Q. What is hypnosis?
A. Hypnosis has been defined simply as focused concentration and a heightened receptivity to suggestions. Others define it as a "natural, yet altered state of consciousness that allows us to bypass the critical judgment of the conscious mind and talk directly to the subconscious." Simply put, this means we ask the conscious mind to step aside while we speak to the subconscious. Relaxation often accompanies hypnosis, but in fact is not required for hypnosis. Hypnosis is actually a technique that gives you more control over your mind, allowing you to more quickly manifest your goals. Thousands of case histories testify to the fact that hypnosis is a safe, natural and powerful technique for change. Hypnosis is, in fact, an excellent way to train our imaginations to work for us, instead of against us.
While you are undergoing hypnosis, all extraneous data is shut out and the focus is on one goal or image. This intensity of thought and emotion has the effect of channeling all our energy towards change, cutting through limiting beliefs and summoning powerful energies on our behalf. If you think of the different between the diffused energy of the sun versus the focused concentration of the sun's energy into a laser beam, you have an idea of how hypnosis works. Your regular waking conscious is the sun, your thoughts under hypnosis are the laser beam.
Q. Can I be hypnotized?
A. YES. The vast majority of the population can be hypnotized. In fact, we all go in and out of hypnosis many times during the day. If you’ve ever passed your exit on the highway, daydreamed during a meeting, or lost yourself in a good book, you were in a light state of hypnosis. And a light state is all we need for most of the work that we do, including weight loss, smoking, overcoming fears of public speaking and so forth. We do not need depth to achieve results. After eight years in practice, I've only had a handful of clients who did not go into trance during the first session. However, often success was achieved on subsequent sessions. So even if you've been told you can't be hypnotized, don't be too quick to believe it. Maybe your hypnotherapist didn't use effective inductions or you lacked rapport with that particular practitioner. Or maybe you just need to have more patience with yourself and practice a bit more.
Q. Can hypnosis help me?
A. While it is not a panacea, nor a substitute for medical or psychiatric attention, hypnosis has proven effective for literally hundreds of issues, from overcoming test anxiety and bad habits to managing pain and overcoming procrastination and yes! Incredible results with weight management and smoking cessation. So chances are excellent it can help you as well, whether you want to use hypnosis as your sole method of treatment or in conjunction with other therapies recommended by your doctor or therapist. Maybe you're aware that hypnosis has helped people stop smoking or lose weight, but your life challenge is different. Maybe you've fallen into the habit of drinking a bit too much wine in the evenings, or you suffer from near-paralyzing stage fright or test anxiety. Or perhaps you just can't get yourself to stop picking your face or pulling your hair. You may be wondering if hypnosis can help you. The answer is yes, it can. Hypnosis can help with a wide variety of life challenges and concerns.
Since I've been in private practice, I've helped countless people to overcome these challenges successfully with hypnosis. Hypnosis can be used to help you stop or cut back on your drinking, overcome fear of public speaking, be calmer and more relaxed during tests, and many other issues. Often the results are dramatic and can be achieved in a relatively short amount of time.
Q. Why choose Alpha-Omega Hypnosis?
A. All my sessions are live, personalized and designed to achieve maximum results in the shortest possible time. I listen very carefully to what you have to say, asking questions so that I can design post-hypnotic suggestions that are meaningful to you. I am very invested in seeing clients achieve results in as short a time as possible, and work very hard towards that end. I work with clients using a powerful combination of proven hypnosis techniques, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP),and when appropriate, Parts Therapy, regression and more. Some hypnotherapists will meet with you for 20 minutes, then put you in a room by yourself with a recorded CD. While this can be effective, it generally takes longer to achieve the desired results and is an impersonal approach. I treat each client as the unique, original individual that they are. That is what makes an individual, private session with Alpha-Omega Hypnosis so powerful.
Q. Will I be hypnotized even during the first session?
A. Yes. The first session includes actual hypnosis, as do all sessions. This consists of an "induction" or relaxation technique, usually followed by positive suggestions, mental imagery, remembering successful events, and possibly more advanced techniques such as NLP, Parts Therapy or regression. Afterwards, I'll ask you what you liked, how you feel, assign homework and discuss next steps. All sessions are private, very confidential and take place in a professional office space.
Q. How many sessions will I need?
A. There are no simple answers to this one. Each person and situation is different. For most issues I recommend starting with 3 to 6 sessions and then assessing your progress at that time. The only exception is smoking, which can be done in just two sessions. Remember, you may have spent years thinking and behaving a certain way, so it may take some time to achieve the desired results. Prepare to make an investment in your well-being. With that said, you should experience some improvement even after one session. And sometimes this improvement is dramatic.
Q. What determines results?
A. The results you'll experience depend upon many factors, including your readiness to change, what kind of rapport you have with your hypnotherapist, what inductions and techniques are used, and how good of a subject you are. Also, how regularly you do your own self-hypnosis also directly impacts the results.
Myths and Misconceptions
Perhaps no other natural phenomenon has as much mystique surrounding it as hypnosis does. Thanks to stage hypnotists and Hollywood movies, hypnosis appears to be part magic and part hype, part mystery and curiosity, either a tool of incredible power or a mere magician's trick. Separating fact from fiction is no easy task given the mass media.
