Friday, July 15, 2005
What Can Hypnotherapy Be Used For?
In my almost 20 years of practice I can honestly say that, because of the extraordinary connection between the mind and the body, there are very few “dis-orders”, “dis-eases”, or “dis-turbances” that cannot be helped using this very powerful and effective tool.
Obviously, if a person is born with a physical defect, hypnotherapy is not going to reverse that condition; however, the negative effects of that abnormality can often be lessened with the use of hypnotherapy. For instance, if a child is born with cerebral palsy, which causes spasms of the muscles in the body, both the caretaker and the patient can be taught to use self-hypnosis or relaxation techniques to relax and reduce the severity of the spasms. Self-hypnosis also reduces headaches caused by the spasms, and in some cases, allows the client to feed themselves and perform many other activities they could not normally do because of the severity of the muscle spasms.
Fears and phobias are easily removed. I remember one client who had a spider phobia. With the use of hypnosis and regression, the client discovered it was not she but her mother who had the fear of spiders, and her mother had frightened her little daughter so much, that the client grew up thinking she had a phobia for spiders. She was relieved of her phobia immediately.
I have worked with athletes at all levels of their sport, from 6-year old little leaguers, to college tennis champions, to amateur and professional golfers. Normally, it is in the mind of the athlete, that holds back the performance. Once an athlete can picture and imagine themselves successful, they will accomplish their goal.
I have worked with students with test anxiety or the inability to pass a significant exam that will allow them to work in their field. Hypnotherapy allows the mind and body to work together to accomplish the goal, eliminates negative messages and instills positive pictures and images, allowing the student to reach their goal.
The most rewarding success as a hypnotherapist, of course, lies in helping clients fight disease such as diabetes and cancer. I have seen miraculous healings where a dormant pancreas suddenly starts working, a terminal cancer disappears, multiple sclerosis symptoms are diminished, lupus symptoms disappear, herpes disappear, drug addiction disappears. Not all clients are as receptive as others, but I can honestly say that hypnotherapy will benefit anyone who uses it, in some way.
Monday, May 16, 2005
Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist? What is the Difference?
A hypnotist is a specialist in the use of hypnosis or hypnotism. A hypnotist does not necessarily use hypnosis in a professional clinical setting.
A hypnotherapist is a specialist who has been trained to use hypnosis in a therapeutic setting to help clients with behavior modification such as: to eliminate fears or phobias, break unwanted habits such as smoking or nail biting; enhance performance in sports or business; improve skills such as reading, studying or passing tests.
Just as Papa said in “MY Big Fat Greek Wedding”, “ …every word comes from the Greek.” The word “hypnosis” comes from the Greek word “hypnos” which means “sleep”. Although the state of hypnosis is not sleep, it resembles a sleep-like state, so, for lack of a better word, “hypnosis” stuck!
Unfortunately, when folks think of hypnosis, they automatically think of the hypnotist who performs on stage by hypnotizing his/her subjects and making them do funny or entertaining acts that their friends know they normally would not do. It’s very convincing and quite entertaining; but at the same time, it’s a “hard act to follow” for a hypnotherapist who knows the value of hypnosis in physical, mental and emotional healing and training. We first have to bring down the stigma caused by these stage hypnotists in order to ward off any fears a client may have about being out of control or being manipulated to do something against their will.
What is ironic is that hypnosis was discovered and practiced first in the medical field by medical doctors in the mid 18th century. Although the state of hypnosis has been around since the human mind itself, it was not discovered for medical purposes until Anton Mesmer, a Swiss physician, used a form of hypnosis which he called “animal magnetism” to facilitate healing in his patients. Many physicians, who caught wind of Mesmer’s healing techniques, began to experiment with their own patients and had varying degrees of success. Freud was responsible for putting hypnotherapy on the back burner when he concluded in his writings that psychotherapy was more effective and had better results. It was not until the American Medical Association endorsed and approved the use of hypnosis as an adjunct to medicine (in 1958), that its popularity in the medical community began to grow.
In the early 1980’s, the U.S. Government declared hypnotherapy a valid occupation and assigned it an occupational code. It was then that schools and training institutions began to pop up all over the place to open the doors for this new occupation to blossom.