Clinical Hypnosis is a safe and viable therapeutic modality. There are over 100 years of scientific literature to support its safety and effectiveness, with an average of 150 articles published yearly.

Hypnosis is a self-induced state of altered awareness and inward absorption achieved by heightened attention and concentration. In this state the mind holds back its’ critical and analytical tendencies and reality testing, permitting a receptivity and acceptance of suggestions, images and thoughts which are gently offered by the therapist. This results in skill acquisition in controlling or inhibiting emotional challenges, unwanted behaviors, discomfort, facilitating tissue healing, achieving pain relief and insight.

The therapist uses words to help you enter the hypnotic trance. You may be guided to relax your breathing and to notice or feel different sensations such as relaxation, lightness or heaviness, and visualize particular images such as a staircase. Suggestibility may result. At this stage, the therapist suggests new ideas to you which are consistent with your goals. New ideas may include symptomatic improvement, acquiring control over your body, acquiring insight, acquiring emotional control, acquiring a new perspective and new solutions. Your conscious mind, which usually analyzes and critiques information, is temporarily on hold. Your subconscious mind can absorb and accept these new ideas without any hesitation, which then may become implanted into your thoughts.
Hypnosis ends when the therapist guides you back to your regular state. You will be able to remember everything. Suggestions and visualizations may be formulated in advance along with your input.

Ninety percent of the population have the capacity to be hypnotized and 15-20% are born with an exceptional capacity. There is no one personality trait that predicts hypnotizability. Regardless of your talent or capacity for hypnosis, a good therapist can help you attain this state if you are highly motivated.
Everyone experiences hypnosis in a unique way. Some individuals feel relaxed, refreshed, or groggy, or distanced from the immediate environment. Some people even report feeling quite ordinary. You will know if hypnosis “took” from your success in reaching your goal. The length of treatment and lasting effects of hypnosis may depend on the following factors: motivation,
hopefulness, rapport with the therapist, skill of the therapist, and the severity and duration of the presenting problem. With this in mind, most patients in my practice require one to five sessions to achieve significant improvement.

You always remain in control throughout the hypnosis session. Any suggestion that is not consistent with your values or goals will be rejected by your mind. You retain the ability to return to your regular state at any time. You will be able to hear, move and speak while in hypnotic trance.

Stage hypnosis has tarnished the reputation of Clinical Hypnosis. This form of hypnosis is unethical, unprofessional and potentially harmful. With stage hypnosis, audience volunteers are made to lose their inhibitions and trance is used as a form of entertainment. This form of entertainment is unregulated in the United States.

Hypnosis modifies the way your brain interprets experiences. It can change your feelings, your thoughts, your perceptions and your behaviors. MRI and PET scans have been used by scientists to visualize the metabolic and chemical activity of the different parts of the brain and how they change during a hypnotic trance. In the 1970’s, Scientists discovered that during hypnosis there is a shift in activity from the left to the right hemisphere.
The left hemisphere is associated with logical thinking and the conscious mind, and the right hemisphere is associated with creative imagination and the subconscious mind. Hypnosis involves the left side of the brain switching off and the right side of the brain being allowed to take over. This switch off may be accomplished by making the brain focus on something monotonous. Once the left side realizes there is nothing worth attending to, it hands over to the right side. Scientists have discovered that during hypnosis, although you may feel more relaxed, hypnosis produces increased activity in several areas of the brain including the temporal, occipital and parietal lobes. The frontal lobes, associated with rational and logical thinking, show reduced activity. The latest discoveries from MRI scans reveal that the cingulate gyrus (part of the limbic system associated with emotional expression) is significantly activated during hypnosis. This explains why you are more able to connect intensely with your feelings under hypnosis.

Scientific research has proven that hypnotic trance is not merely a state of relaxation. This has been confirmed through measuring brain activity during hypnosis. Techniques employed include:

  • Positron Emission Tomography Scans

  • Cortical Evoked Potentials

  • Intracranial Recording

  • Electroencephalogram

  • Metabolic Measures

  • Neuropsychological Tasks

Researchers have developed physiological markers of the stages of hypnotic induction and have shown that the hypnotic state is characterized by left hemispheric frontal inhibition followed by the activation of right hemisphere posterior function.

Medical imaging techniques such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scans can reveal distinctly different patterns of brain activity depending on the state of sleep, relaxation, meditation or hypnosis. Brain waves are categorized as alpha, beta, theta and delta waves. Theta wave activity is observed with hypnosis and just before one enters into sleep, and immediately upon awakening Alpha wave activity is observed with hypnosis, meditation, and activities which require alertness but are relaxing, along with the beginning of sleep. Delta wave activity is observed with deep sleep.

  • Clinical Hypnosis uses a meditation-like state and then goes further to accomplish work by changing thoughts, ideas, behaviors and symptoms.

  • Meditation stays with the trance state without a specific application of it.

  • For Clinical Hypnosis to be effective, relaxation does not have to take place at all. You can be hypnotized while tense, upset or unhappy.

  • You are not asleep during hypnosis. You are alert and able to respond to directives and questions, which is impossible while asleep.


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