The idea of hypnotherapy evokes reactions ranging from “crossed-arm and skeptical-faced in disbelief” to “stunned in pure awe and amazement.”
There is no denying the mysticism surrounding hypnosis; it continues to baffle the minds of people all over the world.
So, it is understandable that, when asked to imagine a world where everybody knows the secret of hypnosis, some imaginations may see Orwell’s sequel of a dystopian, mind-controlled society.
Luckily, when you fully understand hypnosis, that idea is far from a non-fiction reality.
So, we have a much better idea…
How about, instead, we use the great power of hypnotherapy to create a world of absolute utopia?
Because, behind the veil of wizardry and dazzlement, there is a compelling purpose for hypnotherapy — to heal our minds, bodies, and ultimately, our world.
Is Hypnosis Real?
To free you from any concern about the possibility of this Orwellian melodrama, read our post But Really, Is Hypnosis Real? In it, you will learn that hypnosis is real, but it isn’t the spooky, involuntary mind-control voodoo many of us innately assume it is.
In fact, hypnosis has been used throughout the world for at least 4,000 years as a tool for healing, but only in recent years has science begun to excavate this hypnotic mystery. Their findings have immense implications on our ability to transform our thoughts and beliefs, actions and habits, and perception and reality… for the better.
Above all, however, science has discovered one solid truth:
Hypnosis is entirely real.
And if you think you have never experienced hypnosis, think again.
What Is Hypnosis?
So let’s cut to the chase, what is hypnosis?
Simply put, hypnosis is the trance-like state of consciousness between waking and sleeping.
We enter this state at least twice a day — before deep sleep and before waking.
These hypnotic states vary in intensity. We experience milder degrees of hypnosis throughout the day while driving a car or “zoning out,” and in more intense degrees while getting lost in a book or daydreaming.
To learn more about how often you experience a state of hypnosis, read What Is Hypnosis? Hint: It’s More Familiar Than You May Think.
The defining behaviors of hypnosis are:
- Increased suggestibility. Becoming more open and receptive to ideas.
- Heightened imagination. Creating vivid, oftentimes dream-like, imagery in our mind’s eye.
- Perception without thought. Quieting of the conscious processes that create thoughts, while increasing the awareness of emotions.
These three defining characteristics make hypnosis a unique and effective tool for personal transformation. But before we dive deeper into how hypnosis can be used for healing, let’s get scientific.
Who Invented Hypnosis?
Hypnosis can’t really be invented since it’s a state of mind that everyone encounters at least twice a day.
In fact, hypnosis has been an adorned mental state since ancient Egypt and Greece (and perhaps earlier). In Greek mythology, Hypnos is the God of Sleep (literally meaning “to sleep”). So, we could say that ancient Greece actually ‘invented’ the term hypnosis.
But who turned this mysterious state into a worldwide practice of medicine?
The controversial evolution of hypnosis
Most accurately, we can look to a man by the name of Dr. Franz Mesmer. During the late 18th century, he made a discovery that would shape the field of psychiatry forevermore.
Dr. Mesmer noticed that some of his patients could be spontaneously healed, just by making changes in their state of consciousness.
He described this ability to change states of consciousness as a type of magnetism. It sounds strange to us now, but he actually called this discovery ‘Animal Magnetism.’
But it wasn’t quite a ‘discovery.’ More accurately, it was more a rediscovery of a powerful tool from ancient times: the controlled induction of trance-like states of consciousness for healing.
Although his work had extraordinary medical potential, his methods were feared, shut down, and ‘proven’ false at the order of King Louis XVI. Animal Magnetism was stigmatized and banned from medical practices.
However, he had many strong devotees and his practices were still used in secret. Over time, they expanded and evolved, becoming known as mesmerism. (The word mesmerize makes a bit more sense now, right?)
Over the next century, mesmerism stood strong and evolved into the modern field of neuro-hypnosis (nerve sleep), or hypnosis for short.
Moreover, this exciting and personally healing concept of hypnosis has even evolved outside of professional medical settings.
What is hipnotízame?
Hipnotízame is an enclitic form of Spanish verb hipnotizar. So, what does that mean for us English speakers? Quite simply, “Hypnotize me.”
It’s called self-hypnosis.
That’s right — no hypnotherapy appointments, no hypnotist, no bills; just you working intimately with your own mind. After all, no one knows you like you do.
How Does Hypnosis Work? A Scientific Understanding
Dear skeptics, enter science.
The scientific explanation for hypnosis is based on the field of neuroscience. Neuroscientists use brain imaging techniques to create a “map” of the brain and how it functions.
EEG (electroencephalography): used to measure brainwaves, which are directly related to states of consciousness.
fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and spectroscopy: creates an image of brain functioning by measuring blood flow and oxygen.
