General Hypnosis Information Tips

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What is visualization?


Visualization is an important part of hypnosis. You "see" yourself in your mind's eye doing something the way you want to do it. This can apply to performing a sports skill, playing a difficult piece on the piano, or giving a speech at a meeting. If you are afraid of flying, you can visualize yourself looking forward to your flight and boarding happily. You can see yourself as if you were someone else looking on, or feel the emotions you would have and see yourself from the inside. When a hypnotherapist or facilitator guides you through the visualization, it is called guided imagery.

How does hypnosis work?

Clark L. Hull

By the 1920s, hypnosis became the focus of experimental investigation by psychologists like Clark L. Hull (1884-1952), who demystified hypnosis saying that it was essentially a normal part of human nature. We often go into trance-like states throughout the day but are unaware of it. For example, when we read a book or "zone out" when driving. According to Hull, the important factor was the subject's imagination, and some people were more responsive or "suggestible" than others to hypnosis.

How old is the practice of hypnosis?

Ancient Civilization and Hypnosis

Ancient civilizations were perhaps the first to practice hypnosis in group settings. Many rituals, such as mass chanting and meditation to a steady drum beat were parts of religious ceremonies. The continuation of these rhythms combined with the energy of the group placed its members in a sort of trance-state. The purpose of this was to rejuvenate or heal the members taking part in the ceremony. Essentially, there was healing of the mind through early hypnosis before any formalized medical practice came into being.

Can I become a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis?

Members of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis

Members of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis are all professionals who utilize clinical hypnosis in their practices or research. Many are embers are psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, medical doctors, master's level nurses, and dentists. As an interdisciplinary organization, ASCH provides colleagues in other health and mental health care disciplines to interact and share their findings. The result is a "cross-fertilization" of ideas and applications that complement the advances in mind-body health and integrative medicine.

Is there any record of hypnosis being used in surgery?

Hypnotism and Surgery

In 1845, a Scottish doctor, James Esdale, opened a hospital in Calcutta and began a famous serious of operations with no pain and almost no deaths. His practice was made up of rajahs with 100 prominent witnesses. In India, so many had been afraid of operations, they had lived with tumors sometimes as large as their bodies (up to 80 pounds). By the time he left, he had performed over 2000 operations.

How can clinical hypnosis bring positive change to my life?

Understanding Clinical Hypnosis

The main purpose of hypnosis is to enrich your life. With the right hypnotherapist and a willing attitude, the difficulties, bad habits, and/or negative learned behaviors you have developed can gently be unlearned, using hypnosis as a tool. One of the ways that hypnosis aids in bringing positive change, is through the reinforcing of constructive and encouraging visions during sessions. Afterwards, these reinforcements can act as a triggers, guiding you to make healthy life decisions from moment to moment.

Is self-hypnosis a part of clinical hypnosis?

About Self-hypnosis

When you view hypnosis as meditation, it is much easier to get a feel for what self-hypnosis is. One method is to sit quietly, breathe deeply, clear your mind, and simply envision positive images in order to eliminate negative thoughts or behaviors. Most likely, however, self-hypnosis is guided by a tape or CD that has been pre-recorded by a trained clinical hypnotherapist. These recordings often focus on correcting one particular trouble spot in your life, such as weight loss, chemical addiction, or insomnia.

Is a group hypnotherapy practice the right choice for me?

Is Group Hypnotherapy Practice For You?

Larger cities usually have one or more group hypnotherapy practices. One of the advantages of a group practice is that hypnotherapists in a group have the opportunity of specializing in a number of areas and sharing their findings. This can improve upon their practice as a whole. Usually, you will be referred to the hypnotherapist that specializes in the area you are seeking therapy for.

What is guided imagery in medical hypnosis?

Guided Imagery In Hypnosis

Guided imagery is a specific practice in hypnosis whereby a subject is asked to envision certain items or scenarios. This method is particularly effective when correcting health problems or negative behaviors. For example, imagine you have a fear of flying. With guided imagery, your hypnotherapist may ask you to envision riding in a plane that is held aloft by a pair of giant hands. Ideally, the next time you fly, you will remember this feeling of safety and your fears will diminish.

Are there medical hypnosis resources online?

