Who can be hypnotized?
Just about anyone who wants to be hypnotized can be hypnotized since hypnosis is a natural mind state that we go in and out of every day. There may be a few exceptions such as people on certain medications or people with neurological problems. Those who claim they can't be hypnotized are simply choosing not to be hypnotized.
How does someone become hypnotized?
The most common process to induce a state of hypnosis is through the use of relaxation techniques that generally include suggestions to close the eyes, focus on breathing, and relax the entire body - using visualizations, guided imagery, metaphors and other such methods that quiet the conscious mind and engage the subconscious.
What does it feel like to become hypnotized? How can I tell if I'm hypnotized?
People experience different things during hypnosis. Generally, they describe the state as feeling extremely relaxing and euphoric. Some may feel a heaviness or sensation of floating; perhaps a slight tingling or numbing sensation in their body. Some will feel a change in body temperature. They may swallow more often, feel their eyes flutter or slight body twitches, or have a sense that they don't want to move at all (of course, they can if they choose). For some it is like being in a pleasant daydreaming state or in that deep relaxation you feel right before falling to sleep. Since the conscious mind is quiet in the background during hypnosis, people often feel quite refreshed and revitalized after a session.
Will I lose control under hypnosis?
No. You are in control - you can hear everything that is said (even if you don't remember it all) and you can respond verbally and physically. The body relaxes, but the mind remains even more alert. You can choose to come out of hypnosis anytime you want. Also, your subconscious mind is very protective and would not accept any suggestions that would violate your moral or ethical codes.
Will I lose consciousness or get stuck?
No one has ever gotten "stuck" in hypnosis. One of two things would happen: 1) you would simply slip into a natural sleep; or 2) you would be roused by an awareness of the absence of the hypnotherapist's voice.
Can a hypnotist make me do something against my will?
No. You are conscious during hypnosis and able to make choices. Again, your subconscious mind is very protective of you and would not accept suggestions that would violate your moral or ethical codes.
Do I have to believe in hypnosis in order for it to work for me?
Not really. You don't have to believe in hypnosis in order for it to work for you, but you do have to be willing to allow it to work - to believe in the possibility of achieving the end result even if you don't necessarily believe in the method. It's not unusual for people to believe that they weren't hypnotized when they actually were. Remember, we go in and out of a hypnotic state all the time without consciously choosing to do so.
Will I remember what went on in a hypnosis session?
Usually - it is typical to hear and remember 50-100% of what is said during the session. You may not remember all of the details, but your subconscious hears and retains everything you need to know and remember on that level.
Do I have to go into a "deep state" of hypnosis for changes to be effective?
No. Only a light to medium hypnosis state is needed for hypnosis to be effective. However, deep states are very helpful for hypnosis used to create anesthesia or for regression. If a person's desire is strong and they have a willingness to enter into a relaxed hypnotic state, chances for success are excellent.
Is hypnosis safe?
Yes. Remember, hypnosis is a natural mind state, and natural states of mind are not dangerous. Of course, when you practice self-hypnosis or listen to a hypnosis CD, don't do so while you're driving a car or taking a bath or operating machinery. Always use common sense.
Will medication influence my ability to be hypnotized?
Yes, it can. It will depend on the specific medication you are taking. If you are currently taking medication or have a medical condition, always consult your doctor to find out if hypnosis is appropriate for you given your medical circumstances.
How is hypnosis different from creative visualization and guided meditations?
While hypnosis generally uses visualizations and guided meditation to achieve a relaxed state, that is only one part of hypnotherapy. Once in the relaxed state, the subconscious is better able to accept suggestions, create positive beliefs, release fears, etc. This is where the "therapy" component comes in.
How quickly can I expect results from hypnosis or hypnotherapy?
The answer depends on the strength of your desire and commitment to make change, but it also depends on the issue being addressed. While some things can be dealt with in a single session, others, like fertility, may take 4-6 sessions (and perhaps more). It also depends on the desired "result." Sometimes, other results are achieved in the process of working towards the original goal.