History of Hypnosis

codependency-therapyHypnosis remains one of the most fascinating phenomena of the human mind. Although it is absolutely normal and natural state of selective and focused attention. Our ability to enter this unique state of consciousness opens the door to limitless possibilities for healing, self-exploration and change. In different cultures and times Hypnosis was called by different names . It has been recognized for thousands of years and used for many different healing purposes.

Historically the term "hypnosis" comes from the Ancient Greek which mean "sleep", and "put to sleep". Both words "hypnosis" and "hypnotism" originated from the term "neuro-hypnotism" or "nervous sleep". Many centuries ago Hypnosis was used in India by Yogis and in Greek temples as sleep therapy.

Hypnosis has been around long before we started keeping history records. It is quite possible that prehistoric man only had this as a medical treatment. In fact, it was not until 1841 when the term "Hypnotism" was used. A Scottish surgeon named James Braid coined the term. Almost at the same time James Esdaile started using the term Hypnosis when using a similar technique in Calcutta . He was pretty successful in utilizing such procedures like leg amputations with the Hypnosis technique. Keep in mind there was a lot more amputations going on back then because of high risk for infections. There was no pain control other than getting patients very intoxicated. So even then Hypnosis was used as a significant pain control treatment.

A new pioneering approach to how Hypnosis could be used was created by Clark Hull and Milton Erickson in 1933. Today Milton Erickson is viewed as the "Einstein of Hypnosis" and the term "Ericksonian Hypnosis" is widely known even to people who do not know much about Hypnosis.

Modern Hypnotherapy

codependency-therapyIn the present days Hypnosis is becoming more and more accepted and main stream. In some states some insurance companies are starting to pay for Hypnotherapy for issues such as anxiety, smoking cessation, and weight loss with a medical doctor’s referral. The reason for such recognition is simply that Hypnotherapy works and in many cases it works much faster than conventional talk therapy.

The days of thinking that Hypnosis is just a bunch of parlor tricks or some form of mind control is finally fading away. With the power of knowledge we can defeat unawareness and misunderstanding.

Nowadays you can find Hypnotherapists in all modalities. Some are very holistic and others are working very closely with medical doctors. Currently Hypnotherapy is used in many applications such as:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Panic Attacks
  • Phobias
  • Depression
  • Unresolved Grief
  • Unresolved Guilt/Remorse
  • Unresolved Frustration/Resentment
  • Confidence building
  • Fear (phobia) management
  • Habit modification
  • Motivation
  • Smoking cessation
  • Stress Management
  • Weight Management
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Smoking and weight loss
  • Pain management
  • Performance enhancement
  • Eating disorders
  • OCD
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Headaches
It is important to know that not all Hypnotherapists have the same training. So be sure you are looking for someone who is well trained and nationally certified.

Global Counseling Center provides Hypnotherapy by Certified Hypnotherapist Irina Bell Saltzman. If you feel you are not sure if Hypnotherapy can help, contact us for your free 15 minutes confidential phone consultation.

What Is the Difference Between Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?

codependency-therapyThere is a vast difference between “hypnosis” and “hypnotherapy” . Hypnosis is the process of getting a person relaxed and giving them suggestions that may or may not help them to get their desired results.

Hypnosis is the technique or practice of inducing a relaxed or trance state, i.e., enhanced state of awareness.

Hypnotism is the more general word for applying hypnosis techniques, used primarily by uncertified practitioners.

Hypnotherapy is the therapeutic application of hypnosis techniques by a certified Hypnotherapist in a clinical setting. The therapist is focused on creating a safe and secure environment to facilitate the client's goals.

Hypnotherapy utilizes guided relaxation or concentration to relax the physical body and reach into the subconscious mind for a deeper state of awareness.

It is a perfectly natural altered state of consciousness similar to daydreaming. Hypnotherapist may integrate these techniques with other modalities when healing conditions including anxiety, addictions, obesity, etc. With hypnotherapy, a professional can regress the client to childhood, discover maladaptive patterns and change them deep within the unconscious mind. The new affirmations and suggestions will stay for more than just a few days. This is a fundamental reason why people should understand the difference between hypnotherapy and hypnosis.


Will I lose control when under hypnosis?

hypnotherapy-therapyNot at all. This is a common misconception about hypnosis.

Hypnosis will you to be more focused and less distractible and more skillful in using your own mental abilities beneficially.

