Frequently Asked questions ( FAQ )


Is it really true that hypnosis can help a childless couple have a baby ?

I would not want to arouse false hopes if a couple is childless due to physical disorders. However, in many cases of infertility anxiety plays a major role and-in such case-hypnosis can have striking results. Anxiety may cause spasm in certain muscles and organs throughout the body, as well as cause changes in rate of production of certain hormones.

A woman might be quite tense about conceiving a baby and anxiety can act, you might say, as an unwanted contraceptive in and any number of ways. Such nervousness may, for example, create spasm in the Fallopian tubes, which apparently block sperm from entering. There are other reactions, any of which can cause the infertility. We should mention, of course, that men too, have emotional problems which disrupt normal sperm production, in similar ways.

Yes, for the couple whose infertility has psychosomantic basis (and your physician would have to decide this) hypnosis can help.

Is hypnosis effective in removing homosexual tendencies ?

Homosexuality is a neurosis that sometimes begins early in life, and it is important to determine if the person really desires help. It may surprise you to know how many homosexuals do not want to change! While hypnosis can be helpful, rapid results should not be expected. The main goal would be to establish maturation of the personality and enable successful adjustment to the opposite sex. Simple posthypnotic suggestions to become physically involved with the opposite sex would not be the answer. The subject would be guided, through hypnotic conditioning, toward a mature orientation, relieving guilt and anxieties.

What, if any, value is hypnosis in sex problem ?

Often, an individual suffering from this problem remains silent and is too ashamed to seek help. The subjects of impotence or frigidity are carefully hidden, even among close and dear friends where practically all other subjects are out in the open. The amount of misinformation and ignorance centering around these problems is inexhaustible. Hypnosis, one of the most effective tools in alleviating these problems, also suffers from a vast amount of misinformation.

To begin with, as we constantly repeat, a physician’s approval, indicating no physiological or neurological cause, is required before an ethical hypnotist will undertake such cases. Figures from experts indicate that 95-99% of all cases of impotence and frigidity are psychogenic, but-since there could be a neurological condition or physical manifestation, causing the problem-the possibility must be excluded by proper examination by a physician.

Assuming the problem is of psychogenic origin, hypnosis can be of definite value. Dealing directly with the subconscious mind, it can uncover reasons underlying the symptoms in a relatively short time (often, such analysis isn’t even necessary). Hypnosis has proved of such value in thousands of cases, saving much anguish and benefitting many whose lives are unfulfilled. Feelings of guilt and shame, which cripple emotions and lead to sexual maladjustment, can be removed. Such problems will be self-perpetuating unless corrected.

How hypnotizable are children ?

Generally speaking, children six years of age and older, make excellent subjects. This does not mean that a child of 4, precocious for his age, cannot be hypnotized; nor does it mean that all children over 6 are excellent subjects. Children are imaginative and trusting, and these traits make good subjects. As a category, again speaking generally, teen-agers are probably the best subjects of all.

The potential of hypnosis is relatively limitless, but the very nature of phenomenon breeds misconceptions which only create confusion. It is not magic and-despite many claims by some practitioners-will not produce miracles. Hypnosis will not endow anyone with superhuman powers nor will it enable anyone to perform beyond his inherent capabilities.

More than 5000 physicians and about 3000 dentists now use hypnosis in their practice. Others, realizing the values of hypnosis, do refer patients to qualified hypno-technicians who work with such referrals only.

Can a person hear what is being said, while undergoing surgery ?

Although it will probably be many years before doctors all over the world accept this fact, it has been substantiated by physicians of excellent repute that patients under general anesthesia do retain their sense of hearing. The mind is functioning, even though it is at an awareness below the level of consciousness. There have been many cases where the patient, undergoing surgery, has heard a surgeon-or, perhaps, a nurse-make a remark which is interpreted in such a way as to delay recovery. For instance, in one case the surgeon remarked, after making an incision to expose the gall bladder, "Take a look at that gall bladder! She’ll never be the same after this." The woman took this to mean she would never be well. This may have been what he actually meant, or, he could have meant an opposite thought. Her subconscious mind, which is not a reasoning organ, accepted the negative aspect and that’s the way she reacted, with intense post-operative pains and slow recovery. In hypnosis, she revealed all this, repeating exactly the surgeon’s conversation with his assistants, and the fears which ensued.

This thesis is being accepted more widely and medical schools teach the importance of careful, thoughtful conversation in the operating room.

Incidentally, doctors are aware of casual remarks by the patient, such as, "I’m never coming out of the operation alive." This calls for what really amounts to "hypnosis." Although perhaps "waking hypnosis," to obviate this attitude and replace it with positive suggestions. We are all born with the will to live and this law of self-preservation is the primary law of our lives. Yet, there are some people who do not possess this instinct at normal level, i.e. depressive types. Psychotherapy or hypnosis by qualified practitioners can be helpful in many cases.

Have you performed any major surgery under hypnosis ? Please comment on acupuncture. Could it be a form of self-hypnosis ?

Not being a surgeon, or physician, I personally could not have performed surgery, of course, and assume the question pertains to hypnosis, per se, as anesthesia. The answer is a definite "YES".

In the early 1800’s, Dr. James Esdaile was the first to use hypnotism (then called "Mesmerism") for surgery, working in India. He performed thousands of minor and over 300 major operations without chemical anesthesia. You must realize that this was before the advent of chloroform, etc. Esdaile, as well as Dr. John Elliotson, who also used this "unheard of" procedure, fell into disrepute, because of the considerable opposition.

