The science behind hypnotherapy

How does hypnotherapy work? 

Hypnotherapy works by empowering people to change and update subconscious beliefs. You upgrade and replace old beliefs with new, more helpful ones.

How does hypnosis work to reshape beliefs?

So what is hypnosis? Hypnosis is a highly relaxed mental state, whereby the critical mind is bypassed. The brain rhythm changes to alpha brain waves, which is the perfect condition to learn new information, gain insight and understanding and analyse complex situations. In other words, the mind is relaxed and ready to learn.   So the mind becomes much more susceptible to suggestion and change.

Hypnosis: Brain waves frequencies

During the induction stages of hypnosis, the brain and body become more relaxed. As a result, the brain enters changing levels of wave patterns. There are five brainwave frequencies; however, there are four main different brainwave patterns when looking at hypnosis. 

These are Beta wave pattern, Alpha wave pattern, Theta wave pattern and Delta wave pattern as measured by an EEG (Electroencephalograph).

In the fully engaged and focused state, the brain will show a Beta wave pattern which is from 15 to 40 cycles per second. You use the beta brain rhythm most of the time. 

In a restful state, the brain will show an Alpha wave pattern which is from 9 to 14 cycles per second.

In a deeper state of hypnosis, similar to dreaming and some meditative states, the brain shows a Theta wave pattern which is from 4 to 8 cycles per second.

And in the deepest state, the brain shows a Delta wave pattern which is from 1 to 4 cycles per second; it is associated with deep, dreamless sleep. 

How to change brain wave frequency

Brainwave patterns change gradually. So, it will not switch immediately from say 27Hz (27 cycles per second – Beta Waves) to 2Hz (2 cycles per second – Delta Waves). The frequency of brainwaves gradually decreases and increases as required. The speed of gradual change in brainwave frequency can be fast or slow depending on the individual and the ability of the hypnotherapist. During reorientation, the brainwave patterns will gradually increase towards the Beta waves bringing the client back to full awareness.

All the brainwave frequencies usually are present together in the brain. However, the dominant frequency in the EEG pattern determines what shall be called the current state of the brain. If the amplitude of the alpha range frequencies is highest, then the brain is said to be in the alpha stage. But other frequencies still exist and it is impossible to give any “exact frequency your brain is operating on.” 

Old beliefs are easily changed during hypnosis

To summarise: in a state of deep hypnosis, you can easily update old beliefs and thoughts with new ones. For example, the old view of ‘I am not enough’ is changed to ‘I am enough the way I am’. Hypnosis works as it allows you to alter your subconscious thought processes to help you achieve specific objectives.

Here’s an example: Suppose you want to use hypnosis to increase your self-worth.

Your subconscious mind has many beliefs about your self-worth. Intellectually you know you are worthy, but you don’t feel it. You may believe: There is something wrong with me. I am not lovable. I am not visible. Memories, experiences and expectations shape your thoughts. And 90% of your subconscious beliefs drive your conscious actions. 

Hypnotherapy enables you to change update negative beliefs

In summary, your subconscious sets you up to fail. Many bad habits like overeating, negative self-talk, compulsive shopping and drinking too much are deeply rooted in subconscious beliefs.

Through hypnotherapy, you can begin to change and update these negative beliefs. Research strongly suggests hypnosis works for issues like chronic pain, substance abuse, PTSD and trauma.

By training your mind to think differently about challenges and goals, you can eliminate the negative thoughts that lead to self-sabotage.

So hypnosis empowers you to change your subconscious thoughts. And that is how hypnotherapy works.

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