In this way, you can achieve more of your own goals, and consequently, actually achieve more (not less) control of their personal comfort, health, and well-being.

Nobody can be hypnotized against their will, or forced to do anything against their will while under hypnosis.

A trained hypnotherapist works together with their client to resolve concerns and empower change in his/her life. You will never do anything against your morals or ethics while under hypnosis. The misconceptions of " loosing control" seem to originate from stage hypnosis, which involves people willing to participate in the stage act for a laugh.

Will I be asleep during hypnotherapy?

No. Hypnosis is generally a very relaxed state similar to daydreaming, but it is not a sleep. After a first hypnotherapy session some people do not believe that they were hypnotized at all. This comes from misconceptions about just what a relaxed or "trance" state is. In fact You may bring yourself out of hypnosis at any time during the session, just like you come out of a daydream.

There are differences between the brain waves of people who are asleep and those who are in trance state. In fact, people who are hypnotized often talk with the hypnotherapist. They can hear everything that is said very clearly, answer and ask questions, and are perfectly well aware of the surrounding environment.

Can anyone be hypnotized?

Yes, a person simply needs to be willing to enter into a relaxed or trance state. Just like some people find it easier to relax than others, some experience hypnosis more rapidly and deeply than others. However, with the assistance of a skilled hypnotherapist, about 85% of people can go into at least a light trance.

Can children be hypnotized?

Yes. Because children are naturally creative, they naturally and easily engage in hypnosis and respond well to hypnotic suggestion for a variety of problems such as anxiety, phobias, self- esteem issues, and behavior problems.

Can I get stuck in the hypnotic state?

Not at all . At any time a person can re-alert or choose to ignore hypnotic suggestions. No one stays hypnotized indefinitely – you will always be able to “come out” of trance within a short period of time.

Four Common Myths About Hypnosis

hypnotherapy-therapyMyth #1: Hypnotherapists have mysterious powers

The hypnotherapist uses techniques to influence another person into particular mental states, but the hypnotized person is the one who produces the state. How easily, and to what extent, someone can be hypnotized has been shown to be a stable trait across repeated trials, having little to do with who hypnotizes the person and how. This is why it's easy to learn to hypnotize yourself, and why you can be hypnotized using audio recordings.

Myth #2: The Hypnotherapists controls the person who is hypnotized, who has no free will

The idea of the hypnotherapists being "controlling" the hypnotized person gets from some stories coming from images of stage hypnotists ( mostly the less ethical ones) and uninformed Hollywood scriptwriters. In fact, there is no foundation for it.

An unethical hypnotist might manipulate or fool someone into doing something that they didn't realize was inappropriate or against their deeply held beliefs. Usually people who can be affected by hypnotists tricks are people who have somnambulistic traits. What is a somnambulist? This is a person capable of very deep stages of hypnosis due to their suggestibility which is usually 50% literal and 50% inferential. A true natural somnambulist may have walked or talked in their sleep at some point in their life. Sometimes a person, due to their suggestibility, can have somnambulistic tendencies, which means they can easily go into the hypnotic state.

However, less than 20% of the population is capable of reaching the somnambulistic levels. Approximately 60% of the population fall into the medium depth levels of hypnosis , and approximately 20 % of the population fall into the first and second levels of hypnosis.

Myth #3: You won't remember anything afterwards

Most people do remember what happened while they were hypnotized.

Myth #4: Hypnosis is occult and a devout religious person should avoid it

There is no evidence at all that hypnosis is anything but a natural, inherent human ability, which everyone has and which doesn't involve any mysterious powers or occult forces. Nor does it take away free will or place your will under someone else's control. Hypnotherapy is a natural technique with no inherent religious content.

How effective is Hypnotherapy?

hypnosis-stop-smokingThe answer to this question can be supported by a brief review of some of the research evidence on the effectiveness of hypnosis. Just take a look at the statistics below and make your own judgment:

90.6% Success Rate for Smoking Cessation Using Hypnosis Of 43 consecutive patients undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent from tobacco use at follow-up (6 months to 3 years post-treatment). This represents a 90.6% success rate using hypnosis. University of Washington School of Medicine, Depts. of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66. Barber J.