Online Hypnosis Resources

The popularity of hypnosis treatments is growing by the day. So, too, are the number of resources to learn about hypnosis online. Whether you are looking to lose a few pounds or gain a better perspective on your life, there are plenty of websites where you can learn about hypnosis in depth. So, why wait? Start your search now. The Internet can provide an ideal primer on hypnosis and your health.

What is the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis?

About the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis

The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) was developed to provide education programs that further the knowledge, understanding, and application of hypnosis in health care. In addition, the ASCH encourages research and scientific publication in the field of hypnosis. They promote the recognition and acceptance of hypnosis as an important tool in clinical health care and focus for scientific research. The Society also works in conjunction with other professional hypnosis associations and societies that share mutual interests. All this helps to provide a professional community for those who use hypnosis in their work.

Can anyone benefit from clinical hypnosis?

Can Anyone Be Hypnotized?

If you want to be hypnotized, you can be. Studies have shown, however, that the more active one's creative mind is (i.e., how easily one becomes "caught up " in stories, films, books, etc.), the easier it is for him/her to be hypnotized. Level of intelligence has not been shown to have any bearing on one's ability to be hypnotized. Nor, it seems, does age. Hypnosis has been performed on toddlers to the elderly. All that is required for successful hypnosis is the ability to release the conscious mind and enter a state of deep relaxation.

What are some legitimate uses of hypnosis?

Ways Hypnosis Can Help

Hypnosis is a wonderful tool. But like any medical assistance, there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to use it. There are a number of ailments that hypnosis is well-suited to help eliminate. Among these are self-esteem issues, pain relief, sexual dysfunction, learning difficulties, concentration, and sleep disorders. Basically, any subject that requires changing your attitude toward being better and stronger is a good use for hypnosis.

What are the myths surrounding clinical hypnosis?

Myths About Hypnosis

There are many myths about hypnosis. It is often misunderstood as a method of mind-control. In fact, this is not the case, since the subject is taking active part in his/her hypnosis. During the trance state, you are not immobilized; you can move around, cough, sneeze, even bring yourself out of trance at any time. There is no right way to experience hypnosis; each person is different, experiencing different levels of depth into the subconscious.

What is hypnosis?

What Is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural, psychological state of sustained mental focus, somewhat like meditation. It is also known as "trance." A trained hypnotherapist generally applies one of three methods of guided hypnosis. These are: mental imagery, suggestion, and exploration of the unconscious. Which one will be selected is based upon your specific needs, but all of the methods involve the therapist placing you in a state of deep relaxation (or you placing yourself in this state through self-hypnosis or by using audio hypnosis). Regardless of how it is applied, hypnosis is usually viewed as a method of overcoming obstacles that the conscious mind is too "cluttered" by outside influences to overcome on its own.

How can clinical hypnosis bring positive change to my life?

How Hypnosis Can Bring Positive Change To Your Life

The main purpose of hypnosis is to enrich your life. With the right hypnotherapist and a willing attitude, the difficulties, bad habits, and/or negative learned behaviors you have developed can gently be unlearned, using hypnosis as a tool. One of the ways that hypnosis aids in bringing positive change, is through the reinforcing of constructive and encouraging visions during sessions. Afterwards, these reinforcements can act as a triggers, guiding you to make healthy life decisions from moment to moment.

Who was the first to develop hypnosis?

Franz Anton Mesmer: The Father of Hypnosis

In the history of hypnosis, it was Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) who began formalized research into what we consider to be hypnosis today. He believed that there was a magnetic fluid in the air we breathe and that the body's nerves absorbed this fluid. He considered disease to be caused via a blockage of the circulation of this magnetic fluid. He began by using a magnet (later his hand), which was passed over the diseased body in an attempt to unblock the magnetic flow. When his hand passed over the infected area, (and later still, the eyes) it was believed to unblock the fluid by increasing its amount and flow. We get he term "animal magnetism" from this procedure, as well as what was to be referred to as Mesmerism.

How is a pendulum used in hypnosis?

Using a Pendulum

Hypnosis helps you get in touch with your subconscious mind. There are ways to do this besides the formal trance. One popular method of self hypnosis is the use of the pendulum. There are small pendulums that you can buy, or you can make your own from something like a string and a fishing sinker or other small, heavy object. Put your elbow on a table with your forearm not quite vertical. Hold the end of the string with your thumb and first two fingers, wrist bent, and let the pendulum hang straight down, adjusting it so it's just above the table surface. Now concentrate on the pendulum and silently ask a yes or no question. (You will have established how the pendulum responds. Typically swinging back and forth is yes, side to side is no, and circular is uncertain.) Hold your hand very still and the pendulum will swing without you consciously moving, in response to your subconscious mind.

