Hypnosis is a co-operative interaction in which the participant responds to the suggestions of the hypnotherapist.
Stage performers have popularised hypnosis by prompting people to do unusual or ridiculous acts (often after the hypnotist has swung a pocket watch back and forth to put them to sleep). But the technique has been clinically proven to provide medical and therapeutic benefits, most notably in treating pain and anxiety.
Clinical hypnosis bears little resemblance to what you would see on stage. In reality, a hypnotherapist is like a coach help participants become hypnotised.
The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word ‘hypnos’ meaning sleep. While hypnosis is often described as a sleep-like state, in reality, it is better expressed as a relaxed state of mind where the participant has focused attention and heightened suggestibility.
When hypnotised, a participant can benefit from specific techniques such as direct and indirect suggestion, hypno-analysis, visualisation, regression, and metaphor which can resolve life-long issues.
See Also: Benefits of Hypnosis
Hypnosis has been used in sports for many years. It has a long history of improving athletes’ performance.
According to the Australian Sports Commission, hypnosis can be an incredibly powerful tool to help enhance athletes’ performance.
Hypnosis in Sport.
Sports, like a lot of things in life is about how you deal with the highs and lows that are often presented to you. If you are able to reduce the amount of stress and worry in your life things become that little bit easier to manage. Should you have at your disposal the tools to be able to deal with these issues, how much better would your life be.
Just imagine yourself completing the tasks you have been putting off for sometime, imagine seeing yourself as the person you set out to be when you decided on your goal of becoming ……………..
Like imagery, hypnosis is a cognitive-behavioural process that has both a cognitive function and a motivational function. Cognitively hypnosis is used to restructure the way athletes think about themselves and the way they execute and learn new skills. In a motivation sense, hypnosis is used to modify emotions, reduce anxiety, increase or decreases arousal, and increase effort. Perhaps because it is poorly understood, hypnosis is not a widely used intervention strategy in sport.
A well known application of hypnosis took place before the first boxing match between Muhammed Ali and Ken Norton in 1973. Norton reportedly hired a professional hypnotist to help him bolster his confidence and reduce his per fight anxiety. Norton won the match in a stunning upset, effectively calling attention to hypnosis as a viable strategy.
Some other well known athletes to have utilised hypnosis include Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, Mary Lou Retton (American gymnast & Olympic gold medalist), as well as Tiger Woods. Here in Australia it is known that both Steve Hooker and Mathew Mitchum used hypnosis prior to their gold medal performances at the Beijing Olympics
Currently English premier league team Crystal Palace are working with a Hypnotherapist. Glen Catley is a former World and British welterweight boxing champion who used hypnosis through his career and has gone on to work in the field himself.
It is probably fair to say that hypnosis is more clouded by myths and misconceptions than any other form of psychological intervention.
Sports Hypnosis will;
* Remove hesitations, * Improve performance, * Alleviate pre-competition nerves, * Program sports success, * Focus attention, * Develop mental stamina, * Increase motivation, * Revisit previous good performances and setup anchors to trigger that resourceful state again when required, * Install traits of a professional athlete, * Install the self image of an athlete, * Remove mental obstacles to success, * Revisit previous good performances & setup anchors to trigger that resourceful state again when required.
The Australian Sports Commission has also recognised the benefits that hypnosis can have on the athlete, stating in one report – Hypnosis can be an incredibly powerful tool for athletes for both therapeutic and performance-enhancement purposes.
Athletes will often use visualisation & imagery techniques in aiding them to move forward to their stated goals/ aspirations. Athletes are very good subjects to work with as they respond well to instruction and are focused towards achieving their personal and team goals.
Many athletes are looking for that one thing that can help them succeed in their given field, many have turned to Hypnosis. While this may not be for everyone, for those who believe they have the capability to move forward Hypnosis can have a very profound outcome on their careers.