Frequency Asked Questions
Myths and questions about hypnosis and regression therapy
Q. How does it feel to be hypnotised?
Many people think that there is something about hypnosis, which is markedly different from their “normal” state of consciousness. They may have seen a stage hypnotist and are basing their understanding on that. This is definitely not the case. A light trance/hypnotic state will likely feel no different from relaxation. In fact, they will be more aware in hypnosis. You can say, “Don’t expect to feel hypnotized. It is a normal natural state.” There is no right or wrong way to experience hypnosis. You don’t go anywhere and many people don’t realise they are in hypnosis until they come out of it. Hypnosis is a natural state where you feel increasing levels of relaxation.
Q. Will I lose control?”
During the session you are in complete control and aware of your surroundings. For example, if you are told to stand up, and it was OK, you would, right? But if you were told to rob a bank you wouldn’t do that. Well it’s the same in hypnosis. You are in control. You only accept the suggestions that are given if you feel it's in your interest to do that.
Q. Should religious persons avoid hypnosis?
Hypnotherapy can help us break bad habits and improve our lives enormously. Many religious accounts refer to saints and prophets entering into trance-like states that parallel self-hypnosis. For thousands of years hypnosis has been used for both negative and positive purposes. You can use hypnosis to build self-confidence, lose weight, manage pain, extract a tooth without anaesthetic and pain etc. Or you can use it for entertainment purposes, or rituals to scare people.
You also may be taking medication that you may not know is derived from plant medicines, shamans and medicine men have used for centuries in non-religious spiritual healings. Many of the largest pharmaceutical companies have worked side by side with shamans to find ingredients that the shamans have used in healing. But most people would not deny taking life-saving drugs because their roots are derived from ritualistic healing herbs and medicines.
Informed religious-persons rarely take a stand against hypnosis these days (except against its use in stage shows the occult practices), because the benefits are so well documented. A Harvard study showed that hypnosis helped broken bones heal faster and also that women who had breast surgery recovered much more quickly after hypnosis.
Q. Is hypnosis hocus-pocus? I've heard that it doesn't work.
You've heard wrongly. It is true that some people benefit from hypnosis more quickly than others but most people can go into a relaxed hypnotic state within a few sessions, deep enough to cure them of bad habits or unwanted behaviour.
Q. Isn't it wrong to let someone hypnotise me, because I would not be aware of what they are doing to me while I'm in hypnosis?
Persons who say this usually have no problem allowing a doctor, even a non-religious doctor, to anaesthetize them if they have to undergo surgery. Yet they don't know what the doctor is doing while they are unconscious. In hypnosis you are usually well aware of what is happening, so it would seem to be an advantage to have surgery under hypnosis rather than submitting to being made unconscious.
This is especially so for those who are allergic to medication or needles. People can have surgery under hypnosis instead of having anaesthetic, and often recover faster. They can remain awake during the surgery without feeling pain. Millions have benefited from self-hypnosis, which doesn't require a hypnotist to constantly give you suggestions. You can learn self-hypnosis and can listen to them first to prime yourself to what the hypnotherapist is saying or can make your own hypnotic recording with wording you completely agree with. So the argument doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
A Christian said that hypnosis is wrong because it's among occult practices listed in Deuteronomy18:10-11 is “one who casts spells”.
Hypnotists/hypnotherapists do not “cast spells”. They help you relax as you drift into a mental state on the border of consciousness and sleep. This is the state of mind that allows change to happen. With repetition, for a minimum of 21 days, positive suggestions can bring positive change. A common misconception is that hypnotized people don't know what is happening around them. But they almost always do know, and that is one of the most common statements of surprise from people when they first come out of hypnosis. In self-hypnosis you have to remain conscious, otherwise you would fall asleep and be unable to give yourself suggestions. Obviously that would not benefit you. You are never under “a spell”.
Q. Does hypnosis or self-hypnosis bring permanent change? If I use it to improve concentration while I study, will I keep this better concentration forever?
It will last as long as you use hypnosis for that purpose, and longer. Many people who have used self-hypnosis they could get rid of their fear of public speaking and give speeches confidently, or to lose weight. When they have given the speeches, or lost weight, and stopped hypnosis, within a year they were almost back to their former state. A person who suffered from hereditary nosebleeds learned self-hypnosis successfully and was able to stop the nosebleeds quickly for more than 10 years. They rarely occurred after that. Hypnosis will work long-term if you keep practicing it occasionally. You can liken it to a sportsperson who trains to give peak performances in running, swimming, or tennis. While they train, they do well at their sport. But when they stop training they get out of condition.
Q. Are there any recent examples of hypnosis being used in surgery?
Plenty! A fascinating example was reported in Medical News Today on April 19, 2008. Hypnotist Alex Lenkei of Worthing, England, hypnotized himself for an operation on his hand that lasted more than an hour. He needed no anaesthetic at any time during the operation, and was fully conscious while doctors removed bone in his thumb.
Q. Doesn't hypnosis shift a someone’s faith from God and His Word to the hypnotist and his technique?
Of course not. Religious persons take aspirin to relieve headaches, blood pressure tablets to relieve hypertension, and antiseptics to fight infection from a wound. This doesn't mean they give up their faith in God for faith in pharmaceutical companies. Likewise with hypnosis. We are created with a mind that is able to cure many ailments without drugs. If we choose to ignore the power of the mind that our Creator has given us, this is a choice we are free to make. But it is not the only choice and is not necessarily for our benefit.
Q. What is the difference between hypnosis and other types of trances, such as Transcendental Meditation, yoga, or Zen Buddhism?
The state is similar for all non-drug, trance-like states. The trance state is around the point where your consciousness borders on sleep. We all pass through this point every night as we relax and drift into sleep. But the reason for staying in this state a little longer differs in its purpose. The purpose of hypnosis is usually to improve you in some way — such as curing asthma, helping you stop smoking, gambling, improving your sport skills, or helping you overcome fears. But it has also been greatly helpful in other ways, such as in court cases to extract forgotten information from a witness. Dr. Nicolai Dahl used hypnosis successfully to cure the great Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff of writer's block when Rachmaninoff suddenly lost his ability to compose music.