Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can anyone be hypnotised?
A: Yes, everybody is hypnotizable to some extent - some more than others. Even strong-minder and analytical people are hypnotisable, as they have excellent control and concentration and these elements are extremely important in hypnotherapy.
Those who would not be recommended to use hypnosis are people who have suffered heart attacks or strokes and people with epilepsy or those suffering from psychosis.
Q: What does hypnosis feel like?
A: The answer is that hypnosis probably feels different for everybody. Many hypnotherapists (researchers & clinicians) use elements of relaxation procedures, so people commonly associate a feeling of relaxation with hypnosis. Different people have all sorts of bodily responses to relaxation instructions - some feel as though their body is very heavy, whereas some can feel very light, almost as if floating. People typically report feeling very focussed or absorbed in hypnosis and often, effortlessly so.
Q: Is hypnosis like sleep?
A: In short, no. Despite the word hypnosis being derived from the Greek god of sleep, ‘Hypnos,’ studies have shown that hypnosis and sleep differ. Studies of brain activity have shown that although there are characteristic patterns of brain activity associated with sleep the same has not been demonstrated of hypnosis. To observers hypnosis might appear to be like sleep because suggestions of relaxation are commonly given as part of a hypnotic routine, but hypnotised people are in a state more associated with wakefulness.
Q: Is hypnosis dangerous?
A: No, hypnosis is not in itself a dangerous procedure, but there are concerns that if it is not used properly then it could lead to negative reactions. It is therefore important that you choose your hypnotherapist carefully, ensuring they are fully qualified and committed to ongoing study and research. The risks associated with hypnosis (as in, participants may very occasionally experience a mild headache) have been shown not to differ from those associated with attending a university lecture (Lynn, 2000).
Q: Can hypnosis make me do things I don't want to do?
A: Absolutely not! You can't be made to do anything you don't want to do in hypnosis because at all times, you retain power over your ability to act upon suggestions.
Q: Can I get 'stuck' in hypnosis?
A: There is no evidence that anybody can become stuck in hypnosis. The worst that might happen could be that you fall asleep - and wake up unhypnotised! If the hypnotherapist walked out of the room, whilst you were in trance, after a short time with no input, you would come to naturally, and feel no ill effects.