• Matt Babb

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy - The Art of Deep Communication

How you can open your mind and program your internal reality

Hypnosis is the art and science of communication, both within ourselves and with others. While ancient and well-studied, it has gone by many names and has only recently been given the recognition it deserves as both a foundational phenomenon of the mind, and as an effective tool for change.


Trance is the state of mind that we cultivate.

Hypnotic Induction is the tool we use to enter trance.​


What is trance?

Essentially, trance is deep focus, to the point where nearly all other stimuli fall away from your conscious experience. It's the state of mind we go into when we're having a deeply meaningful conversation, when we're glued to the screen during a gripping film, when we hear music that gives us chills, when we have an epiphany born of the spontaneous connection of far flung dots in our mind, or when we lose ourselves in a dream and swear that it’s real. Like the Flow State, trance is normal and natural, and it’s a capacity that anybody can cultivate.


How does Induction work?

Hypnosis as a phenomenon can be summarized as follows:

A - Attention

B - Bypass the 'Critical Factor'

S - Stimulate the Unconscious Mind

-model from Igor Ledochowski

The process is straightforward and elegant - We use attention to focus the mind on a very constrained set of details, we leverage natural flexibility in the mind to consciously suspend the critical/rejecting faculties, and then we stimulate change processes to make the desired transformations at a subconscious level.


What is the 'Critical Factor'?

The critical factor goes by many names, but it's most easily described as our habit of skepticism. A positive way to think about it our "BS Detector", and a negative way to think about is our "Inner Critic". And both of these terms are accurate.


Consider learning a language: If you spend all of your time and energy analyzing grammar and vocabulary every time you talk, you may speak "correctly", but the speech will come out awkward and clearly foreign. What's more, you won't be a lot of fun to talk to. In order to find fluency and ease with speech, we must let go of the need for perfection and allow the words to flow with relatively minimal consciousness, and with our intention focused on the meaning we are imparting instead. There is a trust that one comes to embody in one's capacities, and we operate more and more from there as we learn. Of course, we routinely re-engage the critical factor for review so that we can keep refining our mistakes. The two states alternate - trance, then critical review, then trance, then review, and so on.


The critical factor is indispensable for navigating the world safely and wisely. One needs to be able to see through compelling illusions and pseudo-logic when it presents itself. But this internal skepticism can also undermine our ability to learn and absorb insights. If we are always doubting what we are receiving, we don't ever move forward with seamless confidence in our instincts. Hypnosis is the process of deliberately and safely taking the critical factor offline so that we can integrate new information deeply into our reflexes.


The evidence

Clinically, hypnosis and hypnotherapy have been shown to help in a wide variety of conditions, including:

-relief of pain, nausea, fatigue, and discomfort [1]

-improving of sleep [2]

-enhancing learning and memory [3]

-speeding recovery from injury [4]

-easing anxiety, headaches, and symptoms of IBS [5]


[As I study hypnosis more from a clinical perspective, I will be adding to this blog]


How can hypnosis and trance serve you?

Used strategically, accessing trance will help you gain access to more dream-like parts of your psyche. You can use these emotionally leverageable aspects of your mind to create change from the ground up rather than from the top down.


All one needs is:

a) The ability to focus with consistent attention

b) The therapeutic skill of knowing what to do, where to go, and what to ask while in that state of mind


Trance and hypnosis are in fact trainable skills. Our ability to focus can be cultivated with practices like meditation and pranayama, whereas the therapeutic skills are found in exposing oneself to the endless catalogue of therapeutic interventions found throughout all of psychotherapy and its parallels.


In sessions, we can use trance to create new habits, drive important points home, and break through mental barriers, readying your mind to move up to its next level of thriving. If you'd like to experience hypnosis and hypnotherapy, feel free to reach out through the Contact page on my website, and we can set up your first free session.


Thanks for reading!


Sources:


https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/99/17/1304/2522227


http://dx.doi.org.cuesta.idm.oclc.org/10.4324/9781315161709


https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/23/4/801/343536?login=true


https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2003/05/hypnosis-helps-healing-2/


https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1586/ern.09.140?casa_token=o4ZvDO1L15QAAAAA%3ApEmloMBuF74f7g8CrNeC8i6dRm_BxUdVppHp8S2Z-SJ0swHR4zWwwUAZt-fStjLTZvcD6CuSyobNmQ


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