Is Hypnosis the Same as Meditation?
One question I get asked a lot – Is Hypnosis the same as meditation? As someone who uses both of these incredibly useful practices, I agree that there can seem to be lot of similarities.
Though there are many different types of meditation, a guided Yoga Nidra relaxation practice is the most similar to inducing a hypnotic trance. They both initially focus bodily sensations to calm and relax the mind. They increase Alpha waves in brain, the benefits of which can include reduced anxiety and improved memory function.
Hypnotherapy Focuses Your Attention
Hypnotherapy is specifically designed with a goal in mind, a purpose.
Your attention will be focused initially on bodily sensations in the moment, What you can hear, feel etc. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. A hypnotherapist is your guide throughout the process.
Trance quietens the busy mind and in this state of relaxation you mind can wander. There is no need to remain hooked on every word. The relaxed mind can filter what is useful or relevant to its unique needs and purpose.
Trance is a very normal state of mind. We go in and out of it many times a day, while driving/ engrossed in a movie etc. While in trance you are creating new neural pathways in the brain to change unhelpful behaviors, habits and has even proved to be very effective in pain management. See article below about The Liege Hospital in Belgium’s use of hypnosis since 1992.
Is Hypnosis the same as Meditation? Isn’t it Just a Modern Fad?
It’s only the term hypnosis that is relatively modern. Accessing the health benefits of trance has had deep roots throughout human history. (eg the Sleep Temples of Ancient Egypt- 4000 years ago). Hypnosis can be a wonderful way of getting a good night’s sleep.
In he trance state, No matter what your goal, your intellectual mind is rested and made able to solve problems. It lessens the “white noise” brain chatter that we can experience just living our daily lives.
Who wouldn’t what to access and learn to take charge of their very own problem-solving machine!?
But Meditation Also Focuses Your Attention!
Meditation, on the whole, focuses your attention on being present.
By focusing on your breath or a mantra for example. If your mind becomes busy with thoughts of the future or past you can calm your mind by returning to this focal point. Meditation is often but not always part of a wider spiritual practice.
In contrast my style of Hypnotherapy concentrates its efforts on finding solutions to everyday problems.
The good news -You don’t have to choose!
Both have great benefits and you may find one is more suited to your present needs than the other. If you never try, you’ll never know.
Meditation is also an ancient practice it can be used to quiet your mind, and stop you getting overwhelmed by unhelpful thoughts and emotions. Buddhist monks are of course masters of it, just take a look at this article
Hypnotherapy – All emotions are valid but some learned behaviours and habits are unhelpful and can be changed. For example you can help yourself gain confidence/ stop overeating.
Meditation – All emotions are valid and meditation helps you to sit with these feelings, become an observer of them and accept them as a natural part of the ebb and flow of life.
Meditation helps you:
“Be Here Now”
Hypnotherapy helps you:
“Be wherever and whoever you want”
To me they’re very different but definitely related!
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