Hypnosis is an exciting tool that has helped people around the world with an array of challenges. Interestingly, hypnosis has been used for 6,000 years at which time rites were performed in Egyptian sleep temples. Historians tell us that hypnosis was also widely used during the 17th and 18th centuries by two European doctors, Bachofen and Charcot. At this time, Benjamin Franklin, who was a French Ambassador for the United States, began investigating "animal magnetism" of Anton Mesmer.
As you can see, hypnosis is not a New Age thing although it has been reinvented to some degree in recent years. While the name "hypnosis" was coined in 1843 by James Braid, today we see a number of top universities offering study to doctors, social workers, and psychologists. In addition to these licensed healthcare professionals, hypnotists completing 200 or more hours of study can be certified. The bottom line is that hypnosis is considered a valuable tool with great success.
Unfortunately, while there are many positive aspects of hypnosis, there are also many myths. For starters, most people believe there is one form of hypnosis, which is incorrect. The truth is that a variety of techniques is used. The specific approach taken depends on what you hope to accomplish, along with your personal preference. By working with a certified hypnotist or licensed hypnotherapist, the two of you can determine the best technique for you.
Another myth about hypnosis is that all hypnotists are the same. Actually, while the method or technique might be similar, hypnotists and hypnotherapists all have their own style, just as you would find with family physicians or dentists. Even with differences, what you would expect is your hypnosis session to last between 30 and 60 minutes, the number of sessions to range from one to ten, you bringing yourself out of the trance-like state at the conclusion of the session, and being able to resume your normal daily activities after a session.
Probably one of the biggest myths associated with hypnosis is that when you "go under", you lose all awareness and free will. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, when you are hypnotized, you are actually in a heightened state of focus and concentration. That means rather than losing your free will or surrendering control, you actually have more personality and personal strength. Unfortunately, this one myth alone is why so many people avoid hypnosis, which is a real shame in that it offers tremendous value. You are not controlled by the hypnotist of hypnotherapist, simply guided.
Finally, the last myth associated with hypnosis is that you could be hypnotized without giving your consent. Remember, for hypnosis to work, you have to be willing to accept suggestions. Therefore, you have to be a willing participant. In other words, someone cannot simply walk up to you and put you under a hypnotic spell. Instead, you allow your mind to receive suggestions made by the hypnotist or hypnotherapist and nothing more. Hypnosis has helped millions of people through all types of difficult situations and today, it is finally being given the respect so well deserved.