|Photograph by Paul Nguyen, New Zealand.|
As part of my April Challenge and our new Customized Health Programs, I have created Customized Hypnosis Track for 'Weight Management' with Paul Nguyen who is a Consulting Hypnotist. I am listening to it daily for the month of April to control, reduce and stop my behaviors that overeat and over indulge ;) It is quite a powerful track and allows me to relax, open my mind and 're-program' to not overeat allowing me to stick to my commitment of living a consistently healthy lifestyle. I had the opportunity to speak with Paul about hypnosis....
What do you spend most of your time doing?
It's tough to say exactly what most of my time is spent doing, because it's different everyday. But I make sure to spend a large amount of time doing the very thing that I encourage all of my clients to do more of: relaxing. In society today, we often feel that we need to be busy all the time, or else we're being unproductive; or that relaxation is equivalent to laziness. I argue that relaxation makes us better, more productive, more balanced people who live generally much healthier lives. I consider relaxation an activity in itself, and something to be proactive about, rather than waiting for everything else to get done before relaxing. Most people have the misconception that relaxation is something you do to undo the stress that you already have, but the truth is that relaxation, when done proactively, prevents stress from happening in the first place.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is natural state by which we become more receptive to the power of suggestion. The subconscious mind opens up and allows us to implant new programs for how to feel, think, and live. Hypnosis can happen in several ways: During relaxation, during imagination, or during an emotional moment. We naturally enter a state of hypnosis 7-10 times a day, for about 20-40 minutes total.
Who should do hypnosis?
Everyone should do hypnosis, or at least some self-hypnosis. It's a great way to not only encourage relaxation, but get rid of limiting beliefs, change bad habits, or overcome fears.
How did you get into hypnosis?
I learned how to perform hypnosis through a training program offered by the National Guild of Hypnotists. But the basic curriculum is rarely enough to go out there and start helping people successfully and consistently. Most good hypnotists have gone beyond the basics to incorporate much more advanced techniques, and also to innovate and create their own methods. So each hypnotist is unique.
Can anyone learn to do hypnosis?
Yes, anyone can learn to do hypnosis. But what makes someone successful at it in a professional setting usually comes down to natural talent. In order to be successful, a person must not only know how to hypnotize, but how to be compassionate, how to encourage a client to be honest and outgoing, and ultimately how to guide their client to a solution. So there's a lot about hypnosis that makes it an "art", in the sense that it comes straight from the heart, and there's a lot of improvising as opposed to just following the "textbook".
How long has hypnosis been around on earth?
Since hypnosis is a natural state, it's been around since the dawn of mankind, and possibly the dawn of animalkind! I'm not much of a historian, but I learned that hypnosis was used in the sleep temples of ancient Egypt, where people were put into trance states and healed. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong on that.
Who created hypnosis?
So you can't really say it was created by anyone, because that ability exists within us, since we already go into hypnosis naturally. I'd say animals enter hypnosis-like states even more regularly than we do, which is why they're generally more relaxed and better off!
What happens when someone is hypnotized?
If we're talking about in a clinical setting, a person who's hypnotized will experience relaxation at a physical, mental, and emotional level. It's different for everyone, but people will generally experience an enhanced ability to use their imagination, and they will experience insights that they wouldn't have in their usual waking state. In this state, they can "flip a switch" inside their mind and activate a change in how they feel or behave.
Who can be hypnotized?
I notice that all good hypnosis clients are willing to "feel" rather than think, in other words, just go with the flow rather than over-analyzing the process. Thus, people with a strong imagination or strong emotions are usually great at entering hypnosis.
What can hypnosis be used for?
Hypnosis is great for overcoming bad habits like overeating or smoking, overcoming issues of low self-esteem or confidence, and eliminating fears. I also use hypnosis to help people manage pain, and even eliminate allergies.
Are there any negative side effects?
I don't notice many negative effects at all. Occasionally a client will dwell on a negative emotion that has been uncovered through hypnosis, but the long-term goal is to eliminate that emotion, and so the emotion must be fully felt in order to let it go.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a hypnotist?
I think the most rewarding experiences have been from people who are so inspired by the process that they then want to go out and become hypnotists or life coaches so that they can spread the message of how powerful the human mind is in realizing change. In a way, it's kind of the ultimate compliment you can receive from a client, and a true testament to how profoundly they were affected. Every now and then, I still step back and say, "Wow, so that must mean this really works!".