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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness Therapy
Therapy Treatment Using Hypnosis

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  • Hypnosis Description
  • Hypnosis & Pain Management
  • Self Hypnosis Techniques
  • Covert Hypnosis
  • Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy Products

  • hypnotherapy


    Hypnosis is an age-old healing procedure in which the patient enters a deeply relaxed and intensely focused psychological state. This natural therapeutic technique was practiced in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. The name comes from Hypno - The Greek God of Sleep. In the late 18th century, a German doctor, Franz Mesmer (origin of the term "mesmerize"), brought hypnosis to the West. Today, this healing technique is widely accepted as a medical therapy to treat addictions, phobias, pain and many other conditions, physical and psychological. Some practitioners have used hypnosis to take patients back to early periods of time to experience a certain event and obtain helpful information often locked away into a person's memory. This has been done for a variety of situations including but not limited to - criminal investigations, abuse situations, re-birthing experiences and past-life regressions.

    The main principle behind hypnosis is to put a patient in a trance-like state in which he or she shuts out distractions and becomes receptive to the therapist's suggestions and instructions. As the patient passes from the conscious into the subconscious mind, the therapist tries to foster positive thoughts and feelings in the patient to activate the self-healing powers of both the mind and the body.

    The patient should have a strong belief in recovery and the value of hypnosis. This is because only someone who wants to be hypnotized and who trusts the therapist can truly achieve a trance state. In general, creative people are more easily hypnotized than very logical types. Similarly, secure individuals can be hypnotized more readily than those who are mistrustful or fearful. Successful hypnosis also depends on the an ability to relax. It is estimated that 70 to 90 percent of people are suitable subjects.


    The therapeutic use of hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy, should be performed only by well-trained and experienced health care providers or other health care professionals. The session begins with a relaxation exercise, which helps the patient shut out every day concerns and distractions. The patient will be asked to focus on a particular object, to follow the therapist's fingertips or just to close their eyes and do breath induction. Once the trance state is achieved, the therapist offers suggestions designed to help heal the patient. Treatment requires 5 to 15 sessions. Some insurers now partially cover costs.

    Hypnosis alters both physical and mental states. During a hypnotic trance, pulse, breathing and movements slow considerably as the patient enters a state of profound relaxation. The logical faculties that people normally use to filter and censor incoming information are suspended, and the patient becomes deeply receptive to the therapist's suggestions. During the session, the therapist conveys positive feelings and ideas to the patient in order to effect healing. Hypnosis is a particularly effective technique for uncovering suppressed traumas that may underlie a psychosomatic illness or an addiction.

    Hypnosis is used to alleviate chronic pain and psychosomatic illnesses; and to moderate depression, asthma, addictions, allergies, sleep disturbances, and anxiety.

    Studies show that hypnosis produces changes in the brain's electrical activity. As a result, many patients who undergo hypnosis to relieve pain can reduce their use of pain relievers. Research also confirms that the technique can help people quit smoking. Hypnosis should always be used in conjunction with other forms of medical treatment. Beware of hypnotists who promise success in a short period of time.


  • Before starting therapy, the patient should discuss his or her prior medical history, important events that have affected her personality development and her overall physical and mental health with the hypnotist.

  • The hypnotist mobilizes a patient's innate healing powers in the fight against illness. For example, the therapist may get a patient with arthritis to concentrate on a painful joint in order to promote the flow of inflammation-fighting white blood cells to the area. Or, to treat an addiction, the therapist will strengthen the patient's resolve to live free of the harmful substance. Suggestions not to smoke, for example, may be voices as: "I can breathe freely. My lungs are healthy." The patient should also repeat such statements regularly at home.

  • The therapist gently brings the patient out of the trance. At times this feels abrupt and may cause fear, dizziness, and a dazed feeling.


  • In general, patients suffering from psychosis, delusions or severe anxiety should not undergo hypnosis because the trance state can induce unpredictable or uncontrollable reactions in those with such severe psychological disturbances.

  • Children younger that 5 should never undergo hypnosis. It can be too disorienting.

  • Hypnosis may provoke potentially harmful reactions, such as severe low blood pressure or a dangerous slowing of the heart. If either occurs, therapy may have to be stopped.

