What is Self-Hypnosis?

Initially, you will be skillfully led into a hypnotic trance, guided by my instruction; hypnosis also involves learning and applying the skill of self-hypnosis. In self-hypnosis, you become both the subject and hypnotist jointly, providing suggestions to yourself.  Adding the practice of self-hypnosis daily will enhance what is experienced in hypnosis with your clinical hypnotist  As with learning any new skill, self-hypnosis improves with practice.

There are many areas where self-hypnosis may be beneficial.  Pain management is one such area.  Once learned, you can learn techniques like turning down discomfort and turning up levels of comfort.  Certainly for smoking cessation.  On a personal note, 37 years ago I underwent hypnosis with a pulmonologist for smoking cessation.  In the process I was taught self-hypnosis and encouraged to use the techniques daily.  I was at that time a heavy smoker, from two-three packs a day.  Happily, I can report that I have been smoke free for those 37 years, thanks to hypnosis and self-hypnosis  Since that time, hypnosis and self-hypnosis have became a part of my daily life.

Self-hypnosis entails the same techniques as hypnosis, induction, deepening techniques, predetermined suggestions, post-hypnotic suggestions, and re-alerting.  Initially, you can use an mp3 or CD recording from your hypnosis session with your clinical hypnotist in order to learn the process of undergoing hypnosis.  Later, you can write out and record your own unique scripts for self-hypnosis.

Like heterohypnosis, self-hypnosis works by gaining access to and harnessing the power of the unconscious mind.  and like hetero-hypnosis the goal is to influence physical, emotional, and cognitive aspects of the self towards achieving a desired change.  For example, a change that will bring about a good night’s sleep.  First, there is the verbal induction where you encourage yourself to let go of daily concerns, problems, or thought of the past and/or future.  Next, deepening techniques, such deep muscle relaxation and imagery, increase and amplify the deepening of the trance experience. At this point, the unconscious mind enters into a state of heightened awareness where the unconscious mind is receptive to new and novel ideas. At that time, suggestions (which are pre-determined) are given that empower you to make the desired changes wanted or needed to reach your goals. Post-hypnotic suggestions are also given that produce goal-oriented behaviors which are to occur after you have re-alerted yourself.  For example, during a self-hypnosis trance, you may guide yourself through progressive relaxation where you reach a state of comfort of the body and a peaceful state of the mind.  At that point, you could give the post-hypnotic suggestion that when you go to bed at night, your head touching the pillow will automatically trigger that state of comfort in the body and a peaceful state of mind.  Usually, the more these kinds of post-hypnotic suggestions are practiced in self-hypnosis the better the result.  Hypnosis ends by re-alerting yourself to reoriented back to your immediate surroundings to an awake, alert state. You may want to take some time to write down your various responses to self-hypnosis and keep a journal of your experiences.

Self-hypnosis is also a great way to give yourself a boost during the day.  By taking as little as five minutes, you can ground and refresh yourself with hypnotic suggestions.  For example:  A quick induction:  l will take some time just for me  … deepeningto allow my muscles to relax deeply. suggestion I will hold onto this experience … establish a post-hypnotic suggestionand, whenever I notice myself becoming tense, I will take in a breath of air, and as I exhale, re-establish this state of calm and peace in my mind and body.  After five minutes, simply re-alert yourself:  Now, awake, refreshed and ready to return to my tasks or chores.

Alternatively, you can make time for a deeper and more thorough restorative rest several times during the day. As described on the hypnosis page, an  additional benefit of a particular hypnotic and self-hypnotic experience is the achieving of a restorative rest.  The conscious mind which usually controls your attention is bypassed to enter into a deeper state of awareness, an altered state where the body achieves a state of deep rest.  This kind of restorative rest allows your natural healing resources to activate, enhancing overall health.  In addition to the biological circadian rhythm which operates on a 24-hour schedule, we also have what is called the ultradian rhythm (for a scientific paper on ultradian rhythm, click here).  The biological ultradian rhythm operates throughout the day.  In increments of ninety (90) to one hundred twenty minutes (120), your body is designed to dip down to a resting, restorative state for about fifteen (15) or twenty (20) minutes.  After the rest, you resume your active state with your body replenished and ready for work.  When we push past this 15-20-minute break, we bring on stress that builds throughout the day, leaving us tired and lethargic at the end of the day.