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Science of Hypnosis – Deeper Dive FAQ

Is Hypnosis Safe? When is Hypnosis Unsafe?

Hypnosis is a natural process that you drift into and out of multiple times a day. Whether it’s right before you fall asleep, or standing in a long line of customers waiting to be served, or while watching television or movies, or even, when you convince yourself that eating this would make you feel that, or smoking would make you relax… These are examples of every day hypnosis that make you who you are. And since it is a natural state that you experience daily, hypnosis is safe

Once you understand what hypnosis is, you’ll see that the question whether it is safe, is actually the wrong question.

The right question should rather be: "When is hypnosis unsafe?”

There are two parts to this answer. 

Self-hypnosis should not be practiced when it would not be safe to close your eyes and spend focus and attention in deep introspection. That is, not while you’re driving. Or while you operate machinery. That is why many self-hypnosis recordings will give that clear warning up front.

Although we enter and emerge from a state of self-hypnosis while we drive long distances, our unconscious control manages that safely. But this is different from doing self-guided self-hypnosis because in that moment you engage your subconscious mind in very specific way that will make driving dangerous. 

So to clarify, hypnosis itself is safe. Engaging in self-hypnosis in dangerous situations is what makes the process unsafe.

The second part to this is that hypnosis is unsafe if it’s contraindicated for a mental illness diagnosis. Or it may simply be that the way in which you invoke your imagination in the whole hypnosis process may have to be tailored to remain within certain boundaries.

For example, invoking your imagination to relive a past experience would be safe for one person while it may have to be avoided by someone else, who has deep seated mental health problems as a result of one or more traumatic past experiences. 

Therefore, be sure to speak to your doctor if you are diagnosed with any mental illness. It’s not that there is something wrong with you, it’s just that self-hypnosis or even guided hypnosis with a lay hypnotist like me, in what we call hetero-hypnosis, may not be the best course of action for you.

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