Self-Hypnosis 101

By WellSet | November 21, 2022

You may be more familiar with hypnotic states than you might think. When we are deeply immersed in watching a movie, doing something creative like drawing or painting, or even mindlessly doing repetitive household chores, we often enter into mental states akin to hypnosis. 

Similar to some types of meditation, hypnosis–also referred to as hypnotherapy–gently guides you into a relaxed and focused state that allows the subconscious mind to become more receptive, or suggestible, to shifting undesired beliefs and patterns. Hypnosis can be guided by a licensed facilitator or can be self-directed. While the exact neuroscience is not fully understood, we know hypnosis involves relaxing the nervous system into the parasympathetic, rest-and-digest state, which allows the mind and body to lower defenses and open up to new possibilities. 

Guided by verbal suggestions and visualizations in a trance state, we have the opportunity to override deep seated limiting beliefs that influence our thoughts, choices and behaviors in our waking lives. We can replace these limiting beliefs with ones that are more aligned with our goals and beneficial to our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Hypnosis can be a great complementary practice alongside talk therapy in releasing fears, anxieties, and changing behaviors.

How it Works

Using a series of verbal prompts, sometimes aided by calming music, you are guided into a deep trance-like state of relaxation by slowing down your brain waves to the dreamlike delta and theta frequencies where your subconscious is in more of a suggestible state. Sometimes this is done by imagining walking down a flight of stairs, counting backwards, progressive muscle relaxation or some other visualization. Once in hypnosis, you'll be guided to repeat prompts that reinforces the new beliefs that are aligned with your goals. For example: “I fall asleep quickly and easily,” or “I release all worries and anxieties outside of my control.”

Hypnotic trance can be compared to the feeling right between being awake and drifting off to sleep that many experience right before falling asleep at night or upon waking first thing in the morning. While in hypnosis, you are still aware of your surroundings. 

The Evidence

The body of scientific evidence supporting hypnosis so far is limited, but is quickly growing due to an increased interest in the low cost, low risk therapeutic approach. There is promising evidence that hypnosis with music improved sleep, anxiety levels, and pain among patients in palliative care. A systemic review and meta-analysis showed a 43 percent reduction in chronic pain among highly suggestible patients. Further, potentially related to the gut-brain axis, hypnosis has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of IBS and other gastrointestinal disorders by up to 76 percent. And in one small study, hypnosis suggested a decrease in phobia symptoms by over 50 percent.

It seems that some people are more hypnotizable than others, which may affect the extent of the benefits you might receive with hypnosis. Regardless, it is a low risk method that gets into the ‘operating system’ of the mind and can upgrade thought and behavior patterns.

The Benefits
Self-hypnosis can be a helpful practice if you’re experiencing:

  • Difficulty letting go of habits or behaviors
  • Difficulty moderating consumption
  • Sleep issues
  • Digestive issues like IBS
  • Phobias or fears
  • Anxious or ruminating thoughts
  • Chronic pain
  • Low self-confidence

What Our Instructors Say:

"My classes provide a safe space where you can access your inner resources and live to your full potential. It is common to feel an increased sense of peace and motivation afterward." –Lu Camy, Self-Hypnosis Instructor

Why Members Love It: 

"Self-hypnosis has literally opened my mind to subconscious limiting beliefs and helped me to shift them into ones that serve me." –real WellSet user

Disclaimer: Hypnosis may not be appropriate for people experiencing psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions. Consult your medical and mental health professional before trying hypnosis.

 

Try a Self-Hypnosis Class on WellSet

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This article mentions: WellSet 101

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Meet the first digital holistic health studio

Access thousands of live and on-demand classes for mind, body, and emotional wellbeing with a WellSet membership.

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