The reason why I am posting this is for clarity and to explain the difference between brainwashing and hypnosis. Let me first explain to you the 5 steps needed in order to brainwash, that way you will understand why hypnosis does not fall into the brainwashing category. These are the 5 steps.
- Removal from environment of influence
- Sleep deprivation
- Pain if there is disagreement (major pain)
- Pleasure if they agree (little pleasure)
- Change in Biochemistry (diet, etc).
Now let’s break this down to further clear this up.
You might say, well I am coming to your office for coaching doesn’t that mean the same thing as removal of environment of influence? While I will agree that it is a different environment, the fact is the environment of influence is something completely dissimilar. Take the extreme example joining a cult . You are away from family, friends, your home and all that was familiar to you. See the difference?
Sleep deprivation, this one is quite self explanatory and lack of sleep is far more dangerous then lack of food, water. For example if you were kept up for long periods of time without the being able to rest this is sleep deprivation. Sometimes new parents experience this, so magnify that in the context of adding the other steps: very intense.
So moving onto pain if there is disagreement let us use the example of pushups, “Drop down and give me 50!” sounds horribly painful especially if you were just a step out of line. And the flip side of that is pleasure (minimal) if there is agreement, such as a smile of approval from a highly ranked leader showing that you got on their good side.
Change in biochemistry can simply mean diet, because if you drastically change someone’s diet that can have a profound effect on their overall function. Would you agree?
Very curious isn’t it? Now let’s look at hypnosis.
Going to look at a few more reasons of what hypnosis is not. It is not sleep, unconsciousness, being gullible or weak minded, being controlled by someone else or loss of self control.
What exactly is it?
It has been defined in various forms, and to keep it simple I will take this explanation I found from the Mayo Clinic Website “Hypnosis, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus, concentration and inner absorption. When you’re under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and you can concentrate intensely on a specific thought, memory, feeling or sensation while blocking out distractions.
Under hypnosis, you’re more open than usual to suggestions, and this can be used to modify your perceptions, behavior, sensations and emotions. Therapeutic hypnosis is used to improve your health and well-being and is different from so-called stage hypnosis used by entertainers. Although you’re more open to suggestion during therapeutic hypnosis, your free will remains intact and you don’t lose control over your behavior.” So the fact is no one can make you do anything you don’t want to do with hypnosis: period.
Stage shows are designed to be entertaining and the hypnotist goes through suggestibility tests with the audience to find the best suited for the performance. The people chosen, on some level, want the opportunity to act silly. This gives them permission to do so and they get to assist the hypnotist in providing a highly entertaining performance.
Hypnosis is a skill, a form of self control as all hypnosis is self hypnosis. Anybody can be hypnotized as it’s a matter of having IQ to follow directions. We actually go in and out of trance all day. Ever drive home and forget how you got there? That is trance.
Hypnosis deals with your unconscious mind, the part of you that runs the body as is 90-95% of who you are. The unconscious mind wants to preserve your body and will only accept suggestions that are in alignment with that. It is like a servant and likes to follow orders; this is why self talk is very important and why will power does not work (I will create a blog that explains this more in depth). The unconscious mind symbolic, which is why mythology speaks to us so deeply. All learning, all behavior and all change happen on the unconscious level. You have to bypass the conscious mind to get to the part of us where change happens, this is why hypnosis is a formidable modality along with Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Additionally some hypnotherapists, such as myself, are extremely metaphorical and can assist people with the simple act of storytelling. Milton Erickson was a brilliant hypnotherapist and psychiatrist who was masterful at his craft. He had an amazing ability to create change with simple stories that reached the symbolic nature of the unconscious.
Hypnosis dates all the way back to 2000 B.C. (that we know of) in Egypt where there were healing/sleep temples. Many healings occurred. These temples where run by prestigious people and one will only take suggestions from someone they trust and if it’s in alignment with what they want to achieve. Imagination and visualization are immensely powerful to our unconscious take for example the proven studies in healing and sports performance. It has been said that your unconscious mind does not know the difference if you are pretending or not. Kind of makes you want to start taking your daydreaming more seriously doesn’t it?
Love & Prosperity,
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” (Albert Einstein)
Photo Credit© Chrisharvey