  • Some patients become overly dependent on or almost "addicted" to hypnosis. When this happens, therapy must be discontinued.

  • Extra Tip!

    - Ask your therapist about self-care exercises that you can perform at home. The hypnotic healing process is often fostered by such actions as repeating formulaic sentences on a daily basis. Typical statements might include, "My symptoms are improving all the time" or "I will soon be healthy".


    Hypnotherapy, like meditation and visualization, is a method by which a qualified health care provider or therapist can induce a positive mental state in an individual by using hypnotism techniques that artificially induce trance-like state resembling sleep. Hypnosis is characterized by a change or shift in a person's state of consciousness and thus being able to have a heightened susceptibility to suggestion to their subconscious mind. The therapist attempts to quiet the person's conscious mind to make the unconscious mind more accessible.

    Hypnosis techniques have been used for hundreds of years to control pain, change bad habits and induce other behavior modifications, overcome fears and phobias, and to entertain groups of people (on stage or at parties) by getting the person to do something that they normally would not do (such as quacking like a duck on stage). It is a way of bypassing the conscious mind that may be full of everyday clutter and worries and connecting with the quieter, more relaxed part of your mind that will be open to new possibilities and suggestions. Hypnotherapy is a means of getting to that deeper, energized subconscious and unconscious mind regions that accepts the helpful suggestions more readily.

    Hypnosis is designed to generate a state of deep relaxation in which there is a heightened receptivity to suggestion through the calm repetition of words and statements. Once an individual is in this state, the practitioner provides simple verbal suggestions that help the mind block the awareness of pain and replace it with a more positive feeling, such as a feeling of warmth. If the pain is the result of an earlier injury, the practitioner may also help the individual more clearly remember the incident - a practice that often helps alleviate anxiety and thus reduce pain.

    Hypnotherapy enhances positive imagery, helps to reduce anxiety, and induces a deep level of relaxation. During a hypnotic state, the mind is highly focused and fully aware of the situation, enabling the person to concentrate without being distracted. During hypnosis, breathing and pulse rate slow down and blood pressure may drop.

    No one can be forced into hypnosis. You must be a willing participant in the process. Good rapport between therapist and client is important.

    Hypnosis has been used successfully to control back pain, joint pain, burn pain, and the pain of migraines and other headaches. This technique can be a valuable self-help tool, as you can learn to hypnotize yourself whenever you need it. However, self-hypnosis must first be learned from a licensed psychologist, a certified hypnotherapist, or another professional with experience in hypnotherapy.


    At your first visit to the hypnotherapist, it is likely that s/he will ask you a few questions about your health and the reasons why you are there. You will most likely sit in a comfortable chair or lie down with your eyes closed while the hypnotherapist talks you through a relaxation routine or guided visualization where you will be imagining that you are in a beautiful and peaceful place. It is not a hands-on therapy, although s/he may lift your arms to check to see if the muscles are relaxed.

    Once you are relaxed, s/he will make suggestions regarding your particular situation and reasons why you are there and may teach you a phrase or simple technique to bring back that calm state of mind when you do it in the future.

    You remain conscious the entire time, probably feeling quite dreamy and very relaxed. When the therapist asks you to come out of the trance, you do so at once, possibly not realizing you have actually been under hypnosis.

    You may be given instructions by your therapist on how you can do self-hypnosis at home or other times when you are not in the therapist's office. You may only need one session with the therapist.

    Hypnosis can not make you do something you would consider totally wrong or dangerous. You might be persuaded to cluck like a chicken but not to stab someone. In rare cases male hypnotherapists have taken advantage of a client's relaxed and suggestible state, but that is an abuse of trust, not mystic powers.

    Unlike a stage hypnotist, a properly trained hypnotherapist can make sure you are fully back to everyday consciousness before you leave.

    Any form of psychotherapy, with or without hypnosis, may bring up a lot of distress. So do not start unless you can afford as many sessions as it takes to sort out - and then only with someone you are sure is trustworthy and has the right professional skills. A family health care provider can often make recommendations.


    Self-Hypnosis is a great technique for stress control, to resolve personal issues and overcome habits and/or fears and phobias as well as dealing with pain and discomforts. It is easy to learn and easy to do once you have learned the technique. Visualizations and other imagery can be used with self-hypnosis to aid in a successful outcome.


