What is Hypnotism and How Can it Help Me?
Even though the medical community has known of hypnotism since the mid-eighteenth-century, there is still no consensus as to what actually happens in the brain during a session of hypnosis. We do know what Hypnosis is not.
- Hypnosis is not sleep. During sleep the body often moves while the hypnotized subject is quite still; the sleeping subject usually has no ability to concentrate while the hypnotized subject is acutely concentrated; EEG studies show little alpha activity in the sleeping subject and high alpha activity (and therefore alertness) in hypnotized subjects. The hypnotized subject hears everything that is happening around him or her even if he or she is primarily concentrating on the hypnotist’s voice.
- Hypnosis is not a form of meditation. Whereas the object of meditation is to achieve a restful meditative state, hypnosis first attains a meditative state to then introduce behaviour-altering suggestions.
- Hypnosis is not relaxation. While many practitioners believe that hypnosis is aided by a peaceful, quiet environment and relaxed subject, these are not prerequisites of hypnosis.
- Hypnosis is not psychotherapy. While hypnosis has been known to be used as a tool of psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and other councillors and mental health practitioners, hypnosis is not in and of itself therapy.