I'm sure you've seen hypnosis portrayed in films or TV series - normally, there's an evil hypnotist with scary eyes and/or a pocket watch. I think straight back to 'The Demon Headmaster', in which a school headteacher would hypnotise his students and the wider public. What a great series that was!
So, moving on from demon headmasters, is hypnosis safe?
What Hypnosis Isn't...
Let’s first look at what hypnosis isn’t.
Hypnosis isn’t a process in which you lose control of your mind or your behaviour, as it is sometimes portrayed.
Within hypnosis, you remain in control, and able to exit hypnosis whenever you want to. You may feel deeply relaxed and not want to exit, but if you needed or wanted to, you can do at any point.
Hypnosis gives you more control, rather than taking it away
It may not look like the hypnotised person is in control when we watch a stage hypnosis show - what we must remember is that there are a lot of other factors at play here.
Often, that person is there being hypnotised because they want to be a part of the show. They may feel the pressure from many sets of eyes watching them and feeling like they need to go along with the show.
They know that if they opened their eyes and came out of hypnosis, they’d ruin the show, and they’re probably enjoying the feeling of trance.
All this is to say, if they ever wanted or needed to, they could open their eyes and come back out.
Hypnotherapy has been studied a lot
Hypnosis when used as a mode of therapy has been greatly studied - The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) says that hypnotherapy has been studied for conditions including anxiety, headaches, pain control, irritable bowl syndrome, and more.
Does Hypnosis take control away?
Many people believe that hypnosis is a way of taking control away, but it is actually a means of enhancing control—over perceptions such as pain, anxiety, habits and stress.
It has become widely known and put forward by many hypnotherapists that 'All hypnosis is really self-hypnosis'. You have to want to go into hypnosis or it wont happen. You can't be forced into hypnosis if you don't want to be.
When is Hypnosis not recommended?
Research has suggested that hypnosis may not be appropriate for people with severe mental health issues, such as psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions. It might also be inappropriate for someone who is dependent on drugs or alcohol.
What are the side effects of Hypnosis?
Reports indicate that some potential side effects of hypnosis that may be experienced very rarely are headaches, slight dizziness, and mild anxiety. However, these usually fade shortly after concluding a hypnosis session.
These are definitely rare as I, personally, have never heard of anyone experiencing headaches, dizziness or mild anxiety while using hypnosis.
So, to conclude, there are very few side effects of hypnosis, and those that may be experienced are extremely rare and mild.
The benefits far outweigh any potential side effects, so if you haven’t already, it’s well worth giving it a go.
If you'd like to try for yourself straight away, you can listen to some of my free hypnotherapy soundtracks - click here to access them