What exactly is hypnotherapy? The dictionary defines it simply as a state that resembles sleep but one that is induced by suggestion. Most people are a trifle afraid of putting themselves through this, but the curious might be tempted to try this for adventure. It is, however, used by serious psychotherapists as a way to help people get rid of phobias and fears and surmount mental blocks.
The uninitiated might erroneously believe it to be some form of mind control. However, once induced, it is a naturally occurring state of concentration, almost like a trance, and can be likened to a state when the mind is so intensely focused that it is like meditation. In such a state, you are often unaware of the passage of time, yet feel a deep sense of relaxation in the mind and body. The deeper you go into the mind, the more relaxed you feel, and with this relaxation, the mind becomes more alert to sounds and other outside influences.
Mind and body is one
Hypnotherapy is based on the principal that the mind and body work together, so when the therapist sends a person into a hypnotic state, she triggers the mental and physical self-healing process in the subconscious mind.
Says Gurgaon-based clinical hypnotherapist and motivational coach, Reena Sharma, "Hypnotherapy is an effective way to change lifelong habits and take control of your life to empower your future. Once people get it that they need not blame others for their predicaments, they can take charge of their lives; the transformation is magical, especially for people suffering anxiety, depression, addiction and phobias". She should know. Sharma works twice a week with convicted criminals in Tihar jail in a rehab programme for convicts to bring about positive changes in their life.
The power of the subconscious mind cannot be undermined, and you can tap into this, coupling it with positive affirmations that can improve the quality of your life. For instance, I might believe that I cannot ever excel at anything, but this might in fact be a belief system that originated at some point in my life and it is from this that my actions and reactions now stem from. This might now have made me a pessimist and unable to take action on important issues.
Talk to your subconscious
The human mind has almost unlimited potential, mental power and strength that lies dormant within most individuals, and hypnosis coupled with certain affirmations can awaken that power and trigger that unconscious motivational machinery.
The conscious mind comprises a mere 12 per cent of our total mind capacity, so a bulk of our reactions and behaviour patterns come from the massive pool of our subconscious mind which is always in automatic mode. By learning to take charge and driving it in a particular direction, we can reach our goals and destinations. Saurabh Negi, an IT professional used it to rid himself of alcohol addiction. "I would need a drink even before works just to kick start my day, but with recurrent hypno suggestions, I now drink only socially", he says. However, you must have patience and cooperate with the therapist.
Visiting your past
Many people also use hypnotherapy to go back to their past to take a peek at what could possibly have made you develop a certain phobia or fear. As a mere observer of your past, and not a participant, you are out of harm's way, and by just watching what had happened to a previous incarnation of yourself, you don't become that person, but just view that from a different time line. "My relationship with my husband has taken a turn for the better after I saw him in another lifetime. There is now greater understanding between us as I know now the real reasons for the rift between us," says Urvashi Singh.
Varuni Vij disagrees, who felt the therapy wasn't for her. "Plenty of patience was needed and my lack of control on my thoughts during hypnosis stopped me from seeing my past life." She added, "Restlessness of the mind obstructed my experience." If you feel the inclination to try this out, remember to go to a qualified and certified therapist.