There is no magic in hypnosis; it is just a relaxed state. We go naturally into this state many times during the day, daydreaming, thoughts are elsewhere, engrossed in a film, just before becoming fully awake or just before sleep. Meditation, a guided visualisation can all get you into a relaxed state.

As I am sure most of you are aware that Hypnos is the Greek word for sleep, but it isn't sleep, in fact I have found people to be more aware, more alert, hearing more acute.

The misunderstanding of hypnosis is mainly caused by the stage hypnotist; it would appear that the people on stage doing silly things are under the control of the hypnotist. Anyone that has seen a live show will know that at the beginning of the show the hypnotist will say. "Those of you that want to participate in tonight's show this is what I want you to do" he then proceeds to talk them into sticking their hands together, about 5% that do as he suggests, will find their hands firmly stuck together, they are the ones that go up on stage, they volunteer, they give permission. I have used the same method to demonstrate the power of the mind to create a physical happening in the body.

Working with different groups, a few always get their hands stuck together, unable to pull them apart, just by thinking them stuck. Where I differ from the stage hypnotist is that I then give a visualisation of a nice bowl of hot soapy water and suggest that the hands will slip apart, and they do. Only one 13yr old young lady's hands did not, it would seem that she had never washed up and didn't know what it felt like.

I did say to the mother that the girl was very good at creating what she thought and to be careful not to let her make herself ill with her 'imagination' her reply was, "tell me about it" it would seem that the young lady had been doing it all of he life, at least she now knew how she was doing it. Strangely it was the same demonstration where a couple of ladies had also got their hands stuck together. I said at the end of my demonstration, "Now if ever you go to a famous hypnotist's show, do not join in or you will be up on stage" their reply was, "we did and he didn't" meaning they had joined in with the routine and had not got stuck, it wasn't that I was a better hypnotist, it just proved that in the situation we were in, (a spiritual church) they trusted me, and they obviously didn't trust him.

So Hypnosis is easy if you have the cooperation of the client, you cannot be made to do, or say anything against your will, you are in total control all of the time.

When a person is in the state of Hypnosis, changes can be made in behaviour patterns, (only if the person wants to change), 90% of our lives is run by our unconscious mind. During our lifetime, everything we see and hear programmes how we behave, what we learn to do, whether we smoke, eat too much, bite our nails etc. Phobia's, fears of spiders, snakes, water, buttons, the list is endless, and they are all caused in the same way. However, all can be addressed if you can find out what was the original cause and reason for having this behaviour.

So Hypnosis is a wonderful tool for Healing and change. You may of heard of something called the "Flight or Flight syndrome" It is known as a panic attack. If the mind/body senses danger, everything changes, the heart beats faster, you breathe faster, your stomach shuts down and your body produces adrenalin to power up your muscles to enable you to fight or flee, it is a natural reaction to a perceived threat. I have found that in phobia cases most people have what is considered to be an irrational fear, is in fact the mind instructing the body to protect itself. When you remove a phobia, i.e. a fear of heights, you do not make a person reckless, they are still aware that it can be dangerous, as with spiders, some are dangerous, a person that had been afraid of water will not jump in the deep end of a pool, it is the overpowering fear that subsides.