Review - Mastering the Power of Self-hypnosis

A Practical Guide to Self Empowermentby C. Roy Hunter Crown House Publishing, 2010 Review by Samin Khan Aug 16th 2011 (Volume 15, Issue 33)

What does getting hypnotized mean? For a non-scientific mind it is nothing short of black-magic, getting into a surreal trance, doing unbelievable things, utmost human power and control over another person; in simpler words making a robot out of others or himself in this case as the book is about self-hypnosis and autosuggestions in the tradition of Hypnotherapist Cuoe.

For Roy Hunter this is only a mythical popular concept of hypnosis; to get hypnotized is to get into a little different sort of mental state and interaction with another person. It is like strongly agreeing in a communicative atmosphere where suggestions are readily accepted without friction or criticism, a sort of emotional deeper communication level where the objective is not to convince oneself logically but to persuade and motivate emotionally without elaborate justifications. For the author, getting hypnotized is to respond emotionally even when we know that at another conscious level it may sound totally unreal. When watching a movie we respond to all its laughter and cries instantly but deep down we are aware that it is just a movie and nothing more. So does the hypnotized person know it is just a passing movement of intense emotional communication which will alter in no time, without a trace or memory in future? Similar to the trance created by music and poetry, no wonder Plato thought music has the power to possess people like they people who need exorcism.

From a scientific viewpoint, we know that our brains works by discharging waves and these waves can be measured by EEG (Electroencephalograph) in terms of it frequency; waves discharge like ECG of a heart where we measure functions. Brain waves of 13 and above per second mean we are in normal mode waking, usually in high gear, reasoning, talking and calculating called the Beta state. But at frequency between 8-13 EEG we are in Alpha state, where we are usually lost in imagination, inactive and relax, in a sort of daydreaming mode just like when we are in the middle of a long flight with nothing to do. Below 8 EEG we sleep in theDelta state and further down in Theta state of deep sleep where all conscious functions stop except heart, breathing and other vital processes. All this may sound medical-mysticism initially but is logical and in accordance with common place observations.

Part of the book discusses the historical progression of the concept of hypnotism and its use for public amusement on the stage; famous names like Franz Mesmer are quoted by the author who happens to be the ancestor in the family tree. For those who wish to read history, this part has useful information. In an impressive chapter author focuses on how people can get out of negative subconscious programming in addiction healing, common challenges of quitting alcohol and smoking etc are discussed in detail. The subconscious slipping down into the old state of affairs is usually the greatest danger for an addict. We have triggers and anchors and we must undo them at the subconscious level first before we change irreversibly. We can change at the surface and then fall back easily into old addictions cycle.

The last part of the book is about positive self-communication and the use of affirmative language in autosuggestions. It is always nice to use active verbs with positive emotional connotations according to the author. Words always rebound back and make things happen around us. Advice of the author is to “remain careful in what we say”, I can’t agree with him more on this. I recommend the book for everyone who has interest in positive psychology.

© 2011 Samin Khan