JUNE 14 — This is in response to a recent article that came up in which a local celebrity claimed that she was hypnotised (pukau) and robbed.

The Association of Hypnotherapy Practitioners Malaysia (AHPM) is the formal body that governs the ethical and professional practice of hypnotherapy in Malaysia. AHPM educates the public about hypnosis; what it is and how it can be used to help individuals positively cope with emotional challenges.

The American Medical Association approved hypnosis as a therapy in 1958 and the American Psychological Association followed suit three years later (Harvard Medical School). This statement will help the public understand the therapeutic use of hypnosis.

Hypnosis is a natural state of consciousness. Everyone experiences it at least twice a day: a brief time just before you wake up and, also just before you fall asleep. During these moments you feel very relaxed and comfortable; you do not think about your problems (www.webmd.com). This is alpha consciousness; sometimes referred to as a trance state. The brain’s activity, measured by electroencephalogram (EEG), slows to a range of 7 to 14 cycles per second. In contrast, wakeful, or beta consciousness ranges 14 to 32 cycles per second.

Though natural, hypnosis (as an induced state alpha consciousness) is a unique sensation. You can focus on one thing at a time. Senses are heightened. You feel like you are in two places at the same time (like a waking dream state). You are also open to suggestion; meaning you are receptive to ideas offered by the hypnotist (these ideas are usually established between you and the hypnotist prior to the process).

Hypnotherapy is a process where a trained professional induces a state of trance (hypnotises you); then uses that state of consciousness to facilitate changes one has been incapable of engaging in a conscious state. For example, hypnotherapy helps people gain control over undesired habits and behaviors and is also useful for coping with stressors such as anxiety or pain.

Persons who seek hypnosis for a therapeutic purpose are generally subject to worry and stress that prevents them from attaining restful sleep. Hypnosis slows down thinking, contributing to relaxation and restfulness. And it is in that state that the hypnotherapist delivers suggestions consistent with one’s needs and desired changes.

Despite its many benefits, hypnosis remains subject to many unfortunate misconceptions; the worst of which refer to the potential for mind control. But that simply cannot happen. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Meaning 1) no one can be hypnotised against their will; and 2) one cannot be made to do something truly against their own will or moral beliefs.

In hypnosis you are not asleep; rather you are in a state of heightened sensitivity, in which you retain full control of your faculties (www.mayoclinic.org). In some cases, one responds to hypnotic suggestion and holds what appears to be a normal conversation with eyes wide open. One remains fully aware and capable of remembering everything that occurred during hypnosis.

AHPM members are trained professionals, qualified to engage hypnosis as a platform to help clients feel better. They facilitate clients’ efforts to make better choices. All practicing members of AHPM are required to attend a mandatory Code of Ethics class in which they discuss Act 775 – Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act 2016 (Laws of Malaysia), to which they are bound. They are also required to subscribe to professional indemnity insurance, protecting the rights of both the therapist and their clients.

Hypnosis is misunderstood by many, but language and poor translation also contribute to negative perceptions. It is incorrect to translate the English word ‘hypnosis’ as ‘pukau’. It is not the same. Hypnosis is an evidence-based technique with at least a nominal basis in science. Pukau is based on superstition and folklore. We support folklore and tradition, but pukau is associated with an intention to harm. The origins of hypnosis are related specifically to healing.

The Malaysian Ministry of Health has recently enhanced mental health awareness. It is also consistent with Malaysian culture to advocate the usefulness of alternative and complementary practices. AHPM is recognised as the governing body for the professional and ethical practice of hypnotherapy. Therefore AHPM is duty-bound to educate the public about the usefulness of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Education diffuses fears.

Facts about hypnosis:

  1. Hypnosis is a natural state of consciousness. Everyone experiences it, whether they know it or not.
  2. You are always in control. To end hypnosis just open your eyes.
  3. No one can force you to do things against your will. No hypnotist can make you quack like a duck unless you (at a subconscious level) really want to.
  4. You are totally aware before, during and after hypnosis.
  5. You cannot be hypnotised if you choose not to be hypnotised.

What Hypnotherapy is:

  1. A collaborative process between client and hypnotherapist
  2. A client willing to make changes allows the hypnotherapist to apply hypnosis.
  3. You are free to stop at any time you choose.
  4. All hypnotherapists in Malaysia are bound by AHPM professional code of ethics.
  5. Hypnotherapy should only be administered by a trained professional. Check their credentials.

Benefits of Hypnotherapy:

  1. When you are willing to engage with a trustworthy hypnotherapy professional, you can experience relief from a variety of issues that compromise health and happiness.
  2. Reduce stress
  3. Alleviate suffering from anxiety and depression
  4. Reduce Panic
  5. Ease Anger
  6. Improve Bad relationships
  7. Face Career challenges
  8. And many more emotionally related maladies

Fundamentally, hypnotherapy helps clients fear less and love more. Simple as it seems, it is not easy to attain. Anxieties increase due to fear or uncertainty. Everyone can benefit from being less scared, living a calmer life.

If you see someone experiencing stress or anxiety, reach out to help by referring them to professional help. Hypnosis can calm them. A skilled practitioner can guide them to a much more positive state of well-being.

Source : https://www.mayoclinic.org/testsprocedures/hypnosis/about/pac-20394405 https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-hypnotherapy#

For more information about AHPM, visit www.ahpm.org.my or drop us a mail at [email protected]

* This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.