Hypnotherapy Opens Mind to Healthy Changes

A journalist tries hypnosis and three BG practitioners talk about the many health benefits of hypnotherapy

Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 12:00 am

By Kelly Moyer, Staff Reporter The Reflector



Granted, it’s only been about 18 hours, but I think the hypnosis is working.

You see, most mornings, I wake up begging my two husky pups for a 20-minute reprieve before they jump on my head and start licking my face. This morning, however, I woke up feeling refreshed, let the dogs out and found myself in the kitchen, making a gigantic salad for lunch.

That in itself isn’t too stunning, but then, a few hours later, I was at work, reaching for my coffee, when I realized: Oh, my goodness. I forgot to stop for coffee this morning! This doesn’t happen. I have a routine. I drop the kid at school, swing around the block, get a cup of Stump town’s finest (and usually a scone for good measure), and then head for the highway. But this morning I dropped the kid and hopped on I-205 north. No coffee! No scone! I did, however, have a banana and two tiny tangelos with me. And I don’t remember bringing fruit out of the house. See? The hypnosis, designed to help me make healthier food choices, is working.

It all started with a story idea. I had always been interested in hypnotherapy – had known people who lost weight or quit smoking or had pain-free births through hypnosis – and I wondered if hypnosis could help me conquer some unhealthy eating habits. I had even listened to some pre-recorded hypnotic videos on YouTube, but I had never actually visited an actual hypnotherapist.

Over the past few months, however, I began to notice that Battle Ground seems to have a good number of hypnotherapists: There are three different therapists located on Main Street alone. I knew that we had a health-focused section coming up in The Reflector, and thought now was the perfect time to experience hypnosis and write an article about it’s various health benefits. I pitched the idea to my editor and made a few calls. Before I knew it, I was reclining on a cozy leather chair in hypnotherapist David Hill’s Battle Ground office, getting ready for my first session.

“I’m going to bore your conscious mind,” Hill told me before I relaxed into the chair. “We want to get your conscious filter out of the way.”

Hill’s voice was melodic, the chair was super comfortable and my mind, normally spinning at full speed with deadlines and story ideas and parenting stuff and plans for the upcoming weekend, finally started to calm down. I remember concentrating on my breathing and that there was a staircase and a garden with a stream running through it, but I think I must have fallen asleep during our session. When I came out of the hypnotic trance, I felt like I’d been in the chair for maybe 15 or 20 minutes, but Hill said it was more like 45 minutes.

“You went into deep alpha,” Hill told me. “That’s very good.”

Going into deep alpha basically means that I had a bit of a nap. My conscious mind went away for 45 minutes, giving Hill access to my subconscious mind. The subconscious is where the magic happens, where Hill’s suggestions – eat smaller portions, reach for nutrient-rich foods like veggies, nuts and seeds, drink more water and get more exercise – could find a foothold.

I only had one session, and it wasn’t as long as Hill’s regular hypnosis sessions, which often last 90 minutes to two hours, but I still feel like the hypnosis affected my subconscious thoughts. At least for one day.

Hill, a certified counselor and hypnotherapist who has been practicing since the 1980s, says most clients tend to need more than one session.

“Some do have a successful outcome with one session, but it all depends on the individual,” Hill says. “Most need more than one session. Some need five or six, or more. It really just depends on the situation.”

Will I go back? Probably. I’ve been trying to make healthier decisions most of my life, but there’s always been something holding me back – that “devil on my shoulder” that tells me to reach for the doughnuts before broccoli, and convinces me that watching a movie on the couch is way more fun than going to yoga class. I think hypnotherapy might be the “thing” that finally conquers that shoulder devil.

So what is hypnosis, exactly?

Here’s how the Mayo Clinic describes it: “Hypnotherapy is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images. Hypnosis can be used to help you gain control over undesired behaviors or to help you cope better with anxiety or pain.”