As interest developed in chemical anesthesia, the use of hypnosis in this regard became neglected, until such interest was recently revived. Mention should be made of its use in World War II, on such occasions when no drugs were available. It is unlikely that hypno-anesthesia will come into general use, of course, but it certainly is being accepted as a valuable adjunct, reducing the amount of drugs. There are case histories of such major operations as mastectomies, and- startingly-open heart surgery, under hypnosis. There are situations where chemical anesthesia is precluded for some reason and, in such cases, hypnosis can play an excellent role.

Hypnoanesthesia has come into prominent use for dental procedures and more and more dentists use this for extractions, etc.

As for the question of "acupuncture," it is difficult to say. The writer personally had thoughts in the direction of relating this amazing procedure with hypnosis and, frankly, still thinks so, to some extent.

However, we will have to reserve final judgement until more scientific investigation is completed.

Are there any dangers in the use of hypnosis for reducing ? Can hypnosis really help control eating habits ?

Overweight is one of the common problems brought to a hypnotist. We would have to have proper approval by a physician, ruling out physiological causes, such as excessive water retention, hypothyroidism, etc., before proceeding with hypnotic conditioning, in such cases. There are so many causes for overeating and the inability to properly control diet. Domestic upsets, fatigue, economic worries, sexual problems, etc., all are common sources of tensions which interfere with reduction of food intake. Eliminating the overweight problem is much easier if such tensions are done away with, and hypnosis is an excellent modality for relieving tensions. Of course, there are other causes possible for excessive eating, too many to list here. Using hypnosis, and being taught "self-hypnosis," one can be conditioned to eliminate bad eating habits, or to follow your physician’s diet.

Since everyone is different and has different underlying causes for overeating, hypnotic suggestions must be formulated individually, to suit the case. Essentially, it is a conditioning program, with weekly sessions gradually modifying eating habits. New habit patterns are established and "willpower" as such, becomes less and less needed.

Many people who come in for help by hypnosis, state that they have lost weight "several times," which really demonstrates that when willpower alone is used, the habits are not really changed. A certain goal is reached, willpower is relaxed, and the same old habit patterns return…with the weight again increasing. With hypnosis, modifying habits and concepts, a very high percentage of persons maintain new weight levels permanently.

Hypnotic suggestions can alleviate discouragement, re-establish goals and incentives and put the subject back on the right track.

There is nothing magic about hypnosis that causes a person to lose weight. It simply helps a person to be more satisfied with less food daily, consume fewer calories and thereby reach a lower weight level.

As long as your physician assures you that no physiological problems exist to contraindicate hypnotic conditioning, there would certainly be no danger involved.

Can hypnosis help an introverted person ? What about hypnosis for personality changes ?

It is no more abnormal to introverted than it is to be tall or short, blonde or brunette. However if the degree of introversion becomes too great, it may result in a break with reality and a person then becomes schizophrenic. Although some work has been done in this area, once a person has developed schizophrenia, hypnosis is almost impossible. Judicious use of hypnosis can definitely help cases of introversion, when it is a pathological situation, interfering with everyday life. A person may be shy and uncomfortable with his fellows and in such cases hypnosis can help build confidence and rid feelings of inferiority and timidity. A new "self-image" can be attained, and the experience of the relationship in hypnosis has an educating effect, as it were, so that other emotional relationships become easier.

Can hypnosis help overcome feelings of inferiority ?

It is really surprising to realize that many, many people feel they are unworthy and this is truly a tremendous handicap. Frequently, such feelings prevent one from accomplishing his potential. Much can be accomplished by re-conditioning the subconscious mind to accept a new self-image.

If you expect failure, that is what you will get, because the subconscious literally accepts whatever you feed it. Hypnosis can help by eliminating the negative. What suggestion can do, suggestion can undo. The same power which has one "hooked" to negative thinking, can be redirected in another direction. "What the mind causes, the mind can cure."

Can hypnosis help overcome a bad temper ?

The emotion of anger is quite similar to that of fear. The same part of the autonomic nervous system is associated with both fear and anger and the bodily responses are, in many aspects, the same. Just as fear may vary from simple worry to extreme panic, anger may vary from just a grudge to an extreme rage. Of course, anger can vary from general hostility toward the world in general, to a specific anger toward a certain person, or situation.

Hypnosis can help persons who do acknowledge they have a problem and who want help. The subconscious mind can be programmed by hypnotic suggestion to realize the temper outbursts are out of proportion to the situations involved. The subject is conditioned to face such situations calmly, with equanimity.

How effective is hypnosis in behavior control ?

There are a number of methods to control behavior. One, for example, is a reward system-reward and punishment, that is. Another method is use of reason. When you ask about hypnosis, the answer is a definite "yes", but let’s substitute the word "suggestion," which is what hypnosis really is, anyhow. Suggestion can be used quite effectively, assuming certain prerequisites. All normal people will, under certain circumstances, accept an idea without analysis or criticism. Thus, an idea wholeheartedly accepted in this fashion would help in behavior control. Some of the necessary factors are: (1) Prestige. If the operator (call him hypnotist, if you will) is held in esteem by the subject, there is a good tendency to accept the ideas offered. (2) If the suggestion is congruous with prevailing social thought, the subject might be less likely to be critical of it.

In the hypnotic state, an individual becomes hyper-suggestible and his tendency to be critical-or analytical-is lessened. If the subject does not accept, or resists, we must circumvent, or minimize, the resistance mobilized by his prejudices. By proper use of hypnotic suggestion, most individuals can be shown their former ideas were incorrect.



Institute of Mind Control and Development ,
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