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What is Hypnosis and hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is altered state of mind to increase motivation or alter behavior patterns. During hypnosis the Conscious Mind suppressed or relaxed. This allows increased access to the Subconscious Mind. Hypnotherapy is therapeutic relaxation and direct suggestion for symptom and disease removal. A state during which the conscious, critical, analytical, mind, is slipped to the side allowing easier access to the unconscious mind. There is no definite dividing line between a normal waking state and a hypnotic or trance state. Both children and adults can become so absorbed in daydreaming that they lose track of what is going on around them. Hypnosis is not: Sleep. In hypnosis, one's attention and concentration is more focused. Hypnosis is intense focused concentration. We take advantages of this state for disorder removal.

Hypnosis is a state of mind that most of us experience, in every day of our lives, whether we are driving, daydreaming, dropping off to sleep at night, or are simply absorbed in a good book or film. Hypnotherapy is the process of using hypnosis to unlock unconscious mind to bring about a therapeutic change.  A skilled hypnotherapist brings this about by relaxing the conscious mind, guiding the individual into relaxation, and giving them 'minds eye' situations to imagine and 'experience'.

individuals who are able to become intensely absorbed in an activity or daydreaming make the best hypnotic subjects. Hypnotic or trance states can occur in everyday life.

While hypnosis may be the primary treatment of choice for certain symptoms and disorders, it is more appropriate as an adjunct to other biological or psychotherapeutic techniques

I see hypnosis as a specific medical or psychological procedure that should be done within the context of a therapeutic relationship.
Indications for Medical Hypnosis –

there are varied indication of hypnotherapy but few most important are as under
Pain: any kind of pain   
Habit Disorders:  
Nausea and other Conditions in Pregnancy 
Anxiety states 
Interruption of strong emotional state 
Psychotic Disorders
Behavior disorders in children

Problems / Illnesses That May Respond to Hypnotherapy

A wide variety of problems and conditions are amenable to treatment by hypnotherapy. The following is a list of some of the more common but is by no means exclusive:
Angina, Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Alcoholism, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, Blood Pressure, Bed-Wetting, Bereavement, Depression, Driving Test, Exam Nerves: School / Police / Nursing / College etc., Insomnia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Lack of Confidence, Learning Difficulties, Migraine, ME, Nail-Biting, Pain Management, Phobias, Physical Disabilities, Public Speaking, Pre-Menstrual, Post-Menopausal Problems, Repressed Grief, Stage Fright, Stress Disorders, Speech Disorders, Skin Disorders: Dermatitis, Eczema, Warts, etc., Sports Performance, Obstetrics, Smoking, Weight, etc.

It is Important to Remember However that hypnotherapy has a significant part to play in assisting in relief of symptoms, developing a more positive attitude and aiding the individual to come to terms with their illness or problems, thereby bringing about marked improvements in subject's quality of life. The miracle for change is in the courage, determination and will power of the individual - Hypnotherapy only a tool.

Two types of hypnotherapy

There are two main ways of using the unconscious mind to bring about beneficial help. 

These are: Suggestion Therapy and Analytical Therapy
Suggestion Therapy - In which the hypnotherapist gives the unconscious mind a series of 'suggestions'. These suggestions, when absorbed by the unconscious mind, can enable a person to find it easier to do something they would like to do, or easier to stop doing something they no longer wish to do.

Suggestion Therapy is most suited to situations where its effects are needed to overcome a habit. 
Analytical Therapy - (or Hypnoanalysis) (which is psychotherapy / psychoanalysis using hypnosis) can be very effective in dealing with the more deep-seated problems that many people have. An example would be a phobia. In a phobic, the person will have within them a fear, over which their conscious mind cannot make sense. usually mind attach their fear to something . whether it is spiders, heights, snakes, open spaces anything.

Hypnotic Induction

There are many methods on induction. The induction is essentially a ritual and usually easy. There are a wide variety of types of hypnotic inductions. Each hypnotherapist has his own method and that he considers to be the best.
During induction and throughout the period hypnosis is maintained, suggestions given are more readily accepted, and acted upon more powerfully than when subject is in the waking state, and that suggestions given are acceptable to subject. Essential Prerequisites' necessary for the successful induction of hypnosis are a) Positive Rapport and Trust b) Strong Motivation for Change on Client's Part Deep or light trance states can occur spontaneously. The formal induction process serves to organize and structure the process so that the trance state can be more efficiently used in therapy.

