Throughout history, trance states have been used by shamans and ancient peoples in rituals and religious ceremonies. Hypnosis as was first associated with the work of an Austrian physician named Franz Anton Mesmer. In the 1700s, Mesmer believed that illnesses were caused by magnetic fluids in the body getting out of balance; he used magnets and other hypnotic techniques to treat people (the word “mesmerized” comes from his name).
Hypnotherapy regained popularity 1950s/60s due to Milton H. Erickson (1901 – 1980), a successful psychiatrist who used hypnosis in his practice and developed a technique used by many modern day hypnotherapists. In 1958, both the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association recognized hypnotherapy as a valid medical procedure and the National Institute of Health (NIH) has recommended hypnotherapy as a treatment for chronic pain.
When something happens to us, we remember it and learn a particular behaviour in response to what happened. Each time something similar happens, our physical and emotional reactions attached to the memory are repeated. In some cases these reactions are unhealthy. In some forms of hypnotherapy, a trained therapist guides you to remember the event that led to the first reaction, separate the memory from the learned behaviour, and replace unhealthy behaviors with new, healthier ones.
During hypnosis, your body relaxes and your thoughts become more focused. Like other relaxation techniques, hypnosis lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and changes certain types of brain wave activity. In this relaxed state, you will feel at ease physically yet fully awake mentally and may be highly responsive to suggestion. Your conscious mind becomes less alert and your subconscious mind becomes more focused. Some people respond better to hypnotic suggestion than others.
There are several stages of hypnosis:
During your first visit, you will be asked about your medical history and what condition you would like to address. I will explain to you what hypnosis is and how it works. I will then direct through you through some relaxation techniques, using a series of mental images and suggestions intended to change behaviors and relieve symptoms.
This will depend on what condition is being addressed as to how many session and how long the treatment will take.