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

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

Image result for healthy minds

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 Stumptown’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.

Hypnotherapy in Battle Ground

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 reframe 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.”

URL: http://www.thereflector.com/good_for_you/article_fbd30858-bc73-11e4-ab49-97dc2d4b2053.html

DAVINA McCall is one tough cookie.

She’s more in demand than ever, has beaten her battle with drugs and is half of one of the strongest marriages in showbiz. There’s no doubting Davina is one very special lady.

Stage Fright? Hypnosis Can Help You Conquer Anxiety and More

How hypnosis, breath therapy and guided imagery can help

Terrified of public speaking? When anxiety and depression get in your way personally or professionally, it’s wise to tell your doctor.

You may get a prescription for antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. You may also get a referral to a psychologist or counselor for talk therapy.

That’s the traditional approach. And it works.

Stage Fright? Hypnosis Can Help You Conquer Anxiety and More

But adding holistic psychotherapy to the mix can deepen the healing experience, says practitioner Maura Lipinski, LISW.

Holistic therapy allows you to access your subconscious mind easily. You can then integrate new personal insights with conscious behaviors,” she explains.

This form of therapy complements — but doesn’t replace — standard care. It can help you:

  • Experience fewer symptoms of illness
  • Deal with emotional issues
  • Improve family dynamics
  • Cope with age-related issues
  • Manage work-related stress
  • Heal from abuse and trauma
  • Recover from addictions

Here are four holistic tools used to complement talk therapy:

1. Hypnosis

Suffer from fatigue? You may repeatedly be telling yourself how tired and worn out you feel.

A therapist can use hypnosis to help you access a relaxed state and then make post-hypnotic suggestions to ease your symptoms.

“An effective hypnotic suggestion would be, ‘You experience increased energy in the morning and have the energy you need to complete all your daily tasks with ease,’” says Ms. Lipinski.

Changing negative conclusions to positive affirmations is a powerful tool that can create new neural pathways in the brain, she notes.

2. Heart-centered hypnotherapy

“Heart-centered hypnotherapy helps you release emotions you may not have full access to in everyday life,” says Ms. Lipinski. “It can provide deeper insight into the way past experiences affect your current perspective on life.”

If you’re afraid of public speaking, for example, you can gain insight into your feelings when asked to speak in front of your high school class and how they impact you today.

“You can replace negative self-talk such as ‘I am a failure,’ with positive conclusions, such as ‘I am powerful,’” says Ms. Lipinski.

“These are not simply words. By opening you to the positive aspects of yourself, heart-centered hypnotherapy strengthens and reinforces your new beliefs.”

This can help you reframe unhealthy behavior patterns, reduce anxiety and depression, increase self-esteem and confidence, and create healthier relationships.

3. Breath therapy

Ever notice that you don’t breathe deeply on a regular basis? Many people use their breath to repress emotions, says Ms. Lipinski.

“Breath therapy is an amazing tool to reduce stress,” she says. “We use various techniques to help release repressed emotions and limiting beliefs.” Breath therapy can also reduce the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual effects of trauma, she says.

Learning to increase and expand your breath will arm you with a valuable new tool — one that’s readily available in any situation.

4. Guided imagery

Creating mental images of well-being can help you cope with a medical or emotional condition. This practice can lead to tangible improvements in overall health.

The therapist may start by asking you to imagine a calm, relaxing place, like the beach or the mountains. “You connect to how you feel in that place – calm, peaceful and free,” says Ms. Lipinski. “The therapist can then help you put your body into a relaxed state whenever you reconnect to that place.

“Imagine how useful this can be when facing stress at home, work or school.”

Seeing results

Holistic therapy is supportive and moves at a comfortable pace. If you have questions or concerns, sharing them with the therapist before you start will be beneficial, she notes.

How can you tell when holistic therapy is starting to work?

“Overall, clients tell us they’re walking around differently, feeling more energetic, more empowered in their lives and relationships, and more hopeful about the future,” says Ms. Lipinski.

Health screening results may improve as well, she adds.

