I'll tell you a funny story. All my stories are true: after twenty years in this business you really don't need to make anything up!
Hypnosis is the most misunderstood subject I have ever come across in my life. Nearly everything you hear people say about the subject is either completely wrong, or at least a bit of a misunderstanding. The role of relaxation is a classic example.
If you look up 'hypnotherapy' in any dictionary, it will probably say: "Hypnotherapy: a state of deep relaxation, in which..." WRONG! Trance and relaxation are quite separate things: they just make a nice combination, that's all. Trance is simply a state of mind in which the Subconscious mind pays attention to the world around us, whilst the rest of the time it doesn't, so that's just about opening up a line of communication. It gives me an opportunity to present a request to the Subconscious mind. Relaxation just makes you comfy while I'm doing it. That's IT.
Well - almost. Actually in practice, relaxation can potentially tip things a little in favour of success in hypnotherapy, for the most ordinary of reasons: the prevailing mood can affect the way we respond to other people, as we all know.
Imagine this scenario: you're at work, you've got an important meeting with the boss in five minutes but you really need to go to the toilet first... then a colleague stops you because their stapler has gone missing again, and it's pretty obvious that they suspect you've got it - which is usually true but not on THIS occasion, and anyway - the meeting!
Your reaction to your colleague is likely to be quite negative, possibly even hostile, yes?
But if you were just sitting gazing out of the window on a lazy afternoon, nothing doing, no stress, you probably wouldn't even take offence at the suspicion... because you ARE usually the culprit, fair enough! But not guilty on this occasion, so - when did you last have it? It must be here somewhere, come on, let's find it!
Relaxed scenario; totally different reaction. Positive outcome.
But sometimes a client will say to me: "Oh, you'll have trouble with me, I never relax! I'm always on the go, morning 'til night, never sit down for five minutes!"
So I say to them: "Oh, that's okay! Relaxation is of no importance at all in hypnotherapy, we just throw that in because it makes you comfy! Sometimes I even forget to do any relaxation stuff, it makes no difference to the outcome of the session whether I do or not!"
Result: they relax just fine because I've just told them it's of no importance. Bit of an exaggeration but the ends justify the means!
But here's the funny story: many years ago, when I'd only been a hypnotherapist for a matter of months, I encountered something in a session that I had not seen before, or been told about in training either. Most people do relax in the trance part of the session aand either don't move at all, or just shift position a bit from time to time. But on this occasion my client, who was new to hypnotherapy as most clients are, started to shift around as if he couldn't get comfortable at all, grimacing and sometimes looking as if he was actually in pain. So after a long while of new-guy indecision, I eventually stopped the session, had him open his eyes, and I said: "What's the matter?"
He looked at me in great surprise and replied: "What do you mean?"
"Well, you looked uncomfortable, like something was obviously bothering you, so I thought I'd better find out what it is!"
He paused for a few moments, looking at me as if I had two heads, before saying, quite sincerely: "I've never been so relaxed in my life!"
Since then, I've never assumed I know how a person is feeling just because of the way they look, and I've never stopped a session because of something like that since either. If a client actually isn't comfortable, they'll let me know anyway. So we can just get on with it and get the problem fixed! more about this
So if you ever thought you might have trouble relaxing in a hypnotherapy session, or responding positively to it, don't worry! Your Subconscious mind pretty much does it all for you. Just call Chris for more information on 0161 474 8120 (Office Hours), or call/text any day, any time on 07748 838 644. It's a doddle!
Consultant Hypnotherapist Chris Holmes is Director of Central Hypnotherapy Stockport, South Manchester and has been helping the people of Stockport, Cheshire, Manchster and Tameside U.K. to enjoy beneficial hypnotherapy sessions since August 2000.