The hypnotic state, by itself, is only useful for the relaxation it produces. The real importance of hypnosis to the healing and emotional change process is that while you are in the hypnotic state, your mind is open and receptive to suggestions. Positive and healing suggestions are able to sink deeply into your mind much more quickly and strongly than when you are in a normal, awake state of mind. I say positive suggestions because all research has demonstrated that while in the hypnotic state, you cannot be made to do anything against your moral values.
All of our habitual and behavior controlling thoughts reside in what is called our subconscious mind. It's called that because it is deeper than our conscious mind. It's below our level of consciousness. We are unaware of the thoughts and feelings that reside there. Did you ever forget you had a dental appointment or some other appointment that you really didn't want to keep? Your subconscious mind is where that thought or memory that you had to go to the dentist at 2 PM went when you forgot you had the appointment. Once it was too late to go, your conscious mind relaxed and the memory came back.
Imagine that there is a trap door between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. Normally, the trap door is closed until your brain waves slow down to a relaxed, alpha brain wave level. This happens when you are asleep. The door opens for short periods of time and ideas, images and thoughts come out of your subconscious mind. We call what comes out in your sleep, "dreams". When you are in a state of hypnosis, the door also opens so helpful suggestions can be directed into your subconscious mind or forgotten memories can be retrieved.
The hypnotic induction that hypnotists use is simply a way to focus your attention and concentration so you will go into that natural, normal hypnotic state. Once in the state of hypnosis, the trap door opens and suggestions to help you can be given. The list of ways hypnosis has been used to help children, adolescents and adults is practically endless but does include: weight loss, stopping smoking, building self-confidence and self-esteem, improving academic performance at every age level, improving test taking ability from children through high school, college, medical and law school as well as the National Teacher Certification Exam, pain management, eliminating anxiety, fear and phobias, stress management, insomnia and other sleep problems and helping to heal physical problems.
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