With these tools, scientists have observed some defining characteristics of the brain in the state of hypnosis:
1. The brain functions differently in hypnosis
- An increase in theta brainwaves, associated with subconscious activity
- The right hemisphere becomes more active, associated with creativity
- An increase in neuron growth (gray matter) with repeated use
2. This brain functioning can be used as medicine
- To treat mental ailments like anxiety, depression, phobias, etc
- To treat physical ailments like obesity, infertility, pain, etc
- As functional therapy to foster personal growth
To learn more about the science of hypnosis, read How Does Hypnosis Work? A Scientific Understanding.
How Hypnotherapy Works
A majority of the problems wreaking havoc on the world today arise because we have deep emotional wounds that have not been tended to.
Up until we are about 9 years old, we download information from the world around us at lightning speed. Our subconscious beliefs and habits are generally formed during this time — well before we have developed our rational thinking (acquired when our brain forms the prefrontal cortex).
For instance, in our youth, someone may say to us, “you are ugly.”
At the time, our minds can’t rationalize that perhaps whoever is saying this to us is having a bad day or suffering from their own emotional wounds. Instead, our young, innocent minds think, “oh, I’m ugly.”
On a kinder note, this works for “you are beautiful,” and any other positive affirmation, as well.
During this highly permeable time in our lives, we are meaning-making machines. When certain events happen in our childhood, we instantly assign meaning to them. It is that assigned meaning that creates our subconscious beliefs.
For instance, let’s say that one day your parents are late picking you up from school.
Perhaps it’s raining and you are hungry. In your 9-year-old mind, you have been abandoned and left on your own; this must mean that your parents don’t love you.
When in reality, your parent is having an absolute crisis that you can’t quite understand. Perhaps they are illegally speeding through traffic, frantically honking, and crying as they make their way to you.
Without our rational, reasoning minds, we assign meaning to events that are perhaps completely false.
According to top hypnotherapist, Marisa Peer, these false beliefs we’ve downloaded in our childhood can be broken down into one universal untruth that governs almost all of our lives:
“I’m not enough.”
This false subconscious belief then governs our emotions, reactions, behaviors, habits, and decision-making.
… Do you really want a 9-year-old making all of your decisions for you?
This is where hypnotherapy comes in.
Here’s the thing — nothing heals these deeply rooted emotional wounds faster than the medicine of hypnotherapy.
We’ve discovered that, in the state of hypnosis, we are able to access these subconscious regions of our mind and communicate with them directly — without the reasoning of our normal conscious thought.
While in hypnosis, a hypnotherapist guides their patient back to these pinnacle events of their childhood. Once memories of the event are accessed, the patient can re-assign meaning to them.
So, for instance, perhaps a patient experienced this event of not being picked up from school.
In a hypnotherapy session, the hypnotherapist will hypnotize the patient and gently guide them back to that day. With their subconscious mind fully in the moment, their memory is as clear as if it was happening the first time.
The patient will be 9 years old, standing outside in the rain, waiting for their parent to pick them up. The patient will then be able to assess how they were feeling at that time.
“I feel abandoned. I feel like I’m not loved, like I’m not enough.”
When the patient was a child, these beliefs of being abandoned, unloved, and not enough were downloaded into their subconscious mind.
Once the past emotions are noted, the hypnotherapist will then guide the patient to assign new meaning to this moment.
The patient will be able to relive this moment with the understanding that their mother was in a crisis, worried sick, and doing anything she could to pick them up from school — because she loved them so dearly.
The patient will then be able to relive the moment with a new understanding; that they are loved, that they are enough.
In Marisa Peer’s hypnotherapy sessions, she has her patients recite:
“I am not … (abandoned) because… (my mother loves me dearly).”
This is what rewires the brain and heals the mind.
When you use transformational hypnotherapy with the right understanding, you are literally rewiring your brain. Even science has proven this fact.— Marisa Peer, trainer of Mindvalley’s Uncompromised Life Quest
How Hypnotherapy Can Be Used to Transform the World
Marisa Peer’s victories have made her one of the most heroic hypnotherapists on the globe.
She has received an array of rewards, such as being voted the #1 Therapist by Tatler magazine. She is also the trainer of Mindvalley’s incredible Uncompromised Life Quest.
Marisa Peer is a hypnotherapy hero for two huge reasons:
- She walks the walk. Using the power of her mind, Marisa has healed herself both of cancer and of infertility.
- She talks the talk. She has taught people all around the world how they, too, can use the power of their minds to transform their realities — in every way.
Time and time again, she has made the seemingly impossible, inspiringly possible.
And with this, she, alongside many others, has proven to the world that our minds create our reality and that we have the power to shape our minds.
With hypnotherapy, we have the ability to rewire our minds to live in a reality of our choosing — and we can choose to live in a reality full of love, abundance, and equality.
You have so much power to keep yourself well, to heal your body. You have so much power to live a full, happy life. You have so much power to attract love, to have loving relationships, to be successful.— Marisa Peer, trainer of Mindvalley’s Uncompromised Life Quest
Don’t give your power away. How you’re going to feel in life is really all up to you.
But as we mentioned earlier, being hypnotized is a choice.
If we all, individually, choose to take control of our minds and use them to positively create a new reality —for ourselves and for the greater whole— the world could transform into an absolute utopia.