URL: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/06/stage-fright-hypnosis-can-help-conquer-anxiety/


Health professionals debate safety of hypnosis apps as they become readily available

Posted 9:18 PM, October 11, 2016, by Tanae Howard, Updated at 09:20pm, October 11, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — When it comes to hypnosis, many picture a stage show in a nightclub with a hypnotist pulling people from the audience and make them do bizarre things. But the world of hypnosis is deeper than that, for some people it’s a form of healing. Many people undergo hypnosis in a professional setting with a licensed specialist. But there’s another option, a mobile app.

Bella Lledos has been a hypnosis client for the past five months. She calms herself under the voice of Toni Macri-Reiner with Indiana Hypnosis for Change. Toni is a certified hypnotist who practiced self hypnosis for years. She’s working with Bella through her anxiety. Bella turns to hypnosis apps on her phone when she’s not with Toni.

“Just kind of shut down for 30 minutes and listen to it for sleep and relaxation or I’ve done it for confidence,” Bella said.

Hypnosis apps are growing in popularity. There are more than 1,000 of them in the app store. From smoking, to weight loss and sleep assistance. All at your fingertips. Cutting out the professional and opening a world of unregulated apps often created by people with no medical experience.

“And that’s one of the real concerns if you were to use an app on your telephone is that there’s no one there to monitor and make sure it is being use in a safe way,” IU Psychiatry Professor, Dr. Elgan Baker said.

Dr. Baker says hypnosis can be a valuable tool, but not in the wrong hands.

“You don’t know if you’ll be in a safe environment when you use it. We always have our phones with us. You don’t know if you’re one of those individuals who is particularly susceptible to hypnosis and to suggestion.”

The National Institute of Health took a deep dive into the world of hypnosis apps. Their study looked at 407 iTunes apps and found only 7% of the apps mentioned the hypnotist being a doctor, 34% said the hypnotist was trained or certified, but none of them reported being tested for efficacy or being evidence based. Toni is certified and says apps are no different than recording a session and sending it home for a client to listen to.

“There’s really no danger in it unless you’re with someone or an app that’s not reputable that has ulterior motives,” Toni said.

She says there’s a method to picking the perfect hypnosis app for you.

“Do you like the way they sound? Do you like the suggestions they’re giving you? If so, get in a relaxed place. Never do it while you’re driving. Put headphones on and go for it. Listen to it. It’s not going to hurt you. It’s only going to be a benefit,” Toni said.

Bella says there’s nothing like the real thing and only use the apps in moments when she wants to feel calm.

“It’s kind of a surface reinforcement. It doesn’t go so deep with me. It’s not tailored to my own experiences. It reinforces the changes I’m trying to make on a daily basis.”

url: http://fox59.com/2016/10/11/health-professionals-debate-safety-of-hypnosis-apps-as-they-become-readily-available/

How to get what you want through self hypnosis

As a woman claims she hypnotised herself into thinking she had a gastric band, here’s how you can hypnotise yourself.

Getty Overweight woman
How you can shed weight

You’re getting sleepy… very, very sleepy. And if you need to lose weight, try self-hypnosis and maybe you will get skinny…very, very skinny.

Beverley Davies, 49, made headlines yesterday when she claimed she hypnotised herself into believing she had a gastric band and went from 12st 6lb to 10st 7lb.

She told how she tricked her brain into thinking she was full after four mouthfuls of food, and has now started a business providing “virtual gastric band hypnoslimming”.

Getty Young woman breaking cigarette in half

Beverley says: “It’s the same as meditation, but instead of clearing your mind you think of things you want to achieve.”

It is claimed self-hypnosis can also help people stop smoking, overcome phobias and even boost confidence at work (or in the bedroom).

In his bestselling book, How to Master Self-Hypnosis in a Weekend, Rick Smith describes it as a “powerful secret weapon”.

Read more: Woman who hypnotised herself into losing weight

Andy Murray has also talked about using a sports psychologist to relax his mind, saying: “When my mind’s clear, I can go on the court and play, not worry about anything else.”