    This is a general induction talk for practicing self-hypnosis. It can be used as a guide to "thinking" your way down, or it can be tape recorded and listened to during practice.

    "I am starting my self-hypnosis session now. From now until I say 'wake up' I will get more and more relaxed and focused within myself. Suggestions I give myself will be effective, but this will apply to only those suggestions I give myself and which I consciously want to be effective."

    "As I close my eyes and begin to drift downward, I can imagine a blanket covering my feet. Every part of my body covered by the blanket will become completely relaxed. My feet are becoming deeply relaxed. All of the muscles in my feet are becoming limp and relaxed."

    "Now the blanket is moving up to my knees. Every muscle and tendon in my body from my knees down is getting more and more relaxed. All tension is flowing out of this area, leaving all the muscles limp and loose."

    "Now the blanket is moving slowly up to my waist. As it moves upward everything is becoming relaxed. As it reaches my waist I can hardly feel anything from there down. All the muscles in my hips, lower abdomen, legs and feet are becoming progressively more and more relaxed."

    "All cares are flowing out of my mind. If a thought does intrude I will just gently let it go away. I am thinking only of relaxing and letting go of all tension. All of my muscles are becoming more and more relaxed, and I am feeling pleasantly drowsy. I will not go to sleep, but I am feeling so carefree and relaxed, sinking further and further into myself with no cares or worries."

    "Now the blanket is moving upward, moving slowly over my stomach, inching up over my chest, stopping at my shoulders. All of the muscles in my stomach and back are letting go, becoming totally and completely relaxed. The relaxation is like a warmness, spreading to every place covered by the blanket. The muscles in my chest and arms are getting more and more limp. I could move if I really had to, but I am becoming so comfortably limp and relaxed I don't want to move. I am still and relaxed, drifting deeper and deeper into a pleasant state of dreamy relaxation."

    "Now the warmth and relaxation are slowly moving upward from my shoulders. The blanket is remaining there, but the relaxation is gently moving upward in my neck. All muscles in my neck are becoming limp and flaccid. I can see them in my mind's eye, becoming limp and loose. All cares and worries are floating away as I drift deeper and deeper into my relaxation. "

    "Now the relaxation is spreading into my mouth and jaw muscles. My tongue is limp, resting in my mouth with no need to be tense. I may briefly have more saliva in my mouth, but that will go away shortly. Now my cheeks and eyes are relaxing. I could open my eyes if I wanted to, but unless I need to, it would be too much work. It would take too much effort to open my eyes. I am drifting pleasantly downward, becoming more and more relaxed. "

    "The muscles in my forehead are becoming more and more relaxed. I can imagine them, like rubber bands across my forehead, becoming limp and floppy. Deeper and deeper, relaxing more and more. From the tips of my toes to the top of my head, I am becoming more and more relaxed, drifting downward, deeper and deeper."

    "Now I am going to count down from twenty-five. As I count down I will continue to drift down, pleasantly going deeper and deeper into the relaxation. I will get drowsy and deeply relaxed, but I will not actually go to sleep. I will simply drift deeper and deeper into my self-hypnotic state of deeply relaxed awareness. By the time I reach zero I will be in a very pleasant, sleep-like state. I will still be able to direct my thoughts, and I could rouse myself immediately if I needed to, but unless I really need to, I will drift deeper and deeper into the relaxation."

    "Starting down now . . .
    twenty-five . . .
    twenty-four . . .
    twenty-three . . .
    twenty-two . . .
    drifting deeper and deeper with each count . . .
    twenty-one . . .
    twenty . . .
    feeling drowsier and drowsier, yet still awake . . .
    nineteen . . .
    eighteen . . .
    seventeen . . .
    floating gently downward with each count . . .
    sixteen . . .
    fifteen . . .
    fourteen . . .
    drifting, drowsy . . .
    thirteen . . .
    twelve . . .
    eleven . . .
    ten . . .
    more than half-way down, drifting deeper and deeper with each count . . .
    nine . . .
    eight . . .
    seven . . .
    six . . .
    five . . .
    feeling so relaxed . . .
    four . . .
    becoming more and more relaxed and drowsy . . .
    three . . .
    two . . .
    one . . .
    Breathing pleasantly, slowly, drifting deeper and deeper with each breath."