Many people associate hypnosis with magic shows, carnival acts or old Vincent Price movies, but hypnosis has been accepted as a legitimate health therapy for decades. In fact, the National Institutes of Health studied the therapy and found that hypnosis may be useful for treating chronic pain, reducing fear and anxiety, improving the quality of life for cancer patients and controlling bleeding during surgical and dental procedures.

The three Battle Ground hypnotherapists that contributed to this article – Hill, along with Debbie DeFreece and Connie Osborne – all say that hypnotherapy tends to be “a last resort” for many of their clients.

“Typically, people don’t go to see a hypnotherapist until they’ve tried everything else,” says DeFreece, of Absolutra Hypnotherapy in Old Town Battle Ground. “There have been misconceptions about hypnosis, mainly, I believe, because people think about the stage hypnosis … but hypnotherapy can help with so many things. I’ve seen that it’s effective for weight loss, anxiety, depression, nail biting, sports enhancement, test taking … really; it helps with anything that you want to change. Hypnosis gets to the root of why that change hasn’t been happening for someone.”

Hill knows exactly what it’s like to find hypnotherapy as “a last resort.” As a young man, Hill had crashed his car and suffered from intense neck pain. He tried everything short of surgery for the better part of a decade before finding a hypnotherapist in Philadelphia, PA, who worked with clients seeking pain relief.

“I tried everything,” Hill says. “I went to neurosurgeons, chiropractors … I even tried Rolfing.”

After his sessions with a hypnotherapist left him pain free for the first time in 10 years, Hill knew he had found his calling. He became a certified counselor and hypnotherapist and has been practicing in Washington State since the late 1980s. He’s been practicing out of his Battle Ground Hypnotherapy office for the past seven years. In that time, he’s treated clients for a range of issues, including weight management, stress relief, smoking cessation and addiction problems, but the majority of his clients are seeking pain relief.

“I’m a last resort for most people,” Hill says. “Most of my clients have chronic pain, they’ve been to multiple doctors, have had surgeries and are on pain medications. Most of them come to me after they’ve tried everything else.”

Hill says many of his clients are shocked by how much better they feel after just one hypnosis session. Although it typically takes five or more sessions to become pain free, Hill says many clients feel vast improvements after the first session.

Other hypnotherapists report similarly effective results with their clients.

Connie Osborne, a certified hypnotherapist and mental health counselor, who works out of her  aNewYouHypnosis business in Old Town Battle Ground, says she finds hypnosis to be extremely effective for helping clients improve their overall health through weight management and stress relief.

“I worked with a hypnotherapist on my weight issues and lost about 40 pounds,” Osborne says. “I’ve been able to keep it off through hypnosis. Now I do a 12-week weight management program for my clients and it’s been very successful. My clients even took weight off during the holidays.”

Osborne says she came to hypnosis through her training as a mental health counselor.

“I had worked as a school counselor and was working with at-risk college students who were low income and maybe had a disability or were first-generation college students,” Osborne says. “I would use every tool in my toolbox to help these students, but there were some who just couldn’t seem to get over the hump. … Hypnosis was the one tool I had that could help them.”

DeFreece, who runs the Absolutra Hypnotherapy & NLP Center in downtown Battle Ground, discovered hypnosis about 15 years ago. At that time, DeFreece worked a high-stress job, running a marketing company that helped big-name clients like Hewlett Packard.

“I was under pretty high stress. My husband encouraged me to see a hypnotherapist, to work through the stress and figure out why I wasn’t sleeping well at night,” DeFreece recalls. “So I found a hypnotherapist … and it was life changing for me. I loved it. And I decided that I wanted to do something new for my life.”

Switching from the high-stress world of marketing to healing wasn’t easy, but DeFreece says she loves helping clients find their way through major life changes.

“Hypnosis helps people change their perception about things,” DeFreece says. “And some people are nervous. They don’t want to look at things that have caused them pain in the past, to bring up those painful emotions, but I tell that that it doesn’t have to be painful. In hypnotherapy we can look at a situation and re frame it in a way that feels good. You can move on, move away from the painful feelings and make the change you want to make.”

