Hypnosis is a state of mind produced either by oneself (auto or self hypnosis) or by responding to the suggestions of the therapist. It is usually accompanied by deep physical relaxation, a focusing of attention within yourself and a corresponding reduction in awareness of your surroundings. Daydreaming is a light hypnoidal state and other naturally occurring forms are common e.g. when you are completely absorbed in a good book.
At all times you can choose not to respond to the suggestions of the therapist and you may come out of trance at any time.
Everyone has the ability to enter hypnotic trance if they so wish. Some people have a greater natural ability than others. It is not something that is done to you, but a state of mind you can learn for yourself.
Hypnosis may be used to facilitate therapy in a number of medical and dental conditions e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis, pain relief. Hypnosis is very effective where habit cessation is sought e.g. nail biting. Phobias can also be treated very successfully by using hypnosis e.g. fear of flying, agoraphobia and arachnophobia.
The induction of trance is usually linked with physical relaxation and is useful where stress and anxiety are present.
Within the dental environment hypnosis can be provided for a number of conditions including:
In hypnotic trance you have enhanced access to your unconscious mind. As a result of suggestions given by the therapist or by yourself to yourself, you are able to act more readily than in the normal waking stage.
You will be taught how to practice self-hypnosis in order to reinforce suggestions made by the therapist. As with all skills you will be aware of improvement with practice. In addition, a recording may be made for your use at home.
Yes, hypnosis is not sleep; you will hear all surrounding sounds but unless important, they will be relegated into the background.
Yes, if something untoward happens you will come out of trance immediately and be fully alert.
Stage hypnotists are expert in the fast assessment of good hypnotic subjects. Anyone who volunteers is expecting to comply with stupid suggestions. Once on stage the pressure to comply is intense even before hypnosis is induced. Unfortunately, stage hypnotists do not screen for contraindications to hypnosis and are not always careful to remove post hypnotic suggestions from their subjects or from susceptible members of the audience.
Individuals vary in their capacity to use hypnosis effectively. Like every other therapeutic modality, there is a wide reaction in response. If is of major benefit to some patients and is helpful to many others, but individual responses vary.
If you wish to proceed with a course of hypnosis, your first appointment will be for assessment involving a history and answering any queries you may have. An initial trance induction and teaching self-hypnosis is normally carried out at this appointment.