Have you thought of Self-Hypnosis for a Change?
• What would you like to do differently?
• What would you like to achieve this year?
• Would you like to change any habits or beliefs?
I’m hearing fewer and fewer people talking about New Year’s Resolutions. Is it now becoming, or has it always really been just a quaint cultural game we play with ourselves; this year I’ll get fit, lose weight, empty my email box every day, give up snapping at the children?
According to some research in America, as many as 45% of people make New Year’s Resolutions but only 8% of them actually achieve their goals. That’s a horribly small success rate isn’t it? What about you? Are you still going strong on your resolutions, have you failed already or did you simply not bother to set any?
Whether you fail to fulfil a new year’s resolution or whether you are simply not doing the things you would like to see yourself achieve, the reasons for failure can be myriad. From choosing the wrong goals, not really wanting to succeed, conflict of values and self sabotaging beliefs, to a lack of knowledge of how to achieve those chosen goals, and many other explanations beside.
Hypnosis has proven to be a powerful tool to make profound changes
in behaviour, beliefs and attitudes as well as reducing pain, controlling blood pressure, depression or anxiety. It has even been shown to make warts go away. Hypnosis can enable people to achieve things they could hardly dare to dream of previously.
Because very few studies have attempted to discover precisely how it works, many scientist and medical practitioners remain sceptical of its efficacy (though this is slowly changing).
One person who has been keen to rectify this is Dr. David Spiegel who has been working along side other researchers to discover precisely what happens during hypnosis and trance. In one fascinating experiment, they chose to focus on a part of the brain which is well understood already. The fusiform circuit is known to process the perception of colour, so subjects were placed in a PET scan and shown a slide with coloured rectangles first and then a black and white slide and told to imagine it having colour. Blood flow in the brain was simultaneously being mapped out.
The same subjects were then asked to repeat the task while under hypnosis.
The results were fascinating. When looking at the true colour slide, the researchers saw a higher blood flow to both sides of the fusiform circuit. On initial observation of the black and white slide, whilst imagining colour, only one side lit up. Under hypnosis however, activity was registered in both sides of the brain exactly as it had been with the true colour slide, indicating the ability to ‘hallucinate’ in trance. The results were published in 2000 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
With the potential for change that hypnosis makes available to anyone, I have to ask the question, Why do we not make more use of this power than we do at present?
Complex issues will need the help and guidance of a skilled hypnotherapist but many simple problems can be helped tremendously by self-hypnosis.
There are a variety of techniques that can be easily learnt. Change may be dramatically rapid or a gentle, steady process over time and it will only need a little practice and regular repetition of the techniques.
Oh no! Are we back to sticking with your resolutions once more?
What have been your experiences of hypnosis? Do you have any fears or doublets about its use?