Friday, February 27, 2009

Hypnosis: is it a scam or is it for real?

Well, since I'm a hypnotist and a very truthful, ethical person, I can honestly say hypnosis is for real. Hypnosis refers to a state of mind where the subconscious is highly open to suggestion. We drift in and out of hypnosis naturally many times throughout the day. Basically our conscious mind takes a mini-vacation and "zones out" for a few moments. If you've ever been driving your car and arrived safely at your destination with no recollection of the trip there, you've experienced "highway hypnosis". Maybe you daydream at work or school. Maybe you meditate. Maybe you've experienced this sensation during prayer.

When we're in these states of awareness, we're highly open to suggestion. When we are highly responsive to the hypnotic state, we will see, hear, feel, smell, or taste in accordance with the suggestion given. A popular demonstration I've seen is one where a subject gets hypnotized, he is handed a raw onion, and he receives a suggestion taht he is biting into a sweet, juicy apple. The subject then bites into the raw onion and since he believes he's eating an apple, he reacts as if he is actually eating an apple. In hypnotherapy, we deliberately achieve this same state in order to enable positive suggestions to go straight to the subconscious.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Hypnosis itself is a tool that if used correctly can help someone make positive changes in his or her life. The key point here is that the subject really desires to make the changes and really gets involved in the process. Hypnosis is not something that is done TO you. As a hypnotist I am not waving a magic wand at you and making you change. I just guide and develop the hypnotic state. I'm like a tour guide to the subconscious. I guide you to the necessary points of interest within your subconscious, but you have to be on the tour with me in order to be successful.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why I became a hypnotherapist...

"Wow, I can't believe you are a hypnotherapist," my friend Melissa emailed me after reading my Facebook profile. I get that a lot, along with "I don't know any hypnotists." Three years ago I would have said the same thing. Other than attending a few stage hypnosis shows at various comedy clubs over the years, I never really gave hypnotism much thought.

Then I got sick.

Shortly after my daughter was born, I was diagnosed with Graves disease, which is an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid causing it to become hyperactive. I started researching the disease, treatment options, and what I could expect long-term. I was horrified and frightened by what I learned. I was also starting to feel sorry for myself and wondering why this was happening to me. I began a journey to find answers. Along the way I read about the powerful effects the mind can have on the body. I read about terminal cancer patients who became cancer-free just by using the power of their minds. I learned about people making major changes in their lives just by believing that they could.

I decided to learn more about hypnosis, and the more I learned, the more fascinated in it I became. I really like helping people and I truly believe that hypnosis is a great tool for bringing positive changes to people's lives. Every day I hear family and friends talk about their issues, and I believe that most of the time hypnosis can help them.

You'll notice me referring to myself as both a hypnotist and a hypnotherapist. In clinical hypnosis, or the therapeutic use of hypnosis, the term is interchangeable.

Hypnosis isn't the solution to every problem, though, particularly in cases where mental illness is a factor. There are also situations when cognitive therapy or family counseling is more appropriate. I strongly believe that in medical situations hypnosis should only be used to complement, not replace, traditional medical treatment. However, when used appropriately and competently, hypnosis can help bring about powerful changes in most people.