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OFFICIAL SELF-HYPNOSIS FAQ
of the alt.hypnosis Newsgroup
by C. Roy Hunter, M.S., FAPHP
Author of Master the Power of Self-Hypnosis (Sterling Publ., 1998)
This page can be reached by entering either [http://www.self-hypnosis.cc] OR you may arrive by entering [http://www.royhunter.com/SHFAQ.htm].
This page is part of Roy Hunter's website (www.royhunter.com), which
contains considerable information regarding hypnosis and hypnotherapy, as well
as this FAQ about self-hypnosis.
DISCLAIMER: This FAQ should not be used as a substitute for reading any appropriate information regarding self-hypnosis, nor should it be used as a substitute for seeking any appropriate professional opinion on important issues involving the use of self-hypnosis. The reader is advised to read the official Hypnosis FAQ.
1. HOW CAN I LEARN SELF-HYPNOSIS?
The best way to learn self-hypnosis is by asking a qualified hypnotherapist to teach you through hypnosis and to give you post-hypnotic suggestions to reinforce what you learn. Additionally, you may find it helpful to read a good book on the subject. The one I've recommended over the years is: Self-Hypnosis and Other Mind-Expanding Techniques by Charles Tebbetts (Westwood Publishing), which you can order from Amazon.com.
My comprehensive self-hypnosis book, Master the Power of Self-Hypnosis (Sterling Publishing, 1998), may also prove beneficial with the numerous hints for successful programming of your subconscious. Increasing numbers of professional hypnotherapists are recommending it to clients and/or buying it for public workshops. Kevin Hogan, Ph.D., publicly expressed the opinion that it is the best self-hypnosis book published in over a decade. A former member of British Parliament told me personally that, in his opinion, the book written by Charles Tebbetts and my own self-hypnosis book were the two best books ever written on self-hypnosis. (You may obtain my book at many bookstores around the world. It is also available at Amazon.com.).
Also, I recommend HYPNOTISM & MEDITATION by Ormond McGill (Westwood Publishing). I personally enjoyed CREATIVE VISUALIZATION by Shakti Gawain (Publisher: New World Library). Additionally, there are many good self-help books on visualization that recommend self-hypnosis techniques even when the author does not disclose that the techniques are forms of self-hypnosis.
Regardless of which book(s) you choose to read, there is no substitute for practice, practice, practice! Developing competence with self-hypnosis is like building mental muscles - you must do some mental exercises to master the art of self-hypnosis.
2. WHAT TECHNIQUE WORKS BEST?
There is no technique that will work for all the people all the time. What works well for you might not work well for someone elseÖor put into different words, what works well for a self-hypnosis trainer (or the author of a book) might not work well for you!
Some people don't visualize well, and many techniques seem slanted towards those who visualize. If you are among those who have difficulty with visual exercises, then you must learn some techniques that do not involve mental visual imagery. This is why I discuss several techniques in MASTER THE POWER OF SELF-HYPNOSIS.
A visual technique usually does not work well with an auditory person. Likewise, while an auditory person may be comfortable with meditation music in the background, some visual people might prefer to meditate without music. Here are three techniques. With each one, you should be relaxed and breathe slowly and deeply.
The most common one is PROGRESSIVE RELAXATION... counting backwards while imagining various parts of the body relaxing. This works well for a kinaesthetic person (sense of touch), or for a visual person who also imagines being in a beautiful place. The auditory person may not respond very well to self-induced progressive relaxation, especially if somewhat analytical.
EYE FIXATION (staring at an object) may work well for some of the people some of the time; but you'd better know what kind of self-talk to indulge in when you close your eyes. Do some reading, or visit a hypnotherapist.
VISUAL IMAGERY (mental vacation): If you are visual, simply close your eyes and imagine a beautiful place of your choosing. This may be done with or without background music. Note: an auditory person might be able to use this with a beach or waterfall, imagining sounds rather than sights. If you are a highly analytical person, you may find your mind thinking numerous thoughts at what may seem like light-speed. However, if you start becoming MORE aware of background noises and/or other sensations, there is a good chance that you are already in a light alpha state.