So what is self-hypnosis? How can you learn it? And how can it help you have the life you want?

Getty Andy Murray
Andy Murray

What exactly is it?

How it works: The aim is to get yourself into a very relaxed state and then learn tricks to “reprogramme” your unconscious mind, replacing negative thoughts with more positive ones.

It also teaches you how to visualise the outcome you want. So, if your aim is to lose weight, you picture yourself with your new figure, or as someone who happily leaves uneaten food on their plate.

If you want to play football better, you will visualise yourself scoring a winner in an important final.

You can learn the techniques in face-to-face sessions with a trained hypnotist or registered hypnotherapist – visit the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis at bsch.org.uk – or from a book or online tutorial.

Getty Hypnotism with pocket watch

The basic idea is that you learn the skills to take away and then use on your own in moments of stress or weakness.

Here are just a few ways self-hypnosis could help you.

Turbocharge your will power for slimming

How it works: Once your mind is relaxed, visualise yourself as slim and having reached your ideal size. Vitally, you have to visualise yourself as the kind of person who is able to say no to food.

Sandra Roycroft-Davies, a Harley Street weight loss specialist and hypnotherapist, created Slimpod, a voice recording which you listen to for nine minutes a day.

She explains: “The recording gently retrains your mind, changing the way you think and feel about food and helps you gain confidence from the inside.”

Make yourself good at sports

How it works: Many well-known athletes have worked with hypnotherapists to learn self-hypnosis techniques, which can help them overcome issues of self-doubt that may be keeping them from moving to the next level of performance.

Boxer Mike Tyson has admitted using hypnosis before his big fights, saying he would be “hypnotised two or three times a day – before sparring, before training and before fights. My objective was to destroy”.

Beat your phobia… be it spiders or snakes

How it works: Self-hypnosis helps put fear into perspective. It teaches us to relax and visualise habits to help deal with trigger situations.

People with a social phobia may learn to visualise themselves giving a speech to a room full of clapping, smiling people. Phobia expert and hypnotist Cindy Locher says: “You don’t have to live in fear. Self-hypnosis can reprogramme your mind’s reaction to triggers – be it spiders, water or flying – and replace it with a sense of being calm and in control.”

Ditch the fags

How it works: Hypnotherapist Mark Boden says: “You’ve tried the drugs, patches, gum and lozenges, but they don’t get to the root of the problem. By tapping into the power of your subconscious, self-hypnosis can help you kick the habit, filling your mind with positive messages making you not want to smoke.”

Once in a relaxed state, repeat, “Smoking poisons my body ” or “I should respect and protect my body by not smoking”. In time, it should eliminate your desire to smoke.

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/how-what-you-want-through-8194144

HTIB – Update – UK


London Big Ben and traffic on Westminster Bridge

HTI have just finished a 6 days intensive training course on Clinical Hypnotherapy at their UK base in London.  There were enthusiastic reviews and extremely positive responses from course participants.  HTI is currently holding another 6 days intensive training in “Hypnotherapy Skills for Life Change” in the UK.


URL: http://hypnotherapytraininginternational.com/

Hypnotherapy Helped Me End a Toxic Relationship


One day, it was like I was suddenly free.

<p>While closing your eyes can be helpful in quieting the mind, meditating with your eyes open not only allows you to cultivate visual awareness of your surroundings. "If you let your mind rest with your eyes open, you're more likely to have that peacefulness while you're going throughout your day," says Anderson.</p>
<p>Then once you're ready to move on from these steps, check out the <a href="http://learning.tergar.org" target="_blank">Tergar Learning Community</a> for more meditation tips to deepen your personal practice.</p>

I spent nearly five years of my life feeling emotionally imprisoned by a relationship. Although I had become a master of smiling my way through it, I was silently beating on the prison walls, pleading for someone to save me.

My reason for staying with him can be summed up in one ugly word: fear. Every attempt to leave was always met with what I felt were crippling manipulations, venomous tantrums, and control tactics. Yet, as bizarre as it sounds, I was equally terrified that no one else would ever “love” me as much as he did.