Debunking the Myths Around Hypnosis

hypnosis clientThe technique, when used correctly, can help people overcome a host of life challenges

By Rob O’Flanagan

GUELPH — You are getting very, very … no, not sleepy. In fact, just the opposite: More awake, more aware of the inner impulses that drive you. The stereotype/myth of the hypnotist as a kind of magician that puts a person, or groups of people in a trance and makes them do what they wouldn’t normally do, continues to taint the practice of hypnosis. But that’s not really what hypnosis is all about.

The therapeutic technique, which has been around for several hundred years, has grown in popularity, and respect, in recent times, while its applications have broadened. “An area where hypnosis has had all its myths come about is in stage hypnosis,” said Jacques Gouws, a clinical psychologist based in Hamilton, and past-president of the Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis. “This is the stuff where someone gets on a stage and calls people up and makes them look silly.” Playing around with hypnosis is actually dangerous, Gouws said. Someone with a particular mental health problem, an emotional sensitivity, or a specific trauma can have a psychological door opened through hypnosis that can cause a serious mental crisis.

But there are many ways in which hypnosis can be used as a tool to try to change habits, eliminate phobias, foster a sense of inner peace, and overcome a host of life challenges. Habits are deeply rooted in the subconscious mind, and accessing that part of the mind is where hypnosis has its power.

Phil Naylor runs the Glen Tara Centre for Hypnosis and Wellness in Guelph, a growing hypnosis practice that aims to help clients with anxiety, panic, phobias, pain management, and overall wellness, among other things. His business offers counselling, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is not mind control, he said, but there is a general misconception that it is. Those under hypnosis are fully conscious and aware during the process. For the most part, hypnosis is very safe.

“There are not many people that do hypnosis in Guelph,” Naylor said. “Part of the issue with hypnosis is that people don’t understand it. There needs to an education process because people don’t think about hypnosis for the things they might be dealing with. It is certainly not part of the mainstream vocabulary of health or mental health.” People seek hypnosis at his office for depression and anxiety, pain management, and anger management. If you grind your teeth at night or have an unusual phobia, a practitioner like Naylor may be able to help.

Say you want to be a more confident person, someone who feels more capable of succeeding at what you put your mind to. Perhaps something within your subconscious, a fear or a negative belief, is acting as an impediment to self-assurance. Hypnosis can help get to the bottom of it, according to certified hypnotist Angela McClenahan.

McClenahan recently moved her hypnosis practice from her home in Burlington to a modern office building at 848 Gordon St. Her Guelph Hypnosis Works specializes in serving people working to achieve smoking cessation, weight loss, stress management and greater confidence. It can also help enhance academic and sports performance, and manage pain, she said.

“We help people break habits, break patterns and find new ways to cope,” she said. “It’s amazing how the unconscious mind works, and it (hypnosis) can work very, very quickly. People can be stuck in patterns that they’ve been doing for years, and we can help them get out of it within minutes. It’s amazing to watch people make all these changes and to be able to help them do that.”

McClenahan said if you want to quit smoking, change eating habits, gain control over negative impulses and attitudes, hypnosis can help by essentially giving you better access to the subconscious processes that influence your behavior. We may not always know why we do what we do, she said. Hypnosis can help access the underlying motives behind our behavior.

McClenahan demonstrated one method of instilling a kind of a mental anchor that helps reorient the mind. In this example, she was helping instill an anchor for self-confidence. Close your eyes and picture a circle on the floor in front of you, she instructed. The circle could be a hula hoop, a rope, a painted line, or a series of stones.

Then, think of someone who embodies the qualities you want to instill in yourself, she said. Identify those good qualities in your mind. Once you have them identified, place those characteristics in the circle and step inside.

Now, envision absorbing those characteristics up through your feet to the top of your head until they are fully embodied in you, at least on the level of thought. Then step back out of the circle and make a fist. The making of a fist will be your trigger in situations where you want those admirable, self-assured qualities to come to the fore. During a test to determine if a subject was susceptible to hypnosis, Naylor asked the subject to hold a pendulum over a piece of paper that had a circle on it. The circle had a vertical line and a horizon line across it.

