That’s the question I’m most often asked. And it’s usually accompanied by a suspicious look.
I blame stage hypnotists. Even when I’ve explained that hypnotherapy is nothing like stage hypnosis people often still wonder if I’m going to brainwash them into thinking they’re a naked alien from Mars. Well, you will be relieved to know, it’s nothing like that.
Clinical Hypnotherapy is so far removed from stage hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is not a trick, it’s a scientifically proven method of alleviating problems. So, I take every opportunity I can to explain to people what it’s like.
When you begin a session with a hypnotherapist, the first thing she will do is to get you to relax. That sounds easy. But in this modern world, where everything moves at lightning speed, where there’s a deadline for every task, and it’s usually yesterday, getting people to relax is no easy matter. The skill we neglect the most in the art of relaxation is breathing.
It’s odd to talk about breathing as a skill because it’s actually an instinct. But proper breathing is a skill. When we’re under pressure our breathing usually becomes shallow and too fast. And it’s a vicious circle. When we’re stressed we breathe fast which in turn accentuates our sympathetic nervous system, which produces adrenaline, which equals stress! Round and round we go until the physical symptoms build up to such an extent that the stress makes us ill. Try concentrating on your breathing now. You don’t have to take great big breaths. Just deep enough to be comfortable, and, most importantly, nice and slow. Count in for ten, hold for ten and breathe out for ten. Breathe from your belly. Even thirty seconds of this can make you feel better.
When you relax, your brain calms down. It stops being busy. And when it stops being busy it stops stressing out. When the brain is relaxed the hypnotherapist can then talk to the subconscious. And therein lies the key to hypnotherapy. It’s all about the hypnotherapist talking to the subconscious.
For example, say you want to lose weight. Your conscious mind knows that if you lose weight you will feel fitter, have a better lifestyle and be healthier. But your subconscious mind remembers that cake tastes good. Very good. And your subconscious is very persuasive. It likes winning. So what the hypnotherapist does is reason with it in a very clever way. The hypnotherapist may get you to visualize looking at yourself in a mirror, imagining your reflection is slimmer than you. Or get you to see a dress you would like to buy when you lose a few pounds. This is because the subconscious responds to this kind of reasoning best. If you just tell it just to stop eating, it will tell your body to run to the nearest cake. While the hypnotherapist takes you on this journey, she will make sure you stay relaxed.
Some people describe it as just like watching a movie. Others say it’s half-way between being awake and asleep. After listening to a 30-minute download, one of my clients described hypnotherapy as being more relaxing than a 12-hour sleep. One thing’s for sure, you hear everything that’s being said and no hypnotherapist will tell you you’re a naked alien from Mars.
So, next time you watch a stage hypnotist don’t let it put you off hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy can help.
For more information, visit Jo Wills at Jo Wills http://www.johypno.com
Jo Wills (DCHyp) is a trained hypnotherapist. At her website you can download hypnotherapy mp3’s including: weight loss, stop smoking, better sleep, increased relaxation, more confidence. She has also started a blog to talk about hypnotherapy and answer your questions.