The Dangers of Hypnosis
by Will Thornton
Learn to recognize when you are being hypnotized--it happens much more frequently than you imagine. When you find yourself giving in against your best judgment to emotional appeals from people, or when you find yourself singing some advertising jingle as you walk through the supermarket--guess what? You've been hypnotized!
If you find that you are easily swayed by other people or you have difficulty sticking to decisions you make for your self-improvement, you may be experiencing the negative effects of hypnosis in your life. Some of the suggestions that are currently influencing you may be years old--received from well-meaning parents or other authority figures. The best way to learn to control these negative suggestions is to learn to enter a hypnotic state consciously under the direction of a responsible hypnotherapist. Once you learn to recognize the state of hypnosis and become familiar with the contents of your own subconscious, you will be able to change the old hypnotic programming that is making it difficult for you to achieve your goals.
The state of hypnosis, after all, is not something very unusual. It is simply a state of relaxation, openness and trust--a kind of childlike simplicity. Whenever we receive a suggestion in this state of suggestibility it tends to go deep into our subconscious and have a powerful effect on our behavior. That is why so many of our habits and behaviors are due to what we learned as children. By gradually learning to recapture a state of childlike trust we can be open to positive suggestions and change old suggestions that don't work in our lives any more.
There are many methods of induction which can be used to create a hypnotic condition--the use of authority, music, rhythm, repetition, eye fixation, emotion, beautiful imagery--all of these can be used to bring out the child in us that is trusting and willing to try something new. All of these methods can be seen used in modern television advertising, and most advertising executives are quite aware that their public is in a hypnotized state!
In contrast, ethical professional hypnotherapists use hypnosis to heal, not to sell products.
The hypnotic state is very pleasant and has no harmful side effects when performed by a certified and ethical hypnotherapist. It facilitates a feeling of physical well-being which can help eliminate stress and can allow the body to recover more quickly from a variety of illnesses. It has the potential to be a wonderful force for healing and education even though it is more commonly used in advertising or politics as a means of manipulation. Something which is so pleasant and so powerful is obviously dangerous--much too dangerous to remain ignorant of. But once you learn about hypnosis it won't be dangerous anymore. Then it can allow you to preserve your personal integrity under any circumstances. And it can give you the power to achieve a high level of wellness, to change your own behavior, and to be really open to the people that deserve your trust.
Will Thornton, M.A., C.H.T., is an Educational Consultant and Hypnotherapist with a private practice specializing in goal setting, assistance with major life changes, and peak performance training.