Every hypnotherapist loves the question "Do you have a swinging watch?" because it provides an opportunity to give some more insight into our profession. I was asked this very thing by a friend over the weekend and as it happens, thanks to a free gift from a recent course, I was amused to be able to say that I do!
Do I use it? Of course not. Thankfully times have moved on and I can also pack away my black top hat and cloak...
So what is hypnosis and how does it work?
Hypnosis is a relaxing state, similar to how you feel in that half hour before going to sleep, but unlike sleep, you are fully conscious and aware. To achieve this state, focused attention is required, which is where the swinging watch once played its part. Now most therapists use just their words and tone of voice to get the same result.
When you enter hypnosis, your subconscious mind becomes more receptive to suggestions and you can make profound changes that can help you overcome issues such as quitting smoking, weight management, phobias and anxiety.
Think of a time when you've complimented someone and seen that 'Yeah right' look on their face. They are consciously rejecting your compliment because they don't believe that it's true. The same thing happens when you tell yourself that planes are one of the safest modes of transport, but you still feel paralysed, shake or perspire if you have to board one.
Hypnotherapy can bypass this filter so that the suggestions can be taken on at the subconscious level and change your beliefs so that they better serve you. It's a comfortable, easy way to achieve your goals.
And remember, they are only suggestions!
Any suggestion made by a hypnotherapist is just that. They are not instructions and it is entirely up to you whether you take them on board or reject them.