May/June 2016 Issue
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What Is Hypnosis?
This article was written by William Hewitt on July 29, 2009
posted under Hypnosis
Exactly what is hypnosis, or more accurately, self-hypnosis?
Self-hypnosis is a self-induced, altered state of mental consciousness that allows you to give constructive suggestions directly to your subconscious mind.
More simply put, you cause your brain frequency to slow down to the range of seven to fourteen cycles per second. In that frequency range, your mind is highly susceptible to suggestions or instructions. By giving constructive suggestions to your subconscious mind, you can change your life for the better in many ways.
Here are just a few examples of changes you can make with self-hypnosis: stop smoking; stick to a proper diet; gain self-confidence; improve your memory; learn faster and more effectively; improve your self-image and self-esteem; overcome shyness; hasten your recovery from illness or injury; improve your sexual performance; improve any skill; overcome pain; get rid of headaches; relax and overcome stress; stop bed wetting; get rid of any bad habit such as nail biting, stuttering, etc. The list goes on almost endlessly. You can even use self-hypnosis to experience past life regression.
Your subconscious mind is that part of your mind which is like an obedient servant—it does what you program or tell it to do. The subconscious mind does not think, reason, or rationalize. It does not know the difference between right or wrong or positive and negative. The subconscious mind just does what it is instructed to do. If you tell your subconscious mind you are a good, worthwhile person, it will cause you to be a good, worthwhile person. On the other hand, if you tell it that you are an inferior person, it will cause you to behave like an inferior person.
Children are highly susceptible to suggestion because their brains function primarily in the frequency range where the subconscious mind is exposed and unprotected, so to speak. This is why children learn so quickly; their minds absorb everything at a phenomenal rate.
As a result, children who are praised, properly taught, and encouraged will develop good, healthy self-esteem.
Children who are put down, told they are stupid or ugly, and are criticized for everything, will develop poor, unhealthy self-esteem.
Is it any wonder then that we adults have so many problems that need correcting? We are the product of many years of mixed programming—some good, some bad. No two of us are exactly alike.
Self-hypnosis is a tool we can use to straighten out the bad programming. Self-hypnosis works because it is a method of allowing ourselves to adjust the brain frequency of our subconscious area and then reprogram our mind with the information we want. Simply, we overlay the negative programming with positive programming, thus canceling out the negative programming. It works!
Brain Function and Hypnosis
To give you a better understanding of the whole process of learning, programming, and physical growth, let’s discuss in a more technical way how your brain functions. Then you will be better equipped to understand self-hypnosis and what it can do for you.
The brain operates at various frequencies from time to time in order for us to perform our activities as human beings. On any given day, any person who is not under the influence of certain drugs, or is not in a coma, will experience all of the various brain frequencies. The brain frequency ranges are named delta, theta, alpha, and beta.
Delta has a frequency range of zero to four cycles per second. This is the range of total unconsciousness.
The theta range of brain activity is four to seven cycles per second. This is considered to be the psychic range of the mind and the area where psychic experiences occur. All emotional experiences seem to be recorded in this area of brain activity.
Children under seven years old have the predominance of their brain activity in the theta area, although they also experience the other ranges as well. Notice how the physical age closely correlates to the predominant brain frequency range. Children in this age group are highly receptive to having their subconscious minds programmed with suggestions from all sources.
In theta, learning is extremely rapid, and there probably is also a lot of subliminal learning from other dimensions.
In the under seven age group, children often see imaginary playmates and talk to them. Perhaps these are not imaginary, but are really a link with another dimension of intelligence. Interesting thought, is it not?
Some hypnosis and some past life regression experiences also occur in the theta range of brain activity.
The alpha range of brain activity is seven to fourteen cycles per second. This is considered to be the range of the subconscious mind.
This is the area of brain activity where all nocturnal dreaming and daydreaming takes place. Most past life regression and nearly all hypnosis also takes place in alpha.
Children in the seven to fourteen age group function predominantly in alpha, although they also function in all the other ranges as well. Hence, they are highly receptive to suggestions from all sources. Again, notice the correlation between the physical age and the predominant frequency range of brain activity.
Rapid learning takes place in alpha.
At approximately ten cycles per second of brain activity, the eye lids will flutter somewhat like a nervous twitch. This is called Rapid Eye Movement or R.E.M., for short. If you notice a sleeping person in R.E.M. (with twitching eye lids), you will know they are dreaming because all dreaming takes place in R.E.M.
The beta range of brain activity is fourteen cycles per second and higher, with an average of around twenty-two cycles per second for most activities. Beta is the range of the conscious mind where we conduct our daily activities that involve thinking, rationalizing, talking, decision making, interacting with others, etc. If we are awake, over fourteen years old, and doing something, our predominant brain frequency will be in the beta range. Note the age and frequency correlation.
When the brain is operating in beta, it is not especially receptive to suggestions.
Even though each age group has a predominant brain activity range, each group does also use all the other ranges from time to time everyday. This enables us to function as total human beings and to have a full range of experiences.
For example, an executive in a business meeting is functioning primarily in beta, talking, reasoning, arguing, and thinking. After the meeting, the executive retreats back to the office and sits quietly in a chair to relax and allow the data from the meeting to sink in. The process of relaxing and allowing the mind to grow quiet causes the brain frequency to automatically slow down to below fourteen cycles into the alpha range. In alpha, the mind quickly absorbs the data from the meeting and files it in the brain for retrieval at some later time.
Sleep and Dreams vs. Self-hypnosis
When you go to sleep at night, your brain automatically cycles down from the beta range into alpha and then for brief cyclic periods into theta and delta. Then it cycles back up into alpha, where you spend most of your sleep and do all your dreaming.
All hypnosis does is take advantage of this natural phenomenon. Hypnosis is a technique for causing the brain to cycle down into alpha without going to sleep. In alpha, the subconscious mind is open for suggestive input.
The conscious mind does not take suggestion very well. It is most useful for thinking, reasoning, and putting into action those things it already knows.
However, the subconscious mind is like an obedient servant. It doesn’t think or reason. It just responds to what it is told. Herein lies the value and power of self-hypnosis. By self-hypnosis, you can pump powerful suggestions directly into your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind accepts the suggestions and causes them to become reality. In part, it does this by informing the conscious mind that there is new information to be acted upon. The conscious mind loves to act on what it already has, so it starts to act on this new information. In part, we really do not understand why hypnosis works and how the subconscious mind brings about results. We do know that it does work and works quite well.
It is extremely important that all suggestions given during self-hypnosis are positive, constructive, and beneficial. This is because the subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between a good suggestion and a bad suggestion. The subconscious mind merely accepts what you give it and then acts on it.
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