    "As I continue to be deeply relaxed, and to become even more relaxed, I am thinking about my suggestions. "

    [At this point insert your suggestions.]

    "All of the suggestions I have given myself will be effective because they are right for me and it is good that I should achieve them. All of the directions I have given myself are good for me and I will follow them. "

    "Each time I practice self-hypnosis I will become better and better at it. I will be able to relax deeper and deeper in less time with each practice."

    "Now, as I count to three, I am going to slowly, gradually, pleasantly wake up. I will return to my normal, waking state, except for the suggested changes."

    "Now, starting up, . . .
    one . . .
    becoming more alert . . .
    two . . .
    getting ready to wake up . . .
    three . . .
    wake up."


    This is helpful if you are having stress in your life and need a little extra help in coping with it. This technique will give you some useful new instructions when you hypnotize yourself and if you put your mind to it. Self-hypnosis is not dangerous, You cannot get 'stuck' under hypnosis or give yourself some harmful command. You will just use the space given by deep relaxation to put some constructive thoughts where they will do most good.

    Start by lying on the floor or sitting in a straight backed chair, hands in your lap. If you have time, go through the foot-to-head relaxation. If time is short, do some breathing exercises to set the scene and put you in a calm and peaceful frame of mind.

    The Script - Say to yourself...
      "Everything I am doing makes me healthier, more relaxed, and more in control of my life. I will wake up immediately if I need to."

      When you feel comfortably relaxed, imagine sitting on a wooden bench in a beautiful garden, full of flowers. Bees are buzzing gently, and the sun warms your skin. At the end of the garden there is a gate. You walk through, noting the rough texture of the weathered wood as you push it open.

      Beyond it are steps leading down to a secluded beach, with waves gently lapping on the sand. You walk slowly down, feeling the coolness of stone under your feet as you count the steps -
      "One, two, three..."
      At every step you feel more relaxed...
      "Four, five, six..."
      Deeply calm and relaxed...
      "Seven, eight, nine..."
      Your body is relaxed,
      Your mind open to all the good that can come to you here...

      You are on this beautiful beach, knowing you are perfectly safe and can leave whenever you want. Enjoy the peace and serenity. Nearby you see a wrought-iron seat facing the sea. You sit down and say to yourself,

      "I am peaceful, happy and perfectly in control of my life.
      I easily cope with everything that happens."

      Now pinch the fold of skin between the thumb and first finger on your right hand.

      From now on you can relax at will, simply by doing that and remembering this peaceful place.


      "I am peaceful, happy and perfectly in control of my life.
      I easily cope with everything that happens.
      I can relax at will, simply by pinching my right hand and thinking of this place."

      When you are ready, return to the steps, knowing you can come back here any time you like. you will return to everyday consciousness as you count down, but will be able to relax at will. Count slowly down from ten, as you walk up the steps, starting to notice the everyday sounds around you. By zero you are back to everyday consciousness, relaxed and alert.

    You can do this without making a tape, but it is easier to follow spoken instructions - simply read out the script above. Speak in a slow, calm, rather monotonous voice and remember to leave pauses. You can give yourself any suggestions you like on your secluded beach, but they must be positive, clean and harmless.

    In an emergency, just say to yourself, "One, two, three, ready." You can snap out of hypnosis instantly, but a brief formula reduces the jolt.

    If you find it hard to visualize, just do the counting - many people find this equally effective.

    For deeper relaxation use 30 steps down to the beach instead of 10.


    The most effective way to relax the whole body starts by deliberately tightening the muscles before releasing them, then focusing in the feeling of tension draining away. This can take from five minutes to as long as you like.

    You will need a rug or other place to lie on. Using the same one in the same place each time helps to build up the relaxation habit. Turn up the heating, or put a blanket over you. If you wish, put on a tape of peaceful music without a strong rhythm.

    Lie on your back on the floor with feet apart and arms slightly away from the body, palms up. Close your eyes and let your breathing slow down.

    Breathe out before you tense each part of your body. Breathe naturally as you lie and feel the relaxation before tensing the next part.

