Ancient Wisdom in a Modern Era
Self - Hypnosis
Self - Hypnotism
The same type of effect that deliberate self hypnotism may achieve can also be seen in individuals not consciously trying to program themselves through self hypnosis. The dominant thoughts that occupy a person's conscious mind, if constantly present over an extended period of time, may have the effect of training that person's subconscious mind to organize that individual's beliefs according to those thoughts. In this sense, the mechanisms of pathological fixations and obsessions to some extent resemble the process of self hypnotism.
Self hypnosis is differentiated from brainwashing in that the suggestions given during the sessions originate with the individual, rather than originating with suggestions from others. Johannes Schultz developed this theory as Autogenic training.
Self-hypnosis (or autosuggestion) -- hypnosis in which a person hypnotizes himself or herself without the assistance of another person to serve as the hypnotist — is a staple of hypnotherapy-related self-help programs. It is most often used to help the self-hypnotist stay on a diet, overcome smoking or some other addiction, or to generally boost the hypnotized person's self-esteem. It is rarely used for the more complex or controversial uses of hypnosis, which require the hypnotist to monitor the hypnotized person's reactions and responses and respond accordingly. Most people who practice self-hypnosis require a focus in order to become fully hypnotized; there are many computer programs on the market that can ostensibly help in this area, though few, if any, have been scientifically proven to aid self-hypnosis.
Some people use devices known as mind machines to help them go into self-hypnosis more readily. A mind machine consists of glasses with different colored flashing LEDs on the inside, and headphones. The LEDs stimulate the visual channel while the headphones stimulate the audio channel with similar or slightly different frequencies designed to produce a certain mental state. A common occurrence is the use of binaural beats in the audio which is said to produce hypnosis more readily.
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Self hypnosis is most commonly accomplished by presenting (either through caressing or bombarding) one's mind with repetitive thoughts (negative or positive), until those thoughts become internalized. Practitioners typically hope to transmute thoughts into beliefs, and even into actualities. Visualizing the manifestations of a belief, verbally affirming it, and thinking it using one's "internal voice", are typical means of influencing one's mind via repetitive self hypnosis. Self hypnosis is normally thought of as a deliberate tool, but it can also refer to an unintentional process.
The French psychologist Émile Coué wrote extensively on the theory and practice of self hypnosis.
The term autosuggestion is used for positive or negative physical symptoms explained by the thoughts and beliefs of a person. For example, some will experience more pain when they think it will hurt. Headaches sometimes go away after taking a painkiller, but before the painkiller could actually start acting on its own. Related to this is the placebo-effect.
This influence of the mind on the body can be used in a positive way to improve the way a person feels (mentally or physically).
Self hypnosis (or the related autogenic training) is a process by which an individual trains the subconscious mind to believe something, or systematically schematizes the person's own mental associations, usually for a given purpose. This is accomplished through self-hypnosis methods or repetitive, constant self-affirmations, and may be seen as a form of self-induced brainwashing. The acceptance of self hypnosis may be quickened through mental visualization of that which the individual would like to believe. Its success is typically correlated with the consistency of its use and the length of time over which it is used. Self hypnosis can be seen as an aspect of prayer, self-exhorting "pep talks", meditation, and other similar activities. A trivial example of self-improvement by self hypnosis is the New Year's resolution, especially if it is followed up by systematic attention to the resolution.
Applications of deliberate self hypnosis are intended to change: the way one believes, perceives, or thinks; one's acts; or the way one is composed physically or physiologically. An example might be individuals reading nightly aloud a statement they have written describing how they would like to be, then repeating the statement in their mind until they fall asleep.
People have attributed changes to such a nightly routine or similar employment of self hypnosis, for example, increased confidence, the conquering of life-long fears, heightened mental faculties (e.g., ability to calculate mathematics or read at a quicker rate), eradication of diseases or infections from one's body, and even improved eyesight and growing taller.
It is not uncommon to hear people claim that they have been able to get rid of warts on their hands, simply by making a point of saying, "There go my warts!" every time they saw a garbage truck or a trashcan, but it is not clear whether such anecdotal reports should be taken as evidence of the power of self hypnosis. The ability to fight sicknesses and infections, as well as many other things, shows that it may be a form of a placebo. Making yourself "believe" the body is curing the sickness by itself may affect what your cells and body do, although this hasn't been conclusively tested.