I had received the pep talks, recited the affirmations, read the self-help books, and cried all of the tears. I had even burned the sage. But, sadly, there I was — still doggy-paddling my way through the turbulent waters. The notion of reaching shore seemed to be an impossible feat.

Not only had every ounce of his appeal shriveled and died; I was being tormented by the smell of its decay.

One most defeating morning, a friend shared her experience with a hypnotherapist who, she swore, had helped her quit smoking despite her own failed attempts. She claimed to have tossed her cigarettes in the trashcan following her session, never to glance backward again.

I already knew a bit about hypnotherapy’s claim to reprogram sub-conscious thought patterns, yet I remained leery of its power to help me. Still, with a shrug and a fragment of hope, I scheduled a session.

The day arrived. Although I wondered if I would encounter some level of voodoo-like weirdness, the atmosphere of the therapist’s office was tranquil.

The therapist asked me a series of questions before informing me, with a smirk, “I’ve made many observations over the past half hour, and I know even more about you than you’ve shared.”

I assumed he was being presumptuous but decided to maintain an open mind.

Entering into a trance was actually effortless. I relaxed into the cool, leather chair and allowed myself to be soothed by the rhythmic flow of his words. His voice cradled me throughout the hour-long session — like a haven in the midst of my storm.

As I drove away that Thursday afternoon, the feeling of comfort remained. Friday and Saturday came and went, and I began to forget about being hypnotized. I brushed it aside, assuming I was the same.

Until I knew I wasn’t.

I awoke late Sunday morning, poured myself a cup of coffee, and scrolled through my social media feeds. My phone rang. My boyfriend’s name appearing on the screen had long riddled me with anxiety, but what happened next is something I will never be able to justifiably articulate.

It is only something I know.

Just as my friend had tossed her cigarettes in the trash, I departed from a relationship that had long felt like my personal Bermuda Triangle. The same way one discards yesterday’s newspaper, I was done with it without a flash of hesitation. There were no fireworks to be seen or heard. There was no audible voice from the divine.

I answered his phone call and, without a flash of hesitation, declared: “This is the last time you will ever hear me say good-bye.” His relentless manipulations and objections had long tugged at my heartstrings, but this time there was an absence of any feeling.

I changed my phone number the following day and never looked back. It would be a year before he would cease efforts to contact me through email and mutual friends, but my decision remained as strong as cement. I suppose the hypnotherapy session had rewritten the script of my brain chatter and planted a seed of bravery. All of the fear and second-guessing was just gone.

Reflecting on that time, I picture myself standing in a boat while holding onto a branch. I had taken extreme measures to figure out how I was going to convince my hand to release its grip. Suddenly, however, my fingers uncurled, allowing me to be carried peacefully upstream.

Before and after my session, everything about my life was the same. The only piece of the equation that changed was me.

The repercussions of leaving still had to be faced, of course. Just as I had feared, my boyfriend would swing from extremes ranging from begging, to spreading lies, to hacking into my emails to quoting poetry. But this time, my reactions were different.

Hypnotherapy accesses the sub-conscious mind, where all of our programmed beliefs are stored. Just as a technician deletes problematic files from a poorly operating computer, I felt like the hypnotherapist assisted in cleaning up my internal hard drive.

URL: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a55460/hypnotherapy-helped-me-to-break-up-with-my-boyfriend/

Is Hypnotherapy More Than Hype?

What it’s really like and how it might improve your health­

When you think about hypnotherapy, it’s probably in the context of a swinging pocket watch and a voice intoning, “you are getting very sleepy.” But neither watches nor sleep are part of hypnotherapy or clinical hypnosis, which is the therapeutic use of hypnosis. Here’s what research suggests—and what you probably don’t know—about this complementary therapy.

Hypnotherapy is helpful for some health issues.

