Duncan Tooley’s take on the Myths related to Hypnotherapy

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About Duncan

Duncan Tooley is a mind-trainer, health & wellness consultant and medical hypnotist.  He changes lives by teaching individuals to change their mind, their attitudes, beliefs, and habits.

After teaching physics, chemistry and mathematics in high school, Duncan began his 35-year career in corporate information technology that was interrupted by illness that he eventually cleared with hypnosis.  He has been a hypnotherapist since 2006 when he moved to the Los Angeles area from Louisiana.

Duncan specializes in helping people use their subconscious to change persistent habits and conditions related to their body, such as smoking, overeating, chronic pain, and long-term illnesses.

To Address the Myths, it is useful to know what Hypnosis is first, so that the explanation of the Myths is
more understandable:

A. Hypnosis is a natural state of consciousness that you already experience every day. You enter
this state when you day-dream, meditate, listen to rhythmic instrumental music, just before
falling asleep, upon awakening, and when engaged in semi-automatic behaviour like freeway
driving. It is a state that you can learn to enter deliberately at any time.

B. Hypnosis produces a pleasant inward feeling with high concentration. It provides a direct path to
the deeper regions of your mind and consciousness. It permits you to remember things
previously forgotten, to moderate your emotions, to mitigate any physical “dis-ease”, to adjust
your limitations, and to transform yourself into an unlimited human!

C. The transformation power of hypnosis comes from within yourself. It is the power of your mind
to create the reality of predominate thoughts. Hypnosis helps you center your energies on the
things you want. Hypnosis allows suggestions to penetrate deeply so that they prompt you to
stay on course. The prompting is subtle, but you want to do the thing you previously did not!

D. Visualization, mental rehearsal, contemplative prayer, Yoga, Reiki massage, chanted prayers, ceremonial dancing, repetitive drumbeats and music all contain elements of hypnosis.

E. Top athletes, public speakers, performers and businessmen use hypnosis on themselves to
achieve peak performance. So can you!

F.  Hypnosis has long been used to help the body cure illnesses. “Sleep temples” are documented in
Egypt, Greece, Rome, England, and India where healing hypnosis was induced by “priest doctors.
” The American Indian “Medicine Man” did a trance dance to hypnotic drum beats and
incantations to send away the illness. Hypnosis was the normal anaesthesia for surgery on
soldiers during the Civil War

G. Today, thousands of surgeries and births are performed painlessly without drugs by use of hypnosis as anaesthesia. Hypnosis is an approved stand-alone alternative wellness modality that does not require a license and is self-regulated through professional certification associations. The American Medical Association has endorsed numerous studies documenting the medical benefits of hypnosis. Many hospitals are now employing hypnotists on their staff to assist patient healing.

H. Self-hypnosis is a very useful skill for all types of personal transformations. It is a process of
hypnotizing yourself to be receptive to your suggestions for the transformational change that you
desire. It is easy to learn and can be used practically anywhere and by anyone who learns the
technique. It can be used to achieve practically any desired personal benefit. I very successfully
teach others to use it for weight loss, stress and anxiety relief, and turning off pain.

And now to address the most common myths:

Myth #1: A hypnotist is a person gifted with mysterious or unusual magic-like powers.
Fact: A hypnotist does not possess any unusual powers. The hypnotist knows that everyone hypnotizes themselves and that the trance state is a normal part of everyday life. We are entranced by music, by love, by art, by yoga, meditation, prayer, and freeway driving boredom. The hypnotist has learned the science and art of effective communication with the subconscious and shows this method to the person desiring transformation through hypnosis. The hypnotist may teach the person how to hypnotize themselves whenever they want, as we routinely do at Tooley Transformation.

Myth #2: Hypnosis means being put to sleep or unconscious and not aware of your surroundings. It means a loss of control.
Fact: A hypnotized person usually has their eyes closed and is very still. Our common experience is that when a person has their eyes closed and is very still, they are either asleep or unconscious and hopefully not dead! However, Hypnosis is not sleep or unconsciousness. It is a state of heightened inner awareness where you are aware and make choices and decisions. You remain in control of yourself. I describe it as “an opportunity to have a conversation with your subconscious.” Because you are so inwardly focused, you relax your muscles and therefore externally you appear to be asleep or unconscious. Sometimes a hypnotized person passes from hypnosis into sleep. When this happens it is because the person is completely relaxed and wanted to sleep. They will awake very refreshed from the experience.

Myth #3: A hypnotist can induce a person to commit a crime.
Fact: Although a hypnotized person is highly open to suggestions, the person remains in control. They are able to disregard any suggestions given to them if they do not want to accept them. Normally a hypnotist does not have the power to make a person do something that goes against their will. A person has to be willing to accept the suggestion for it to “stick.” This is why hypnotists often decline to work with smokers who really don’t want to quit. Surrendering to a very domineering or unscrupulous personality can, however, result in a form of brain-washing if sufficiently repeated. Remove yourself immediately if you sense this happening from any hypnotist, preacher, politician, telemarketer or advertiser!

Myth #4: The hypnotist can and will make me bark like a dog or act like a chicken.
Fact: You have probably seen this on TV or a stage show. Realize that this is hypnosis for entertainment that is different from hypnosis for self-improvement or therapy. The tacit agreement between the hypnotist and the volunteers in the stage show (entertainment) setting is: “We are going to have fun being silly!” Those hypnotized had a choice to accept or reject the suggestions to act like a chicken or dog, and many accepted them! (Perhaps they denied this afterward because of embarrassment or some other reason). The hypnosis that therapists do for your personal benefit is not entertainment and never contains such suggestions.

Myth #5: A person in a hypnotic state may not be easily awakened and may remain in that state for a long time.
Fact: “Awakened” is not the proper term, because the person was never asleep. The hypnotist knows and uses the correct method to bring a person back from a trance state to “normal room awareness” at the end of the session. Even if this were not done, the person will exit the hypnosis state naturally. There is no record of anyone failing to emerge from a hypnotic state! As part of your self-hypnosis training, you will learn how to both put yourself into trance and how to bring yourself out of trance whenever you want.

Myth #6: Hypnosis is not effective or takes a lot of expensive sessions.
Fact: Hypnosis is very effective. It was approved for medical use by the American Medical Association in 1958. Many hospitals use some form of hypnosis to prepare patients for surgery and assist their rapid recovery. Hypnosis is THE most effective method of releasing the tobacco habit. There is a large body of evidence on the effectiveness of hypnosis for nearly the entire spectrum of human experience. Many issues can be solved with a single hypnosis session reinforced by personal self-hypnosis. Some deeply entrenched issues take a few sessions. Here are the effectiveness statistics from American Health magazine:

• Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions

• Behaviour (Talk) Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions

• Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions

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