people when asked if they have ever been hypnotised reply No,
and are mistaken. Everyone has and perhaps quite frequently been
in a hypnotic state without realising it. In childhood, daydreaming
which is so real to the child that the dream or imagined situation
takes the place of ordinary reality, is essentially self-hypnosis.
In adult life, many people still daydream occasionally, and most
people will have episodes of absent-mindedness or abstraction at
times, in which they are, as we say, in a world of their own.
instance, when driving down a familiar road, you may suddenly realise
that you have travelled several miles without being able to remember
details of that part of the journey. However, while driving, you
were perfectly competent, adjusting to road conditions, avoiding
dogs and children,
stopping at red lights and so on, and reached your destination safely.
Yet you realise that you have no memory at all of the last few miles
and probably cannot remember what you were thinking about during
that period. Or at another time, you may be engrossed in watching
a film on TV or reading a book, when someone asks you a question,
and you answer them. Later perhaps, that answer you gave is mentioned
again, you have absolutely no recollection of it. And have you ever
been surprised to hear from a friend that he saw you in the street,
even said hello to you, and you walked straight past him? No doubt
you can think of dozens of other examples from your own experience.
In these states, much the same thing has happened as occurs in hypnosis.
The consciousness of the individual concerned separates into two
streams, which are out of touch with each other. You are actually
conscious and aware of only one line of thought and action at this
time, while the rest is being done at an unconscious level. In formal
trance-work (Hypnotherapy), which is the utilisation of those states
for therapeutic purposes, you do not cease, as a rule to be unaware
or unconscious of what is going on around you.
Working with a therapist, you may actually be aware of noises outside,
the tightness of your shoes, the background music, but your awareness
of these things is somehow slightly distant or removed, as you are
concentrating much more deeply on what I or another therapist is
saying to you, and on what you are using the hypnosis for. It is
important to grasp this fact that the Trance State is a natural,
It can be a failure by the therapist to not make this point clear
and allowing you to think you have not been hypnotised because it
all feels so ordinary. Expectation counts for a great deal. Once
a Trance State has been achieved usually by talking for some time
in a rhythmic or monotone voice by the operator where you are pulled
along the induction path by one continuous thread of speech, you
tend to be appreciably more suggestible" than in the
ordinary waking state and it is the use of suggestion which is the
most obvious way of utilising hypnosis. (Again, it is helpful to
realise that suggestion is an everyday event. The advertising industry
would not exist if it were (not.)
The hypnotic experience has the unusual characteristic of combining
concentration with relaxation, which allows you to focus on your
problem, anxiety or development-need and remain relaxed. It
is fortunately a fact that most people are able to achieve a much
deeper state of calm and peace in the Trance State than out of it.
Once in that state the mind is much better able to accept suggestions
or other hypnotic interventions to work with the particular area
disturbance. Such an experience can break the link between an idea,
memory or thought
and its attendant anxiety and tension. It can help change what you
need to change and develop what you need to develop. Suggestions
(direct and indirect) and other hypnotic phenomena, therapeutic
interventions, visualisation and language structures are made and
utilised in this state, so you can achieve something you want, or
something that will benefit you, and in this hypnotic state, that
acceptance goes even deeper than it would in non-hypnotic states.
The control is with you, your own control of yourself, your mind
Hypnosis allows you to control aspects of your whole being that
normally you have no direct control over. It follows then that Hypnotherapy
is well suited to the treatment of anxiety and, since anxiety takes
an array of forms, hypnosis can be usefully applied to a wide variety
of conditions. Smoking and overeating are the commonest ways of
trying to alleviate feelings of anxiety, so it is not surprising
that Hypnotherapy is best known for it's effectiveness in those
areas. However, there are many others, beginning in childhood with
anxiety-induced behaviours like bed-wetting and nail-biting, and
so on into later life with perhaps sexual and relationship dysfunction
up to and including drug and alcohol abuse (though it is important
to realise that once those have taken a hold, they present a biochemical
problem as well. They have become not only psychological).
Phobic conditions are obvious manifestations of anxiety and Hypnotherapy
has a good record in this area. Stress is also another sphere where
Hypnotherapy is so helpful where it employs techniques to reduce
or eliminate stress, promoting relaxation and reprogramming specific
behaviour patterns. Also, it has long been recognised for some time
that many physical conditions have a psychological component. Asthma
is an obvious example. Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis,
etc. are others. It is possible for these to be purely psychological
(psychosomatic), in which case they may be cleared up entirely.