You Are Aware and in Control

During hypnotherapy, the practitioner will use words to help you relax deeply, then offer suggestions through stories or mental images for coping with your health concerns. Hypnosis doesn’t—as some may fear—put you under the hypnotist’s control or make you unaware of what’s happening around you. In fact, you’re hyperfocused, like being engrossed in a great book or movie.

“Other things fade into the background, so you can more easily respond to therapeutic suggestions,” says Gary Elkins, Ph.D., the director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Afterward, you don’t suddenly “come to,” wondering where you’ve been and what you did. Most people recall sessions clearly.

Have you tried hypnotherapy?

We want to hear about your experience.

Reactions Can Vary

Almost anyone can be hypnotized to some extent, but some people are more receptive than others. “There’s a range,” Elkins says. “Most of us are in the middle, about 10 percent are very high, and about 10 percent are very low.”

Most studies find that four or five sessions are enough to make a big impact, though people who are in the lower range might need more to get the desired effect, Elkins says. People can often also practice on their own at home if necessary.

It’s No Magic Bullet, But . . .

Hypnosis seems to be more effective at easing involuntary symptoms—such as hot flashes and pain­—than it is at helping people overcome unhealthy habits such as overeating, smoking, and alcohol addiction. Here’s where the research is strongest:

Irritable bowel syndrome. British researchers first studied the use of hypnotherapy for people with IBS—a disorder characterized by diarrhea, constipation, and cramps—in 1984. Those who had treatment reported substantial benefits; those given a placebo and under­going psychotherapy didn’t. A recent review confirms those benefits, finding substantial relief reported in all 35 studies analyzed.

Chronic pain. A study of 100 veterans with lower-back pain found that people who underwent hypnosis reported less pain and better sleep than those treated with biofeedback, which can include deep breathing and muscle relaxation. Other research suggests that it may help ease pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions.

Cancer-treatment side effects. Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City investigated whether hypnotherapy helps cancer patients with the pain, nausea, and anxiety that often accompany breast cancer surgery. In the study, women undergoing breast biopsy or lumpectomy who received hypnosis needed less anesthesia and reported less pain, nausea, and fatigue than women who did not.

Hot flashes. Elkins trained 187 menopausal women in hypnotherapy. After four weeks, sensations of heat and sweating had dropped by about 70 percent. After three months of hypnotherapy at home with audiotapes, the decrease averaged 80 percent. And many women slept better.

So, Should You Consider It?

In some cases, yes, says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., the chief medical adviser for Consumer Reports. “In selected patients with certain complaints, hypnotherapy can be a boon and, what’s more, virtually without side effects,” he says.

If You Decide to Try It

  • Talk with your doctor first, especially if you have major depression or another significant mental health disorder.
  • Find certified hypnotherapists through the Society for Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis or the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. They have passed a certification exam.
  • Look for practitioners who are also licensed in such fields as social work and nursing.
  • Ask whether your insurance plan will cover hypnotherapy. It might if it’s part of treatment offered by a certified healthcare provider who takes your insurance.

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the September 2016 Issue of Consumer Reports on Health.

I went under hypnosis to cure my fear of bugs

Jul 27, 2016 – by Lisa Fogarty

I actually tried hypnosis to cure one of my biggest fears

Image: Jose Rodriguez /EyeEm/Getty Images

I actually tried hypnosis to cure one of my biggest fears

When you think of hypnosis, there’s a good chance one or all of the following images flood your mind. A quack doctor standing in front of you waving a pendulum that looks like a prop from the set of Austin Powers. A caucasian sorcerer clad in an expensive dashiki wearing a purple turban with a colossal jewel on the front. A woman (always a woman) falling for the power and charms of a male doctor (always a man) who uses hypnotism to take advantage of her because doctors so often have trouble scoring women without tricking them (said no one ever).

But our fresh interest in all things wellness — from Ayurveda to healing crystals to essential oils and medicinal foods — has spurred many of us to open our minds to alternative health solutions for both physical and mental well-being. Sigmund Freud may have famously rejected hypnotism in favor of what we now consider traditional forms of psychoanalysis and free association, but the idea that we can unlock our unconscious minds and find another route to understanding our fears hasn’t lost its allure. And hypnotism is experiencing a mini-resurgence of sorts.