Self Hypnosis I often teach patients how to use self-hypnosis so that they can gain more control over the process. They can use it between sessions as boosters.

What is Hypnotherapy ?
Hypnotherapy is a treatment modality with specific therapeutic aims and specific techniques utilised whilst the subject is in a state of hypnosis. which aids in retrieval, resolution and re-education of old outdated memories, traumas, negative and distressing emotions, etc.

Aims of Hypnotherapy

The aim of hypnotherapy is to increase the confidence level of the individual and to teach him / her an attitude of hope in the context of disorder. The person becomes to be an active participant on their own behalf, focus on a solution rather than on enduring a problem, and to discover and use neglected resources to effect the changes in disease or symptoms

Methods of Applying Hypnotherapy

  • Ego Strengthening Methods:
  • Symptom Removal by Direct Suggestion
  • Dynamic Insight Methods
  • Pure hypnoanalysis

Advantages of Hypnotherapy Include:

  • There are few risks or side effects.
  • Rapid response to treatment.
  • Hypnotherapy promotes positive attitudes of independence, confidence and competence for solving the problems and underlying disease.
  • The increased therapeutic leverage afforded by hypnosis can often facilitate both conversion of insight into action and faster relief of disabling symptoms

Which type of hypnotherapy is best for you?

Suggestion therapy can be a single session, can be very relaxing, and can help to manage some problems very successfully.
Pure Hypnoanalysis has helped countless people over the years. The aim of Pure Hypnoanalysis is not to 'control', or 'manage' the problem, the aim is to resolve it completely.

What causes phobias? – small write up for phobias -
Phobias are often caused in childhood, where the child experiences a real fear, but the mind manages to detach (or repress) the feeling of terror that caused it.

This leaves the mind with a strong fear The mind doesn't like it this way, and will therefore, symbolically attach this fear, to a real object or situation be it a spider, an enclosed space, a lift... whatever it may find.

Whenever the person now comes into contact with the object or situation (say, a spider), they feel the fear that the subconscious mind has associated with it. and they have a 'phobia'.

Sometimes, however, phobias can develop after experiencing something. 

The initial sensitising event may vary from witnessing, for example, an accident, visiting the dentist's office, or even just hearing about terrible disasters.

Or, a child may model their behaviour and as a result, this can cause the child to become phobic as well. 

sometimes child who became terrified of thunderstorms, simply because the mother was frightened of them and acted in a terrified manner, the child would quickly have picked up on the mother's fear, absorbed and formed a learned behaviour pattern, and thus developed a conditioned response as phobias.

Small write up for non-smoking

Hypnosis as an aid to becoming a nonsmoker is a powerful, safe and effective tool. It has no side effects. Now client put the money used to spend on cigarettes back in pocket, restores health of body, and feel absolutely terrific!

  • Hypnosis strengthens motivation and reinforces the positive goal of being a nonsmoker.
  • Hypnosis helps to remove patterns of habit (e.g., Every time I do something, I light up).
  • Hypnosis can eliminate the level of desire for smoking.
  • Hypnosis assists in completely eliminating withdrawal symptoms.
  • Hypnosis offers constructive and healthy relaxation methods to reduce stress.
  • Hypnosis reinforces wellbeing and the positive feeling of success!

Sometimes conscious mind is eager to quit smoking, while other parts are not yet ready. These parts blocks subconscious. They allow unwanted suggestions.

hypnosis session reinforces their determination and that become physically more comfortable than they would have been if they had tried to quit smoking.

It is apparent with such clients that not all parts of them were in agreement about quitting, and they require hypnosis sessions.
Occasionally a client has an inner agreement to continue smoking--not enough of his will have consented to get rid of the habit. This may be unconscious

on the client's knowledge , and repeated sessions may be required. We utilize hypnosis to uncover which parts are preventing the client from quitting.

Even in these cases, hypnosis creates an atmosphere which makes it easier for the client to succeed in becoming a nonsmoker.
While some of clients may require multiple sessions, the average client requires only three hypnosis sessions for optimum success. The first session creates the opportunity to shift into the health and joy of being a nonsmoker. The second and third sessions offer opportunities to become even more physically comfortable and to learn positive relaxation techniques. Each client also receives a session "booster" CD, which may be played on a daily basis to remain stress-free and comfortable as a new non-smoker.

Dr Prakash Shah (Baroda – Gujarat – INDIA)
Senior Practioner interested in management of chronic diseases
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