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Hypnosis - Debunking the Myths One of the most misunderstood and underutilised healing tools

By John Dutton Lead Researcher - SAMHA /GMTI South Africa.

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have been privileged to spend 20 years of my life, researching Hypnosis as a healing tool and working face to face with over 11 000 people. It has become easy to identify that this simple, basic but effective, healing tool is not understood by most. The misconceptions of it being a means of controlling others, a process sent from the devil, or a method of getting a person to dance on a table or bark like a dog, lends itself to the opportunity to uncover some of the myths. The rst recorded use of Hypnosis as a healing tool was over 2 000 years ago at the Sleep Temple at Thebes in Egypt, where priests were depicted inducing trance in a patient. Much later names like Richard Mead, Franz Mesmer, Eriksson, to name but a few, came to light. In 1958 it became accepted as a valid medical therapy in Great Britain and the USA. So it has been around a long time, although, since scientically proven, in recent years much more attention has been shown to it. Hypnotherapy has yet to reach its full status due to legislations, cultural beliefs and a simple lack of knowledge. So what is hypnosis? In lay terms it is a tool that enables you, through relaxed focus, to present suggestions to the subconscious mind to override a negative behaviour. If your computer is not performing to your liking you reprogramme it; our subconscious mind is our computer program, so to speak. All our learned ways, emotions, etc., are on this program, so a tool to change the negative to a positive is known as Hypnosis. Rather like lifting the lid of a pot, to put new information into the subconscious, we have to move the lid, preferably with the conscious mind out the way.

Nearly all Hypnosis takes place when we cycle the brain down into the alpha state – approximately seven to 14 cycles per second – and sometimes the theta state, four to seven cycles per second. To put this into perspective, at our alert state we seem to operate at approximately 20 cycles per second - that is known as the beta state. This is where the conscious mind is very active. Remember we need to get to the subconscious. To understand this, a common example is that we attend a good motivational speaker's talk and feel wonderfully ready to take on the world but, a few days later, we are back into the old negative state. Or we go on diet and lose weight but, as soon as we stop the diet, we go back to our old eating ways and put on weight. In both examples the conscious mind has listened. To create a long-lasting effect we need to consult the subconscious not the conscious. Remember the subconscious is the computer program; that's why Hypnotherapy is such an effective tool. We can all use this amazing tool. If you can daydream you can use Hypnosis. In fact a common example is that we travel back and forth on our route to work daily; if you are asked to tell what colour cars you passed on the way or how many trafc lights you stopped at, the common remark would be: “I don't know.” The conscious programmed behaviour was driving the car and the subconscious programmed behaviour was thinking about what you were going to say in the meeting at the ofce. In fact, the only people who can't use Hypnosis are those sadly with brain retardation or who are deaf. (continued overleaf...)

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