Common Myths & Misconceptions about Hypnosis

At Heartwise Holistics, you’ll hear a lot of about what hypnosis is and how it can help.  Let’s answer some questions about what hypnosis isn’t.


Can anyone be hypnotized?

Yes, almost anyone can be hypnotized. In fact hypnotizability is often a learned trait. You can teach your body and mind to go into trance, and get better and better at it as you practice your self hypnotherapy. Most people don’t think they are hypnotized after a session. What they do notice is that some things have changed – maybe that day, maybe the next week. Sometimes the effects are subtle and sometimes profound. Sometimes when the mind is really ready to make a change, it can happen quickly. Sometimes when the brain and body needs to do some healing work it can happen over time.


Will I forget everything during the session?

It occasionally happens that there is amnesia for the session. Sometimes the hypnotherapist will suggest that you forget what transpired, and occasionally this may have that effect. Most hypnotherapists want you to be aware of the session. You will be aware of everything around you, and remember most, if not all, that happened in the session. Usually, you will remember it better than a conversation we had, because your mind is in such a focused state.


Is hypnotherapy dangerous?

No. Hypnosis is a normal state of mind, one which most people go in and out of every day.  When you are in a guided hypnotic trance session, or driving down the road in trance, you have an observer self, which is an actual part of you that is always aware and watching out for you. This observer self has been documented as a credible aspect of our mind that keeps us safe, even when asleep. During hypnotherapy you can trust that your observer self will watch over you. This is not a guide or spiritual being, is a scientific discovery of a function of our brain. During a hypnotherapy session you would instantly get up and leave the room if it caught on fire, even if had previously felt like your arms and leg were too heavy to move.
In fact, since hypnosis can help make us sharper and more aware mentally, it actually may help keep us safer, by making us more aware of our surroundings during the day. If your perception of what is happening around you is better, you will notice things that are happening with greater clarity and perhaps make better decisions.


Can Hypnotherapy make me do something against my will?

Absolutely not. This is probably the biggest myth of all. Stage hypnotists seem to make people do strange things while hypnotized, but the truth is that these people are doing these things because they have a desire to be outrageous. If the stage hypnotists choose their subjects carefully they will have willing participants. You will never do anything, or accept any suggestion that violates your morals or values. If that was possible, all the hypnotherapists in the world could make you go rob the banks and bring back the money. We would be rich, and rule the world. Obviously, this is not the case.


Can hypnotherapy make me tell secrets?

Not at all. You will not divulge any information that you would not ordinarily divulge. You always have a choice, and your brain did not stop functioning or reasoning. The good news is you may find that you discover some inner truths about yourself, or your situation, or some self sabotage, that you did not know about consciously.
What this means is that your subconscious mind may have some inner programming going on that you do not know about that causes you to keep making the same mistakes, get sick, get angry, have rotten luck, or ignore important clues about your success or failure.
The really good news is that when you uncover these inner truths that have been kept secret from your subconscious mind, your mind can no longer play that game. The bad programming only worked when it was in stealth mode.   When the unconscious strategy is revealed, the gig is up. Your inner mind must now do it differently.


What if I don’t wake up?

No one has ever got stuck in a terminal state of hypnosis. It simply cannot happen. If the hypnotist left the room, or if you were listening to a tape and the power went out, you would either fall asleep and wake up naturally, or your subconscious mind would detect that there is no voice guiding you and bring you to conscious awareness.


Can Hypnotherapy make changes in my body?

Can you change the internal conditions, change the size of muscles, or in the condition of your skin? I don’t know; it’s possible.
You are constantly growing new cells. Every cell that dies off get it’s instructions from the old cell, and in the case of skin cells, if there was a scar, the new cell is instructed to form in the same way as the old cell and become part of the scar tissue. But why does this perfectly healthy new cell have to take on the memory of the old cell? We get completely new skin every 20 days. All of our skin cells are replaced. They do not need to be replaced with the old messages.
Hypnotherapy seems to be a messenger that can send new information and break the communication of damage or or injury. It is a well researched fact that hypnotherapy can increase the function of the immune system and affect cancer cells. In fact, Norman Cousins, a prominent political journalist, author, professor, and world peace advocate, did a test to find out just how dramatic the effect is on the immune system after just one hour. He had blood drawn before his meditation session, then again immediately after. In one hour some immune factors in the blood had increased 200%. So when you have a cold, if you let yourself be miserable and focus on how sick you are getting, that is what you will get! Your immune system will respond by suppressing the activity.
If you decide to be well, focus your thought on how quickly your body recovers, energize your immune system, and give your mind and body the energetic material it needs, you will probably get well very quickly. I am sure you know someone who goes around saying “I never get a cold, I just don’t get sick” and they don’t. You have probably wondered how they could do that, and now you know!