87% Reported Abstinence From Tobacco Use With Hypnosis
A field study of 93 male and 93 female CMHC outpatients examined the facilitation of smoking cessation by using hypnosis. At 3-month follow-up, 86% of the men and 87% of the women reported continued abstinence from the use of tobacco using hypnosis. Performance by gender in a stop-smoking program combining hypnosis and aversion. Johnson DL, Karkut RT. Adkar Associates, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana. Psychol Rep. 1994 Oct;75(2):851-7.
PMID: 7862796 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Hypnosis Patients Twice As Likely To Remain Smoke-Free
After Two Years Study of 71 smokers showed that after a two-year follow up, patients that quit with hypnosis were twice as likely to remain smoke-free than those who quit on their own. Guided health imagery for smoking cessation and long-term abstinence. Wynd, CA. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2005; 37:3, pages 245-250.

Raised Self-esteem & Serenity. Lowered Impulsivity and Anger
In a research study on self-hypnosis for relapse prevention training with chronic drug/alcohol users. Participants were 261 veterans admitted to Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs (SARRTPs). individuals who used repeated self-hypnosis "at least 3 to 5 times a week," at 7-week follow-up, reported the highest levels of self-esteem and serenity, and the least anger/impulsivity, in comparison to the minimal-practice and control groups. American Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy (a publication of the American Psychological Association)
2004 Apr;46(4):281-97)

Hypnosis Reduces Pain of Headaches and Anxiety
The improvement was confirmed by the subjective evaluation data gathered with the use of a questionnaire and by a significant reduction in anxiety scores. Melis PM, Rooimans W, Spierings EL, Hoogduin CA, Treatment of chronic tension-type headache with hypnotherapy: a single-blind time controlled study. Headache 1991; 31(10): 686-9.

Hypnosis Over 30 Times as Effective for Weight Loss Investigated the effects of hypnosis in weight loss for 60 females, at least 20% overweight.
Treatment included group hypnosis with metaphors for ego-strengthening, decision making and motivation, ideomotor exploration in individual hypnosis, and group hypnosis with maintenance suggestions. Hypnosis was more effective than a control group: an average of 17 lbs lost by the hypnosis group vs. an average of 0.5 lbs lost by the control group, on follow-up. Cochrane, Gordon; Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492.

Two Years Later:Hypnosis Subjects Continued To Lose Significant Weight 109 people completed a behavioral treatment for weight management either with or without the addition of hypnosis. At the end of the 9-week program, both interventions resulted in significant weight reduction. At 8-month and 2-year follow-ups, the hypnosis subjects were found to have continued to lose significant weight, while those in the behavioral-treatment-only group showed little further change. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1985)

Hypnosis Subjects Lost More Weight Than 90% of Others and Kept it Off
Researchers analyzed 18 studies comparing a cognitive behavioral therapy such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self monitoring, or goal setting with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis. Those who received the hypnosis lost more weight than 90 percent of those not receiving hypnosis and maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended. University of Connecticut, Storrs Allison DB, Faith MS. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: a meta-analytic reappraisal. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996;64(3):513-516.

Hypnosis can more than double the effects of traditional weight loss approaches
An analysis of five weight loss studies reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 showed that the "… weight loss reported in the five studies indicates that hypnosis can more than double the effects" of traditional weight loss approaches. University of Connecticut, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 (Vol. 64, No. 3, pgs 517-519).

Hypnosis Reduces Pain Intensity
Analysis of the simple-simple main effects, holding both group and condition constant, revealed that application of hypnotic analgesia reduced report of pain intensity significantly more than report of pain unpleasantness. Dahlgren LA, Kurtz RM, Strube MJ, Malone MD, Differential effects of hypnotic suggestion on multiple dimensions of pain. Journal of Pain & Symptom Management. 1995; 10(6): 464-70.

Significantly More Methadone Addicts Quit with Hypnosis. 94% Remained Narcotic Free
Significant differences were found on all measures. The experimental group had significantly less discomfort and illicit drug use, and a significantly greater amount of cessation. At six month follow up, 94% of the subjects in the experimental group who had achieved cessation remained narcotic free. A comparative study of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy in the treatment of methadone addicts. Manganiello AJ, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1984; 26(4): 273-9.

Hypnosis Shows 77 Percent Success Rate for Drug Addiction Treatment
has been used with 18 clients over the last 7 years and has shown a 77 percent success rate for at least a 1-year follow-up. 15 were being seen for alcoholism or alcohol abuse, 2 clients were being seen for cocaine addiction, and 1 client had a marijuana addiction Intensive Therapy: Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders. Potter, Greg, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Jul 2004.

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