In my last article, I stated that the greatest benefit of meditation may actually be an increase in consciousness. The metaphysicists tell us that everything has consciousness (awareness). Most scientists wouldn’t agree. That’s OK because science likely hasn’t yet developed the tools to accurately measure consciousness. Usually, science develops appropriate tools only after a new question has been raised. For example, at one time, science thought that the earth was flat and that the sun went around it, but eventually, it discovered the appropriate tools to prove otherwise.

Metaphysicists would say that:
• A plant has more consciousness than a rock, e.g. it can sense the direction of sunlight and lean towards it.
• An animal has more than a plant, e.g. it can sense danger and run from it.
• A human has more than an animal, e.g. it is self-aware and can entertain a universal thought.
• Among humans, some have more consciousness than others, e.g. Buddha, Krishna, Christ and certain “enlightened” individuals were more aware of the bigger picture than others.

Whether the metaphysicists have it right or not, regular meditation may be a way that we can increase our consciousness. We can’t prove that yet, but a lot of people believe it to be the case.

Now, on to Hypnosis…what are some of its characteristics? Well first, as I explained in an earlier article, it has many things in common with meditation, e.g. metabolism drops, brain waves change to alpha, increased receptivity and responsiveness to suggestion, etc. Interestingly, although the American Medical Association (AMA) accepted hypnosis as a viable form of treatment in 1958, a number of myths still persist about it. The following points respond to the top three of these misunderstandings:
• When you are in hypnosis, you are not asleep or unconscious. You are always aware of people and sounds around you, including the voice of the hypnotist. Actually, the senses are a little more acute in hypnosis and you could be even more aware of certain sounds, smells, etc.
• No one takes control of you or makes you do anything that you do not choose or would not otherwise do in your normal waking state. While in trance, you continue to think, act and decide upon information in a way that is appropriate and acceptable to you. Your integrity and sense of morality are in no way compromised.
• You will not get stuck in trance. Sometimes, people enjoy the great feelings of relaxation and peace so much that they are reluctant to emerge from trance, but they always do. Even if the hypnotist were to die while you are in trance, you would either gradually come back to your normal waking state or else fall into a peaceful sleep and then wake up in a matter of minutes.

Unlike meditation, hypnosis is usually directed to achieving some improvement in habits or behaviour, and is often used when dealing with issues such as:
Weight loss Smoking cessation
Insomnia Stress management
Athletic performance Academic performance
Panic and anxiety Fertility
Bed wetting Eating disorders
Nail biting Pain management
Hypertension Guilt dissolution
Obsessions and compulsion Post-traumatic stress
Concentration Conflict-resolution

One of the really interesting things that Hypnotists are finding, and I am in my practice, is that when working on an issue, we often find, that when the client is asked in hypnosis when the problem began, the response is either “ sometime in early childhood, before age six” or in what appears to be a “past life.” Regressing a client to the origin or root of a problem is usually going to where the solution lies. As well, a number of people simply enjoy experiencing what appears to be medieval times, ancient Rome, the South Pacific, or where/when ever. This type of experience has been written about extensively by many authors, probably most notably, Brian Weiss, MD and best selling author of “Many Lives, Many Masters”, “Through Time Into Healing”, and “Same Soul, Many Bodies”. In subsequent articles, I may write more about this and about some of the other spiritual experiences that can be encountered in hypnosis.

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Author's Bio: 

Peter Dennis, B. Comm., B. Ed., M.B.A., C.H.R.P.

• Past President of The Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce, The Windsor and District Human Resources Professionals Association, and the International Graphoanalysis Society.
• Held senior Human Resources positions in The Hamilton Group, Green Giant of Canada Ltd, Pillsbury Canada Ltd, and KPMG.
• Instructor of Human Resources Management at The University of Windsor and at Seneca College.
• Best Selling Author and publisher of the books: HANDWRITING ANALYSIS, An Adventure in Self-Discovery, Third Edition and METAPHYSICS, An Adventure in Self-Discovery.
• Certified Consulting Hypnotist
• Certified Handwriting Analyst
• Reconnective Healing Practitioner
• Level 2 Reiki Practitioner