Monday, 22 October 2012

Myth busting hypnosis

There is no natural phenomenon more misunderstood than hypnosis and hypnotherapists world over are constantly battling against the false preconceptions and misunderstandings with their clients. These myths have largely come about as a result of stage hypnosis in the media which dramatises hypnosis as a 'bizarre and magical' thing which should be viewed with scepticism and caution. I freely admit I was one of these sceptics before I decided to study hypnotherapy and now that I realise the true nature of this state, I would now like to present some of the most 'popular' myths and explain these are far from the truth.

Myth 1: You go unconscious in hypnosis
Many people who experience hypnosis for the first time wonder whether they were fully "under" or whether it worked properly as they remain fully conscious during the session and are aware of what happened. I prefer to think of hypnosis as a shift in quality of consciousness rather than a specific state of consciousness. In many cases hypnosis is sometimes actually about becoming even more conscious of something rather than a complete lack of.

Myth 2: You have to hand over control of your mind
The human mind is a complex organ and not simply a machine which someone else can 'plug' into and reprogram at will without your consent. Would you jump off a cliff if someone told you to? Of course not. The same is true in hypnosis. Anyone undergoing hypnosis remains fully in control of their own thoughts and actions at all time. Ironically, people who seem themselves as 'control freaks' are actually highly likely to benefit from hypnotherapy more than most as they will be already highly effective at controlling their own behaviour. Through the expert guidance of a professional hypnotherapist, this 'self-control' can be used to best advantage to help achieve personal goals.

Myth 3: Only vulnerable or weak-willed people can be hypnotised
This is a myth based on the same misunderstanding as the previous one. Being hypnotised is absolutely NOT about being vulnerable, gullible or submitting to the will of another person. The key skill of the hypnotherapist is actually to build rapport and then work WITH the will and motivation of the person they are working with. Dedication, strong focus, imagination and commitment are all qualities which make people "good" at hypnosis... some of the most successful clients I've worked with have been top business people and elite athletes and those who naturally have these qualities.

Myth 4: Hypnotherapy can make you do things against your will
There is no way, however skilled the hypnotherapist, that anyone can use hypnosis to make people do things against their will. It may appear in stage hypnosis shows that when the hypnotist is getting a person do something silly in order to amuse the audience that this is against the person's will, however the person is actually fully conscious of what is happening. The skill of the stage hypnotist is in the selection of people who are both extraverted and "up for a laugh" who are more likely to go along with the suggestions, rather than taking control of their mind without their consent. Hypnotherapy is about working with the person to achieve a desired positive result, whether it be in their personal life, business or with their sport.

Myth 5: Hypnosis is dangerous / bad for your health
Hypnosis has been used therapeutically for many years but unfortunately there have been cases where it has been claimed that hypnosis has been used inappropriately and/or in a way which was not helpful to the client. An example could be someone who is already underweight seeks hypnotherapy for further weight loss. Most professional hypnotherapists who are formally trained, are members of a governing body and who abide by an ethical code of conduct would of course neither endorse nor practice in such an unethical way. There are no negatives 'side-effects' of hypnotherapy which is conducted with a professional and hypnosis can even lead to many positive health improvements, such as reducing the negative symptoms of medical conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Migraine or even Fibromyalgia.

Myth 6: It is possible to get stuck in hypnosis
I once had a client ask me whether it would be possible for them to remain in hypnosis for the rest of their life if something happened to me, for example if I left the session without bringing them back or became incapacitated and could not conclude the session. The simple answer is that either they would fall asleep completely and then awake naturally or just gradually become more aware as a result of the long period of quiet and return to a full awake state.

Myth 7: Hypnosis is potentially evil and therefore contrary to many religions
As already stated, hypnosis is a completely natural phenomenon and everyone will have experienced a form of hypnosis many times in their lives...we have all been in a state of hypnosis when we are fully absorbed in something, for example listening to a favourite piece of music, painting a picture, playing sport or even driving our cars on a well-known journey when you suddenly 'wake up' and realise where you are!
When we go to sleep, we also travel through natural hypnotic states - we do not switch from a state of wide awake to deep sleep instantaneously - so hypnosis is just as natural as sleep itself and therefore presents no evil or anti-religious issues whatsoever.

Myth 8: You can remember every single thing which has happened to you in your life when in hypnosis
This is perhaps more of an exaggeration rather than a myth as it is true that hypnotherapy can make it easier for you to have access to certain memories from your past. Sometimes it can be very beneficial to help someone 'reconnect' with a certain time in their life to either work through or resolve various issues, for example to overcome a phobia or something which they previously had a negative experience with. This is not always the case however and it is not necessary to regress to childhood memories in order to achieve a positive result from hypnotherapy.

If you would like to find out more about how hypnotherapy could benefit you, please contact Christy for a free telephone consultation on 01252 334377 or email

Monday, 1 October 2012

Do you suffer from Migraine or Tension Headache? Hypnotherapy could help...

Globally, more than 10% of the population is affected by migraine at some point in life. Whilst the underlying cause of migraines is unknown, they are believed to be a neurovascular disorder related to a mix of environmental and genetic factors. Of the environmental factors, some migraines are induced by triggers, which very often include elements of stress, tension and fatigue.

The symptoms of migraine / tension headaches can vary greatly from one individual to another, but whatever symptoms are experienced, one thing which is consistent is the pain element. Whilst there are many drugs on the market to help sufferers alleviate this pain, if the person is still experiencing some level of emotional stress, they may find relief from each atttack of migraine is short-lived.

New medication and alternative remedies, such as hypnotherapy - as prescribed by the National Migraine Centre charity in London ( - have been shown in a number of cases to help reduce the frequency of migraines and even the severity. There are a variety of ways people can work on reducing physical stress and tension, for example taking breaks from computer desks, having a massage or taking exercise, however it is also vital for migraine sufferers to consider ways to reduce emotional stress. Practicing deep breathing and doing relaxation exercises can help to prevent tension headaches from developing. This is where hypnotherapy can be hugely beneficial - The National Hypnotherapy Society recently reported how Doctor Fiona Russell of Amersham, Buckinghamshire, who suffered from intense headaches, a loss of vision and sensitivity to light for eight years, used hypnotherapy to help to reduce the frequency of her migraines (

At Christy Hypnotherapy, we focus on helping teach people their own self-hypnosis techniques for relaxation which can include a combination of breathing control and pain management techniques. One such technique is to use the power of the imagination to help create relaxing imagery which in turn causes the physical muscles of the body to relax, thus reducing build up of tension. Once learned, these techniques can then be used in the comfort of your own home as a long-term self-treatment strategy. This not only helps people feel more in control of their migraines, it also helps reduce the dependance on medication and hypnosis has none of the negative side effects of taking tablets.

If you would like to find out how hypnotherapy could help you manage migraine and tension headaches, please contact Christy today on 01252 334377 or email: . For more information see: