Before Undergoing Hypnosis
Before Undergoing Hypnosis
John McGrail, C.Ht. (Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist) gives expert video advice on: Is there anything I should do to prepare for hypnosis?; How will I feel when I am under hypnosis?; What will I look like while I am under hypnosis? and more...
Is there anything I should do to prepare for hypnosis?
There's really no preparation necessary for hypnosis other than having a desire to experience the state. Usually, your going to want to have something that you want to concentrate on. One of the things I ask new clients to do before hypnosis to make a list of the issues they want to work on. Then, just make sure your fed, and that you feel okay, and you're not too tired, because you might fall asleep. Have an open mind. That's about it in terms of preparation for hypnosis. It's as easy to do as allowing your brain to do what it knows how to do.
How will I feel when I am under hypnosis?
When you're in hypnosis, the only way I can describe it is that it's extremely relaxing. You may get so relaxed, if you allow yourself to, that you forget your body for a while. You may not feel anything. You have a very wonderful sense of peace, well-being and tranquility, and while you're in that state the hypnosis will often bring you to a place that you've envisioned that is very peaceful, safe and powerful. So it's a very, very relaxed, mellow, and very focused state of awareness. You're conscious, aware, and you know that you could end it instantly if you wanted to. The reason you don't is because you don't want to, because it feels really good.
What is "trance"?
Trance has a lot of connotations, and most of them are negative for the average person. Most people think that when they are in trance, they're going to be out of control, like some sort of zombie, walking around not knowing what they're doing. That's simply not the case. Trance is nothing more than focused concentration without distraction or disturbances. So, when you're having a very intense conversation with someone and you're not thinking about anything except the conversation, or when you're watching a very good movie or TV show or reading a really, really good book, or even just sort of daydreaming while you're driving down the freeway or sitting in your backyard, you're in trance, that's it.
Will I hallucinate under hypnosis?
Hallucination while in hypnosis is a possibility. When you are in a very deep state of trance, we can suggest that you may hear or see something that's not really there. Sometimes we can actually use hallucination as a therapeutic tool. However, most people will not hallucinate and unless you suggest it, it won't happen. It's very rare actually.
Will I experience any physical changes while I am under hypnosis?
When a person is in hypnosis, the physical changes that they experience are really related to relaxation. Most of us are a little tense, and in our society, we tend to be a little stressed. When you allow yourself to enter a deep hypnotic trance, your body relaxes completely; so much so that you might forget that it exists. The physiological changes associated with it is that the heart slows down, the blood pressure drops, which is good if you're stressed. The skin temperature and body temperature does often drop, very much like in a deep meditative state. And the mind gets very still and very clear and very focused. So the physical feeling is one of absolute relaxation. It's almost like being in a bubble. And you forget where you are, you forget your body, so much so that you may not feel anything. In fact, that's how they use hypnosis for anesthesia. And you're very, very relaxed and focused. It's a wonderful feeling, actually.
What will I look like while I am under hypnosis?
Most of the time when we do hypnotherapy, the client is in a very comfortable recliner. They're laying back, they don't have to worry about sitting up, they don't have to worry about posture. They can just let their body relax and their mind relax. But, very often, particularly with athletes, if we're visualizing something, maybe they'd be up and walking around with their eyes open, maybe you'd detect a slight difference in speech patterns or whatnot, but it doesn't look like anything different from when a person's asleep or awake.
How will I sound while I am under hypnosis?
If you talk while in hypnosis, and sometimes we do have clients talk because we have to exchange information, there may be slight changes in the nuances of the voice. You tend to talk a little bit slower and the voice patterns might be slightly different than they would be when the person is fully consciously aware.
Will I be able to communicate non-verbally while I am under hypnosis?
Communication with hypnotherapy is really important. It's one thing to give suggestions, but it's another thing to know that the suggestions are being accepted. The mind-body continuum is a marvellous tool for communication in a nonverbal sense. We can ask a client, for instance, to give us what we call an ideomotor response. So if they hear, are seeing, are visualizing, or are accepting the suggestion, we can have, say, a finger go up. All by itself! The person doesn't even have to try; they're not even aware it's happening. However, for the hypnotherapist, it's really a very powerful tool because we want to make sure that we have rapport and that we are communicating. It's very much a communicative process.
What if I do or say something private or strange while I'm under hypnosis?
The chances of doing or saying anything strange or admitting something that you really don't want anybody to know while you're in hypnosis are zero. It just won't happen. You cannot be made to do or think or say or feel anything in hypnotic trance that you do not want to. Now, if there's a deep dark secret that you really want to get out, you might let it out. But you'll let it out because you want to, not because you're forced to during hypnosis.
Can I be in a hypnotic trance and remain active?
When a person is in hypnosis they can be as passive or as active as they are when they are either asleep or awake. In a clinical setting, generally speaking, our clients are in a very passive state. They are sitting back. They are very, very relaxed because we are working with the mind. We often don't want the body to get in the way. However, a person in hypnosis can be doing the same things that they do when they are fully awake and aware. For instance, if you watch a hypnosis stage show, those people certainly don't look asleep. They are running around, dancing and doing all kinds of crazy active things. You can't tell they are in hypnosis except they are doing things that we would think a person normally wouldn't do in public.
How will I feel after hypnosis?
A lot of people are concerned about how they're going to feel after a hypnotherapy session and here's what you're going to feel. First, you're going to feel really, really relaxed and very mellow and often euphoric. You might feel a little disoriented for a few minutes, but a person that comes in for a hypnotherapy session gets on with their day, and what happens is they have a much better day because within a few minutes they're right back where they were except they feel really good, due to the problems worked out during their hypnosis.
Will insurance pay for hypnotherapy?
Most health insurance companies do not cover hypnotheraputic procedures. Now, if a psychiatrist, or a psychotherapist, or a medical doctor or dentist prescribes hypnosis for a patient, it is possible that the insurance company might cover those expenses. But in general, hypnotherapy is not yet recognized by most insurance companies, and therefore is considered an elective procedure, and it's an out-of-pocket expense.