Was I Hypnotized?
As of today in 2012, still a lot of people never want to be “hypnotized”, because they hold a belief that “hypnosis is dangerous” – They let their mind be controlled by this belief. They must be heavily hypnotized to believe so.
For everyone who asks me, “Is hypnosis dangerous?” My answer is, “Ignorance is dangerous.”
However, there are those who desire to be hypnotized, in order to address some problem, but following hypnosis, don’t think that they were hypnotized.
I had clients coming to see me because the other one “didn’t manage to hypnotize me, though the experience was quite relaxing and pleasant”.
I have also had clients who told me excitedly on the follow-up phone call of all the changes in their life: For some reason, the creativity is flowing freely now. For some reason, I don’t agonize on the decisions anymore, even though the decision hasn’t been made. I am okay in this situation now. For some reason, I smoke less cigarettes now, I just don’t feel like it as much as I used to. For some reason… – by the way, I don’t think I was hypnotized. At least I didn’t go deep into trance. I’m not sure if hypnosis works for me.
You ask them what made them think so and they either answer, “I heard everything you said to me, I must not be hypnotized.” Or, “I drifted off and missed some words you said, I must have fallen into sleep for a while and was not hypnotized.” – It’s hard to be a hypnotist, don’t you agree?
A hypnotherapist has to address both of the following questions.
1. What does it take for a person to be hypnotized?
2. What does it take for a person to believe that he is hypnotized?
The first question has everything to do with one’s unconscious mind. The second question is totally a conscious interpretation.
To start with, a person who chooses to see a hypnotherapist has lost rapport between his own conscious mind and unconscious mind. He has two minds working against each other, rather than together. And it’s normally the conscious mind, the smaller part, which brings them to a hypnotherapist’s office; but a hypnotherapist works primarily with their unconscious mind.
Self-help books, motivational seminars, and talk therapies are targeted at the conscious level of the mind. That’s why people get excited, and motivated for a while, but then life falls back into the old pattern, because their unconscious mind has not been touched. Normally a person would have no clue how to touch the unconscious mind, which is conditioned or programmed or in another word, HYPNOTIZED, starting at a much younger age, or even beyond.
We are first hypnotized by the hidden hypnotists, namely parents, teachers, social authorities, TV programs, newspapers… They formed our beliefs, prejudices, ideas, cultural programs, false body images, unresolved emotional charges… All of these go into our mind unconsciously, when there was an opening. And at a young age, the opening is wide. We bought into them unquestioned and they took roots in our mind; but as we grow, they have become outdated, and are not serving or supporting us anymore. That’s why we have problems that we have. The reason I say we were hypnotized into the problems is that in most cases, we don’t even remember the origin and reason of our beliefs.
Thus, you see, it is very easy to be hypnotized. Indeed, you get hypnotized without even using the word “hypnosis”. This addresses the first question. When you are in a hypnotherapist’s office, what matters the most is truly to experience it.
But our conscious analytical mind wants to be involved in the process. It doesn’t want just to experience. This is like visiting a beautiful rose garden. The conscious mind doesn’t just want to appreciate everything it sees, smells, and feels…, and allow itself to be immersed in those sensations, and enjoy them fully… the conscious mind wants to know what each type of rose is named – Oh, this red rose is called “George”, that yellow big one is called “Tiffany”, look at this little cute rose, it’s called “Tom”… Now I can say I KNOW these roses. Wow, there are 32 types of roses in this garden, and I know all their names.
There is a tremendous satisfaction to the conscious mind, by “knowing” the roses. But do you really know the roses? Do the roses care what names you give them?
It’s true in a hypnotherapist’s office, we can by-pass the conscious mind, and facilitate quick and big changes without the conscious participation, or even awareness. Bu the downside is that the conscious mind is left without the satisfaction of “naming the roses”. And frankly, the conscious mind is the boss here who pays for the services. We do need to address question number 2.
How do I know that I’m hypnotized? This is a dilemma of our multiple layers of mind.
There is no common experience for what it means to be hypnotized. Each individual’s conscious understanding is unique. Some would think it’s when their eyes can’t open, when their finger is stuck somewhere, or their vision blurs, or they hear some specific sound, such as a barking dog. To address the individual’s specific understanding, I simply make it happen, although some could be more challenging than others. – That’s my secret. Please don’t tell – so we can get to the real work.
Now it’s your turn to tell me what, in your term, it means to be hypnotized.