Did your mind just go to a setting where there’s a crystal ball being swung like a pendulum in the face of a man? His eyes appear glassy after a few minutes and he then goes on to do the person’s bidding. That is just how movies depict it, don’t they? Hypnotherapy has baffled people since ages, and there are mysteries and secrets that lie in its depths that are yet to be unearthed. Does hypnotherapy actually work? Can you use self-hypnosis to achieve great things?
We decided to break the code about this very secretive art and spoke to a hypnotherapist who told us just how it works.
Hypnotherapy: the science shrouded in mystery
To understand self-hypnosis, it is important to understand hypnotherapy. As a branch of therapy, hypnotism has been regarded with scepticism. The power to mesmerise someone and get them to do your bidding is what the movies suggest, but hypnotherapy has caused a radical change in modern medicine with several people swearing by its efficacy.
Diseases that seemed to be forsaken by allopathy, turned to hypnotherapy for a cure. Does it work?
Our ancestors, once upon a century, could get the glass to shatter by merely staring at it with pure concentration and caused rain to pour down by merely the power of thoughts. At play here was the subconscious mind. A weapon so powerful, it could change events and the way the world operated.
Nivedya Roy, a clinical hypnotherapist, holistic life coach and sound healer has used hypnotherapy herself to work wonders. She was suffering from psoriasis - a condition where the skin is covered with bumpy red patches and turns scaly. Using hypnotherapy, Nivedya managed to relieve herself from this condition. “I am living proof that hypnotherapy works,” she says.
Today the abilities of the subconscious mind are a topic of research. These very powers are stimulated and triggered during self-hypnosis, in order to achieve tangible results.
What is the difference between hypnotherapy and the law of attraction?
The lines tend to blur between the law of attraction and hypnotherapy. However, the two are different. “Law of attraction is a concept and hypnotherapy is a science and therapeutic modality,” says Nivedya.
“Hypnotherapy is about connecting dots and finding the root cause whereas the law of attraction is purely based on repetition and belief.”
What is self-hypnosis?
“Self-hypnosis is about working with your subconscious mind to break habits, limiting beliefs, patterns and helps heal various ailments,” says Nivedya.
“Under hypnosis, the patient is taken from a parasympathetic state to a sympathetic state which induces a fight or flight response which in turn makes the patient hyper suggestible to instructions.”
A misnomer that people have in regard to hypnotherapy, is that they lose control while hypnotised and that there is someone who can exercise control over them. “This isn’t true,” says Nivedya. “While people assume that they are not aware of the occurrences around them during the session, they are fully in control. You are actually extremely alert and your body stays absolutely relaxed. It's a beautiful state of being.”
Using self-hypnosis to achieve goals
In Nivedya’s case, the goal was for her to heal from the skin condition. “Hypnotherapy is used to find the core issue or the root cause of any ailment or limiting beliefs,” she says. “Your thoughts affect your emotions which then affects your energy and finally is manifested in the body. This is how diseases spread in your body. Every ailment has a reason to why it is there in the first place. Just as your body can create it, it has the power to heal it.”
“Through accessing memories, releasing the associated emotional charges and through prescribed self-work, one can surely heal themselves using self-hypnosis.”
Nivedya has been teaching self-hypnosis to her clients, techniques that they can practise every day in order to create new patterns and break habits and limiting beliefs. “I ask my clients to do this for 21- 40 days post sessions. Firstly, I do a complete diagnosis of all my clients based on their suggestibility, chakras and handwriting. I follow this with case taking and assess their needs and design my sessions based on that.”
The aim of the sessions is to find the core issue and connect the dots to identify the patterns and bring awareness so that transformation can happen, she says. “I give homework and tasks to my clients each week as healing requires self-work.”
How to go about self-hypnosis by yourself?
Hypnotherapy requires consent, which goes way more than just a verbal say or a nod. It requires your subconscious to agree to be hypnotised. You need to want to be hypnotised. It just cannot happen with a magic crystal ball or a few magic words. If you are sceptical about the process, you will not be able to experience the full depth of it.
Ensure that you are not over-analysing the process. Let your mind flow with what is happening.
If you wish to use self-hypnosis to achieve goals, here’s what you can do:
Step 1: Get into a comfortable posture
As long as you’re with the TV on, the radio blaring or for that matter even wearing clothes that are far too tight, training your subconscious can be tough.
You need to be in a completely comfortable position, and away from people. Sit up for the session. You don’t want to fall into a deep stupor half-way through. Keep away all kinds of distractions.
Step 2: State your goals
This step is prime. The term ‘affirmations’ fits more in this case, as it depends on the way they are said. For instance, if the goal is to get a job that you are trying for, instead of statements such as ‘I want...’ or ‘I wish...’, try affirmations such as ‘I am getting the job. I am working hard for it. It is coming to me.’
This will get your subconscious believing that you already have what you are looking for.
Step 3: Focus
Close your eyes and rid your mind of stress, fear, doubt. Once your mind is clear, open your eyes and pick a point on the wall in front of you, or a candle. Focus on it with all the concentration you can muster. While doing this, keep telling your mind that your eyelids are getting heavier. When you cannot keep them open anymore, let them shut.
Step 4: Relax
Starting from your feet, relax every part of your body. Pay attention to each and every area.
Step 5: Visualise
Take deep breaths. While you do this, inhale the good positive emotions. Exhale the toxic ones. Imagine getting that job, starting work, walking towards the office, getting your first paycheque. Let those emotions engulf you.
Step 5: The hypnotic state
For this step, you can imagine a calm peaceful serene surrounding. This could be the ocean, or the beach, or a swimming pool or even an open space with the sky above. You need to picture yourself here and let the sand or the sea touch you. You need to visualise this happening slowly.
What happens here is that you are emoting relaxation. Your mind will start to fall into a calm state, and you will feel like you’re floating, like you’re free. Now start repeating your affirmations once again.
Step 6: The exit from the self-hypnosis
Once you are confident that you are in control of your subconscious and that you wish to come back, don’t jerk your eyes open abruptly. Visualise yourself disengaging yourself from the sea, or the sand. You are slowly feeling the ground beneath you once again.
Then open your eyes. Pinch yourself, or talk aloud to yourself. Something that will get you back to reality.
Does self-hypnosis work?
Nivedya has been teaching as well as practising self-hypnosis and she firmly believes in its power. We ask her if hypnotherapy does in actual show results. “Yes,” she says “Your subconscious mind is 88-90% whereas your conscious mind is 10-12%. So your subconscious mind is about 6000x stronger. Therefore, any changes in the subconscious mind will in turn affect the conscious mind. All habits, patterns and childhood trauma are stored in your subconscious mind and replayed like a broken recorder. Hypnotherapy has a success rate of 93% after 6 sessions, unlike other therapy modalities that take much much more time.”
On the off chance that it does not work for you, there could be a number of reasons. “If you are seeing a therapist for the hypnotherapy sessions, and if you feel it isn’t working, there could be chances that the therapist was not the right one for your, you didn't see the therapist as an authority figure, the therapist was a friend or family member. It could also be that you didn't do the self-work or work on suggestions.”
If you wish to consult Nivedya Roy for a hypnotherapy session, you can reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org