All hypnosis is self hypnosis whether doing it alone or with the assistance of a psychologist. I prefer to utilize the term "enhanced state of consciousness" or ESC as it is descriptive of what hypnosis actually feels like. During ESC the brain can trigger and direct a number of the body's systems. It can control functions of the central nervous system, such as heart rate, body temperature, blood flow, and pain. It can trigger the limbic-hypothalamic system and the endocrine (glandular) system. It also appears to be capable of stimulating various neuropeptides, believed to be the basic tools of the body's immune system. In short, the proper use of hypnosis can have a major impact for good on every aspect of your physical and emotional health. I have taught the principles of ESC to patients with a wide variety of needs and have helped them improve their emotional as well as physical health.
Myth: A person loses control under hypnosis.
Fact: Contrary to this common belief, no one loses control during hypnosis. If you are focusing on say, upsetting information from the past, you might become upset. But you will never lose control of yourself and do something detrimental to your well-being.
Myth: You must be naive and gullible to be hypnotized.
Fact: Entirely false. The best hypnotic subjects are intelligent, focused people. This myth has probably found credence because of the use of the term suggestible in relation to hypnosis. Suggestible means simply that a person is able to take the hypnotic suggestions of the hypnotist or his own mind and apply them.
Myth: Hypnosis is something the hypnotist "does" to you.
Fact: All hypnosis, whether induced by a professional therapist or by you, is self-hypnosis. That is, you are placing yourself in the Enhanced State of Consciousness. When another person hypnotizes you, he is really only helping you hypnotize yourself.
Myth: Hypnosis is self-induced sleep.
Fact: Hypnosis is not sleep. Except in the deepest levels of somnambulism, you are aware of what is going on around you. And even in such deep states your conscious mind continues to stand guard and will arouse you if necessary.
Myth: You must trust your hypnotist, because once hypnotized you surrender your own judgment and follow the judgment of the hypnotist.
Fact: In spite of what movies would have you believe, you do not lose your capacity to make moral and ethical judgments during hypnosis. You cannot be made to do anything under hypnosis--endangering your own safety, for instance, or violating your moral convictions- that you would not do in a fully conscious state.
Myth:The hypnotist must have a stronger personality than his or her subject.
Fact: Again, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The strength of the hypnotist's personality is irrelevant. What is important is the rapport you have with the psychologist and the extent to which you understand and believe in hypnosis.
Myth: A significant danger of hypnosis is that many people have failed to awaken from the trance state.
Fact: The only reported cases of failure to awaken immediately from the trance-like hypnotic state have occurred among those few subjects who reached extremely deep and pleasurable levels of hypnosis and chose not to awaken. But even those levels become natural sleep from which the person soon awakens refreshed. This very rare "problem" is most always immediately overcome when the therapist tells the person that hypnosis may never again be possible unless he or she awakens immediately.
Myth: Hypnosis is an abnormal state. It runs counter to our basic psychological functioning and well-being.
Fact: Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state in humankind. The best example of a natural hypnotic state is what many of us have experienced on occasion- driving for miles without remembering how we did it, because we were so engrossed in our thoughts. This demonstrates how our conscious and unconscious minds can operate simultaneously.
Myth: Hypnosis may often lead to serious emotional problems.
Fact: Absolutely not. To the contrary, achieving ESC on a regular basis reduces tension and stress and produces a sense of well-being and increased ability to deal with the problems and challenges of life.