What is hypnotherapy? The simplest answer is that the hypnotherapist (me) takes you to a deep alpha or theta brain state to bypass the conscious mind. And the next question is probably to ask what the alpha or theta state is. So, let's talk about the different levels of brainwaves.
Delta brainwaves are slow. They are generated in deepest meditation and dreamless sleep. Delta waves suspend external awareness and are the source of empathy. Healing and regeneration are stimulated in this state, and that is why deep restorative sleep is so essential to the healing process.
Theta brainwaves occur most often in sleep but are also dominant in deep meditation. Theta is our gateway to learning, memory, and intuition. In theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within. It is that twilight state which we normally only experience fleetingly as we wake or drift off to sleep. In theta we are in a dream; vivid imagery, intuition and information beyond our normal conscious awareness.
Alpha brainwaves are dominant during quietly flowing thoughts, and in some meditative states. Alpha is ‘the power of now’, being here, in the present. Alpha is the resting state for the brain. Alpha waves aid overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration and learning.
Beta brainwaves dominate our normal waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world. Beta is a ‘fast’ activity, present when we are alert, attentive, engaged in problem solving, judgment, decision making, or focused mental activity.
Gamma brainwaves are the fastest of brain waves (high frequency, like a flute), and relate to simultaneous processing of information from different brain areas. Gamma brainwaves pass information rapidly and quietly. The most subtle of the brainwave frequencies, the mind has to be quiet to access gamma.
Gamma was dismissed as 'spare brain noise' until researchers discovered it was highly active when in states of universal love, altruism, and the ‘higher virtues’. Gamma is also above the frequency of neuronal firing, so how it is generated remains a mystery. It is speculated that gamma rhythms modulate perception and consciousness, and that a greater presence of gamma relates to expanded consciousness and spiritual emergence.
We all cycle through these brainwaves all day, every day. Have you ever driven somewhere and realize you don't remember the drive? Or have you been reading a book and realize you don't remember the last several pages? When this happens you are probably in an alpha state, which is a light form of meditation. When I run, I slip into the alpha brainwave often. This is especially true when you get the "runners high".
How many times have you been slipping into sleep and right before sleep you get a really good idea, or you suddenly know how to solve a problem you've been stressing over. Right before sleep is when you slide into the theta state. This is when you are in the subconscious mind. Children spend almost all their time in the theta state until the age of 5 or 6. Actually the first two years are primarily in the delta state, which is why they sleep so much, and then the next 3-4 years are spent in theta. This is the time they are constantly learning and absorbing. This is also the time they pretend a lot, which is indicative of being in theta.
So, when we do a session, you are probably starting in the beta state. Very alert and focused on the world around you. As the session moves on, you would first enter the alpha state, and some people stay in this state. This is considered a meditative state but is not as deep as theta. Once in theta, you are in a deep hypnosis. This is the state the Tibetan Monks reach when in their meditation.
For me, it's easy to understand if I simply think of the conscious mind being pushed to the side and allowed to take a break, while the subconscious mind is accessed. At that time new habits and behaviors can be sent directly to the subconscious, which accepts everything, bypassing the conscious mind. Imagine the conscious mind being the eye rolling, arguing part of the brain.
Scientists have discovered that meditating or being in a hypnotic state, can actually reverse aging by increasing the production of Human Growth Hormone, which normally decreases as we age. Again, look at pictures of the Tibetan Monks. Their skin is smooth and they look like they never age. That alone has me meditating every day.
This is just a brief explanation of how hypnosis works. If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me.
Please enjoy this free meditation. You can sit or lie down and it is fine if you fall asleep. The suggestions will still go into your subconscious mind. This is a simple relaxation meditation which should at least take you into alpha and if you are able to relax you could even enter theta.