    Starting with the left foot, clench you toes, flex the muscle in the foot, lifting it slightly off the floor. Hold this for a few seconds, then relax, letting the foot roll naturally outwards. Fell tension pour out like a liquid soaking through the floor and away. Pause for a moment after relaxing each part of the body to feel this release of tension.

    Tighten the calf muscles. Hold this for a few seconds, then relax the calf. Tighten the thigh muscles, feeling tension around the knee as well as the thigh. Hold this for a few seconds, then relax. Feel the relaxation in your whole leg and foot. Now work up the right leg in the same way.

    Work your way up the body - buttocks, abdominal muscles, chest and finally upper back, pushing shoulders blades together before releasing them.

    The arms follow the same pattern as the legs. Clench the left fist tightly before releasing, then flex the left arm like a body-builder and relax it, then press the while arm tightly to the body, tensing the shoulder, and release. Do the same with the right arm, clenching the fists and tensing all the muscles before releasing.

    Lift the shoulders and tense the neck as tightly to the body, tensing the shoulder, and release.

    Clench the teeth, tightly close the eyes and knot up every muscle in the face. Relax with lips slightly parted.

    Feel how heavy your head is, sinking into the floor, your whole body perfectly comfortable. Lie peacefully for a few minutes, letting the relaxation spread into every cell of your body.

    Then roll onto your side and get up slowly. Stretch your arms high above your head and bring them gently down to your sides as you say to yourself "I am calm".

    Safe and Simple: You can also work your way round the body just focusing on each part for a few moments, relaxing it and concentrating on feeling the tension drain away. This is a safer method if you suffer from high blood pressure or if you have injuries or health problems that make it painful to tense the muscles.


    One of the simplest ways of relieving tension is by breathing well - which most of us do not do. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your navel - if the lower hand does not move, your not breathing deeply enough. Forget about flattening your stomach and let in a good deep breath. As you take a deep breath, feel the abdomen rise and see the movement parting your fingertips.

    While shallow breathing produces the stress hormone adrenaline, a deep breath puts masses of oxygen into the blood stream for an instant health boost to the whole body. No wonder it clears our heads. It's feeding our brain. Simply learning to breathe fully is a powerful way of relieving stress. Keep checking during the day until you do it constantly, not too deeply, but in a natural rhythm.

    Do not overdo the oxygen - you can have too much of a good thing. If you are feeling light-headed, either from breathing too deeply or gulping in air under stress, breathe in and out of a paper bag a few times to restore the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

    Check with your health care provider before doing breathing exercises if you have epilepsy or high blood pressure.

    • Find a quiet spot to sit comfortably, with your back straight. It does not matter if you sit cross-legged, with or without your back resting against the wall, or on a straight-backed chair with feet flat on the floor.

    • If you are breathing fast, give yourself a minute to let it slow down naturally. Then put your hands side by side on your abdomen, fingertips meeting at or just below the navel.

    • Take a deep breath through your nose and feel the oxygen pouring into every corner of your lungs. Feel the abdomen rise and watch the movement parting your fingertips. Breathe out and do it again, this time feeling your chest expand as well. Stop taking deep breaths and let your natural rhythm establish itself.

    • Do not worry if it is not happening. If you are very used to holding your tummy in, you may need to push it out deliberately. The very act of making space there will let more air in.

    • Breathing deeply and calmly, say silently to yourself "I breathe in peace" on the in breath and "I breathe out love" on the out breath. If you are worried about someone, imagine this protective cloud of love enveloping them.

    • Breathe in deeply through your nose, bringing your shoulders back to open your chest.

    • Breathe out through your mouth with a long 'haaaaaa' noise like a deep sigh, letting your shoulders relax and drop down. Try to make the out breath longer than the in breath. Repeat two or three times.

    • Finish by relaxing for a moment with your eyes shut as you let your normal breathing pattern return.

    • A variation of this works wonders if you are feeling so tense that you cannot stop holding your breath. Simply puff all your breath out as far and as fast as you can, with a sharp "ha!". Then let a fresh breath in slowly to fill the space.

    • Breathe through one nostril at a time, keeping the other on covered.