He instructed the subject to relax, to watch the pendulum and imagine it going back and forth in one direction. The pendulum moved in that direction, apparently without any movement in the fingers of the subject. When asked to imagine it stopping, it stopped. A succession of suggestions made the pendulum go up and down, and in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions, with stops between each new direction. The subject was clearly susceptible.

Naylor said subjects who respond well to hypnosis are not gullible. Instead, they tend to be people with a good imagination, who can fully visualize things suggested to them. A good rapport between the hypnotist and the subject is also important.

The key to the success of any hypnosis is the client’s openness to it, their willingness to be helped by it, and a solid commitment to change, McClenahan said. “You can-not hypnotize anyone who does not want to be hypnotized,” she said. “It’s a choice.”

Hypnosis has long had a presence in the world of entertainment, the kind of stage hypnosis that has been popular at different times. In some ways it has given hypnosis a bad name. It has provided an impression it’s a form of mind control or mesmerism that alters the state of mind and puts people in a trance that renders them vulnerable to suggestion and control. “Even in stage hypnosis they can’t make anyone do anything that they don’t want to do,” McClenahan said. “You are still aware of what is going on.”

The state of hypnosis, she explained, is similar to the state we find ourselves in just before falling asleep or in those few moments after waking. It is a very relaxed state of mind in which we are still aware of our surroundings but not really thinking about them. It is not uncommon to enter such a state while doing ordinary things. One can move into a kind of hypnotic state while driving, finding they have travelled some distance without fully remembering the details of the route or without noting the amount of time that has passed.

“We experience hypnosis-like states all the time,” McClenahan said. “It’s a natural phenomenon. What we do here at Guelph Hypnosis Works is we use that relaxed state of mind to help work with your unconscious mind to make the changes that you’re looking to make.”

Individual human beings are made up of various parts, go through numerous stages of life, and perform many roles, Gouws said. Things happen in different parts and at different times of our lives that we may not understand or be aware of, but which affect us over the long term.

“Some of the stuff that happened to us may be so threatening that we can’t really face it, in the same way that I am not going to have a root canal while I am wide-awake, without freezing,” Gouws said. “Hypnosis is a tool that allows the therapist access to deal with those particular things that happen in the subconscious mind.”

McClenahan said many of her clients are taught the techniques of self-hypnosis. With smoking cessation, those techniques are relatively straightforward and don’t take long to learn. But things such as stress management or weight loss are a longer process, the root of the problems running deeper. Single hypnotic sessions are not offered at Guelph Hypnosis Works, but, rather, programs are offered involving varying numbers of sessions, at various costs. The nitty-gritty details, or the deeper secrets of a problem, needn’t be revealed to a hypnotist, McClenahan said.

“We just help you access states of mind that will help you get beyond your issue,” she said. “We need to get them to level with themselves, to realize on a conscious level that they are doing this. And then you can help them change those patterns.”

Challenges such as weight gain are symptomatic of deeper, often subconscious fears, anxieties or traumas. The weight gain is a symptom of an emotional/psychological issue that must be accessed to get to the root of the problem.

McClenahan referred to the work of family therapy pioneer Virginia Satir, who identified a number of “coping stances” that influence our behavior and can get in the way of healthy relationships and lifestyles.

Some of us are placaters who are always trying to please others — always focused on others as opposed to themselves. There are blamers who always blame someone or something else for their problems, distractors who constantly distract themselves from their problems and thinkers who overanalyze.

“Sometimes people get stuck in these stances, and we help them get out of them,” McClenahan said. “They are coping mechanisms that we all use at some time or another. When you get stuck in any of them, we help you get out of that rut and level — to actually be able to see what you do, recognize it and change it.” Being in a hypnotic trance allows one to see in much the same way as dreaming while asleep, Gouws said. “The hypnotic trance allows one to work with those issues in a way that they can-not in a wide-awake state.”

