It is believed that the mind operates at different levels of consciousness. When under hypnosis, the conscious mind takes a back seat, allowing the subconscious to be accessed. Depending on the reason for hypnosis, patients are put into a light, medium or deep trance; in most cases, a medium to deep trance is used, during which the brain produces alpha waves - a sign of deep relaxation - at this time, breathing and heart rates also slow down.
Healing trances were practised in ancient Greece and Egypt. Around the world, trance-like states have been induced using drumming and dancing. Generally, it is designed to make people relaxed and receptive to positive suggestion. Hypnotherapy is a good example of how the mind can influence the body to enable people to overcome phobias, inhibitions, pain and dependencies.
What to Expect
Different types of hypnotherapy exist. In most cases, you will be asked about your history and what it is you wish to achieve through hypnosis. You will then be asked to sit or lie comfortably for the duration of the session. Hypnotherapy is highly beneficial to most people, but it should be avoided if you suffer severe depression, psychosis or epilepsy.
Training & Colleges
Many doctors, dentists and psychologists practise hypnotherapy. Others will have completed a two-year, part-time diploma course.