‘Hypnotherapy made me lose weight and proud to be BALD’: Mother with alopecia says sessions helped her shed 3 stone and go out without a wig.

  • Nicola Phelan, 28, has suffered with alopecia since she was just five
  • The mother-of-two would never let anyone see her without her wig
  • Weighing 13st7lbs, she sought a hypnotherapist to help her lose weight
  • It helped her lose three stone and is now happy to show off her bald head

An alopecia sufferer afraid to be seen without wearing her wig is now confident enough to show off her bald head.

Nicola Phelan, 28, who has suffered from the hair loss condition since she was five, had hypnotherapy in an attempt to lose weight.

The mother-of-two, who weighed 13st7lbs, would not let her friends and family ever see her without her wig.

But after losing three stone as a result of therapy, she unexpectedly felt confident enough to take off her wig.

The carer, from Leeds, who now wears her bald head with pride, even traded in her job and partner.

Ms Phelan said: ‘I have always been someone who has accepted I have alopecia, but I was not someone who would just take my wig off and show people.

‘Before, even with family members I had never let them see me without my wig

Ms Phelan added: ‘I am a totally different person now – I am happy and confident in myself. It has changed my life so much.

‘I count myself as being lucky as I’m not poorly, I just have no hair. I’m proud to have alopecia and won’t hide the fact I have it.’

Ms Phelan has suffered from alopecia since she was five due to an autoimmune disorder which attacks her hair follicles.

In the past she underwent treatment and took medication without success and had relied on wearing a wig from a young age.

I didn’t think I would even lose weight, so being more confident with my alopecia has been a bonus.

Weighing 13st7lbs and wearing size 16 clothes, in May last year, she approached Krystyna Szczygiel about weight loss hypnotherapy.

After just one session she found she could eat healthier and go to the gym.

And in the last year, she has slimmed down to a size 10.

Unexpectedly, the hypnotherapy also gave Nicola the confidence to find a new job, leave her partner of seven years and begin venturing outside without her wig.

Last July, she found the confidence to leave her former partner before meeting a new one this February.

She added: ‘Before the hypnotherapy I was fat, I was miserable and I was unhappy in my relationship.

‘I was just really depressed – it was not a good look.’

Ms Phelan had tried various weight loss groups but felt she couldn’t stick to the regime.

She would often go for a couple of weeks, lose a stone and then begin to eat badly again.

She added: ‘I can only remember bits of what Krystyna said to me during the session but I remember her saying I should go to the gym and feel a lot more confident.



Breakfast: Nothing.

Lunch: Nothing.

Dinner: Slimming World recipes such as Spaghetti Bolognese, but with an unhealthy side such as cheesy garlic bread.

Snacks: Binge on chocolate, cakes, biscuits and anything sweet.


Breakfast: Shredded wheat with one per cent fat milk or poached or scrambled eggs on wholewheat toast.

Lunch: Jacket potato with salmon.

Dinner: Homemade meals such as chicken curry or chilli with lean mince.

Snacks: Fruit or crisps and chocolate in moderation.

‘She wanted me to be more confident about myself in order to stick at losing the weight.

‘Now I live a much healthier lifestyle, and if I have one day where I don’t eat healthily I get back on it the next day.

‘I didn’t think I would even lose weight, so being more confident with my alopecia has been a bonus.’

Ms Szczygiel hit the headlines last year when her hypnotherapy dog Princess mesmerised Simon Cowell during an appearance on Britain’s Got Talent.

She said: ‘I always say as a warning to my clients, “this may positively change your life!”

‘I work to get my clients to take control of their thoughts – if they are trying to lose weight there will be certain thoughts which can be replaced with different ones.

‘Once they have gained control over one area of their life, it is really easy to replicate that in another area of their life.

‘Very often, after clients come to me for weight loss help they then tend to make big life changes because they have learned this skill.’

For more information about therapy visit www.empowerandenhance.co.uk.

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