Unless the trance experience is particularly threatening, or if there is a posthypnotic suggestion not to remember the experience, a patient will remember everything that happened while under hypnosis. Some people are much more susceptible to hypnosis than others, and are able to go very deeply into their past experiences and see them as though they are watching a movie, Gouws said. Many are able to regress back to infancy. But regressing back to times of abuse and trauma, he reiterated, is potentially risky.

Cleveland Clinic Children’s hospital opens Center for Integrative Medicine

Cleveland Clinic doctors


Cleveland Clinic Children’s is opening a Center for Integrative Medicine at its Hospital for Rehabilitation, bringing together complementary and alternative medical treatment methods such as yoga, acupuncture, reiki, biofeedback, and therapeutic touch in order to better treat kids with pain, anxiety and chronic medical conditions. (Lonnie Timmons III, The Plain Dealer)

The Plain Dealer By Brie Zeltner, January 19, 2015 at 10:29 AM,

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Children receiving care for chronic conditions such as anxiety, arthritis, nerve and muscle pain and even post-traumatic stress disorder will now be able to access complementary and integrative medical techniques to help them heal at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s new Center for Integrative Medicine.

A team of pediatric rehabilitation specialists will offer acupuncture, biofeedback, guided imagery, hypnosis, reiki, relaxation and breathing strategies, therapeutic touch, yoga, and other treatments.

Dr. Benjamin Katholi, who will lead the new team, said the center will work in tandem with a patient’s traditional doctors — not as a replacement — to provide better care.

“We certainly hope to provide evidence-based care at our center and also to ensure that patients are maintaining relationships with their traditional medical providers,” he said.

According to the most recent data gathered by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, about 12 percent of children use some form of complementary medicine, including natural products, chiropractic and osteopathic treatments, deep breathing, yoga, massage and diet-based therapies, among others. More than half of children with chronic medical conditions use some form of complementary health approach, usually along with conventional care.

Many of the children Katholi treats have post-concussive symptoms, juvenile arthritis and nerve-related pain, he said. Other children who use integrative services have chronic headaches, back pain, anxiety and other complex medical problems.

Cleveland Clinic Children’s has offered many of these services to patients for several years, Katholi said, but did not have a centralized space for kids to receive care. That space will now be at the Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Cleveland.

“The hospital has a lot of medically complex patients who are referred here for inpatient or outpatient care, so it made sense to have the center here to help enhance the quality of life for those patients and to help enhance their recovery.” Katholi said.

The center will also begin research on several integrative treatments — acupuncture, reiki and a form of low-intensity electrical stimulation called frequency-specific microcurrent therapy — to figure out what their potential benefits are for kids.

“We’re not hoping to replace any traditional medical therapies, but rather to enhance the care existing here,” Katholi said. “I think that there are a lot of misconceptions about what can be offered. We don’t see ourselves as an alternative to care.”

Use Hypnotherapy to Deal with Grief – Hypnotherapist

By S. Chandravathani

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 (Bernama) — The tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 amidst the bloody, political quagmire in Ukraine has no doubt, left the nation and the world in a state of numbed shock.

Cringing with tears and anger at the nightmare of a political in-fighting in Ukraine, it has left the families of the 298 passengers and crew on board the ill-fated Boeing 777-200 aircraft having to deal with the unexpected grief and loss of loved ones. Often, such deaths would eventually trigger a more serious depression lasting between six and eight weeks after the loss has occurred.

Observers say losing a family member or a close friend is never easy and no matter how prepared one is for a death, they can never be fully prepared for the loss and the grief. Therefore, before it becomes excessive and un-manageable, clinical hypnotherapist and counsellor Dr. Ajit Ludher suggests affected family members use hypnotherapy treatment, which he believes is among the best ways to help treat depression and cope with the death of a loved one.

Dr. Ludher said hypnotherapy or hypnosis, a scientifically-acknowledged psychological and therapeutic discipline, could help change one’s perspective towards life in drastic positive ways. Speaking to Bernama, he said this method had been proven to enable one’s self-consciousness to deal and cope with the stress of losing someone or something.


