Halifax Hypnosis
A Full Service Hypnosis Practice located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
About Hypnosis

Here are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about Hypnosis..

What, exactly, is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is simply a relaxed state of focused attention. By temporarily bypassing your conscious mind, it gives you the power to make behavioral changes at a deeper level than when you attempt to make changes at the conscious level.

One way to think about it is that hypnosis increases the communication between your conscious desires (like losing weight), and the unconscious mind (where your true power to change exists).

Why is communication with the unconscious mind so important?

Your conscious mind is only able to process approximately 50 bits of information a second, while your unconscious mind processes approximately 11 million bits per second.*

* Source: Zimmerman, M. (1989). “The nervous system in the context of information theory.” In R. F. Schmidt & G. Thews (eds.), Human Physiology, pp. 166-173. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.

That means your unconscious mind is about 220 THOUSAND TIMES FASTER than your conscious mind.

Making changes that can lead to your success requires changes to your beliefs about yourself, the world, and others. It also requires making real changes in your habits, preferences and behaviors.

It is more efficient to make these changes with as little interference from your conscious mind as possible. This way you can access the incredible processing power of your unconscious mind without conscious interference.

Much of the time, your conscious mind is actually the bottleneck towards effecting true change, as its main role is getting you through the day in the here and now.

Why can’t I just decide to make a change, and stick to it? Why does my unconscious mind need to be involved?

According to a fascinating experiment published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, just one act of self-control depletes your ability to have self-control in another unrelated area.

For example, when subjects were told not to eat chocolates sitting right in front of them, their persistence in puzzle solving deteriorated. When they were told to suppress an emotional reaction to a movie, they had problems solving a solvable anagram. The list goes on and on.

Source: RE Baumeister, E Bratslavsky, M Muraven, and DM Tice.”Ego Depletion: Is the Active Self a Limited Resource?” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 74, 1998.

We all have a limited capacity for conscious self-control. (No wonder it is so hard to stay away from the chocolate chip cookies!) If you fight your unconscious desires on too many fronts, you are bound to take a beating.

Is hypnosis an approved MEDICAL treatment? Since when?

Hypnosis, when practiced by a legitimate provider, has been approved for clinical use by both the British Medical Association since 1955 and the American Medical Association since 1958.

Will I lose control when using hypnosis?

Because of the movies and stage show acts, there is a perception that you will lose control when using hypnosis or somehow be under the “power” of the therapist. Nothing could be further from the truth. In clinical hypnosis, you will be aware of what is going on and you will find you actually feel you have more control over yourself. The hypnosis is simply increasing your ability to communicate with yourself.

“Hypnosis is not mind control. It’s a naturally occurring state of concentration; it’s actually a means of enhancing your control over both your mind and your body.”
— Dr. David Spiegel, Assoc. Chair of Psychiatry
Stanford University School of Medicine

How does hypnosis differ from meditation?

Meditation is a discipline that takes steady practice over a long period of time. The practice involves clearing one’s mind over long periods of time by allowing thoughts to pass by while focusing on a point, a mantra, or some other focus. Often breathing exercises accompany this practice.

A goal of meditation is to detach from your thoughts, and to experience a deep awareness that your thoughts are not you.

One important thing to know about meditation is that it is “content-less.” There is no goal aside from the meditation itself. It can lead to many health benefits, including stress relief and peace of mind, but it is not goal-driven.

Hypnosis, on the other hand, is a state of focused attention where the conscious mind is distracted so that work can be done with the unconscious mind directly.

Although one can learn hypnosis and use it on oneself, the most powerful use of hypnosis is having an expert guide you through the change process. Using hypnosis in this way allows a person to make changes in a fraction of the time it would take working consciously.

In short, the difference between hypnosis and meditation is that they both bridge the unconscious / conscious interface, with meditation being without content and not goal-driven, while hypnosis has content and is goal-driven.

A lot of people use hypnosis to help them develop the discipline to create a meditation practice. Hypnosis helps a person create the behaviors that lead to the goals they set for themselves.

Will hypnosis conflict with my religious or spiritual beliefs?

This is a common question. None of our hypnosis procedures address anything at the spiritual level unless that is an area you personally want to explore. There is nothing “new age” about them. They are simply designed to help you adopt healthy behaviors.

Almost all Christian denominations accept hypnosis for self-improvement purposes, as do Judaism and Islam. However, Seventh Day Adventists and Christian Scientists do not believe in using hypnosis.

Has hypnosis been used in the mainstream?

Hypnosis has been used by people such as Matt Damon, Kevin Costner, Jackie Onassis, Tiger Woods, Ellen DeGeneres, and countless other celebrities to address habits, behaviors and performance.

Hypnosis has been reported on in many mainstream publications:

“Hypnosis can help adult patients control other forms of pain, relieve gastrointestinal problems, stimulate weight loss, clear up skin problems, and accelerate the healing of bone fractures and surgical wounds.”
Consumer Reports, January 2005

“Hypnosis can actually help you lose weight.”
— O, The Oprah Magazine, August 2004

“Hypnosis has gained credibility in the past five years because of research using the latest brain-imaging technology. Studies show hypnosis can help treat a multitude of disorders.”
Business Week, February 2004

“Hypnosis can help. A growing body of research supports the ancient practice as an effective tool in the treatment of a variety of problems, from anxiety to chronic pain.”
Newsweek, September 2004

How does hypnosis compare to other forms of therapy?

Hypnosis has a very high success rate compared to other forms of therapy.

Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D. reviewed the overall lasting success of various psychological approaches. This study revealed the following success rates:

Hypnotherapy — 93% success rate after 6 sessions
Behavior Therapy — 72% success rate after 22 sessions
Psychotherapy — 38% success rate after 600 sessions

Source: Psychotherapy: Theory Research and Practice (Volume 7, Number 1, Spring, 1970).

What if I can’t be hypnotized?

Research at Stanford demonstrates that about 95% of people are hypnotizable. If you are able to get “involved” in a good book or movie, then it is likely that hypnosis can work for you.

It is important to remember that Hypnosis cannot, and should not, stand alone as the sole medical or psychological intervention for any clinical disorder. Hypnosis should not be used instead of appropriate medical, dental, or psychological treatment, and any individual with a medical or psychological problem should first consult a qualified health care provider for diagnosis and professional advice.

Halifax Hypnosis is a full service Hypnosis practice located in the Halifax, Nova Scotia area.

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Halifax Hypnosis
(902) 225 6527

Week days Mon - Fri 09:00 - 16:00 By Appointment