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Hypnosis Myths Explained

Updated: May 20

Debunking common myths and revealing the true power of hypnosis

When you hear hypnosis, most people picture a swinging pocket watch or someone clucking like a chicken. To set the record straight: hypnosis isn't about turning you into a comedy act. In fact, it’s been around for centuries, with hypnosis-like practices dating back to ancient Egypt and Greece, where sleep temples were used for healing. Fast forward to the 18th century, Franz Mesmer popularised "animal magnetism," the precursor to modern hypnosis. In the 19th century, James Braid coined the term "hypnotism" and laid the groundwork for its scientific study. By the 20th century, hypnosis had gained recognition in the medical field, particularly for pain management during World War II. Today, numerous studies validate hypnosis as a legitimate therapeutic tool for a variety of conditions, from chronic pain to anxiety.


Myth #1 Hypnosis is mind control


It's a therapeutic technique that helps you access your subconscious mind to address specific issues or make positive changes - always with your consent and cooperation. You are guided through verbal cues and visualisations, to uncover the root cause of your issue. You can’t be made to do anything against your will. RTT combines NLP and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques to facilitate perspective shifts and achieve lasting impact.


Myth #2 - Hypnotherapy isn’t real. It’s a form of entertainment.


Hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis are very different practices. While stage hypnosis involves voluntary participants aimed at entertaining, clinical hypnosis is a type of medical therapy often used as part of a treatment plan that includes traditional medical approaches. The process is aimed at improving mental, physical and emotional well-being and often used to personal development and to enhance performance.


Myth #3 - You can get stuck in hypnosis and lose consciousness


It’s impossible to get stuck in a hypnotic trance. Hypnosis is a temporary state of heightened focus and deep relaxation - much like meditation. You're aware of everything going on around you and you are in dialogue with your hypnotherapist. The session can be terminated by the therapist or client at any time. All that’s required is to open your eyes.


Myth #4 - It can make me do silly things or act out of character.


Hypnotherapy cannot make you do anything you don't want to do, nor can it make you reveal any information you wish to keep secret.   It's a collaborative process, and you remain in control of your actions and decisions at all times. You can reject any suggestion that is given to you at any time and you will never say or do anything that goes against your moral or ethical principles.


Myth #5 - It's for the weak minded


Hypnosis is a natural state of relaxed but focused consciousness that we experience each day as we awake and fall asleep . About 10% of people are classified as very receptive and 10% of people are very difficult to hypnotise, most people sit somewhere in the middle. The ability to be hypnotised is not determined by mental strength. The effectiveness of a hypnotherapy session depends on willingness and cooperation. 


Myth #6 - Hypnotherapy is a long-term commitment.


Compared to most common forms of talk therapy, and depending on the individual and the issue, people can experience significant shifts in as few as 1-3 sessions. Following each session, it's necessary to listen to the personalised self-hypnosis audio every day for 21 days, to effectively rewire your mind.


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