The therapeutic importance of hypnosis and suggestion
Hypnosis has been known to mankind for thousands of years, although we have known it under this term for a relatively short time. The method was popularized by the German physician Franz Anton Mesmer, who lived in the 18th century, and from his name comes the English word mesmerism, an English synonym (equivalent) for the word hypnosis. On the other hand, the name hypnosis is due to another English doctor – James Braid. He considered this state to be a type of dream. So he named it after the mythical patron saint of sleep the Greek god Hypnos.
In many cultures, including those very distant from us, this method was used to help people with their problems. For hypnosis itself is not something evil, dangerous, negative, as it is perhaps portrayed. In fact, hypnosis is a kind of trance that someone puts us into, and we can also do it ourselves. In this state, we will be more susceptible to the suggestions given. They can help us deal with a particular problem or simply greatly expand our intellectual abilities, for example, help us remember information faster.
When the principles of hypnosis were not yet known or understood, it was explained by the workings of magic or deities. And what kind of deities these were – it already depended on what cultural circle the users, as well as those using hypnosis, belonged to. Usually it was a shaman, healer or priest. In any case, for quite a long time hypnosis belonged to the circle of secret knowledge, which was perhaps even feared (sometimes this is still the case today). As it turns out, completely unnecessarily. The state of hypnosis is one of the natural states of our mind, and probably everyone has experienced it at least once in his life. Let’s think of a situation when we are driving a car along a familiar route (possibly the one we take every day) and suddenly realize that we have passed a place where we have always turned or stopped. How did this happen? It didn’t have to be a matter of getting lost (or, more dangerously, falling asleep at the wheel). It could have just been a momentary drift of our mind, associated with the monotonously repeating images in our field of vision. Each time we observed the same landscape outside the car window, passing the exact same buildings, not to mention the painfully familiar being stuck in traffic. And again, repeating the same actions. It might have happened to someone else to be almost completely immersed in a relaxing dream while taking the bus or subway home. Yes yes, this sensation of being somewhere else, or as they say daydreaming, is precisely the brief trance state we can put ourselves into in a hypnotic state. As already mentioned, in such a state our mind very readily accepts any commands and suggestions. It is important that they are properly formulated, rather short, specific, and that they relate to one selected matter/area.
Using hypnosis, one can try to deal with various difficulties, fears, sometimes dating back to childhood. Hypnosis is also sometimes effective as an additional help in combating negative habits, such as smoking. It is important that when trying hypnosis (or self-hypnosis) to solve some of our problems we really want to change something in our lives. Then it will be easier for us to mobilize the potential inherent in us, which we probably didn’t even realize:
“Self-hypnosis opens the door to the inexhaustible resources of your inner self without the help of another person. Self-hypnosis gives you access to your unconscious abilities and competencies. Self-hypnosis will help you achieve your personal goals.(…) Self-hypnosis strengthens your abilities. Self-hypnosis can amazingly and positively change your life.”
Looking at the above quote, someone may say: these are just a few positive-sounding sentences. Of course, everyone is entitled to his opinion. On the other hand, you can try such a technique and see for yourself whether it works on you or not. Total freedom. Zero compulsion. Everything depends on what is expected. And here possible skeptics are in for a pleasant surprise: it has been shown that in addition to affecting the mental sphere, hypnosis has a positive effect on our body. The circulatory system calms down, blood pressure drops, areas “served” by capillaries are better supplied with blood and oxygen. We begin to breathe more deeply, so the whole body is better oxygenated. Our metabolism slows down, and the body eliminates toxins more easily and quickly, in other words, cleanses itself. The white blood corpuscles that contribute to the immune system get faster to where they are most needed at any given time. The number of cells responsible for allergic reactions decreases (so allergy symptoms may eventually ease). The level of stress hormones in the blood decreases, so that we will still be relaxed some time after the hypnotic trance has stopped. In general, the performance of the immune system increases, this is a “side” effect of the hypnotic trance, so to speak. This is why constant use of hypnosis (or mastery of self-hypnosis techniques) is often recommended for people suffering from recurrent ailments. A stronger immune system is better able to cope with them, and sometimes the conditions don’t recur for a long time. That’s it briefly about the effects of hypnosis on our soma, or body.
Hypnosis can help with many things, but by the method of small steps, not spectacular, sudden miracles. For that, there are really good chances that the changes will be for the better, and permanent. Just as long as the temptation to change too many things at once doesn’t get us.