This is a question which I get asked almost every day of the week. I guess being a hypnotherapist is just not a run of the mill job! Most people are more familiar with stage hypnosis than they are with its therapeutic uses and so have a fair number of questions upon the subject, including this one.
We are all unique and individual and therefore our experience of hypnosis will reflect this. Just as some people are more calm and relaxed and others more tense, and some of us are more outgoing and others more introverted, etc, some of us will enter deeper states of hypnosis than others. The depth of hypnosis reached, however, does NOT directly correspond to your normal state of calmness/tension or introversion/extraversion. In fact, hypnosis is not just a state of relaxation; it is at the same time a state of heightened awareness. And if you are anxious you will already be in a state of heightened awareness, and this can make it easier to enter hypnosis than might otherwise be the case.
In actual fact only about 5% of the population cannot be hypnotized, the rest of us will enter hypnosis to one degree or another. About 10% of people will be hypnotized very deeply, as is seen in a traditional stage show. This deep trance phenomenon is NOT needed for therapeutic purposes. ALL levels of hypnosis are conducive to therapeutic intervention.
The therapeutic applications of hypnosis are many. You may use hypnosis simply as a way to learn to totally relax and be “in the now” as you would with meditation. You can use hypnosis to aid recall, to alter habits like weight loss hypnosis or stop smoking hypnosis; you may use hypnosis to apply the principles of NLP or you may use hypnosis to dull the sensation of pain even to the extent of inducing hypno-anaesthesia.
As a hypnotherapist I am extremely lucky to have such a varied and interesting job. Hypnosis can be used to assist in anything which has a psychological aspect, which is pretty much everything. Everything which you experience in life is colored by how you think about it, by your focus, beliefs and attitudes. Hypnosis allows you to direct and control your thoughts, both conscious and subconscious, and so is a massively empowering state.
You will usually find that as you use hypnosis you will become more and more deeply hypnotizable. I recommend that anybody who is considering hypnotherapy purchases a hypnosis download, and listens to this at home a few times as an easy introduction to the natural art of hypnosis. Like most things you undertake in life, you get better at it with practice; as you use hypnosis downloads you will find that you can relax more and more deeply and quickly each time.
The hypnotic induction technique used on this type of hypnosis download is a progressive relaxation procedure. As you listen to these hypnotherapy recordings you will find that your body will become progressively more relaxed and free from tension and stress, and as this happens your mind relaxes as well. It is impossible to have a relaxed body at the same time as a tense mind, and vice versa. Hypnosis feels fantastic. It is like taking a mini holiday or giving yourself a mental massage. In this day and age there is all too much stress, tension and anxiety and so it is no wonder that so many people are turning to hypnosis downloads for help.
Reverting to the question of whether or not everyone is hypnotizable, the answer is yes, so long as you can attend to and understand the spoken word, and so long as you WANT to. And who would not want to benefit from the therapeutic power of this normal and natural state?
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in hypnosis downloads for health, self-improvement, well-being and success.