It remains somewhat a mysterious subject – that of hypnosis. We face a natural reluctance to learn more about the techniques used in the science, perhaps because of the general tendency to consider the possible negative repercussions from allowing another person to ‘control’ our mind. If letting another person take over another’s mind is indeed the case, then some caution would certainly be warranted. But in regard to its main application in healing and psychotherapy, this is certainly not true.
There are great advances in the understanding of the human mind and recognition of the need to bridge the gap between the subconscious and the conscious mind. There exists a need to educate people to know the difference between these two levels of consciousness and, here, elementary psychology fulfills the function.
Every science related to the human being has developed slowly, from physiological understanding which permits successful surgery, to the understanding and correction of the psyche with its complexities of emotion and thought. Psychology also moves slowly but it is of increasing importance as physical disease is overcome and a shift occurs towards more subtle disturbances of the brain and the mind that manifest in the mental diseases we are witnessing today.
However, psychology is a new science. Psychologists were a rarity just fifty years ago.
So it will take time even with the most fervent investigators and scientists to be confident about such a complex issue and daunting task of understanding complex personalities and troubled human psyches. This work is made more difficult by the existence of yet another component in human nature, the soul, which is becoming a more familiar added dimension and a reality to those who practice meditation.
There are many valid techniques used by psychologists to encourage people to get to know themselves and make adjustments where there is a need. There are many fundamental problems that can easily be corrected under professional tutoring and supervision. Some of the most common examples involve getting a patient to stop smoking, over-eating or other negative health habits. Hypnosis is a tool used to correct many irregularities. The practice is entirely with the agreement or acquiescence of the patient who attends a medical hypnotherapy clinic and agrees to put themselves in the hands of experienced professionals.
In the past many well intentioned individuals have explored techniques of hypnosis and some have degraded its use by exploiting it as a means of public entertainment. This proved a negative factor. The serious potential and application of hypnosis is only now being fully considered as we begin to know more about the brain and the functions of the mind. We now can employ this knowledge in extending our understanding; in therapy; in redirection of skills and talent; and even in sporting achievement. Regrettably it is also and less attractively, being applied in political and even criminal mind games.
The elementary and powerful tool used to access the mind of another person is that of suggestion. In hypnosis, we allow a doctor or therapist to formulate and repeat certain suggestions in order to re-direct our thinking processes.
In auto hypnosis, we learn to undertake this technique for ourselves, using the same clear thought, the magic of repetition and the additional factor of our willing imagination that can create our ideal picture of our personal goal. We learn to use our own mental ‘muscles’ and yet apply the same principles used by hypnotherapists, but as some would argue, in a more sophisticated and comfortable manner which increases our sense of confidence and independence. It is admirable to take full responsibility for your own mind, which is the only real protection we have from negative influences around us.
Auto suggestion can be used for a wide range of purposes – to overcome physical health problems, emotional attitudes, mental habits, behavioral problems, but most important, it helps us each to integrate the conscious and subconscious levels of our mind, which together create an inner climate for our own integrity to flourish.
Begin with learning all about Self Hypnosis, or Auto Suggestion. These are techniques already employed and well known to students of Raja Yoga as the practice of japa. Information found through a further study of Yoga philosophy and psychology will complement that of modern psychology to help you better understand yourself.
Study of general psychology, the principles of auto-suggestion and successful application of the simple techniques will encourage you to learn more about methods of self- help before considering any larger issues that may require professional hypnotherapy.