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History of Hypnosis
Most people’s first exposure to hypnosis is at a stage show like the Great Ravine, the Impossibilist. I remember meeting Ravine and being completely mesmerized by the participants clucking like chickens and dancing on stage like rock stars. But, did you know that the words "mesmerize” comes from the father of hypnosis, German Dr. Franz Mesmer (1734-1815), who was the first to perform hypnotist shows on stage in France? Scottish surgeon Dr. James Braid (1795-1860) attended a stage show and then began using hypnosis for patients in his medical practice. When hypnosis was later used by American psychiatrist/psychologist Milton Erickson (1901-1980) to treat psychological as well as physiological issues, it was called hypnotherapy. There are an astounding number of professionals in the history books, who are famous for using hypnosis and hypnotherapy. But, the mother of hypnosis cannot be forgotten. Dolores Cannon spent over 45 years going where no man had gone before by developing an unique and powerful technique called Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique™. Actually, it’s easier to call her the grandmother of hypnosis, because she worked into her 80’s. If it wasn’t for Dolores, academics such as Dr. Brian Weiss and Dr. Ian Stevenson, at University of Virginia, may not have been inspired to research the power of the mind in such groundbreaking ways. Today, there is a new kid on the block, Marisa Peer. Voted as Britain’s top hypnotherapist, Marisa spent decades developing a technique that uses many of the positive aspects of hypnosis and hypnotherapy plus goes beyond them to form a distinctive therapeutic approach, Rapid Transformational Therapy™. My hypnotherapy practice is informed by formal academic studies (e.g. Milton Erickson and Erik Erikson) in psychology, neuropsychology, and disabilities in education along with one-on-one training with Julia Cannon at the Dolores Cannon Academy, and International Certifications in counselling and therapy achieved through personal training and mentorship with Marisa Peer. As a Certified Hypnotherapist and Regression Specialist, I use hypnosis to free people from issues that are holding them back (e.g. guilt, anger, sadness, lack of confidence) while expanding their consciousness to propel them forward.
What is Hypnosis?
There is some controversy about what is hypnosis. However, the one thing everyone agrees on is that hypnosis works through focused attention upon oneself during deep relaxation, and when participants are directed towards a specific purpose with visual imagery, sensations, and feelings. Hypnosis is not sleep. It’s more like the in between state that you are in right before you wake up in the morning or right before you fall to sleep. A lighter level of hypnosis occurs throughout the day. When you drive home after work and are consciously thinking about what you want for supper, what groceries you need to buy, and where you have to drive the kids, sometimes you don’t remember the trip home. Why? Your subconscious took over the driving for you while you were consciously busy thinking of other things or flying on “auto pilot”. So, operating on different levels of consciousness at the same time is something that you already do every day. That’s why most people can be hypnotized.
Levels of Consciousness
Have you ever wondered why reading those self-help books hasn’t created all the changes you want in your life? It’s because, you are only working with the logical, conscious brain. You need to work with all levels of consciousness if you want to create change. The subconscious mind is responsible for 90% of our actions. If there is a conflict between the conscious and subconscious mind, the subconscious is more powerful and will always win. Hypnotherapy helps you switch off your conscious (thinking) mind and makes your subconscious (emotional) mind more alert for reprogramming patterns of negative beliefs and thoughts. It’s the subconscious that listens and soaks in the therapist’s words. It’s at this level of consciousness that powerful, positive, permanent changes can happen that do not happen in any other state.
Hypnotherapy works. It is recognized by the Royal Society of Medicine as an effective treatment for a wide range of issues. Today, hypnosis and hypnotherapy are valued in mainstream society, which is evident by almost every children’s hospital in the United States now having one or two people trained in hypnosis according to Dr. Daniel Kohen, coauthor of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy in Children. Among many things, hypnosis and hypnotherapy has been used in hospitals as an alternative to anesthesia, for calming patients before surgery, and for hypnobirths. Traditionally, hypnotherapy has been very effective in the treatment of anxiety and addictions (e.g. to food, smoking, gambling). I see many people who have tried just about everything to get free from their issue and hypnosis is their last hope. After one session, I often hear them say, “I wish I would have done this sooner."
If you are feeling blocked and don’t have behaviours that you want, then your mind might be running on an outdated, low functioning “operating system”. In most cases, this system was created and hardwired into you when you were a child. That old programming still has a direct effect on how you feel about your life today. Even if you want to change your beliefs and old habits, you just may need an expert to get you access to the deepest part of your operating system in order to do an upgrade. We upgrade our computers and electronic devices all the time, but how often do you do it for the most important computer of all—your mind. In one to three hypnotherapy sessions, you can feel free and clear to live life happier, healthier, and more in balance.