerful) to provide or absorb information; Suggestion – which implants the instructions into the unconscious mind; and Visualization – which is a power source for change, development, modification or whatever is necessary to fulfill achievement of the individual goals.
When choosing a hypnotherapist, it is important to be sure that he or she is qualified. Pierre Benoit, CHt, RCCH, is a member of the Association of Registered Clinical Hypnotherapists of Canada (ARCH) and of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA) and can be reached at (514)472-3535.