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Unlocking and Understanding Mind Techniques

As different as we all are on the outside, it only stands to reason that internal differences must be extensive as well, especially when it comes to the brain. The personality, habits and mannerisms of each person are as unique as their fingerprints. Every person’s mind is shaped by a balance of genetics (nature) and experiences (nurture).

Throughout the centuries, people have sought to understand the role of the mind in creating our consciousness and our concept of self. The quest to unlock these mental secrets has led to many approaches for tapping into the mind and broadening the understanding.

As a hypnotist, Beverly Craddock is often asked about the differences between hypnosis, self-hypnosis, and practices such as meditation or psychology.

Beverly, a master hypnotist at Hawaii Hypnosis Center, says the different techniques vary in approach and can depend on the goal of the work being done. “The human brain mainly uses four brain waves — beta, alpha, theta, and delta — that are used for multiple activities,” she explains. “When it comes to subconscious work, such as hypnosis, self-hypnosis, and meditation, a person is using alpha and theta brainwaves.”

The brain work being done in hypnosis, self-hypnosis, and meditation is done at the same electrical frequency in the brain, but the way that the brainwave is used is where the difference occurs.

“Meditation and hypnosis use the same brainwaves,” Beverly explains. “The difference is the intention of the work. Meditation tends to be an effort to calm the mind. Hypnosis is an interactive way to change mental perceptions and is especially useful for reevaluating and resolving past traumas.”

Beverly says that self-hypnosis is similar to meditation since it’s typically an individual effort. It’s focused on utilizing alpha and theta brainwaves to “install” more useful messaging or replace a negative message in the mind. “We’ve all got an internal dialogue in our heads,” she says. “Self-hypnosis is a daily practice that lets people replace the harmful messaging — the ‘I’m not good enough’ — with something more useful.”

Hypnosis work, sometimes known as hypnotherapy, is done with a professional hypnotist that can help a client find and understand the parts of a life story that may contain bad information or be based on outdated beliefs.

“We don’t use the term hypnotherapy much anymore because we aren’t truly therapists, rather we are specialists in the subconscious part of the mind,” Beverly elaborates. “That’s the difference we offer. Therapists — counselors and psychologists — are extraordinarily useful in analyzing the conscious, beta brainwave state, difficulties of the mind. Psychiatrists are trained medically to help with chemical imbalances and physical problems with the brain. Hypnotists help regular people with regular problems, while the other specialists help people with mental abnormalities or problems.”

Research studies have found that hypnosis is extremely effective in changing bad habits such as smoking or eating too much. Hypnosis is also commonly used by professional athletes and business leaders to improve mental performance on the field and in the board room. Hypnotists can also help lessen stress, anxiety, and even relationship troubles.

“The best way to think of hypnosis is to ask yourself if you really want to change something but can’t seem to do it,” Beverly concludes. “Difficulty in changing is often a conflict between the conscious desire and the subconscious protective response.”

If you’re looking for a daily practice to relax and center the mind, Beverly suggests learning meditation. If your mind tends to be too noisy for meditation, a hypnotist can provide some mind tricks for that too. And if you’re looking for a daily practice to engrain a better story into life, one that says, “I am good enough, I am lovable, I can do whatever I put my mind too,” Beverly says self-hypnosis classes are a natural place to start.

Randy Hampton is a writer, social scientist, hypnotist and blogger living in Honolulu.

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