The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Hypnosis: Part 1
Guy’s Guys enjoy learning new things and adding to their game. Hypnosis is actually a very old, and to many, a very odd thing, but it will help you with your game.
Hypnosis or hypnotherapy has been one of the most wonderful gifts of my life.In fact, when I tell people I’m a certified advanced clinical master hypnotist, they often look at me apprehensively, as if I might put them under a spell. This outmoded thinking couldn’t be further from the truth. Hypnosis is a positive, spiritual practice with a foundation grounded in love, not exploitation.
And with this in mind, dear friends, I humbly offer my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Hypnosis: Part 1. In this post we’ll explore hypnosis fundamentals, while clearing up the usual misunderstandings people have about the practice. A few weeks from now Part 2 will drill down into hypnosis techniques that help people help themselves. And, that’s what hypnosis is all about—helping men and women be at their best. Sounds like it fits right into a Guys’ Guy’s world, doesn’t it?
What is Hypnosis?
According to Wikipedia and the 2004 version of the Encyclopedia Britannica, hypnosis is a psychological state with physiological attributes superficially resembling sleep and marked by an individual’s level of awareness other than the ordinary conscious state. I’m already falling asleep already. For all intents and purposes, hypnosis is a holistic art that access the subconscious mind to address and reprogram specific mental and emotional issues. Think of it as fixing or patching your personal, subconscious software. It’s that simple. We operate using both our conscious and subconscious minds. The conscious mind deals with our daily tasks—like picking up the dry cleaning, tuning out those annoying subway dancers, and digesting the most up-to-date stats from ESPN’s Sportscenter.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
Although we are born “perfect”, our subconscious inscribes everything we do and experience, including our human functions. For instance, we don’t think about breathing. We just breathe. That’s our subconscious mind at work. Same with sleeping or farting—they’re wired into our subconscious. The subconscious is also vulnerable to suggestion and because of this, it’s also way more powerful than our conscious mind. Basically, we tell or suggest to our subconscious what to do and how to feel. It always behaves as directed and that can be dangerous.
In hypnotherapy, invariably, the client brings the hypnotist both the problem and the solution. The hypnotist doesn’t “do” anything to the client except relax him and get to the bottom of the issues. A good hypnotist helps a client access the information so the client can help him or herself.
Give Me An Example.
Here’s how life can get sticky and how hypnosis can help. Let’s say a client, John, has an unfounded fear of the water. A good hypnotist would help John relax by guiding him into a deep meditation. Then he and John will access John’s subconscious mind and communicate with it to clearly identify the trigger for the issue and then suggest a thought process and affirmations that reframe the issue in a positive way. In this case, the hypnotist would regress John through various stages of his life. Together they would uncover the trigger for his fear of water.
Maybe when little Johnny was two years old he drifted too deep in the pool and panicked. He called for his Mommy, but she had a few too many cocktails and was flirting with Carlos, the hunky cabana boy, instead of paying attention to her son. Eventually, little Johnny was pulled to safety, but the experience left him with a subconscious fear of the water. In this case the hypnotist helped John identify this trigger, isolate it and reframe it so John can file it away and move on with his life. This particular technique works for just about anything that has a trigger, provided that the client relaxes and does the work. If John won’t relax and is not buying into the process, he will not lose his fear of water, With the help of his hypnotist he can revisit and address the trigger, and give his subconscious new instructions about water that eliminate his fears.
Let’s get a few things straight. You can’t be hypnotized unless you want to be hypnotized. And, no, you won’t cluck like a chicken, unless you want to cluck like a chicken.The stage hypnotists you see on television represent an offshoot of the practice. They are entertainers and at times frowned upon by the hypnosis community. When stage hypnotists work with people, the process begins with their pouring through a large number of audience members and winnowing down the group until they find people who are exhibitionists or like being manipulated on stage. It’s who they are, so they are not doing anything out of character. With this in mind, a hypnotist cannot force anyone to exhibit behaviors outside of their nature and moral boundaries. So you don’t have to worry about a hypnotist turning you into a psycho killer… unless that is your true nature and desire.
What Can Hypnosis “Cure”?
As previously stated, hypnosis doesn’t really cure anything. It does however work with your subconscious mind so you can “cure” yourself of a variety of behaviors and ways of thinking. The “big three’ issues that hypnotists work with are clients 1. becoming non-smokers 2. sleeping better 3. managing their weight. Notice these were all framed in positive terms. That said, the overriding client issue I’ve personally encountered is low self-esteem. The good news is that hypnosis can help a person reconfigure their feelings about self worth.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I again stress that the goal of all hypnotherapy is helping people live better lives. There is a huge spiritual component to the work that comes from a place of love for mankind. Hypnotists don’t prescribe drugs and are careful not to overstep their boundaries.
A good hypnotist helps clients identify and address their issue while also teaching them self-hypnosis so they can work on themselves on their own. And, isn’t it about time we all took some responsibility for our personal well being and did the work required to make a difference?
This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Dr. Joseph Murphy, author of the book, “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind”.This book is a simple, straightforward introduction to hypnosis and a practical guide for self-hypnosis.
Do you think you understand hypnosis?