Here, then, for your amusement and education, are some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding hypnosis, as well as what is known about this simple yet powerful technique for effecting change.
Myth: Hypnosis is not accepted by western medicine…it is hocus pocus.
Fact: Hypnosis has been recognized by the American Medical Association since 1958 as an effective treatment method. One of the reasons why it is not used more often is the time involved in doing an induction versus the speed of drugs. However, hypnosis does not have any side effects.
Myth: Hypnosis is mind control.
Fact: You need deprivation for mind control. Hypnosis is merely focused concentration. With hypnosis, you are in control of your own experience at all times. It is not mind control.
Myth: Hypnosis is truth serum.
Fact: You can lie or edit under hypnosis all you want. It is not truth serum. You won't tell any secrets under hypnosis either.
Myth: I'll lose control under hypnosis.
Fact: You are always in control of your own experience. All hypnosis is, in fact, self-hypnosis. Hypnosis is much like a daydream…you hear what's going on, and if something disturbs you, you refocus your attention and come awake if you like.
Myth: I won't remember anything that happened during hypnosis.
Fact: You will hear and remember everything that happens under hypnosis, unless you go into the deepest of all trances, a "somnambulistic" state. Your mind is alert, your body relaxed, and you will remember what transpired to the same degree as you would recall a conversation, for instance.
Myth: Hypnosis can make people do things they ordinarily wouldn't do.
Fact: You will never do anything under hypnosis that violates your own moral code. If a stage hypnotist tells you to bark like a dog, and you have no moral inhibitions against doing so, you may well comply. Another person might find that action insulting and so would not do it.
Myth: I don't think I can be hypnotized.
Fact: The vast majority of the population can be hypnotized. In fact, most people go in and out of trance several times during the day. If you've ever daydreamed, were totally engrossed in a book or movie, or passed your exit on the highway, you were in a light trance state. High intelligence, a strong will, a strong imagination, an analytical mind-all respond to hypnosis. The main qualification is an ability to concentrate and trust the process. Several people have come to me and have reported that other hypnotists told them they couldn't be hypnotized. In every case this was simply not true. I had absolutely no trouble getting them hypnotized.
Myth: You need a deep trance to get results.
Fact: Most of the work that we do requires only a light trance. Issues such as weight loss, smoking, procrastination and dozens of others require only a light trance to effect change. Now, if you're going in for surgery or under the dentist's drill, you want to make sure you are in a deeper trance. But depth has very little to do with achieving results. The best thing to do is just relax and go along with the process.
Myth: I'll know if I'm hypnotized
Fact: Most people cannot tell if they're hypnotized. That's because they expect to be so deeply under that they won't hear anything or remember anything. The truth is, you will hear and remember everything that's said under hypnosis. Your mind is alert, but relaxed. I tell my clients let me worry about whether or not you're hypnotized, and just allow the process to do the work
Myth: I'll know right away if it's working or not.
Fact: You won't know at the time if you're being hypnotized. The proof will be in the pudding. Your feelings and actions in the days to come will be the measure of your success. Recently I had a 9-year old girl who came to see me for thumb-sucking. After her first session, she was sobbing because she was so sure nothing had happened, and hypnosis didn't work for her, and she felt desperate to change. One week later her mother brought her back to me and said that her daughter had some "good news" for me. Sarah (not her real name) reported that she hadn't sucked her thumb once in the entire week, something that had never happened before. Several of her neighbors have come to see me since, and say that it's been six months and they haven't seen her suck her thumb once. The moral of this story is "your conscious mind is often the last to know." So relax and enjoy the process.
Myth: The hypnotist has all the power. He does it to me.
Fact: You are responsible for your own experience under trance. The hypnotherapist is merely a guide, a facilitator. He or she cannot "make" you do anything against your will or intent. Some of my clients wish I had that kind of power, so I could magically make them quit smoking or start looking for a new job. But only you have that kind of power and control.
Happy Surprises & Beneficial Side Effects
Clients are often delighted and surprised to discover that they receive more benefits from hypnosis than they anticipated. Many book an appointment for one issue, only to discover that, not only are they achieving that goal, but they are sleeping better than they have in years. Still others find that perhaps their road rage has just disappeared, or that they seem to have more energy, are getting along better at work and so on. Some start writing again or pick up old forgotten hobbies. At the very least, most feel calmer and more relaxed. They report this regardless of whether we work on smoking cessation, weight loss, test anxiety, irrational fears, drinking, or letting go of a lost love.
Common Side Effects Include:
•Spontaneous pain relief •A more positive, relaxed attitude •Getting along better with co-workers, spouse, children •Memory and concentration improved •Sleep better •Increased patience, tolerance •Less worry and negativity •More energy •Achieving goals they've put off for years •Weight Loss
In fact, the number one side effect that people report is that they are sleeping better. It seems my CDs alone put people to sleep at night. I also believe that another reason why so many people sleep better is because I include a heavy dose of relaxation, stress reduction and self-esteem suggestions in every session, regardless of the focus of the session. I do this because we know that every issue is easier to resolve when we are feeling better about ourselves. So if you've had difficulties sleeping, this will probably clear up regardless of what issue we are working on.