What is Hypnosis?

There is no magic to achieving success with self-hypnosis. Hypnosis is a naturally induced state of relaxed concentration – a state of mind and body in which we communicate suggestions to our subconscious mind. This part of our mind influences what we think, how we feel and the choices we make. It can actually control pain. Anyone who so chooses can reach a state of deep relaxation and redirected focus.

Your experience might be similar to daydreaming or the focusing that occurs when you are engrossed in a book, your favorite movie, or staring at a fire. In that state you are conversant and in good spirits – totally relaxed and completely in control. You will experience your birthing in an atmosphere of calm and relaxation, without the fear and tension that cause pain. Your body’s natural anesthesia (endorphins) will replace the stress hormones that create pain. You are always aware of your environment and have power over every situation.

Common Hypnosis Concerns

Couples very often bring some definite misgivings and belief in myths surrounding hypnosis. Here are some common concerns:

-“I am afraid to get stuck in hypnosis.”

This just does not happen. Should the practitioner stop talking, one of two things would happen: the client would simply slip into a natural sleep for a few minutes or the client would naturally be alerted by the absence of the practitioner’s voice

-“I am afraid that financial or family secrets will be revealed.”

Since the client is aware throughout a hypnosis session, it is he or she who controls what will be revealed. Hypnosis is not a “truth serum.”

-“I am afraid that the practitioner or my partner will be in control of my mind.”

The client is totally in control, can hear everything that is said, and can respond verbally and physically. The body relaxes as if asleep, but the mind remains even more alert.

-“I doubt my ability to go into hypnosis.”

Almost anyone who wants to be hypnotized can achieve the relaxed state of hypnosis. Since hypnotherapy is a therapy of consent, the client usually comes to class or a practice session at home anticipating that hypnosis will take place.

-“I am afraid that I will fall asleep instead of going into hypnosis.”

It is rare that a client actually falls asleep, yet it is very common for a client to snore while deep in hypnosis. When practicing at home If your partner has, in fact, fallen asleep, simply touch them lightly on the hand or arm and they will awaken. Upon awakening say, “That’s fine. Now I’d like you to close your eyes again and go back into hypnosis again, all the way down to the edge of sleep but not asleep.” Women in labor often give the impression of sleeping, when actually, they are quite alert.

-“I am afraid that I will do things that will be humiliating.”

Since the client is fully in control, nothing will occur unless the client wished to act in a particular (or peculiar) way. Stage hypnotism has left us with this myth.

-“I am afraid that I may do something that is against my moral standards and I may even be convinced to do criminal acts.”

This is a common misconception on the part of many religious leaders. It, too, is a myth. A person will not do anything under hypnosis that he/she would not be inclined to do normally. Since the practitioner does not control the client’s mind or behavior, there is little likelihood of any betrayal of morals (unless the person is looking for an excuse).

-“I am afraid that my mind is “too sharp” to go into hypnosis.”

The idea of someone being “too strong willed” or “too sharp” is a myth. Actually the more the person is able to use both sides of the brain, the better the subject he/she is. Creative people are usually better able to visualize and follow guided imagery.

“I am afraid that hypnosis can cause a person to enter another realm.”

Since hypnosis is simply relaxation, the usual application of hypnosis will not bring the client “into outer space” or “out of mind or body.” Hypnosis can be a benefit to the laboring mother as she enters that natural amnesiac state that many are able to achieve during the latter part of the first stage of labor.