"If you want to heal your body you must first
heal your mind" -Plato
Our consciousness has multiple levels of awareness. The conscious mind is associated with the left side of the brain and the subconscious mind, also referred to as the unconscious mind, is associated with the right side of the brain. Many people compare the mind to an iceberg, the conscious mind being the tip of the iceberg and representing approximately 10% of the mind, while the subconscious mind--the part underneath the water--represents about 90%.
The conscious mind is limited to the physical reality. When we are born we don't have a conscious mind. It begins forming in childhood based on the information that is provided to each individual. It is the part of the mind that uses reason and logic, helps us focus upon things, to differentiate them, to make decisions and evaluate things according to each person's definitions and perception of reality. It includes the critical faculties, the skeptical aspect of the mind, the negative ego, and, according to personal beliefs, accepts or rejects new information. The conscious mind is active during waking hours, but it's not in a constant state. Its level of alertness can vary from maximum alertness down to minimal functioning, according to the level of environmental stimulation one encounters.
In hypnosis, practitioners create the conditions for the conscious mind to be in the observer state, so that the subconscious would be accessible for revealing the root causes of fears, illnesses and life challenges, and accept the incoming positive suggestions provided, to correct negatively-orientated patters of thinking. The conscious mind has two parts: one is positively-oriented, resonating with our inner wisdom, and the other one is negatively-oriented, and it's referred to as the negative ego, the egoic mind, the false self or the destructive mind. It contains all the disempowering, negatively-oriented and fear-based beliefs and thoughts. When the egoic mind is too strong, it can imprint its negatively-oriented beliefs and thoughts on the subconscious mind, creating a conflict between the levels of our consciousness that leads to inner turmoil.
The subconscious mind, also referred to as the unconscious mind, is a constant during life. It is the mind that we are born with. It's always present and aware of everything we experience as human beings and as consciousness. It's the motor of the brain, the microprocessor that powers the cortex. It guides the activity of the entire body: the breathing, blood flow, production of cells, chemical reactions, and so on. It is the seat of the subconscious belief systems and emotions, and the realm of the imagination and creativity.
The subconscious mind is described as the mind of our soul, and has access to memories that cannot be accessed in the conscious state of awareness. The exploration of the subconscious mind and optimization of conscious and subconscious belief systems is essential for healing and recovery.
The subconscious mind is not limited by our self-imposed limitations of time, space, and perceptions of the nature of reality. It's a higher level of awareness. It resonates with the positive suggestions provided by the hypnotherapist with ease, incorporating them, and correcting the disempowering beliefs that reached it via the negative ego of the conscious mind.
As over 6000 scientific studies are pointing out, hypnotherapy is a very efficient way of identifying, dismantling and replacing unbeneficial and disempowering belief systems. As a result of correcting the negatively-oriented patterns of thinking, the production and release of happiness hormones (endorphine, serotonine, dopamine) in the human body improves the way we feel. Positive thoughts determine good feelings.
Hypnosis is a safe, peaceful, meditative mental state in which the conscious, intellectual, analytical mind is in a state of minimum functioning, and the subconscious mind is opened and available for revealing suppressed memories and negative emotions. At the same time, it is receptive to positive suggestions, incorporating them in its belief system, creating new connections between the brain cells, the neurons, forming new pathways of thinking. This ability of the brain to release the old data and incorporate new information is called neuroplasticity or cortical remapping.
In other words, hypnosis is a quick way of learning, both consciously and subconsciously.
Many of the psychogenic problems are based upon negative beliefs incorporated by the subconscious mind, many times during childhood, when the conscious mind is not fully formed. Negatively-oriented thoughts and beliefs act like viruses in the operating software/ the brain. Hypnotherapy is a very efficient method to replace these unhealthy beliefs.