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Where should I practice self-hypnosis?

Most people will want to find a quiet, private place for their initial sessions. When you are comfortable with the trance state, it is very likely that you will be able to do your self-hypnosis anywhere you choose, from waiting in line at the supermarket to sitting in a crowded airport. The most important environmental aspects for the beginner are comfort, security, and freedom from interruptions. If you absolutely cannot find such a place in your home, try sitting in your parked car. If you are in hour office, close the door. Do the best you can and you will find that there is always someplace where you can fulfill your new commitment to yourself.

How long should my session last?

The first few times, we recommend a relatively short session of about five minutes, just so you can acquaint yourself with the relaxed trance state. We strongly feel that you must be comfortable with the relaxation phase of the session before you attempt to do any serious change work on yourself. Keep in mind that even the shortest time of complete relaxation brings immediately gratifying results! You will probably work up to a session of 15 or 20 minutes within a couple of weeks. The more work you want to accomplish and the more complex your personal goals, the longer you may want to spend in your session. However, the more skilled you become at attaining relaxation, the less time you will spend in that phase. The amount of time that is best for you is something that only you can determine. Making it a habit is the key. Practice, practice, practice.

I have always been told that people never change, and when I look around me, I see a lot of evidence to support that. Can you comment?

You bet we can! You mentioned the evidence around you. Look again. Our world is in a constant state of change. Change is a natural part of our lives, as is obvious with the seasons, the tides, and the cycles of life and death of plants and animals. Our bodies are continually renewing themselves on a cellular level. Expect to change. Make that expectation part of your daily philosophy of life. Tell yourself in your self-hypnosis sessions that you are seeing results now, and you will continue to improve each day.

How will I know that I've gone into hypnosis?

It seems that some people remain very reluctant to believe that they have indeed achieved the trance state. If you are one of those people, just be patient with yourself. The first few times you do it, you may not even be aware of it because the change from full waking consciousness to hypnotic consciousness can be very, very subtle. Notice how you become completely absorbed in the relaxation process. Notice also how your body responds to your suggestions of heaviness, lightness, warmth, and coolness. Observe where these feelings manifest in your body. Make a comparison of the way you felt when you started the session to the way you felt after you were done. Did more time pass than you thought? Time distortion is a good indicator of the hypnotic state. Once again, practice, practice, and practice.

What happens if an unexpected outside noise like a knock at the door or an airplane-flying overhead happens when I am in the middle of my session?

You essentially have three choices in such circumstances. You can ignore the distraction, and just keep on doing what you're doing. Even if you are momentarily awakened, you can return to your hypnotic state in a very short time. You can also choose to use the noise as a part of your session. For instance, if the air-conditioner is noticeable to you, tell yourself, "The sounds of the air conditioner in the background are reminding me to relax more and more as I notice that just as the air temperature around me is changing, I am also making internal changes for the better." Sometimes you may just have to deal directly with the distraction. If you have an itch, scratch it. If you wonder who may be at your door, go open it. When you've handled the distraction, just return to your self-hypnosis. This is your session, and you are always in control.

What is the difference between hypnosis and the placebo effect?

Since hypnosis is so difficult to "pin down," or quantify, this is a difficult question to answer. We know that even though medical associations in both the U.S. and Great Britain acknowledge hypnosis as a valid therapeutic modality, scientists often look with skepticism at treatments that can't be explained. Some people believe that placebos function in a way that is very similar to hypnosis. This means that the unconscious mind is somehow stimulated by the placebo to respond in a specific way. While this may be true to some extent, there are also some notable differences. Surely you've heard of people getting "cured" when they thought they were being given a new drug, only to relapse when they find out it was a sugar pill. Belief is the critical element in such a case. However, you do not have to believe in hypnosis for it to be effective. For hypnosis to work, all that is needed is the genuine desire to achieve a goal and the commitment to be persistent in its achievement. With a placebo, the unconscious is somehow "fooled" into believing the source of the help, such as a pill or a lotion, is coming from outside the self. With hypnosis, the responsibility and control is with you. There is no trickery or deception. It is your own motivation, desire, and dedication that cause the change to take place. In the end, we do not have to understand why something happens to enjoy the benefits of it. Such is the case with electricity and countless other phenomena. Such is also the case with hypnosis. It is a remarkable tool that works, and that's all you really need to know to begin to enjoy its help.

What happens if I get sleepy or drowsy while trying to bring on the hypnotic state?

If your body is tired, and you relax it completely, you may well fall into a natural sleep. You would wake up just as you always do from a nap. However, if it is your goal to achieve more energy and alertness, then tell yourself before you begin the relaxation process that you intend to increase your energy and that you will awaken from your session with renewed vigor and feeling more alert.

Can self-hypnosis be used to improve children's schoolwork or test taking?

Yes. Children make some of the best self-hypnotic subjects because of their ability to imagine. Most of them also have a great capacity to picture things in their minds. The main thing to teach them is to "see yourself as (successful, concentrating, remembering, calm, relaxed, tension-free, etc.)" Self-hypnosis is an excellent study tool for children. Teach your children how to use this skill. It is a gift that they will use for a lifetime.

Can someone who is easily distracted learn to use self-hypnosis?

If a person wants to learn self-hypnosis, it is entirely possible. There are people who have a difficult time concentrating on one thing because they have busy minds that are accustomed to flitting from one topic to another. The best way to deal with this situation is to use a counting technique that is modified specifically for use with such resistant subjects. It follows here: I am beginning to count to myself, and I will count from zero to the number 20. I will begin with my eyes open, close them on the next count, open them on the following, close them again on the next, and repeat this procedure again and again. (Zero ... eyes open ... one ... eyes closed ... two ... eyes open ... three ... eyes closed ... four ... eyes open and so forth.) With each count, my eyes will become heavier and heavier and my body will relax more and more. Presently my eyes will remain closed, and I fall until my eyes will not open any longer.