    • Breathe fully but not unnaturally slowly or deeply.

    • After about a minute change to the other nostril.

    • If you find this exercise difficult, try Ha Breathing (given above).

    • Cover your left nostril with one finger and breathe in through the right while you count four seconds.

    • Close both nostrils and count to two while you hold your breath.

    • Uncover your left nostril and breathe out to the count of four.

    • Keep both nostrils closed for two seconds with your lungs empty.

    • Uncover your left nostril again and breathe in through it while you count four seconds gain.

    • Close both nostrils for two seconds.

    • Cover left nostril and breathe out through the right for four seconds.

    • Repeat this whole cycle three more time, then cover the right nostril.


    When you are wound up about stressful events that have occurred during the day, being unable to go to sleep is the final straw. When nothing seems to work, try this technique of self-hypnosis. It is worth learning beforehand, then when you come to need it will be effortless.
      Lying down, close your eyes.

      Imagine a familiar image, say, for example, your bedroom.

      Say to yourself; "Nothing but this room exists."

      Visualize all the different details that go to make up this room: the ceiling, the walls, the floor, the windows, the furniture - dressing table, chest of drawers, wardrobe, the bed on which you are lying.

      In your mind - work systematically from one end of the room to the other, from top to bottom.

      Then, one by one, wipe the image of each of these details from your mind, until everything has gone. You are left with absolute total emptiness.

      Concentrate on this void, with you in the middle of it, for a few moments.

      You will experience a feeling of relaxation coming from it.

      If you still cannot sleep, repeat the exercise several times. It is usually successful after only a few minutes of 'disconnection'.

    Please keep in mind that many people get better, faster results with a professionally prepared induction tape. See the links below for commercially available products. However, with practice, you can become quite proficient at self-hypnosis. It can be a powerful tool in helping you with daily life and stresses.

    A hypnotherapist can help teach you self-hypnosis techniques. I learned them from my psychology professor in college during private office counseling to help me with managing family and ex-husband problems and school.

  • Meditation Therapy
  • Imagery Therapy
  • Relaxation Therapy


    Covert hypnosis is not the same as the hypnotherapy used by health care professionals to treat pain or behavior issues. Professional hypnotherapy usually involves a deeper, more indepth conscious state, whereas covert hypnosis occurs when you are awake and conscious.

    Covert hypnosis is the ability to use the power of persuasion, influence, and communication (words, gestures, timely pauses) to get other people to see things your way without them knowing what you are doing. This is done by using subliminal technology (neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), seduction and social engineering). This often used to improve relationships, increase business sales, and control other people and their actions by the manipulation of others to control outcomes and create clear advantages in social settings.

    This is the type of technique that may be used by a good salesperson to get someone to buy their product, whether or not the buyer really wanted or needed the product. It is also used to make athletes run faster, hit more home-runs and catch more touchdown passes. Covert hypnosis has been utilized to create conformity-thinking in the military, in the corporate environment, and with church-going people searching for a religious pathway. It is not always used in a positive way and it may be used by people with negative motives and for personal gain or power.

    However, in some situations, it may be used as a beneficial means of therapy.


    The nature of covert hypnosis is that it is very subtle. It is undetectable to a person not familiar with such techniques and methods. And even someone "fluent" in covert hypnosis will, due to lack of constantly analyzing the situation, frequently be effectively "hypnotized" into thinking and doing something.

    Like the name suggests, covert hypnosis is hard to detect, but there are some things you can do to not frequently "falling victim" to it:
    • Get familiar with the techniques.
    • Use your analytical mind more often.

    The purpose of covert hypnosis is to shut down or at least severely reduce the use of analytical mind in a person. This can actually be achieved fairly quickly.

    The signs that you are not using your analytical mind in a certain situation:
    • You are completely absorbed in a conversation.
    • Inside your mind you vividly follow along with what someone is saying.
    • You take in information without questioning it's origin and validity.
    • You strongly respond to emotionally descriptive language (language patterns).
    • You strongly respond to body language and gestures.

    Keep in mind that just because you are absorbed in a conversation with someone, this does not necessarily mean that they are using covert hypnosis on you. You need to become consciously aware of your conversation and make sure you consciously turn on your analytical mind during the conversation. You need to become aware and able to detect when someone is using covert hypnosis (power of persuasion techniques) on you. This is especially important when dealing with strangers.

