By Anny Slegten, Master Hypnotist, Clinical Hypnotherapist
In full time practice since 1984.
Public awareness of hypnosis has greatly improved since I opened my practice in 1984. At the time, the moment I mentioned that I was a hypnotherapist, people would cover their eyes, turn their head and say, “Don’t look at me!”
I would just answer, “Relax. I charge!”
This reminds me of a cartoon one of my students gave me: a couple is having a drink on the terrace of a café. With starry eyes, the lady says to the gentleman, “Are you trying to tell me you can make me come by just gazing into my i-yi-yi-yi-yieees?”
Wow! Wouldn't it be nice to have power like that: just look at them in the eyes and make them do whatever people think I can make them do. Who wants to be accountable when there is no success? You, like me, believe in freedom of choice, whatever the choice may be.
What is hypnosis? Hypnosis is consciously going into an altered state of awareness, a trance. It can be used as a tool, as a technique, or both. Hypnosis in its versatility can be used in many ways, and for this article, let us consider hypnosis as a technique. By relaxing the conscious mind, we can consciously plant a suggestion into our subconscious mind. Once you are aware of that ability, you can have terrific conversations with the different parts of yourself. This can be highly entertaining!
Having emotionalised thoughts is a powerful way to plant suggestions and staying conscious in the moment allows us to program ourselves with what we want. Presenting suggestions so the conscious mind will accept them is an art and is not as easy to do as one is made to believe, for to go subconscious it must have the co-operation of the conscious mind who is acting as the “sensor”, or the “gate keeper”.
It is possible to be in a deep trance and not follow suggestions. Therefore, no matter how deep the trance, there must be co-operation. Yes, you are always in control, whether you like it or not. So I ask you, how come people make such fools of themselves with stage hypnosis? I can be wide awake and do that all by myself! How about you?
Hypnosis is always self-hypnosis: the only one who can hypnotise you is you.
Hypnosis removes inhibitions and that is how it is so valuable in many situations. For example, going into hypnosis just before public speaking helps in the delivery of the presentation. This process is sometimes called “self-psyching”.
Using self-hypnosis for relaxation allows the body to self regulate itself, enhancing the body’s ability to heal. By relaxing the mind, hypnosis facilitates clarity of thoughts.
Hypnosis as a tool allows you to consciously access information at a subconscious level. A voyage within is a fascinating experience, and with proper guidance, the healing, the self understanding, and the inner peace that follows is an homage to life itself, and for me as a hypnotherapist, a very humbling experience.
Hypnotherapy - using hypnosis to do therapy - will be the subject of the next article.
Anny Slegten is the founder and Director of The Reiki Training Centre of Canada and the Director of the esteemed Hypnotism Training Institute of Alberta, where she formulates hypnosis and hypnotherapy courses. Anny has also developed and continues to teach the many applications of hypnosis in all its forms and applications.