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03 Feb 2003

Hypnotherapy
Hi there, I read this article about hypnotherapy and I would like to know if hypnotherapy will work for a sexual problem like premature ejaculation. Please advise!

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01 Jan 0001

What hypnotherapy really is?

Many misconceptions exist around the technique of hypnosis. Before commencing therapy it is essential that the individual should know what hypnosis really is.

The mind operates at different wavelengths. Under normal waking circumstances the mind is in the beta state, which means that the brain is operating between 18 and 30 vibrations per second as measured on the EEG. In high stress situations these brainwaves increase to over 30 vibrations per second.

In hypnotherapy, we work in the alpha state where brainwaves vary between 7 and 14 vibrations per second. You experience this alpha state when you are absorbed in something, daydreaming or engaging in mediation or prayer. Below alpha state, we get theta and delta states. In the delta state the person is almost unconscious and therefore, this state is unsuitable for therapy.

The therapist, therefore, works in the alpha state where the patient is fully aware and can hear as well as answer to questions. Therefore, at all times, you will be perfectly aware of what is going on, such as the phone ringing or the dog barking.

One of the common myths surrounding hypnosis is that someone will take control of your mind and that you then may be programmed like a computer. This is totally untrue!! During hypnosis you will not do anything that you wouldn’t do under normal circumstances.

It is important that I point out to you what hypnosis is not. It is not sleep, neither is it being unconscious nor is it being totally unaware of your surroundings. The hypnotherapist’s cannot take control of the patient or of the patient’s will.

Hypnotherapy is also not a magic process. In certain cases the desired outcomes appear gradually while in other cases the changes are almost immediate and obvious. The one is not necessarily better than the other.

Consider the metaphor of a seed of expectations being planted during your first session. As you begin practising hypnosis, the seed will start germinating. Initially growth takes place underground. As hypnosis works naturally, you might not immediately become aware that the plant is growing; but sooner or later you will find that leaves are sprouting and flowers are blooming and you have a beautiful plant. As time goes on you will find yourself more in control of your thoughts, feelings and reactions.

Please remember that all hypnosis is self – hypnosis. In fact you are the one who induces your hypnosis and all the therapist does is to use specialised skills to facilitate the hypnotic state.

Stage shows certainly give the impression that the hypnotist has power, but that is not true. The stage hypnotist likes to create that impression but he also only uses his skills to guide someone into hypnosis. The guinea pig of the stage hypnotist must be willing and compliant before he will enter into hypnosis. There is nothing mystical or magical about hypnosis, it is simply a state of concentration and focussed attention.

You have been in a state of hypnosis many times, although you may never have been aware of it and did not call it as such. The hypnotherapist simply uses that same state of hypnosis as a medical tool. The hypnotherapist is also bound by medical ethics and a code of conduct when dealing with a patient in trance.

Every time you are mentally pre – occupied with something and you then realise that you haven’t noticed anything while driving for quite a few kilometres you have been experiencing an hypnotic state. Or, you might have parked your car at the shopping mall and then forgot where you had parked it. This can be referred to as the automatic pilot syndrome.

Remember while under hypnosis you remain in full control – you are at all times the pilot. The therapist simply acts as the navigator, directing you where to go, but you fly the plane.

Perhaps your previous experiences of hypnosis were of an informal kind. For example, being so absorbed in a movie or reading a book that you became totally oblivious to your surroundings. Each of us has had the experience of calling someone so absorbed in what they are doing that they pay no attention to us. That is a natural occurring trance state.

Many times I compare the trance state to a magnifying glass. When a person is using a magnifying glass to focus and concentrate the rays of the sun into a pinpoint of light, the sun’s rays becomes more and more powerful. Similarly when we focus and concentrate our attention we are able to use our mind in a much more powerful way.

When we use imagination during the trance state, it is very comfortable. If a person visualises being in a comfortable place he/she automatically becomes more relaxed and more comfortable.

A person suffering a migraine may visualize that migraine as a liquid flowing from the head and away from the body. With the use of imagination and visualisation this often happens.

In the hypnotic state the unconscious mind seems to know what to do with this image and causes a redistribution of blood which then relieves the vascular pressure in the migraine patient’s head.

Hypnosis is used is a negative way – you induce a negative trance state – when the focus is on negative thoughts such as “I am feeling depressed”, “I am not feeling well” or “I am fat / old”. This kind of negative self – talk enhances negative hypnosis. Ultimately, it is what the mind believes that the body achieves.
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