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What is Hypnosis?
Ask a hundred experts in Hypnotism the question ‘What is Hypnosis?’ and it is guaranteed that they will come up with a hundred different answers. They will all agree that hypnosis exists and that something happens as a result of its application. They will agree that Hypnosis helps people make changes at the Unconscious level.
If you looked at an array of different definitions and took the common threads Hypnosis could be summarised as:
‘A process which produces relaxation, distraction of the conscious mind, heightened suggestibility and increased awareness, allowing access to the subconscious mind through the imagination. It also produces the ability to experience thoughts and images as real’. (Krazner)
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, as to be hypnotised a person has to follow instruction. If they don’t want to be hypnotised it is easy, they will always have the choice not to follow instruction. The people that you see on stage ‘Clucking like chickens’ are generally extroverts and would do similar acts say after a few drinks and even they would not do anything under hypnosis that is against their values or morals. A person in Hypnosis is in control at all times and they will not do anything that they do not want to do.
If you want to help someone change behaviour, you help them change their inner world first and that will influence the way that the behaviour actually comes out later.
One way to look at hypnosis is to view it as an altered relaxed state of mind. This altered state of mind is special in that people are more responsive to suggestion when they are in this particular state. Their inner world somehow becomes more real and the thoughts and ideas that are presented to them, through language and suggestions, become a part of that inner world. One of the beliefs of NLP, which also holds good for hypnosis, is that anything that includes the inner world (in other words, becomes part of that inner world of someone) eventually becomes part of their outer world.