Is Hypnosis Just Meditation?Greg Thompson
Hypnosis and meditation have been around for a long time. Sanskrit writings describe hypnotic states and how to enter them. The Native American vision quest involves self-hypnosis. Meditation is practiced in various forms around the world, and it is described in ancient Chinese and Hindu writings.
It is also true that both meditation and hypnosis involve altered states of consciousness, and both use particular techniques to achieve these altered states. Meditators repeat mantras, focus on breathing or repetitive movements. Hypnotists use such things as eye fixation and hand levitation.
Hypnosis and meditation help to slow your brain waves. In meditation, it is common for the frontal lobes, is dominated by theta waves, slower slower than the alpha waves usually found in a relaxed but alert state. In hypnosis, the frequency of brain waves depends on the depth of the trance. In a light trance, where most hypnosis work is done, alpha waves are dominant. In a deeper trance, the kind you might use for past regression, theta waves are strongest. In the very deepest trances, where the person is unconscious of what is going on, they have reached delta brain wave frequency.
In addition, hypnosis and meditation have different objects and results. In meditation, the goal is to empty the mind, to have no thoughts, to lose awareness of any mental activity. Once you have done that, your job is done. In hypnosis, the task is not to empty the mind, but to focus it as sharply as possible in order to accomplish a specific goal, like to quit smoking, eliminating pain, prefer healthy food, or resolve an emotional trauma.
Hypnosis is a bit like shining a spotlight on some specific area in your mind, while meditation is a way to dim the light, or even turn it off. Meditation is great for achieving a sense of peace and calm. Hypnosis is a goal-oriented tool for achieving a specific outcome.