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What is Hypnosis

Updated: Feb 10

Hypnosis is one of the most effective modalities I have encountered for emotional and physical healing, personally and professionally. It allows people to tap into levels of consciousness that support lasting change. It is gentle enough to use as a means of daily relaxation, and powerful enough to ease the pain of childbirth - and in fact, hypnosis allowed me to enjoy a medication-free water birth for all three of my children - no drugs, no interventions and no doctors.

According to Psychology Today "Hypnosis is a mental state of highly focused concentration, diminished peripheral awareness, and heightened suggestibility. There are numerous techniques that experts employ for inducing such a state. Capitalizing on the power of suggestion, hypnosis is often used to help people relax, to diminish the sensation of pain, or to facilitate some desired behavioral change."

Being hypnotized feels like entering a relaxed, trance-like state. As brain wave frequencies are altered with the use of progressive body relaxation, guided visualization and counting, a person's mind becomes more receptive to affirmations and suggestions.

According to brain imaging scans, researchers have found differences in patterns of brain connectivity during hypnotic induction among different personality types. Hypnotized individuals show heightened co-activation between the executive control center in a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, and a part of the prefrontal cortex that flags the importance (salience) of events.

Although many people may associate hypnosis with getting sleepy, or feeling like are about to fall asleep - the vast majority of individuals stay completely awake during hypnosis and can remember their experiences afterwards.

With the help of a trained professional, hypnosis can be used to reduce physical pain, treat autoimmune disease, neutralize phobias, and break bad habits, like smoking and overeating. Hypnosis can also help people heal the trauma at the root of stress, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, mood fluctuations, and more.

While hypnosis feels very gentle and relaxing, it can be extremely powerful. It can be used instead of general anesthesia to lessen and eradicate pain, and reduce anxiety before and after surgery. It has also been used to assist with healing from medical conditions like epilepsy, neuralgia, rheumatism, and skin conditions.

Types of Hypnosis

There are a few different ways that hypnosis can be delivered:

  • Guided hypnosis: This form of hypnosis involves the use of tools such as guided visualization, progressive body relaxation and music to induce a hypnotic state.

  • Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis in a therapeutic setting and is practiced by trained professionals to treat clinical conditions including depression, anxiety, PTSD and eating disorders.

  • Self-hypnosis: Self-hypnosis is a process that occurs when a person self-induces a hypnotic state. It is often used as a self-help tool for controlling pain or managing stress. Recorded audio tracks can be found on Youtube and are included in my signature coaching program The Ultimate Mind-Body-Soul Reset.

Brain Wave Frequencies

5 Types Of Brain Waves Frequencies: Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta

It is important to know that all humans display five different types of electrical patterns or “brain waves” across the cortex. The brain waves can be observed with an EEG (or an “electroencephalograph”) – a tool that allows researchers to note brain wave patterns. Each brain wave has a purpose and helps serve us in optimal mental functioning. Hypnosis is identified within two (out of five) of these brain wave states: alpha and theta

Our brain’s ability to become flexible and/or transition through various brain wave frequencies plays a large role in how successful we are at managing stress, focusing on tasks, and getting a good night’s sleep. If one of the five types of brain waves is either overproduced and/or under produced in our brain, it can cause problems. For this reason, it is important to understand that there is no single brain wave that is “better” or more “optimal” than the others.

Each serves a purpose to help us cope with various situations – whether it is to help us process and learn new information or help us calm down after a long stressful day. The five brain waves in order of highest frequency to lowest are as follows: gamma, beta, alpha, theta, and delta.

When a certain brain wave is pointed out, we are actually