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Welcome to The American Institute for Hypnotherapy Psychotherapy - NY. Since 1988

Hypnosis and You

Although the American Medical Association approved hypnosis in 1958 and the British Medical Association did so three years earlier, hypnosis actually traces its roots back some 5,000 years to the healing temples of Ancient Egypt. It is only with the proliferation of self-help therapies in the past several decades that it has gained in popularity and use. It is now clearly accepted as the most permanent method of behavioral and habit modification know to man. And because of its unique ability to influence physiological functions, it clearly has the advantage over mind/body techniques.

As popular and publicized as hypnosis is however, there are still some people who don’t understand it and, therefore, are wary of it. They think of it as entertainment, magic, or some mystical form of mind control. In reality, it is none of those things. A simple definition of hypnosis is that it is a pleasant state of mental and physical relaxation characterized by increased alertness, enhanced awareness, heightened suggestibility, and focused concentration. It, and it alone, enables us to capture, harness, and utilize the unlimited potential of the subconscious mind.

Indeed, it is the ultimate means of heightening motivation by programming the subconscious mind to work in active cooperation with conscious desires. Actually, you are already familiar with hypnosis although you may not realize it. We all go through these altered states of consciousness, or brain wave levels, at least twice each day upon awakening in the morning and crossing over into sleep at night.

We can most easily explain it like this:

Researchers have divided brain functions into four levels of cycles-per-second activity:

BETA:  Normal daytime consciousness - critical thought level

ALPHA:  Relaxation level - beginning to awaken in the morning and crossing over into sleep at night 

THETA:  Early stages of sleep - deep reverie state - associated with creative thinking - corresponds with medium to deep levels of hypnosis

DELTA:  Profound sleep - dream state.

That’s it! There’s no place else to go! Hypnosis can’t put you into any place other than those four brain wave levels. For most people, hypnosis is mid-alpha range activity and although you are definitely in hypnosis, you remain fully conscious of everything that is going on. Hypnosis is simply a matter of setting aside the conscious mind, to one degree or another, and selectively focusing one’s attention on either a particular point or a whole range of experiences. Because of the hyper-suggestibility inherent in the alpha and theta levels, positive programming is extremely effective in helping to create positive change. Hypnosis is a perfectly safe programming technique that can benefit anyone of normal intelligence!


A hypnotized person does not go to sleep or lose touch with reality.

They are aware of everything going on around them. Most people don’t recognize the state of hypnosis, expecting to become unconscious. Unless they are the one in ten who easily achieve the deep, or somnambulistic, level of hypnosis, this is not at all what the experience is like. They remain completely aware of everything going on around them. This does not mean that they weren’t hypnotized. It simply means that they are experiencing a hypnotic level somewhere between a light and medium state which, for purposes of behavior and habit modification, is generally more effective than deeper level hypnosis.

Directly proposed hypnotic suggestions cannot make a person do anything contrary to their morals, religion, or self-preservation.

If such a suggestion were given, the subject would either refuse to comply or would spontaneously terminate the hypnotic state.

The best hypnotic subjects are NOT unintelligent people.

This is quite the contrary. The more strong-willed, intelligent, and imaginative an individual is, the better subject he or she tends to be.

Anyone can be hypnotized.

Since, as we have seen, hypnosis is a naturally occurring phenomenon, which we all experience, there is no such thing as not being able to be hypnotized. Once an individual overcomes their experience, their apprehension through understanding the truth about hypnosis, it is an easy experience … one from which the subject will emerge (awake) feeling more relaxed, at ease, and positively motivated than before going into hypnosis.


1 - “Just pretend that you are a great hypnotic subject. Act as if you are going into hypnosis and soon your mind forgets to pretend“

2 - “The more you listen to my voice, the more you may go into hypnosis. And the more you focus inside, the more comfortable you’ll begin to feel“

3 - “Every time you breathe in, you’ll find yourself getting more and more comfortable, you begin to go into trance“

4 - “What’s it like when you go into hypnosi. When you think about what it is like when you are relaxing, your body starts to have the experience. And that's what is it like when you’re deeply in trance“

5 - “Suppose that your unconscious mind could do almost anything you can imagine. Now suppose that you were going into trance“

6 - “What would it be like if you began to relax deeply? What would it be like if your mind could go into a trance state quite naturally and give you any experience you wanted?“

7 “ Can you remember a time you were deeply relaxed? Do you remember that feeling continuing deeper as your mind became at peace and felt restful? Remember how good that feels“

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