The main benefits of hypnosis

Male psychologist making notes during psychological therapy

What IS Hypnosis?

As a Clinical Hypnotherapist I am often asked “What actually IS hypnosis?” A sensible enough question – however due to TV shows and stage entertainers over the years, some people don’t realise that hypnosis was used centuries ago to stop pain, to do operations (no anaesthetic) and in childbirth. They think it’s something sinister, spooky or of the occult!

Hypnosis is defined as an altered state of awareness in which you appear to be asleep or in a trance like state. Clinical hypnosis may be used to treat certain physical or psychological problems. For instance, it is often used to help women in childbirth, or people with chronic pain. It is also used in a wide range of other conditions such as weight issues, speech disorders, and addiction problems (smoking, drugs, alcohol and gambling)

People ask me: “What is the most common thing that you treat with hypnotherapy?”

To be perfectly honest when I start listing them it makes me realise that although I personally prefer to treat certain conditions, especially working with children – there are SO MANY problems/issues that hypnosis works well on that it’s impossible to say so this is the MAIN benefit of hypnotherapy

 “It helps so many different problems such as chronic pain, childbirth, addictions, children’s behavioural problems, anxiety, (both children and adults) Anorexia, Fears and Phobias. It also helps motivate people who want to better themselves at sport – take them to the next level – keep them in the zone! “

“But WHY is it so good?”  they ask.

Well, the reason hypnotherapy works so well with most problems/conditions is that many of these things start in the subconscious mind. As an example, John Smith goes on a business trip to New York. He is used to flying as he does it regularly with his job as an International Sales Executive. One day he gets on the flight and it is extremely turbulent. The aircraft feels like it is going to drop out of the sky and John starts to worry, his mind goes back to some of the films he’s seen on TV where the plane literally falls out of the sky and crashes down into the ocean. He starts to panic. He knows he is being irrational because the Captain has already spoken on the PA and mentioned that there would be a thunderstorm, and to make sure the seatbelts were all fastened. Consciously, John Smith knows everything is going to be ok, but it doesn’t stop him panicking. So, when he comes BACK from New York, John is absolutely petrified of getting on the aircraft. He starts sweating and going into a serious panic attack. He has developed a phobia for flying due to the experience on the previous flight. Johns’ conscious mind KNOWS it’s very unlikely to be turbulent on the way home as he has checked the weather conditions, but his SUBconscious mind has now planted the seed of fear firmly there!

The same with a young gymnast who falls off the beam and hurts her ankle. She didn’t even break it – just a sprain but none the less – it hurt like crazy! Now Lucy is scared to get back on the beam. Lucy has developed a phobia due to the pain she felt when she fell previously and the memory of that pain and discomfort/embarrassment has been planted in her subconscious mind.

“So how does hypnosis work?” they ask.

Hypnosis works by getting the person to relax deeply so that the Hypnotherapist can access that part of the subconscious mind that is responsible for the person holding on to the unwanted behaviour!

A good example of this is Amanda.

Amanda came to my clinic for fear of heights. She said it was affecting her life more and more these days and as she was going to be moving to the US and possibly going to be living in a high-rise condo, she felt it was time to do something about it.

When Amanda, first came in I wanted to see just how severe her phobia of heights was, so I showed her some pictures in a magazine of some really high buildings. She shuddered and pushed the magazine away and immediately started to panic – her hands went clammy and her breathing was fast. I calmed her down and then got her to relax. I put her into a mild hypnotic trance and started to talk to her about her problem with heights. She felt that her fear was due to the fact she had seen a film about a fire in a big tall building when she was a teenager as it had seemed to materialise after that. I asked her if she was afraid of fire, but she said no, not at all.

At the end of the session, I showed Amanda the same pictures but added a few more of even taller buildings and bridges. She looked at me and smiled.

This is how FAST hypnosis can work! This is one of THE main benefits of helping people recover from fears, phobias, addictions and chronic pain, not to mention anxiety and PTSD, with the use of hypnosis. It’s fast, it’s gentle and it’s effective!

“But what are the benefits of hypnotising a child?” they ask.

Children have such great imaginations that all I do is get them to go somewhere nice in their mind – a beach – a theme park – a zoo! I talk to them about their problem – let’s say it’s a phobia for trying new food. I tell them a story about a little monkey who won’t eat and a magic donkey who helps him! In that child’s subconscious mind, he IS that monkey who won’t eat! The child then tells ME the rest of the story (usually about trying lots of new food lol!) Children are ideal hypnotees – they have minds like sponges that soak up all the new suggestions!

So, the next time you have a problem and think you may need therapy – have hypnotherapy as your first port of call and not your last – it’s fast, it’s fun and its EFFECTIVE!

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