Frequently Asked Questions
Put simply, Hypnosis is a state of relaxation where a trained Hypnotist can put suggestions into your sub-conscious mind. There are literally hundreds of known applications for hypnosis.
The sub-conscious mind is the part of your mind which does things automatically. It controls your breathing, your heart beat and even your survival instincts. A Hypnotist aims to place suggestions directly into the sub-conscious mind without it being questioned and analysed by the conscious mind. This is where the Hypnotic Trance is used. When hypnotised, the conscious mind is distracted (not asleep) and suggestions can be placed into the sub-conscious mind easily. Hypnosis is the easy way to achieve this. Another way is by repetition. And repetition is used in Hypnosis too. Consider the following:
If you were asked to tie your shoe lace right now, could you do it? Of Course you could. You could do it no problem. You could even do it with your eyes closed while listening to loud music, thinking about your favourite TV programme and eating your breakfast at the same time.
But I bet there was a time you found it very difficult to tie your lace. And in order to succeed, you had to concentrate very hard on the task. You wouldn't have been able to do it if you were distracted in any way. And you would have surely needed to look at what you were doing. But over time and through practice, you quickly learned to tie your shoe lace as if it was completely natural. It became part of your sub-conscious memory and you no longer needed to think about it. Your sub-conscious tells your fingers what to do without needing your conscious attention.
The very same principal applies to a person driving a car. At first, conscious attention is needed to apply the clutch, change into the right gear and accelerate as the clutch is depressed without stalling the car. Attention is needed while driving and a conscious effort is required to signal and turn and stop safely. It's a very daunting task for most of us. But once again, with practice, driving becomes a sub-conscious effort for the most of it. One could be off the road for 10 years and jump into a car and drive without much conscious effort. We often drive from one place to another and forget the entire journey. It's almost as if someone else took us over and drove to where we wanted to go. This is not far from the truth.
Hypnosis utilises this power and re-programmes the sub-conscious mind to work the way it is supposed to work. It corrects the programmes which are faulty and out-dated. For example; Smoking is actually a faulty programme in a smokers mind. It is only there because of the work of repetition and usually peer pressure and false images of being cool. There are of course other reasons which are a little complex to explain here, but it all boils down to faulty programming. The addictive properties in a cigarette are not helpful to those wanting to quit. However, nicotine leaves the body within a few days of smoking cessation. Hypnosis uses many different methods to replace the faulty programming, but it can only work with suggestions that fall within your comfort zone. This means you can't be hypnotised and forced to do something you don't want to do. For this reason, hypnosis fails when used on someone who is hypnotised to stop smoking when in fact, that person doesn't actually want to quit.
Short answer is NO. Hypnosis is not sleep. The name Hypnosis, comes from the name Hypnos (God of sleep), which was adopted by James Braid in the 19th Century when he observed the subject. As a matter of fact, your mind is in a hyper state of awareness. Your body is usually very relaxed in Hypnosis and this also gives the onlooker an impression of sleep. However, relaxation is the most common suggestion given to people when hypnotised, because everyone likes to relax, and this state allows preferred suggestions to be accepted more easily, which in turn means that successful results are more easily achieved.
A confident and experienced Hypnotist will perform a few simple tests. These tests which are commonly known as "convincers", help to show you that you are hypnotised. This might include the feeling of a warm blanket being thrown over you, when in fact there is no blanket at all. The Hypnotist might suggest, that you cannot lift your left arm. If you are in trance, then you will likely not be able to lift your left arm, as the suggestion is part of achieving your goal. The Hypnotist may use a few of these tests in one session to help decide the best way to proceed with the therapy. These tests are not used to show power, or to amuse (unless used by a Stage Hypnotist). They are used to enhance your experience and to make your goal more achievable.
If you want to reach your goal and are willing to do what it takes, you will reach that goal. If you expect Hypnosis to be a magic wand and make your problems go away without any effort or commitment, then it is not likely you will achieve that goal. The Hypnotist will take care of the sub-conscious mind; you must take care of the conscious mind.
Ultimately you are in control and must make the effort to achieve the desired results. Your Hypnotist will help guide you toward achieving your goal. Hypnosis works, it's a fact. It has been used on patients while they undergo major heart surgery among other serious operations. It has been used to help countless numbers of people quit smoking and lose weight.
If John Doe loves smoking but thinks he should stop for health reasons, hypnosis will not work. John doesn't really want to quit.
If John Doe thinks it's time to say goodbye to cigarettes and wants to regain his health, enjoy his food and have extra cash in his pocket etc etc etc; he will succeed with the help of hypnosis. The habit and cravings can be removed in a single session. As long as John wants to be a non-smoker, he will be free of cigarettes.
There is a big difference in the price you will be quoted per session, depending on who you see. The IHR has no power over this, but can offer you some tips.
The typical cost varies from €100 - €200 per session. Some charge more than €200 and some charge less than €100. The price you are paying does not necessarily reflect the quality of therapy. This is true even if the Hypnotist is a member of the IHR. It is recommended that you phone a Hypnotist local to you and ask a few questions in relation to the problem/habit/fear you have. If satisfied with what you have heard, the price should not be a big factor, but you should not book a session if you are uncomfortable with, or simply can't the price quoted per session. There may be another IHR member close to you.
Smokers might try to bear in mind that the typical cost of a hypnosis session can often reflect what the average smoker spends on cigarettes on a weekly basis. It is often the case that a smoker will only think of the cost of a hypnosis session, rather than the savings made. How much would you save if you only managed to stop smoking for a month?....a year? and so on.
There is no way of knowing until you speak with a hypnotist and often there will not be a solid answer, as there are many factors to consider. For Smoking cessation and fear & phobias, it usually takes only one , or two sessions. Weight loss can take an average of 4 or 5 sessions, but can also be achieved in a single session. Progress should be seen after each session. Anxiety and Panic attacks can be anywhere from 1 to 5 sessions, or more. It depends on the issue, your co-operation and the Hypnotist. The first step is to ask.
As there is no regulatory body for hypnosis in the Republic of Ireland, taking action against a hypnotist when you have a complaint is difficult. However, due to the nature of the therapy, complaints should be and are quite rare. A common complaint comes from within the industry when a therapist advertises in a misleading fashion, often unintentionally. But complaints are also made if a client has received a below par service from a Hypnotist, or staff member.
To reduce the likelihood of needing to make a complaint, it is advisable to attend a verified member, or a hypnotist recommended by a credible person. Avoid Hypnotists who make incredible claims.
If you have a complaint, the first step would be to inform the Hypnotist you attended. Very often, the complaint can quickly be resolved. Any resolution will depend very much on the basis of the complaint.
The next step would be to complain to the organisation the Hypnotist is a member of. This is usually the organisation the Hypnotist trained with and could result in suspension, or an expulsion if the complaint is serious. The Irish Hypnotist Register does not deal with complaints due to resourcing restrictions and Data Protection issues which would arise from taking a complaint further.
Criminal complaints, such as fraud, harassment, or assault, should be made to An Garda Síochána who may be in a position to advise you on any valid complaint you have.
If you have a valid complaint, do not take to Social Media with it, as you risk a defamation suit, or possibly a criminal charge.