    If you are a woman and a stranger starts talking to you and he is using strongly descriptive language and uses the words "attraction", "wonderful feeling of connection", "warm inside", "open your mind" and such other communicative terms, he is probably using covert hypnosis on you.

    If you are buying a car and the sales person starts describing how he enjoys driving in this car and what "a friend told him when he was cruising around in his new car and could vividly imagine other people watching him and he felt that feeling...", he is using covert hypnosis on you.

    It is also important to mention that all people use certain amount of covert hypnosis in their conversation. Some more successful people use it more and some less.

    Television is also an excellent way to deliver covert hypnotic messages. Because of the nature of watching television (we set our conscious mind to rest), it is easy to slide some suggestions in. Just watch some infomercials. Also notice how they are cleverly aired at times people are most likely to be super suggestible (at night...). They are attempting to get you to order their product (whether you need it or not) and put it on your credit card or send in a payment "now before time is up" (spending money you may or may not have). They use all types of persuasive techniques to make you feel that you cannot live without their product and that their product will make your life "absolutely perfect" if you buy it.

    There is no surefire way to protect yourself from hypnosis 100-percent of the time, but you can do a lot about it. For example, you can educate yourself and make sure you stay consciously focused and aware when in conversations with people and while watching television.


    The ability to resist covert, unethical forms or manipulation or hypnosis can be done by obtaining self-knowledge, general information, and specific knowledge about the psychology of manipulation and mind control.
    • Manipulators often start with making minor requests. Getting people to perform small and relatively unrisky acts now will make it more likely that they will perform larger, more difficult and riskier tasks later. A person that is giving in now to "minor" requests that are mildly uncomfortable will often find more inability to refuse more difficult and unsettling requests in the future.

    • Manipulators often seem unusually friendly, concerned and sincere. When people perceive that someone likes them or cares about them, they listen less critically to what is told to them and are also less apt to think negatively about the communicator. A person who is being made the center of attention and the target of an unusual amount of praise, affection, and love, makes it hard to disagree or resist the manipulator.

    • Manipulators do not immediately ask for agreement, they ask people to "try it" with an "open mind." Getting people to behave in a manner that is somewhat contrary to their current belief system will often result in changed attitudes. That is, acting on requests to "try it before you reject it" and assurances that "you can disagree with what you are doing even as you do it" often leads to changes in belief systems, especially if the subject is not overtly rewarded (e.g., by being paid) for performing the new behavior.

    • Manipulators use group or peer pressure. It is difficult, especially over long periods of time, to be the only one in a group to disagree. It can be painful to feel rejected or different, and sometimes even more painful to think of oneself as someone who has trouble tolerating rejection. Hence, people conform but are not always willing to admit to themselves that they are conforming (i.e., responding to group pressure). People rationalize instead, and claim it was their "free choice" to change.

    • Manipulators do not make things easy. People actually place more value on their actions if the task to be performed is somewhat unpleasant or difficult, even if it did not need to be unpleasant or difficult. Making a task artificially "tough" typically makes it appear more meaningful and important than it may in fact be.

    Having a specific knowledge of experimental / theoretical as well as practical hypnosis is also important to resistance.
    • It is possible to be hypnotized without being aware of the induction process. Most hypnotic phenomena, including carrying out post-hypnotic suggestions, have been produced in subjects who were not aware of being in hypnosis.

    • Hypnosis begins with a shift in attention. Attention is normally motile. That is, it is dynamic and is relatively freely focused on a variety of events within a large perceptual field; it moves back and forth between the external (e.g., actions and events "outside" the self) and the internal (e.g., thoughts and feelings). Trance is a state that involves relatively focused, fixed or immobile attention. Anyone or anything that results in decreased motility of attention is highly likely to induce an altered state of consciousness ("trance") whether or not it is labeled "hypnosis."

