Mantra Yoga + Health: Breaking The Myths of Hypnosis

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also featured in hardcopy September issue of Mantra Yoga + Health


For many, hypnosis is one of the most mysterious and misunderstood forms of mental-health therapy. Some simply dismiss it as superstitious trickery that only the weak-minded fall for, while others have a fear of being controlled. Hypnosis is a safe, well-established, and proven method of therapy that can provide a wide variety of benefits, ranging from help with quitting smoking, losing weight, improving self-confidence, reducing stress, and more.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions.

Myth: I will lose all control of my body and do crazy things.
This is what many people fear most about hypnosis. Excellent stage hypnotists do their best to convince audiences that the volunteers have no choice over what they do and that they are being controlled. This is just part of the act. People under hypnosis have the choice to follow or reject a suggestion given by the hypnotist.

Myth: I won’t know what’s happening and I won’t remember anything.
It would be extremely rare for someone to not remember what happened during a hypnosis therapy session. The depth of hypnotic trance facilitates heightened awareness and vivid memory. The patient will often recall many more details than they normally would, as opposed to less.

Myth: I can’t be hypnotized.
My mind is too strong. Being voluntarily hypnotized has nothing to do with perceived strength of mind but, rather, the ability to understand the therapist and relax. There are three hypnotizability levels: high (fifteen percent of the population), mid (seventy percent of the population), and low (fifteen percent of the population).

Myth: Hypnosis is the “miracle cure.”
Hypnosis is very effective at helping people make mental, emotional, and physical breakthroughs. Just like any form of therapy that helps people get better, it can seem like a miracle, but its effectiveness is dependent on a combination of a person’s hypnotizability level, the skill of the hypnotist, and the problem being worked on. It is not a switch that makes all problems go away but an excellent tool for discovering and harnessing the power of your own mind.

Myth: I went to a doctor of hypnosis for help.
There is no legitimate educational facility on the planet that awards doctorate degrees in hypnosis. “Doctor of hypnosis” is a fake title awarded by fake schools that print fake diplomas on the Internet. The American Council of Hypnotist Examiners is one organization offering an examination/certification program that is very reputable. Do your
research when choosing a hypnotherapist.

Much of what people fear or distrust about hypnosis can be chalked up to a lack of education. People should not fear trying hypnotherapy, as it is simply a deep state of relaxation. Basically, it involves bypassing the conscious mind and getting into the subconscious. Every year, more and more people discover how powerful hypnosis can be in helping make drastic improvements in their lives.

Colin Christopher is a clinical hypnotherapist certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners. He is the author of Success through Manipulation: Subconscious Reactions that Will Make or Break You.