And even when the condition is physical in origin, it is often exaggerated
or even triggered by anxiety, so that Hypnotherapy can be a useful
adjunct to current medical treatment.
is also regularly employed for Dentistry, sleep disorders, natural
childbirth, self-esteem and motivation, learning, sports and creativity.
Frequently, of course, suggestion in itself is not enough because
there are underlying reasons for the problem. Sometimes these need
to be made conscious and worked through; sometimes they can be processed
at an unconscious level. Either way, Hypnotherapy and Hypno-Analysis
can be very useful provided that the operator has the appropriate
psychotherapeutic skill to deal with the content. It is important
that you choose a therapist who is trained in psychotherapy, not
merely in the induction of Trance States.
In some areas, such as pain control, depth of trance is important,
but for most purposes the level of trance is a good deal less important
than the accuracy of the suggestions or other therapeutic interventions.
A correct suggestion given in a light trance will be beneficial.
An unsuitable suggestion given in a very deep trance will be largely
or completely ignored.
Hypno-Healing is another extremely useful application of hypnosis
where your own body`s natural resources and recuperative abilities
are harnessed to help you deal with illness. It is important to
know you can only be hypnotised if and when you agree to it. You
accept, comply and act on only those suggestions that feel right
to you - suggestions that fit your moral and value systems. You
can terminate a Trance State at any time. You come out of
hypnosis just as easily as you go in, like awakening from a daydream.
Even in the most unlikely event of the Hypnotherapist being
called away or even dying (God forbid!) during an induction, you
would simply drift into normal sleep or immediately awake.
My clients always report an elated and cheerful feeling after the
session that stays with them for the rest of the day. Hypnosis on
TV or in a nightclub appears dramatic. At a party or in a club,
with a few drinks inside you, and with your friends egging you on,
you would be quite likely to do silly or even humiliating things
quite willingly even without hypnosis. Because of the situation,
and because you, and the audience, believe that the hypnotist can
make you do things, you go along with whatever he or she suggests.
If the hypnotist is skilled and intelligent, he or she will not
suggest anything that you would find really offensive, because it
would not work and you would come out of the trance. Hypnosis cannot
make moral people behave immorally. The hypnotist will suggest only
the sort of things the person is likely to expect and accept, and
so, as far as the audience is concerned, it works.
Hypnosis is not a truth drug either; it is actually just as easy
to lie in a trance state as it is in a normal state. In hypnosis,
you know what you are saying, and you will not do or say anything
that contravenes your inner principles. Hypnosis is not anti-Christian
or the work of the Devil as some people sadly believe. All the major
religions of the world including the Roman Catholic Church (the
largest Christian organisation in the world) have investigated hypnosis,
because of the false ideas in the past about its moral and mystical
character, and have approved it as a medical technique. However,
it does share many features with mystical and religious experiences
and can be very like deep meditation. I access and utilise this
side of hypnosis in my Transpersonal, Metaphysical, Past Life Regression
/ Healing and Shamanic work with clients.
clinical side of my work and the clinical application of hypnosis
is thoroughly practical and down to earth and I use it to treat
all kinds of disorders, both physical and psychological. Hypnosis
is not new. In recorded history the Greeks used trance induction
to treat anxiety and hysteria; the Druids called it '"magic
sleep"; Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815) called it "animal
magnetism"; and Dr. James Baird (1795-1860) named it "hypnosis"
which is simply the Greek word for sleep. He thought it to be `nervous
sleep`, and modern monitoring of brain rhythms indicate that it
is a separate state of consciousness somewhere in between sleeping
a Hypnotherapist, I act as a clinical facilitator to mobilise this
natural talent in practical and purposeful ways to improve physical
and mental health, and improve the quality of life for you. Hypnotherapy
is a highly effective tool for modifying behaviour and for healing
and is undoubtedly the single most powerful and under utilised resource
in healthcare and personal development today. No matter how special
your problem is, it can be successfully reduced or eliminated by
the thoughtful application of hypnosis. It really is an inner smile
that is released from somewhere deep inside you.
Michael G Millett Dip.CHP, MNCH(Reg), MHRS, PNLP, PLH, MNACHP is
a certified counsellor, hypnotherapist and psychotherapist associated
with The Replingham Clinic, London SW18.
is registered with the National Council For Hypnotherapy and holds
certificates in Transpersonal Therapy and Past Life Healing from
the London College of Transpersonal Hypnosis and Healing and is
an NLP Practitioner approved by the Society of Neuro-Linguistic
Programming USA and the Association of NLP (UK). In addition to
his private practice in North West London, he works with HIV and
AIDS sufferers using combination therapy.
can be reached at:
07000 4 CHANGE / 07000 42 42 64