    • The language of hypnosis is marked by vagueness, over-generalizations, metaphors and abstractions. Classical inductions are not the only way to "talk hypnosis" (although they can be found in many "meditation" techniques not overtly labeled as hypnosis). Non-classical inductions use "normal" conversation and storytelling, often directed at more than one representational system (e.g., sight, sound and touch) to shift attention, in part by activating the subject's tendency to search within himself or herself in order to find ways of relating what is being said now to experiences in the past. Words that sound "deep" or meaningful but feel confusing (and/or strangely calming) can induce trance outside the subject's awareness.

    • In trance, memories, fantasies, feelings and thoughts are often experienced more vividly and intensely than they are in the normal "waking" state. If a person is unaware of being in trance, or is unfamiliar or unconvinced of the phenomenon of hypnotic enhancement of perception, fantasy and suggestibility, then that person is likely to attribute the vividness and intensity of the trance experience to some special characteristic of the message and/or communicator. That is, the person links his/her feelings of intensity with what has been said or who has said it, not with how (i.e., hypnotically) it was said. The message is therefore experienced as "more real" or "more true" than other messages, and the communicator of the message is endowed with extraordinary (or even supernatural) characteristics or skills.

    • Hypnosis involves powerful transference. The induction process involves establishing and utilizing rapport, and hypnosis is perhaps first and foremost an interpersonal process. Most subjects, after being hypnotized, feel closer, more trusting, and more positively about their operator than before. It is always more difficult to objectively assess someone (or what that someone says) after a powerful transference relationship has developed.

    • Hypnosis involves the suspension of "normal" logic. Trance logic is characterized by, among other things, lack of criticalness and the ability to hold two contradictory beliefs as true without one canceling out the other. Thus, in trance one can have the sensation of cold and still be aware of being seated in a warm, heated room. In trance, people can accept notions or ideas that they would otherwise reject because they contradict other beliefs known to be based in reality. For example, the members of one Hindu-based cult believe that the space program is a hoax and yet may listen to and accept weather reports based on satellite pictures.

    One's fund of general information (e.g., philosophy, comparative religion and history) can be vital in resisting manipulation. Perhaps more important, however, is an awareness of the limits of one's knowledge base, and a willingness to add knowledge when one is unsure of the validity of what is being said. For example, a new form of so-called psychotherapy might claim to be "the modern science of mental health."

    What makes a discipline a "science?"

    In part, it is the acceptance and utilization of a very specific method of inquiry that has uniform steps for positing hypotheses and validating them.

    What are these steps?
    When these steps are not followed, what risks to validity are usually encountered?
    What is the "scientific method?"

    If uncertain, one should seek the answers to these questions before accepting any claim as being "scientific." Similarly, groups or individuals may claim that their beliefs and/or practices are based on scriptural passages, history, research or other literature with which one is unfamiliar; before accepting anything else said, it is wise to check these references for their accuracy.

    In addition, the following steps might be helpful:
    • Paraphrase other peoples' thoughts both aloud and to yourself to see if you are understanding clearly. If a message, book or lecture is difficult to understand, repeating the central points in one's own words might help. Ask questions. If the answer is equally or more puzzling, a mental "caution" alarm should sound. The same alarm should go off if the answer is something like "well, you will understand more later" or "of course you can not understand now, you are too [non-spiritual, unenlightened, intellectual, ignorant, materialistic, rigid, unaware, unconnected with your feelings, etc.]."

    • Do not relate personal experiences, thoughts or feelings, or make any kind of confession that may be harmful should the information be released. Confidentiality is not automatic: non-licensed/non-credentialed therapists and their clients may not come under the protection of state doctor-patient confidentiality laws. Groups or individuals that pressure people to reveal personal information may be acting unethically.

    • Put off any and all decisions until after the group experience is over, and then decide only after obtaining other information or consulting with trusted confidants.

    • Outside interests and social contacts are vital and any group that makes an overt or subtle appeal to sever these bonds should be rejected. These outside sources are usually instrumental in providing reality-oriented feedback, and in helping to maintain a sense of personal continuity (i.e., a sense of knowing "where I came from").

    • Any group or individual that arouses guilt to an uncomfortable level should be carefully checked out and probably avoided.

    • Have at least one good friend who is a "natural born" skeptic or critic. Or, if in a possible mind control situation already, seek out known "doubters" within that group. Put off feeling guilty about doubts for a day or two; discuss doubts now.


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