Why Try Hypnotherapy ?
8th May, 2010
Written by: Garry Webster, Clinical Hypnotherapist MCNHC
So what is hypnosis? Hypnosis is nothing new, what it is, is a name given to a naturally occuring phenomenon which people noticed has great benefits. It was used long ago, as far back as the sleep temples of ancient Egypt. It is just as safe as being in a day dream- ie you cant get stuck in a hypnotic trance, you cant be made to do anything against your will and there is no question of mind control- you are always fully aware and in control in a hypnosis session. The mind can achieve great things when the trance state is used to full effect. For example, we have often seen an athlete collapse after running a gruelling race, they talk about being in ‘the zone’ for a race and as soon as the race is done they come back to a sense of normality and the body might then feel the exhaustion it has put off until the end of the race and they might fall to the floor –unable to run any further. ‘The zone’ is just another state of mind the runner has put themselves in and that is just like a hypnotic state- not harmful at all –in fact quite the opposite.
People often say that there is no such thing as hypnosis, but we should look at it more in terms of it not being a question of whether hypnosis exists or not but whether or not people can realise that we are not necessarily the omnipotent beings we think we are. Whatever we call it, there is an ability within us to achieve more than we previously thought possible. The best example I can give of this is when seeing pain relief using hypnosis - this was commonplace before the invention of chemical anaesthesia.
Of course, a much more well known use of the trance state is hypnotherapy to quit smoking. The body may also be chemically addicted to nicotine, but it is the subconscious mind that can control these types of cravings. Also there is, according to the majority of my clients a feeling of something missing when they try and stop smoking, which if not correctly addressed will just lead them back to the cigarettes – usually after 2 weeks or so. Only hypnosis actively utilises the subconscious mind, which is why it so effective for smoking cessation.
Stress management is another example of where a hypnotherapy can really shine. Stress causes probably more problems for us than any other symptom experienced as human beings. Stress can manifest itself as anything from a bad back to unexplained aches or pains. Our bodies are built to experience stress as in the past it would have helped us be better huntsmen and focus more when it was needed – such as hunting prey.
What we are not designed for is to experience continual stress, such as work stress or money worries. A burst of adrenaline can have some benefits in the short term, but cortisol –the ‘stress’ hormone can cause other problems when it is not used up from the bloodstream, a feeling of burnout can leave us struggling to be coping with stress.
Weight loss hypnosis is being used more and more by people who are fed up of diets, who always put weight back on no matter how hard they try to keep it off. I have found, that for around 65% of my clients, emotional issues can be the major stumbling block for losing weight and keeping it off. We often use our weight as ‘armour’ to protect us from the knocks that life can bring. Diet pills are no good as like most tablets, they are man made and therefore have side effects, the worst of which we will probably see in years to come when it will be too late.
Panic attacks are becoming more and more common, there are so many worries to life today that people are becoming more and more susceptible to anxiety disorders such as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Anxiety can often be a contributing factor in more serious conditions like depression, and also stress. Symptoms of anxiety can range from sleeplessness, obtrusive and repetitive thoughts, a feeling of being on edge constantly, feeling over nervous and also negative ruminating thoughts.
Hypnosis can be the thing that many people have been looking for for all or a large part of their lives. But it is not all about negativity, there are many positive uses that we can use trance states for –learning new skills quicker, helping us to relax so we can think more clearly, studying for exams, helping to conceive, the list is endless.
The list of conditions that can be treated is too big to list here but includes:
- IBS treatment, and other gut conditions
- helping cope with dementia
- painful conditions such as fibromyalgia
- confidence management
- phobias and fears
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