“It will bring a huge sense of release and relief, and put your thoughts and feelings back into a proper perspective.”


“You will still have your memories but they will be less charged with painful feelings, allowing you to be able to talk openly, should you wish, without the fear of being overcome by gushing emotions,” he said.

Explaining further, Dr. Ludher said the mind was divided into two parts – the conscious mind (logical, reasoning and thinking mind used all the time when we are awake) and the subconscious mind (repository of all experiences and memories).

“In the hypnotic state, the doorway between the conscious and the subconscious mind is opened – memories become easily accessible and you can work on the issues or challenges that have stopped us in the past.

“We are able to access and heal all emotional, mental and physical issues, which enable us to return to the positive state of mind, which will in turn, attract healing and positive possibilities into our lives,” he said. On how a hypnotherapist did the job, Dr. Ludher said they (hypnotherapists) would drop down from the conscious mind, which is only 10 per cent of the mind, and into the subconscious mind.

“We will address the whole person, 100 per cent of the mind rather than just treating the symptoms. Using hypnotherapy, we can go down to the deepest level of these traumatic experiences, memories and stored emotions to release them from the mind and body.”

He said hypnotherapy was not about forgetting but more about healing, accepting the reality of the loss, and most importantly, working through to the pain of grief.

Recognized as traditional and complementary medicine by the Malaysian Health Ministry, he said some 68 per cent of people had removed pain and anger, overcome stress and depression, chemical dependency, removed fears and phobias, increased confidence and broken through barriers by using hypnosis.

Dr. Ludher reminded that hypnotherapy was not about hypnotizing people; instead, it was a side-effect free and effective method to heal, that worked at the subconscious level and focused on dealing with the root of the problem.

What is Hypnotherapy?

What is hypnosis?                                                                                        

There is no debate as to whether hypnosis exists or works. Science simply cannot agree on what it is and how it works, although The British Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis states:

“In therapy, hypnosis usually involves the person experiencing a sense of deep relaxation with their attention narrowed down, and focused on appropriate suggestions made by the therapist.”

These suggestions help people make positive changes within themselves. Long gone are the days when hypnosis was seen as waving watches and controlling people’s minds. In a hypnotherapy session you are always in control and you are not made to do anything. It is generally accepted that all hypnosis is ultimately self-hypnosis.

A hypnotist merely helps to facilitate your experience – hypnotherapy is not about being made to do things, in fact it is the opposite, it is about empowerment.

Definition of hypnotherapy

Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not a state of deep sleep. It involves the induction of a trance-like condition. When in it, the patient is actually in an enhanced state of awareness, concentrating entirely on the hypnotist’s voice. In this relaxed state, the conscious mind is suppressed and the subconscious mind is revealed. The therapist is then able to suggest ideas, concepts and lifestyle adaptations to the patient, the seeds of which become firmly planted.

Hypnotherapy is the practice of promoting positive development or healing. Hypnotherapy aims to re-program patterns of behavior within the mind, enabling irrational fears, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions to be overcome. As the body is released from conscious control during the relaxed state of hypnosis, breathing becomes slower and deeper, the pulse rate drops and the metabolic rate falls. Similar changes along nervous pathways and hormonal channels enable the sensation of pain to become less acute, and the awareness of unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea or indigestion, to be alleviated.

Four extracts from Dr. Hilary Jones’ book, “Doctor, What’s the Alternative?” provide an accurate and accessible description of what hypnotherapy is, how it works, and how hypnotherapy can help you change and grow:

How does it work?

Hypnosis alters our state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert. The conscious control of the mind is inhibited, and the subconscious mind awoken. The subconscious mind is a deeper-seated, more instinctive force than the conscious mind this is the part which has to change for the client’s behavior and physical state to alter.