3. WHAT IF I'M UNSURE ABOUT VISUAL IMAGERY TECHNIQUES?
If you are unsure, here's a little self-test:
Imagine you are near a waterfall on a perfect day, with trees nearby. You sit on a log or big rock, and you reach down and pick up a small rock and hold it in your hand. Put your hand in the water. Now close your eyes and go through the exercise with your eyes closed. Afterwards, answer these questions to yourself: Was it easier to SEE the waterfall, or HEAR it? Did you SEE the blue sky, or did you FEEL warmth (or a gentle breeze)? Did you FEEL the rock (smooth or rough), or did you SEE it? When you put your hand in the water, did you SEE yourself do so, or HEAR the sound of the water, or FEEL whether the water was warm or cool?
Most people will be able to easily imagine vivid use of at least one of the three senses mentioned above. If you get nothing, then you most likely will need professional assistance.
4. WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF DAY FOR SELF-HYPNOSIS?
Again, since we are all different, this varies from person to person. I personally prefer the afternoon. Determining the best time may take some experimenting.
5. SHOULD THE LIGHTS BE TURNED OFF?
This also depends on personal preference; however, bright lights may distract some people, as it can be detected even through closed eyelids.
6. SHOULD I USE MUSIC?
Try it both ways and then decide. Note that any music selected should be instrumental (and slow or gentle) for best results. Some people prefer silence, and others like nature sounds. Personally, music helps me focus my attention within rather than on outside sounds (such as barking dogs, traffic, etc.).
7. IF I LEARN SELF-HYPNOSIS, WHY WOULD I EVER NEED A HYPNOTHERAPIST?
Here's a metaphoric response...
Self-hypnosis is like using a muscle of the mind. If I move a chair, it is easy for me to lift it by myself. If I move a couch, it's much easier when someone is on the other end helping me lift. A piano ALWAYS requires outside assistance.
While you can use self-hypnosis to achieve some goals, you must decide whether you are trying to move chairs, couches, or pianos in your mind. Whenever I need outside help, I'll set my own ego aside and ask for help. It is my recommendation that you do likewise. Sometimes we can find oursevles in situations where it feels like a piano has been dropped inside the subconscious. Self-hypnosis may augment appropriate therapy, but hypnotherapy may often be required for certain issues.
NOTE: There is a chapter subsection in my book, Master the Power of Self-Hypnosis, that explains situations where you might need a hypnotherapist.
8. IS THERE ANY DANGER IN LEARNING SELF-HYPNOSIS?
In all my years of practice, not one of my clients has ever reported contraindications from the use of self-hypnosis. However, I would recommend AGAINST using self-hypnosis for pain reduction unless your examining physician gives his/her consent. If you ignore this warning, you do so at your own risk, because pain is a warning that something is wrong with your body...and the cause needs to be determined.
NOTE: If you would like additional questions included in this new self-hypnosis FAQ, please post them on the newsgroup AND email me a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, ask that they be considered for the FAQ. Those of common interest will be included in later FAQ versions.
If any of you wish to sponsor a self-hypnosis workshop, please e-mail me
privately for details...
Link to subliminal
messages info by Todd Stark.
Link to stage hypnosis section (newest part of official alt.hypnosis FAQ).
Link to Resource Guide for Recommended Books.
Link to Resource Guide for Hypnosis Links, Associations & Other Information.
E-mail Roy Hunter at email@example.com
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Last updated: January 11, 2007
Last minor update: December 1, 2007†
Latest FAQ revisions completed on January 11, 2007.
Roy Hunter, M.S., FAPHP, Certified
Published Author and Professional Speaker/Trainer
Inductee of International Hypnosis Hall of Fame