Is it safe to use self-hypnosis in public places?

It is always safe to use self-hypnosis because you are always in control. Your conscious mind and the critical factor we discussed earlier will always intervene in the event of danger or emergency. However, it seems unlikely that you would choose to relax and enter a self-hypnotic trance while you are walking down the street or in the middle of a room full of people. You will very likely, however, use the posthypnotic suggestions you have given yourself in your prior, planned self-hypnosis sessions to change or alter your behavior or perceptions in public places. In that sense, you are indeed using self-hypnosis in a public place. Another example of an appropriate public use of self-hypnosis would be when you need to summon a sense of calm, a feeling of confidence, or a surge of energy. When you've mastered the basics, you will have the ability to do any of those things and more in a very short time whenever and wherever you want.

I still have an issue with control. I somehow feel like I'm giving something up.

Control is a big issue with a lot of people. You may have a misunderstanding that was borne out of seeing someone in a stage hypnosis show behaving in some ridiculous way. You may fear losing the memory of what happens during the session. Perhaps you still harbor some idea that you will have a difficult time returning to full waking consciousness. All of these ideas are related to control, and they are common misconceptions about hypnosis. If you approach hypnosis with an open mind and a belief that it will help you, you will demonstrate to yourself that you are not giving anything up. On the contrary, you are gaining a lot.

To be truthful, sometimes I want to change, and sometimes I just don't. Can hypnosis help?

Being truthful with yourself is very important. Self-hypnosis can help you only if you really want it to help you. If you have little or no desire to change, you are sure to be a poor subject for hypnosis therapy. Many people are not ready to give up their habits or undesirable behavior. Motivation is the single most important element in a successful hypnosis experience. Instead of approaching hypnosis with the idea of change, why not just begin to use it for relaxation? Everyone can benefit from that. When you're confident that change is what you desire, you will have mastered the first essential step, relaxation.

How does the medical community feel about hypnosis?

It depends on whom you ask. Even though the American Medical Association recognized hypnosis as a viable therapeutic modality in the mid-1950s, a lot of physicians--including psychiatrist--scoff at hypnosis. This is probably due to prejudice incurred during their medical training or even too much exposure to Hollywood's version of hypnosis. Another contributing factor is that until recently, the mind-body connection was not recognized as a "scientific" fact, and doctors or therapists that dabbled in such things did so at the peril of their professional peer status. However, there have always been doctors who were willing to go against the thinking of the mainstream medical community to explore new methods of healing. Such people who may have been considered "weird" in the past are frequently considered innovators today.

I am suffering from mysophonia (noise sensitivity) . Do you have CD program for that problem?

No, we do not have a program for this problem.  This would definitely fall under the category of our Custom Hypnosis CDs.  

I am not a native speaker of English. Is it necessary to be? Does the subconscious work with native language or not? If I order it by downloading can I get the script of what I hear? Thank you.

If you understand enough English to have a conversation with someone, hypnosis will work for you.  If you have a hard time understanding English, you may have a hard time creating the experiences we ask you to experience.  Keep in mind that hypnosis is not about the words necessarily.  It's about the experiences you create with those words; the visualizations and the feelings generated.  

Regarding the script, if you require a script, we do sell the scripts of MOST of our products.

Can I send downloads I purchase to an iPod? Or does it have to be to my computer?

The way it works is you download "save as" the file to your computer.  Then in iTunes you sync the file with your iPod, the same way you would do with any MP3.

How Can I Avoid Falling Asleep During Hypnosis?

If the focus of attention on the hypnosis guidance is not maintained during hypnosis, you may drift either into a sleep state, beyond a state of trance. Since little or no useful personal or spiritual development occurs in the sleep state, it is important to learn how to stay alert and focused while doing hypnosis.

1. You should always do hypnosis when you are awake and alert. Hypnosis may be most effective upon awaking in the morning, as opposed to evenings when you may be tired from your work or other activities of the day.

2. If you do hypnosis with a full stomach, much of your energy will be diverted to digestion and less will be available for hypnosis. You are more prone to fall asleep when you do hypnosis right after eating. If you have eaten, you will likely have better results if you wait two to three hours after a meal.

3. If you drink alcohol or other drugs within a 24 to 48 hour period before hypnosis, they may distort your hypnotic experience, increase your chances of falling sleep. It is not advised to do hypnosis while under the influence of intoxicants.

4. If you do hypnosis lying down or in a reclining chair, your established association with sleep may make it more likely for you to nod off during hypnosis. You may get better results if you sit upright, in a straight-backed chair or a sofa. If you have back problems, it is all right to support your back against a chair or wall when you do hypnosis.

5. If you do some breathing exercises before going into hypnosis, you may find you are able to better concentrate your mind and stay focused longer.

6. Make sure you take care of your basic needs before sitting down to do hypnosis. If you don't get sufficient rest, you will be more prone to fall asleep. If you aren't getting enough to eat, your hypnosis sessions will be about food. If you aren't meeting your sexual needs, your hypnosis sessions may involve sexual fantasies, which is a distraction from the desired state of focused attention.

7. How you do hypnosis may determine whether you will tend to drift off into sleep. Focusing all of your concentration on listening to the guidance given during the session. When you notice your mind drifting elsewhere, just kindly and gently notice it and bring it back to the guidance. As a result you are also strengthening the power of your mind and choosing which thoughts to go with.