What Is The Science Behind Hypnotherapy?
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Hypnotherapy is emerging as a popular alternative therapy procedure for people to handle emotional, mental and physical issues and challenges in their lives. Many people today are seeking an appointment with a hypnotherapist to solve their problems. So what exactly is the science behind hypnotherapy? Read on to find out…

Hypnotherapy: The science of mind
Hypnotherapy can be best described as the science of mind. It is a form of psychotherapy, which uses the power of the sub-conscious mind to overcome challenges and to facilitate opportunities. Using sub-conscious mind, one can find out limiting beliefs, thoughts and incidents that are causing emotional, mental and/or physical problems for them.

Once identified, these beliefs and thoughts can be then replaced with new functional ones to enable the client to be effective and productive in every area of life. Hypnotherapy works on the basic phenomena that once a person makes changes internally at the sub-conscious level, the outer manifestation changes automatically.

Hypnotherapy Vs Hypnosis
Often used interchangeably, hypnotherapy and hypnosis have slightly different meaning. Hypnosis is a relaxed state (natural state of altered consciousness) in which a person's sub-conscious mind is active and conscious mind is passive. This hypnotic state can be created by overwhelming the conscious mind with a lot of information.

Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, creates a hypnotic state to make the client very relaxed so that he/she is able to interact with his/her sub conscious mind to find the root cause of the problem/challenge/issue in question, along with their solutions. A professional hypnotherapist acts as a facilitator to the client enabling him/her to find solutions of his/her challenges/problems.

Is Hypnotherapy Scientific?
Yes, it is completely scientific and is widely accepted as a beneficial psychological therapeutic modality to access our inner potential. It bases itself on the human mind and mind is a well acknowledged phenomenon in the scientific realms. In India, this therapeutic modality was brought in the year 2000 and has gained a lot of popularity over the last five years.

Mind Vs Brain
More often than not, people think that mind and brain are the same thing. However, going by the researches in the field, that is not true. Brain is a physical organ that takes command from our mind and sends it to the body. Thus, brain actually is the mediator between the mind and the body. So what is mind then?

According to the theory of mind researched and developed by Dr. John Kappas (well known psychiatrist and hypnotherapist from USA and also the man who founded the first nationally accredited school of hypnotherapy in the United States), mind is a subtle body of energy, circle in shape with 12 feet in diameter and it remains the same size from the time of birth to the time we die. The center of the mind is our navel. Since it is a subtle body of energy, the mind is actually not visible to the naked eye.

The conscious and sub-conscious mind
Research suggests that the conscious mind is just 10-12% of the total mind while the subconscious mind is about 88-90%. The conscious mind is the logical, analytical, and thinking part of the mind. On the contrary, the subconscious mind is the data bank and stores all the information that comes in. We can give suggestions to this part of the mind to bring positive changes in our life.

The power of sub-conscious
So, between the conscious and the sub-conscious mind which one you think is more powerful. Well, it is the subconscious mind which is more powerful as it is this part of mind which stores all the information. Let us look at an example to understand what happens to the information that we take in.

Take for instance, relationship with father. Suppose my father never got me the cycle he promised when I was 7 years of age. I was sad and hurt that day and stored the experience in a file in my sub-conscious mind which said – ‘ My father does not love me’. This is a folder that now exists with respect to my father and from then on whenever I look at my father or even think about him or interact with him – my conscious mind will refer to this information stored about him in the subconscious mind and will act on the basis of that.

The data in the folder which is stored in my subconscious mind is – ‘ My father does not love me’ – and it gets stronger each time there is an interaction. I relate to him from this data and the relationship with my father gets worse with time due to this program in the subconscious mind that says ‘ My father does not love me’.

Even if he does something good for me and I want to improve my relationship with him, it may be difficult as the data in the subconscious mind will make me relate to him as ‘ My father does not love me’.

Power of affirmations
Now, in the above example, to actually bring change in my relationship with my father, I need to change this program in the sub conscious mind. Using hypnotherapy, one can replace this program with a new effective one that says ‘My father loves and cares for me’ . This replacement of the sub conscious program can be done by using affirmations/suggestions along with other therapy tools. Once the belief/program in the sub conscious mind is changed, the changes in the outer manifestation, i.e. the relationship with my father, will also happen.

Affirmations/suggestions are very important tool in a Hypnotherapist's toolbox. Affirmations/suggestion given to the sub-conscious can replace negative emotions, thoughts and beliefs with positive ones. Any suggestion given 21 times to the sub-conscious mind becomes a habit.

In short, use hypnotherapy to tap your internal resources and strength to bring changes externally!

The above article is contributed by Pallavi Srivastava, who has been working as a journalist in Print and online media for the last seven years. Since October 2012, she is working as an Independent writer. She is also a practicing Clinical Hypnotherapist. Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a therapist, she loves to share tips to maintain physical, mental and emotional wellness and live life effectively and productively.