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The difference between hypnosis and meditation

People often ask me about the difference between meditation and hypnosis. Here are three key differences:

First of all, hypnosis is a more precise state. Hypnosis is induced in a very systematic way. Whether you are practicing self-hypnosis, or taking a session with a professional hypnotist, there are ways of testing the depth of your state. When you pass certain tests, you can be sure that you are in hypnosis.

Next, hypnosis is a more robust state. By “robust” I mean that the state of hypnosis is not easily disturbed. Hypnosis is more of a self-reinforcing state. That is to say that you ┬ádon’t have to work as hard to maintain the hypnotic state as you do with meditation. Because of the nature of hypnosis, you can practice in noisy environments and in other conditions which may preclude the practice of meditation.

You can use hypnosis for pain control, such as getting fillings without using any numbing agent. To my knowledge, things like pain reduction are not possible in meditation.

Should you choose hypnosis or meditation? Well, it really depends on which one appeals to you and what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re looking for focusing your mind and general wellness, then meditation may fit the bill.

On the other hand, if you want to program your mind for a specific goal, hypnosis would suit you better. Hypnosis is also better for dealing with health challenges.

Meditation and hypnosis are both valid self-improvement methods. My advice is to try both and see what works best for you.

by Sean Maness, CHP
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