Meditation and hypnosis: the kissing cousins

The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances ~ Atisa

Meditation v Hypnotherapy.

It never ceases to surprise me how comfortable people are with the idea of meditation, but hypnotherapy…? Hmmm…

Imagine yourself meditating. 

What do you see? Yourself sitting crosslegged, a blissful smile playing on your lips?

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Imagine yourself in a hypnotic trance… what do you see?

Powerlessly telling your darkest secrets? Barking like a dog on command, unable to control your reactions as you chew away on raw onions?

Interesting, isn’t it. 

And yet, so far from the truth.

Because here’s the reality. Meditative trance and hypnotic trance. Pretty much the same state.

‘But what about those stage shows?’ I hear you. But here’s the thing. They’re not hypnotherapists. They’re in show business.

Any hypnotherapist will tell you that, contrary to what you might imagine, you won’t do anything or say anything you don’t want to do or say when you’re in a hypnotic trance. Here’s the secret to what appears to be ‘mind control’: those people you’ve seen on television, or in shows on stage… they’re highly extroverted, highly suggestive individuals who have been carefully selected because the mesmerist wants someone who loves to perform. Watch how they select who gets up on stage. That process is about assessing who is suggestible and is up for performing and really, really wants it.

In fact, moving into a hypnotic trance state itself is very like the deep relaxation state you’ll enjoy at the end of a yoga class or when you’re meditating.

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Of course, in hypnotherapy, we use this deep, relaxed state to explore issues that are holding us back from living the way we want to live. 

Hypnotherapists are guides, helping you explore the past to understand where you developed patterns of thinking or habits of action that were once a coping mechanism, but no longer serve you. Like eating when you feel lonely or self-sabotaging your best efforts to find the job of your dreams or choosing Mr Wrong over and over again.

Then we help you take control and move forward in the way you want – because we are all authors of our own stories and we can all have a happy ending.

It’s just sometimes we need a hand to help us pick up the pen and find the positive words that will propel us along our story’s timeline, in the direction we want.

Photos: @erik_brolin @xsanfeng @romankraft

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