A FEW THOUGHTS ON ALTERED STATES

The biggest hesitation I encounter in promoting hypnotherapy is the issue of hypnosis; people are either afraid of it or at least uncomfortable with the idea. This is not surprising given the way hypnosis is presented in the entertainment world or spoken of in casual conversation. The key word here is "entertainment." In the real world, hypnosis is different. Hypnosis is an altered state, of which there are various different types. Altered states are natural, meaning it is within our nature to be in an altered state, except possibly for those that are induced by drugs or alcohol. Ironically, many people who are not open to the idea of going into hypnosis for fear of losing control (you do not), will use drugs or alcohol (which can and will cause a loss of control). We humans can be funny that way.


Altered states are really about shifting resources to different parts of one's consciousness. In normal conscious discourse some of the information that could be meaningful and helpful in an effort to change behavior can be suppressed, where in a state of hypnosis that information is more accessible. Another way to put it is that in normal state we tend to edit what we talk about (or even think about), and this can hinder the therapeutic process. Some people will still find this to be uncomfortable, but if you are really serious about change, hypnosis opens up new possibilities and resources.


All of the above information is about retrieving information from the subconscious. A really interesting part about hypnosis is using it to input information. Our subconscious mind hears and processes information all the time. In hypnosis, this information is more easily absorbed. This is what enables hypnosis to be used for pain management and surgery support, and other physical needs. The subconscious mind that also is involved in the control and monitoring of our physical processes can respond to verbal input. Words engender THOUGHTS, IDEAS, AND IMAGES, which are the languages of the subconscious mind.


In short, utilizing the state of hypnosis should be looked upon as an additional resource in learning to mind your own mind. It is just like working muscles in you body; the more you practice using them in new and different ways, the better you get. There is a myth that being able to go into hypnosis is a sign of a weak mind. The truth is that utilizing hypnosis can be a part of creating greater mental strength and gaining more control over your life.


Wishing you health and happiness,

Jay




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