Is hypnosis safe?

Safety of Hypnosis

A common fear of hypnosis is that you somehow won't come out of the trance. This just doesn't happen. Even in a deep trance you are always aware enough to bring yourself out of it at any time. With Ericksonian Hypnosis, you are in complete control. You would hear about it if there was a bunch of people somewhere who never came out of a hypnotic trance! Some people feel they will make fools of themselves. You can't be forced to do something you don't want to do. The subjects in stage hypnosis are willing to perform the stunts you see. You cannot be given a suggestion that will make you do something illegal or immoral after the hypnosis session, and your mind cannot be taken over by someone else.

When can I use self hypnosis and when should I see a professional.

Self Hypnosis vs. Professional Hypnosis

Self hypnosis is a great way to deal with the challenges of everyday life. You can learn self hypnosis and use it for relaxation, to sharpen your concentration, to get over bad habits, to help yourself learn new skills, and for many other purposes. If self hypnosis doesn't work for a problem, if the problem is deep seated and long lasting, or if it interferes seriously with your activities, you will do better seeing a professional hypnotherapist. An intermediate approach is to purchase and use a tape or CD made by a professional hypnotherapist.

What is a hypnotic suggestion?

The Suggestion

A hypnosis session usually includes a suggestion. This incorporates your goal. In self esteem hypnosis, you would give yourself positive suggestions that reflect the way you want to see yourself. If your goal is weight loss, you might give yourself a suggestion about avoiding sweets. A hypnotist's suggestion can direct you to do something after the session; that is called a post hypnotic suggestion. The suggestion can be a sentence or two, or a long, repetitious "script."

What should I look for in buying a hypnosis program?

Choosing a Hypnosis Program

There are a few online hypnosis providers. Some offer CDs or tapes, while others let you download the programs you buy. To evaluate which programs to buy, first consider the credentials of the providers. Programs from people with degrees in psychology or similar disciplines have the most credibility. If you can't tell who recorded the program, you have to rely on the company providing the program. The provider should offer you a sample for free. Get this before you spend any money. Providers use different approaches, so make sure the one you choose seems like it will work for you.

You may also want to consider purchasing a self-hypnosis book that will show you how to set up your own script. You can do this to learn more about hypnosis even if you want to buy a pre-recorded script.

Remember that conventional hypnosis has been working well for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Be skeptical of anyone who claims to have discovered a breakthrough technique that is superior to anything done before.

When was the psychological nature of hypnosis first recognized?

Psychological Application of Hypnosis

Hippolyte Bernheim (1837-1919), a professor of medicine at the University of Nancy regarded hypnosis as a special form of sleeping where the subject's attention is focused upon the suggestions made by the hypnotist. He therefore emphasized the psychological nature of the process of hypnosis. This revelation was a significant one in the history of hypnosis. It shifted the view of hypnosis from its physical applications to one that concentrated on the inner workings of the mind as well.

When was the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis founded?

The History of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis

"Based in Bloomington, Illinois, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis is the largest U.S. organization for health and mental health care professionals using clinical hypnosis. It was founded in 1957 by Milton H. Erickson, M.D., the Society promotes greater acceptance of hypnosis as a clinical tool. Today, ASCH offers workshops, certification, and networking opportunities. More information about ASCH can be found on their website at

What is a hypnosis association?

Searching For A Therapist in Hypnosis Associations

There are several US and international organizations specializing hypnosis research and practice. Often, these are collectives of therapists who come together to share their work. Some associations also offer services to the public. They can be very helpful in your search for a hypnotherapist in that you will find a number of professionals in one place.

Does the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis put out any publications?

The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis publishes an official journal, the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. The Journal publishes original scientific articles and clinical case reports on hypnosis, as well as reviews of related books and abstracts of the current hypnosis literature. There is now a searchable database on ASCH's website that allows visitors to review previously published articles. Currently, issues from July 2000 forward are available, but there is an ongoing project to add issues dating back to 1990. Start your search now at

What are the programs offered at the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis?

