Everything you need to know about hypnosis…and a helpful guide to performing it yourself.
A modern-day hypnosis guide, Morgan Yakus currently splits her time between New York City and LA, sharing her knowledge about the creation of new neural networks in our brains and bodies. We are excited to announce that she will be joining our fall FP Escapes retreat to the Berkshires, helping guests to identify their mental “clogging,” and clearing unwanted thoughts/patterns in an effort to nurture wellness.
Here she is today to teach us more about hypnosis, and to offer a guide for performing it in the comfort of your own…anywhere.
When did you first become interested in hypnosis, and what drew you to it?
Working with hypnosis was a complete accident! At the time I discovered hypnosis, I was co-owner of the New York store, No.6 and, after many recommendations, opted to undergo a past life regression (a technique that uses hypnosis to recover what some believe are memories of past lives). This led me to study literature about other modes of consciousness, such as ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ by Dr. Brian Weiss, with whom I eventually studied. From his teachings, I began to explore and shift existing thought patterns through present life hypnosis. It changed my perspective and, in just a few sessions, my life began to change in a significant way.
Can you quickly explain how hypnosis works? Any misconceptions surrounding it?
Hypnosis is a state of focus known as the theta state. The theta state is attained every night before sleep, when people often report receiving insights. Hypnosis works with the brain’s neural networks by creating new networks, to let your brain know it can let go of old patterns.
During hypnosis, the client is fully conscious, participating, and in control. It most closely resembles deep mediation, not unlike savasana which ends some yoga classes. I create a gentle coaching process for my clients, so they can understand how to change emotional and behavioral patterns by changing internal dialogue. It allows them to have a deeper understanding of how the mind works (automatic responses, emotions connected to reactions, etc.).
Sadly, there are so many misconceptions about the art of hypnosis, mainly due to hypnotic stage shows that appear in high schools and in film! In all accounts those people participating on stage, they said were aware of what they were doing when they were acting silly, and didn’t want to look stupid in front of their peers, so they “went along with the show.” These kitschy representations of hypnosis undermine the healing functions of what can potentially and naturally occur. In the early stages of psychoanalysis, hypnosis was an integral part in accessing the individual’s resistance to change.
For whom does hypnosis work best? Are there issues you believe apply to most participants?
Hypnosis aids in shifting cognitive patterns, behaviors and states of consciousness. The process creates calm, stress-free feelings and thoughts, thereby introducing the mind-body to a particular experience. Hypnosis can assist in establishing a deeper sense of trust in the self, weight loss, repetitive habits, life transitions, an increase in focus and creativity, positive thinking, and closure with events and people from the past.
Recently, an LA-based client wrote that she lost 20 lb in a month, after only one session! She began to exercise more and eat healthier, letting go of some emotional blocks that had held her back. My father lost 50 lb in six months! The linking of the emotional and physiological connection has been very moving to witness. Other clients have said they feel more optimistic and excited about their life, making the changes they wanted to achieve. Often I hear how perception changes in relation to their environment.
Why are you most excited to participate in our Berkshires retreat? Can you give a little preview of the workshop you have planned?
The Berkshires is a beautiful region in Massachusetts — the natural landscape fuels wellness, thereby supporting the process of cleansing. I am looking forward to supporting each guest’s journey and offering tools that can be applied to one’s life even after the retreat. I will be working with participants one-on-one, as well as in a group setting, to release and to receive information about how to obtain a healthier mind and body. My intention is to facilitate a warm, open and welcoming space so each individual can explore a deeper understanding of themselves. I can tell you that one exercise will involve entering the body’s control panel to make adjustments where healing is needed… the rest is a surprise!
HOW TO PRACTICE SELF-HYPNOSIS
The word hypnosis comes from the Greek work hypnos, to sleep. The technique that is self-hypnosis was developed by Betty Erickson, the wife of the late psychiatrist Milton Erickson, M.D., who is one of the most famous figures in modern hypnosis, and is one that anyone can use.
Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor. Find a spot above eye level upon which to rest your eyes. Have a soft focus, and take in the whole room.
State your goal – tell yourself the purpose of going into self-hypnosis.
I am going into a trance for the purpose of _____________ . During this self-hypnosis session, my unconscious mind will make the adjustments so that _____________ occurs naturally and easily.
Repeat the following sentences to yourself as many times as is needed to feel very relaxed. Eventually, your eyes will want to close. Let them.
1. “I am now aware that I see _________.” (Repeat 4 x’s, 4 different visual observations)
2. “I am now aware that I hear _________.” (Repeat with 4 different auditory observations)
3. “I am now aware that I feel _________.” (Repeat with 4 different kinesthetic observations)
1. “I am now aware that I see _________.” (Repeat 3x’s, visual)
2. “I am now aware that I hear _________.”(Repeat 3x’s, auditory)
3. “I am now aware that I feel _________.” (Repeat 3x’s, kinesthetic)
1. “I am now aware that I see _________.” (2x’s)
2. “I am now aware that I hear _________.” (2x’s)
3. “I am now aware that I feel _________.” (2x’s)
1. “I am now aware that I see _________.” (1x)
2. “I am now aware that I hear _________.” (1x)
3. “I am now aware that I feel _________.” (1x)
To utilize this self-hypnosis, tell yourself how you want to feel when you complete the process and how long you wish to be in meditation.
“In twenty minutes, I’m going to feel __________.”
Allow your mind to wander and trust that your subconscious is carrying out the suggestions you gave it.
Enjoy the process! There is no right and wrong way. Be patient with yourself. There are so many uses for this technique, and such just a simple state of change can be immediately experienced (such as clarity, fun, balance in the body, calm mind, see yourself finishing a project, meeting, public speaking or interview)! Have fun experimenting!
* Please do not use this technique while driving a car.