The great mystery of hypnosis

Hypnosis. One of these huge chimeras that invades theaters, shows and television programs. One of those things that still casts doubt on the concept that a large part of the population has over “rationality.”
How is it possible! It is the immediate response to the phenomenon of our mind. Then, of course, in most cases, the typical response pattern of fear; we depart, we start to doubt ourselves, and the thought: “don’t even get close to me” begins to invade our minds.
It is logical. We have been bombarded for so many years with the magical and mysterious phenomenon of hypnosis, that we end up thinking that we may be able to fly, when hypnotised- and not in a figurative way. Well, sorry, but no.
What really is hypnosis?
Let’s get serious. Hypnosis is much more than what can be seen. As such, hypnosis emerges in its beginnings as a therapeutic tool. There is evidence that already in prehistoric times there was the figure of the shaman, who used suggestive techniques for healing.
Then it went to the witches and mediums, and the darkness grew. However, scientific rigor or, at least, the consideration of hypnosis as something more than witchcraft, began at the school of Nancy-Salpêtrière psychiatric hospital, with Professor Charcot, when treating hysteria with Hypnosis.
Today, hypnosis can be defined as a method. A procedure which consists of several techniques that use the attention or imagination of the individual to produce alterations or changes in emotions, thoughts, behaviors or perceptions.
In other words, is nothing more than an extremely efficient use of mental resources in order to achieve results, with our human limitations (anyone loses their personality or becomes superman thanks to hypnosis ).
The hypnotic state / the “trance”
This form of care used, necessarily involves a state called trance (hypnotic). It is a state similar to the state of Flow of artists. The mind experiences a level of abstraction and very high concentration, dedicating generally dispersed resources to very few goals.
For a time it was thought that not all of us were likely to experience this condition, that we were little “hipnotizable.” Today we know that this is not so. The extent to which a person acieves this state is related to both the will of the hypnotised subject and the ability of the hypnotist.
On a subjective level, this trance state is very personal. The stories of people who have gone through this method are very diverse. The most common shared experience describes a feeling similar to that of a dream; as a state of full consciousness, but absolutely “in another world.”
The form: ¿hypnotize with a click of the fingers?
And here comes the truly titillating part; how this technique takes form. Is it simply by a snap of your fingers? I slap your shoulder and then you shall dance “La Macarena”? Actually, the forms it takes are the least interesting part of the techniques themselves, although they may be the most striking. Not to mention the millions who continue to cash in from them.
And the question is obvious; How is it possible that someone can sleep just from a click of your fingers?
I raise another question: would you be able to fall asleep without anyone clicking their fingers?
It is not a question of cause and effect. No click type that emits any wavelengths will send you to sleep automatically. There is, however, the conviction that we will sleep when we hear a snap of fingers. Like when we are tired we fall asleep. And our body acts according to these beliefs. The mind can be fun, right?
What really matters about hypnosis
Beyond all the sensational implications of hypnosis, what counts in the end is its use as a tool, as a method to be effective towards our goal as hypnotists. If our goal is therapeutic, then we may choose methods which encourage more self control capacity in the patient. If the goal is the stage, we will possibly seek what is striking.
However, respect is above efficiency. This is an important point; hypnosis always works with people, and we therefore need a strong sense of respect for individuality and honor the person hypnotized. Be aware of the role that the hypnotized assumes when accepts it. The hypnotised person does not perceive any control, contrary to that; They perceive themselves as “subject to your suggestions”. Let us respect him or her.
Ultimately, what really matters is that, as many celebrities say (among them, I would mention Uncle Ben from Spiderman), “with great power comes great responsibility.” It is not the power itself, that is, what we do, but what to do with power. How to use it and why. Especially if that power is actually available to everyone.
Eduardo Torrecillas Rivera Clinical psychologist for psicología y mente. To read from the original page in Spanish, please click here.


About Anna Pons

Certificat (CPPD), Post Graduat Certificat (PGCert) i Post Graduat Diploma (PGD) en Hipnoteràpia Clínica, London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH) i Universitat de West London (UWL)
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