For example, a client who consciously wants to overcome their fear of spiders may try everything they consciously can to do it, but will still fail as long as their subconscious mind retains this terror and prevents the client from succeeding. Progress can only be made by reprogramming the subconscious so that deep-seated instincts and beliefs are abolished or altered.

What form might the treatment take?

Any misconceptions a potential client may have about hypnosis should be dispelled. The technique does not involve the client being put into a deep sleep, and the client cannot be made to do anything they would not ordinarily do. They remain fully aware of their surroundings and situation, and are not vulnerable to every given command of the therapist. The important thing is that the patient wants to change some behavioral habit or addiction and is highly motivated to do so. They have to want the treatment to work and must establish a good clinical rapport with the therapist in order for it to do so.

The readiness and ability of patients to be hypnotized varies considerably and hypnotherapy generally requires several sessions in order to achieve meaningful results. However the patient can learn the technique of self-hypnosis which can be practiced at home, to reinforce the usefulness of formal sessions with the therapist. This can help counter distress and anxiety-related conditions.

What problems can be treated by hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy can be applied to many psychological, emotional and physical disorders. It is used to relieve pain in surgery and dentistry and has proved to be of benefit in obstetrics. It can shorten the delivery stage of labor and reduce the need for painkillers. It can ease the suffering of the disabled and those facing terminal illness, and it has been shown to help people to overcome addictions such as smoking and alcoholism, and to help with bulimia. Children are generally easy to hypnotize and can be helped with bedwetting and chronic asthma.

Fears of all kinds lend themselves well to hypnotherapy, and anyone suffering from panic attacks or obsessional compulsive behavior, and stress-related problems like insomnia, may benefit. Conditions exacerbated by tension, such as irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis and eczema, and excessive sweating respond well, and even tinnitus can be treated by these techniques.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnotherapy  Hypnosis is a trance-like deep relaxed state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a hypnotherapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you’re under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and are more open to suggestions. You are wake and alert and can hear what is said. The conscious mind (analytical mind) is relaxed and the subconscious mind is accessed. The subconscious mind is where all memories and habits are stored.

Hypnotherapy can be an effective method for coping with stress and anxiety.

Hypnosis can be used to help you gain control over undesired behaviors or to help you cope better with anxiety or pain. It’s important to know that although you’re more open to suggestion during hypnosis, you don’t lose control over your behavior.


Hypnosis is used for:

  • Pain control. Hypnosis may be beneficial for pain associated with cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, joint problems, dental procedures and headaches.
  • Hot flashes. Hypnosis may relieve symptoms of hot flashes associated with menopause.
  • Behavior change. Hypnosis has been used with some success in the treatment of insomnia, bed-wetting, smoking, weight loss, stress, and fears.


Hypnosis that’s conducted by a trained therapist or health care professional is a safe, complementary and alternative medicine treatment. However, hypnosis may not be appropriate in people with severe mental illness.

What happens at a hypnosis session?

Your therapist will explain the process of hypnosis and review what you hope to accomplish. Then the therapist will typically talk in a gentle, soothing tone and describe images that create a sense of relaxation, security and well-being.

When you’re in a receptive state, the therapist will suggest ways for you to achieve your goals, such as reducing pain or eliminating cravings to smoke. The therapist also may help you visualize vivid, meaningful mental images of yourself accomplishing your goals.

When the session is over your therapist helps you end your trance-like state.

Contrary to how hypnosis is sometimes portrayed in movies or on television, you don’t lose control over your behavior while under hypnosis. Also, you remain aware of and remember what happens under hypnosis.

Eventually you may be able to practice self-hypnosis, in which you induce a state of hypnosis in yourself. You can use this skill as needed.

Hypnosis can be effective in helping people cope with pain, stress and anxiety. It may also be effective as part of a comprehensive program for quitting smoking or losing weight.

Hypnosis isn’t right for everyone. For example, you may not be able to enter a state of hypnosis fully enough to make it effective. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis in other words no one can be hypnotized without their permission. Some therapists believe that the more likely you are to be hypnotized, the more likely it is that you’ll benefit from hypnosis.