By Leslie McIntosh, Dean of Education, Coastal Academy of Hypnotic Arts and Science, Surrey, BC, and author of Your Soul – Past Present and Future
For many, the idea of being hypnotized is a bit scary because the only reference to hypnosis they have is watching a stage hypnotist at a Vancouver or Langley entertainment show, or seeing a stage hypnotist in a bar in Surrey, or New West. If this is your only source of information, you may have been misled as to what Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy really are.
I think the first thing to know is: Hypnosis is simply a state of mind where the subconscious mind has been accessed and it can hear and understand the same information that the conscious mind is hearing. (The subconscious mind is very good at taking direction.)
The second thing to know is: It is a very simple thing to put someone into that altered state we call Hypnosis. And it may be happening to you without your permission.
If you have watched someone in a stage show being hypnotized, it is evident that they have given permission for the hypnotist to put them into that state. They put their hands up, walked up onto the stage and accepted the suggestions that they understood were going to put them into an altered state of mind (hypnosis). They also knew it was for fun and that there would be laughter at their expense. And they were OK with that, or they would have refused the suggestions given, and would have been sent back to their seats. It is important to know at this point, that those people who got sent back to their seats are not incapable of being in hypnosis. It is more likely that the type of hypnosis they needed was not what the stage hypnotist planned to use, or at a very deep level of subconscious mind they were NOT OK with laughter being at their expense, therefore wouldn’t accept the suggestions given.
When you go to see a Hypnotherapist who has excellent hypnosis training, and has earned a legitimate hypnosis certification, you can trust that you will be treated with respect, that this hypnosis is confidential, and that your best interests will be their number one priority. The only work they will do with you is empower you to change whatever it is you have requested be changed in your life.
The type of Hypnosis that I want to address today is what we call Waking Hypnosis. This is what I consider to be the dangerous type of Hypnosis, because you don’t know you are being hypnotized. In other words, you are being put into an altered state of mind without your permission.
This happens every day, to some extent. All it takes is for you to be emotional about something, be focused, and for information to be coming from someone you believe to be an authority figure or have credibility. If those three things are present, the authority figure can have you in this waking hypnotic state without your permission. Sometimes they are doing this intentionally, and sometimes they don’t even know they are doing it because they aren’t trained in Hypnotherapy, and don’t understand they have accessed your subconscious mind.
Waking Hypnosis can take place when you are watching a movie, when you are listening to a radio show, when you listen to a political speech, when you are a young person in school, when you are in church, and the list goes on. Anytime you have those three components of emotion, focus and credibility at once, you may achieve an altered hypnotic state whether you know it or not. Whether you choose it or not.
That’s why we call it waking hypnosis. You don’t feel any differently than you normally do. You are totally aware. But because of that combination of those three things, and because hypnosis is a natural state very easy for us to attain, it happens often.
Sometimes the information we are absorbing in waking hypnosis is helpful or beneficial, such as being in this hypnotic state during a workshop you value and want to learn the information from. Waking hypnosis can help that absorption at a deep level. On the other hand, sometimes is it very harmful, such as watching ads on TV and buying “stuff” you don’t need.
One of the biggest dangers of waking hypnosis is in the medical field. If a woman goes to the oncologist for the results of a lump in her breast- not only is she emotional, she is focused and she has given that person the authority and credibility he or she deserves. The problem is that not all medical professionals understand that she is now in an altered state of hypnosis and EVERYTHING that Dr says to her is being absorbed right into the subconscious mind. And the subconscious mind just takes orders. So if the Dr says, ” you have 6 months to live”, she will likely be gone in 6 months. If that same Dr said, “You have 6 months to get well”, the results might be very different- because the subconscious mind would have heard the message that it had to get well in 6 months. And it will do whatever it can to make that happen.
Waking hypnosis is dangerous not only because you don’t know you are in it, but also because the subconscious mind, that mind that creates both physical and emotional results in our lives, doesn’t have the ability to determine if something it has been instructed to do is beneficial or not. It just takes orders “blindly”.
Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy, by a well trained person with a Hypnosis certification from a reputable association such as the IMDHA or IACT can help you to change your life, just by helping you change your subconscious mind.
Don’t let someone hypnotize you without your permission and make changes to your subconscious mind that you didn’t want or give permission for.
Coastal Academy of Hypnotic Arts and Science teaches students to a very high level of integrity and skill. Our campus in in the Guildford area of Surrey, BC, easily accessible to all of the Lower Mainland for hypnosis training and certification.