What is hypnosis ?
We often have a mistaken view of hypnosis. As shown in the media, we can easily imagine losing consciousness and being at the mercy of the therapist who can make us say (or do!) Anything. In reality, hypnosis is a state in which the individual puts himself in order to modify his perception. Very effective in quitting smoking, it is also useful in the management of stress or sleep problems. It is generally recommended to consult a health professional trained in hypnosis in order to be properly accompanied. But today it is possible to practice hypnosis without leaving home, thanks to online supports that can be downloaded. However, care must be taken to ensure that the recordings were made by a psychologist, therapist or doctor.
My experience with online hypnosis
10:30 p.m., tired from my day, I decide to go to bed. The program I chose lasts about twenty minutes, a reasonable length that will allow me (at least that’s what I’m thinking at this moment) not to get bored. Not very receptive to all the relaxation techniques that require let go, I leave, not with an a priori, with a little skepticism about my capacity to live the experience fully.
I press play and the program starts. It’s a woman’s voice that invites me to relax. In the distance, soft and pleasant music, the sound of waves. Several minutes pass and I realize that I am not really listening. I open my eyes several times, I readjust my pillow, I look at the time. In short, I’m bored. However, I decide to continue the experiment and try to empty it. I realize at this moment that I doubt myself and that I had got it into my head from the start that this would not work. The moment I decide to give the experiment a chance to work, everything changes.
I then focus on that voice and what it is telling me. What made me smile a few minutes ago suddenly seems much clearer and I realize that the words spoken by that voice don’t matter. On the other hand its rhythm, its timbre, the way in which it accentuates certain words and in which they are accompanied by music, all of this is starting to lower my guard. I do not fall asleep but I am floating in a semi-sleep which is not unpleasant. I remain focused on this voice but I gradually listen to my body and my feelings. It is an unprecedented and quite disturbing experience.
If the first 10 minutes are long, the rest goes quickly. The voice gradually fades, stops then resumes before completely extinguishing, only the sound of the ocean accompanies me. Normally at this point I should be asleep. I’m not but I still feel relaxed, yawn and stretch. I turn off the light and notice the next morning when I wake up that I slept very well. A few strange dreams, as usual, but a restful night.
Online hypnosis: my review
I tested a program available for free on the internet but some therapists offer their patients sessions by skype. The experience was not wasted but nevertheless leaves me with a taste of incomplete. Perhaps such a lonely practice requires one already to be familiar with hypnosis and how it works. It also seems to me that it lacks the accompaniment of a therapist, who would observe the reactions and would know how to react according to them. Not having any real sleep issues or looking to resolve a deeper problem, my experience has been generally positive. The goal was for me to sleep and… I slept!
The opinion of Doctor Jean Marc BENHAIEM, responsible for the university diploma in medical hypnosis at La Pitié Salpêtrière
Medical hypnosis is a two step process. The first stage is reached by fixing our attention on a monotonous element: a fixed point, a sway, a music without relief, a monotonous voice. This step is like a diversion, a diversion of attention. The content of an online program, as tested by the reporter, cannot take into account the uniqueness of the person downloading it. The goal is simply to disturb and “let go” of mental activity.
Sleep appears when the person is nothing more than an animal body which stops thinking. The person lets himself go in the natural way of falling asleep.
In the report, we find formulas that go well in this direction:
- “Soft and pleasant music”
- ” I am bored “
- “All this is starting to let my guard down”
Then she indulges in this game and:
- “Everything changes”, she let go of her critical sense, her desire for mastery.
In the end, this downloaded program looks like the story read to a child to put it to sleep. Or to a television program that captures the attention and rocks the viewer who falls asleep on his sofa. Sometimes this experience allows the person to permanently modify their sleep. This is the second stage of hypnosis. Confusion and diversion opened up a change, despite the therapist’s absence. According to the personalities, some people need to first do this experience guided by a care professional. Then they find their way back, alone, with self-hypnosis exercises.
In many diseases: chronic pain, addictions, phobias, the presence of a therapist is essential. The patient is immobilized on a suffering and asks to be accompanied to get out of his difficulty. To get rid of this suffering, a simple diversion will not be enough. It will take a profound change in the position of the person in his relationship to the world. On this condition alone, it can be cured durably.
Thanks to Dr Jean Marc BENHAIEM, author of Zen and Hypnosis, 12 principles of balance to be happy, ed La Martinière.
To find a therapist in your area: www.hypnose-medicale.com
“Hypnosis got me out of my depression”