What is hypnosis?

The misconception and impression that many people hold is that hypnosis is something magical, mystical and often dangerous. Hypnosis has even been portrayed by some, as a scary form of mind control, where people are made to give up control of themselves. Hypnosis is in fact the complete opposite, as people visit hypnotherapists or utilize self-hypnosis because they want help to gain more control over their lives, not less.

The phenomenon of hypnosis is firstly, and most importantly, a natural state of mind, which means that virtually every person has the natural capacity for response to hypnosis. There is nothing unnatural or supernatural about it. Hypnosis is simply a natural state of physical, mental and emotional relaxation, along with a heightened state of awareness.

This change of consciousness is extremely comfortable and relaxing, just like those moments before you fall asleep and as you start wake up in the morning. You will feel very relaxed, yet your mind will still be highly focused and aware. This in itself is very beneficial, particularly for those suffering with stress and anxiety issues, as it relaxes, refreshes and invigorates the mind and body.

Hypnosis is a means of moving into a perfectly natural state of mind, that people actually move in and out of several times a day. Everyone has experienced this trance like state, although they may not have called it hypnosis.

We all go in and out of different levels of consciousness all day. Daydreaming, reading, driving are all examples of every day tasks when we may enter an altered state of awareness.

Have you ever had the experience of driving along the motorway and suddenly realized that you passed your exit several miles back?

Or have you ever been so caught up in a TV programme, a book, a film or computer game that you've lost track of time, or not realized that someone has been talking to you?

These are all everyday examples of a change of consciousness and an altered state of awareness. Hypnosis is just another example of an altered state of awareness. The difference being hypnosis is unique in that it can be utilized for self-change.

So you see when a hypnotherapist guides you into hypnosis they are not asking you to experience anything strange that you haven't experienced before. This is why sometimes people come out of trance unsure whether they were actually hypnotized or not, as it is such a familiar feeling. However, the extraordinary quality of relaxation you experience with the hypnotic trance is usually very different.

For more details or to book a session, please contact me (Jenny Mullan), either by email on or by telephone on 0845 652 2271.

For more about hypnosis, please see the guide to hypnosis from MedicDirect. There is also a good article entitled "Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy - correcting a few misconceptions" from CHIS-UK.

You might also like to take a look at an article from the Los Angeles Times - Hypnosis gaining a foothold in mainstream medicine.


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