Programs Offered at the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis

Are you a professional health care worker interested in becoming a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis? There are several benefits. Members receive discounted rates for regional workshops on clinical hypnosis as well as discounted Certification fees. Perhaps one of the best perks to membership is your inclusion on the ASCH referral list of qualified professionals who use hypnosis in their clinical practices. The ASCH receives about 250 requests a month for names of qualified practitioners utilizing clinical hypnosis, so this can really boost your exposure! An application for membership can be obtained at

What is Hypondotia?

Hypnotism in Dentistry

Hypondotia (hypnotism in dentistry) was begun in 1948 and has become wide spread. In fact, it may be one of the most interesting applications in the history of hypnosis. Its popularity led to the creation of The American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry. The ASPD is an association of ethical dentists who are trained and certified to apply hypnotic techniques.

When was the word "hypnotism" first used?

The Birth of "Hypnosis"

The terms "hypnosis" and "hypnotism" were not coined until 1843 by James Braid (1795-1860), a Scottish surgeon working in Manchester. He discovered that some experimental subjects could go into a trance if they simply fixated their eyes on a bright object, like a silver watch. Believing that a neurophysiological connection was involved, he turned to hypnosis as a tool. He found hypnosis to be very useful in disorders where no organic origin to the problem could be identified (e.g. headaches, skin problems etc.). Further, he showed that a single stimulus (e.g. a word or an object) was enough to re-hypnotize his subjects.

When did hypnosis become viewed as a legitimate medical practice?

The Legitimization of Hypnosis as a Medical Practice

The British Medical Association gave support for the teaching of the therapeutic use of hypnosis in medicine in 1955. Three years later, the American Medical Association followed suit. Today, an International Society of Hypnosis coordinates and assesses standards and practices of professional hypnotists across the world. Hypnosis is currently used in several areas of health care as an adjunct to more conventional treatments. These include dentistry, general medicine, and psychology.

What are the specific concepts of clinical hypnosis?
What does it mean that hypnosis is a natural state?

A Natural State

Hypnosis is a natural mental state that you have probably been in. Did you ever drive to your job or other familiar place, driving safely, and then realized you don't remember the trip? Your state of mind was similar to hypnosis. Have you ever been so engrossed in a book or television show that someone came in and talked to you and you didn't realize they were there? This enhanced concentration is a type of hypnosis. The feeling in these situations is similar to the way you will feel under hypnosis. As you see, there is no time you are truly "asleep" or have no control.

What was an early explanation of how hypnosis works?

Jean-Martin Charcot

Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893) was the head of the neurological clinic at the famous Saltpetiere in Paris. A leading neurologist of his day, Charcot used hypnosis to treat hysterics. From his work, he concluded that hypnosis was, in effect, an induced seizure. This was due to the fact that his hysteric patients showed epileptic-like symptoms when they were in a trance.

Is clinical hypnosis similar to stage hypnosis?

Stage Hypnosis

Your first introduction to hypnosis may have been through stage hypnosis. Although this can be entertaining, it has little in common with clinical hypnosis or even goal-oriented self hypnosis. The purpose of hypnosis is not to make you quack like a duck. The hypnotist is probably not a trained hypnotherapist, but an entertainer who has learned how to hypnotize willing subjects. Note that you cannot be forced to do anything against your principles under hypnosis, even as part of a stage show.

What is an induction?

The Induction

The induction is the beginning of a hypnosis session--that which puts you into a state of hypnosis. There are no set rules as to what an induction can be. In self hypnosis, you will probably use a relaxation technique or focus on your breathing. The induction can be instantaneous or take two or three minutes. An induction can be a shout, or the gentler techniques found in Ericksonian hypnosis.

Where did the phrase "animal magnetism" come from?

Early Use of Animal Magnetism

The Marquis de Puysegur (1751-1825), a pupil of Mesmer's, used "animal magnetism" on a young peasant. He entered into a trance-like state while still being able to talk with Puysegur. He was also able to respond to suggestions Puyegur gave him. When the peasant returned to normal consciousness, he could remember nothing of what had just happened. Puysegur concluded that the will of the person as well as the operator's actions were important factors in the success or failure of the magnetism. Psychological influences were extremely important in the whole process.

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