Hypnosis Therapy

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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In test after test and study after study, scientists have proven hypnosis therapy to be effective. When used correctly, hypnosis can help people change their behavior, alleviate their fears or alter their self-perceptions. Hypnosis is often used to put people off of their bad habits, like smoking, nail-biting or over-eating.

Hypnosis therapy is frequently used to treat phobias and anxieties. Recognized by the American Medical Association since 1956, hypnotherapy has gained much respect as a valid and effective treatment, even earning its own AMA CPT code (#90880). If you have a fear of flying, a fear of driving or anxiety about public speaking, you may want to try hypnosis. In terms of altering self-perception, hypnosis is quite effective. It can give people greater self-confidence, help them get over feelings of guilt or help them let go of a past relationship.

What is Hypnosis?

First, let's look at what hypnosis is not. Hypnosis is not a form of sleep. It is not a magic spell. It isn't dangerous, and it has nothing to do with the occult. Hypnosis is a type of trance, also known as an altered state of consciousness. Don't let the term "trance" worry you. In truth, you probably fall into a trance every single day.

Altered states of consciousness are entirely natural. Many people fall into a trance while driving, watching a movie or washing dishes. These relaxing activities help a person "forget" himself. Like daydreaming or hypnosis, they create an altered state of consciousness.

Hypnotherapy and the Power of Suggestion

Hypnosis is a wonderfully relaxing state. For this reason, many people find being hypnotized an exceptionally pleasurable state. It simply feels good. Part of hypnotherapy's power lies in its ability to reduce stress and relax the participant. The true power of hypnosis, however, lies in the suggestibility it creates in the participant.

Have you ever seen hypnosis as entertainment? Hypnotists perform at everything from corporate events to Bar Mitzvahs to prom parties, so chances are you have seen a hypnotist at work. If that hypnotist was any good, you may have seen your friends or co-workers hop around as if their feet were on fire, or jump out of their chairs because they believed ice cold water was being poured down their backs.

Of course, there was no fire and there was no ice water. Your friends were simply reacting to the hypnotist's suggestions. Hypnosis creates extreme suggestibility. This suggestibility cannot be used to make the person act in a way that is dangerous or immoral, but it can be used to alter his perceptions and associations.

Behavior Modification through Hypnotherapy

This marvelous suggestibility can be used toward all kinds of behavior modifications. A hypnotherapist working with a smoker, for instance, might suggest to that person that the next time he smokes a cigarette, it will taste absolutely awful. The therapist may also suggest that going without a cigarette is neither difficult nor unpleasant, and that the nicotine cravings are easy to handle. These suggestions will make quitting much easier for the smoker, and will make permanently abstaining from tobacco an easier goal to achieve. The same techniques can be used to help end or limit bed wetting, nail-biting, stuttering, premature ejaculation and insomnia.

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