Given Flip's line of work he is often answering the question, "What is hypnosis?" And, of course, he is constantly faced with the follow up question, "How does it work?" So, here, for you now, on this very Web site, we present Flip's basic introduction to the fine art of hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a form of communication that helps the mind work in a more efficient and powerful way. When people experience hypnosis, they are completely aware of their surroundings, in control of their mind and body, and usually unaware that they are even experiencing hypnosis. It is a technique that helps to limit the normal distractions a person is typically aware of. When you ignore what would normally distract you, you can focus your mind on a specific idea or set of suggestions. The more focused someone becomes, the more receptive her mind becomes to the idea of change.
Hypnotic suggestions are directed at and appeal primarily to the unconscious mind. The unconscious deals with emotions, imagination, perceptions, and self-image. For an hypnotic suggestion to be effective, it should have some emotional content, appeal to the imagination, and help to alter ones' perception (preferably in a positive way). When an idea is accepted by the unconscious mind, that part of the mind will work to make the idea become a reality.
All hypnosis is essentially self-hypnosis. It doesn't matter who gives the suggestions. What matters most is the willingness of the hypnotized person to accept the ideas. As the new ideas become accepted, the mind will replace the old ideas therefore changing that persons' perceptions and reality.
Contents Copyright 2001, National Public Radio