For many people when you speak about hypnosis their first image is of the stage. Watching people cluck like chickens etc, whilst the audience laugh away marvelling at the “control” the stage hypnotist has over the person. Stage hypnosis has helped clinical hypnosis become more recognised; it allows people to see the fun side as well as the therapeutic side.
So how does stage hypnosis differ from hypnosis that is used for therapeutic reasons? The trance you enter when under hypnosis is the same for both the stage and the therapy room. The difference is the goal, the objective. When you are on stage you are entering into this trance with a view to having fun with your subconscious, playing games and entertaining the audience. You are in that frame of mind. Just like all hypnosis, stage hypnosis is self-hypnosis, you have to want to go up on stage and prance around.
Very often when you go to a stage performance the performer will get a group of people on stage, usually made up of people who have volunteered. The performer then does suggestibility tests with this small group and gets it down to the most suggestible person, the one that they can work with best on that day.
Derren Brown is someone who I really admire; he has understood the human mind and how it works to an amazing degree. He tends to get people on stage by throwing a Frisbee into the audience; he will say something like if you don’t want to come up then pass it to the person next to you. This way he gets a willing participant up on the stage.
Similarly with clinical hypnosis, you have to be willing; you have to want to make that change. For example if you want to stop smoking, you don’t necessarily need to know how you are going to do it, but you have to want to become smoke free. If you are only coming for hypnotherapy because you have been nagged into it then even though you will still enter into the trance state, the hypnosis won’t have the amazing long lasting affect that it could have if supported by your willpower
No stage hypnotist would choose me, as I would be a “difficult” subject to work with. They would choose someone who was eager to “act the fool” and entertain the crowd. Great fun to watch! However, put me in a room where a hypnotherapist is working together with me to help me, and I enter into a trance state very easily.
Whilst as a hypnotherapist I do have the skills needed to perform stage hypnosis, I personally choose not to mix the two. I have chosen to get into the wonderful world of hypnosis to help people challenge their negative beliefs and become the person they want to be. I find my work extremely rewarding as I watch people beginning to make changes and take control of their world. Personally I wouldn’t feel comfortable mixing that professionalism and trust with the tricks of the stage.
We no longer live in a world where we don’t know that cigarettes are bad for us. 30 years ago the effects of cigarettes were unknown but these days we know they damage our body, but what is inside them?
There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke; at least 50 of them are known carcinogens (cancer causing). If you were to inject the nicotine in one cigarette directly into your vein it would kill you instantly, there is enough poisonous nicotine in one cigarette to kill a horse.
Benzene (petrol additive) – colourless cyclic hydrocarbon obtained from coal and petroleum, used as a solvent in fuel and in chemical manufacture, it is a known carcinogen associated with leukemia.
Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)- colourless liquid, highly poisonous, used to preserve dead bodies, it is a known cause of cancer, respiratory, skin and gastrointestinal problems.
Ammonia (toilet cleaner) – used as a flavouring, frees nicotine from tobacco turning it into a gas, often found in dry cleaning fluids
Acetone (nail polish remover) – fragrant volatile liquid ketone, used as a solvent, for example, nail polish remover
Tar – Particulate matter drawn into lungs when you inhale on a lighted cigarette. Once inhaled, smoke condenses and about 70 per cent of the tar in the smoke is deposited in the smoker’s lungs.
Nicotine (insecticide/addictive drug) – one of the most addictive substances known to man, a powerful and fast-acting medical and non-medical poison. This is the chemical which causes addiction. The great news is it is out of your system within 48 hours of stopping smoking
Carbon Monoxide (CO), (car exhaust fumes) – odourless, tasteless and poisonous gas, rapidly fatal in large amounts, the same gas that comes out of car exhausts
Arsenic (rat poison)
Hydrogen Cyanide (gas chamber poison)
The wonderful thing to find out is that our body is amazing at repairing itself. Your body starts to repair itself the second you stop smoking, even in between each cigarette. It is up to you whether you continue the damage with the next cigarette or if you become smoke free. Your body can only repair the damage so many times before cigarettes start to have a permanent damaging effect on your body.
You are 10 times more likely to remain smoke free if you use hypnosis.
Book a session with Monica Black at Breathe London by going to http://breathe-london.com/hypnotherapy
There are lots of misconceptions people have when they think about hypnotherapy. Here are just a few that I have come across whilst working with Hypnotherapy.
You lose control under hypnosis and say things you don’t want to say
Most people know about hypnotherapy through stage hypnosis and are nervous that if they went to see a hypnotherapist they would end up clucking like a chicken every time someone said potato. It is important to remember that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis and you remain in complete control the whole time. Take stage hypnosis, the stage hypnotherapist always chooses a willing participant from the audience. The participant goes onto stage expecting to act like a fool so when the hypnotherapist puts them into a trance and tells them to cluck like a chicken every time they say potato they react accordingly. However, if the hypnotherapist tried to tell them to stop smoking for example they would probably turn around and say no, as this was not what they were expecting to have to do on stage.
In the same way when you go and see a Hypnotherapist you are expecting to deal with certain things. By booking the appointment you are subconsciously and consciously agreeing to let the therapist speak to your subconscious about the thing you have come to see them about. If for example the therapist then asked you a question you weren’t willing to give the answer to you just wouldn’t.
Hypnotherapy is a magic wand
Lots of people think that hypnotherapy is a magic wand that can change the way their mind thinks without any effort from them at all. Whilst hypnotherapy is a very powerful tool as it speaks to your subconscious mind, it still requires strength and determination from the person to want to change. Just as under hypnosis the therapist can’t make you do something you don’t want to do, if for example you don’t want to give up smoking but your partner wants you to and sends you to a hypnotist the chances are that it won’t work long term as you didn’t want to make the change in the first place. If on the other hand you want to but just don’t know how, then hypnotherapy is the simple yet powerful tool you are looking for.
Only highly suggestible people can be hypnotised
Whilst people who find it easy to trust may find it easier to go into a deep hypnotic trance it is not a fact that only they can be hypnotised. Anyone can be hypnotised, the hypnotherapist will just use a different technique for a highly suggestible person than they would for a very analytical person. It may surprise you to know that we all enter a trance like state on a daily basis, when watching TV, waking, singing, etc. Take driving, when you do a journey you do every day it is common to “zone out”. You are still safe it is just that your subconscious brain has taken over the controls; the journey is so second nature to you that you just drive, sometimes arriving at your destination with no recollection of the journey. You know you were safe as you are still happily sitting in your car. If during that journey when you were on autopilot someone had stepped out in front of you that would be the time that you shocked yourself into action. This is all hypnotherapy is in its simplest form, quieting down the conscious mind so that the subconscious mind is listening.
As you can see Hypnotherapy is not something to be scared of, you remain in complete control the whole time. It is important to trust the Hypnotherapist just as it is important that you trust your doctor or your dentist’s professional capability. Recommendations are a good way to find a trustworthy Hypnotherapist, and when you have found them ring them up and ask them questions until you are happy. Listen to your gut reaction about them and you will find a therapist that can help you overcome most things, helping you to become the person you want to be.