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IMGCA Article - Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis


Is Hypnosis A Science Or An Art?
It's All In The Mind

Richard MacKenzie

The debate is an ongoing one, and no one seems to know the definite answer. So is Hypnosis actually an art or is it a science. Loyalists from both the camps will fervently argue about their case being stronger; however, I maintain that hypnosis is a combination of both these streams. So there! It's a win-win situation.

Researches studying the nature of hypnosis have found that it's a state of near trance, where the person undergoing hypnosis is extremely relaxed, both internally and externally. We experience a heightened sense of imagination while under a hypnotic state, and are open to suggestions and changes. Through the years psychiatrists and researchers have also figured out a number of instances in our daily lives when we experience these hypnotic states on our own. Times when we are daydreaming, when we are completely engrossed in a book, when we are driving or even while watching a movie; these are situations when we lose ourselves in the moment; we are concentrating on something we are doing with such force, that we shut out external disturbances and stimuli. Even though we are conscious of all that's going on around us, it seems as if we have switched off mentally. And that is exactly how hypnotherapy works as well.

Hypnosis has long been perceived with doubt; all sorts of misgivings have clouded people's imaginations. Some people called it pagan rituals, while others gave it the sinister name of occult. Popular mediums such as films and books also added to the image by presenting the hypnotist as an evil character who is out to control your life by uttering strange words. For the last few years hypnotherapists like me, aided with research findings have been fighting against that image. If you look at me, you will consider me to be a normal guy; no turbans, gaudy costumes, and cheap jewelry can be found on my person. I am here to break a myth, and I am here to say that hypnotherapy is both a science and art.

It is a science because hypnotherapy is being widely practiced today for clinical psychology and its healing properties. People the world over are waking up to the reality of hypnosis being able to cure innumerable lifestyle and personality maladies. From low confidence to sexual issues, from smoking to weight loss... people seem to be benefiting from the effects of hypnosis for a variety of problems. Hypnosis is a science because it deals with our minds - the subconscious mind. A lot of research has been undertaken to understand the way our mind functions; and one of the astounding discoveries was, that our conscious minds are constantly being directed by the more powerful, yet subtle subconscious. So, in truth our subconscious is the real driving force behind all our thoughts and actions; our conscious minds constantly ruminating over the feedback given to it by our subconscious. And hypnotherapy's underlying belief lies in the power of our subconscious.

Hypnotherapy can also be an art, simply because it can be mastered with practice. Something like learning to play a flute, or learning to paint. While we may have the natural flair to be artists, we need to hone our talent. Similarly hypnosis takes practice and patience, before we can see positive results. It is also an art because it deals with humans and human feelings such as jealousy, guilt, shame, which have been so well represented over the years in literature. Hypnotherapy is an art also because individuals who have mastered it can use it for lighthearted entertainment - stage hypnosis is practiced successfully by many professionals, who manage to make people laugh even while demonstrating how powerful our subconscious really is.

Richard MacKenzie - Find more information on Hypnotherapy and Self Hypnosis at Richard MacKenzie's site.

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