hypnotherapy:  what is it?
by Laura Zohman MA LDN CHT

If you were to ask friends, "What is hypnosis and what does a hypnotist do?", most would not know. Some may have seen hypnosis presentations on television or stage, where participants may be asked to do some rather odd things. After seeing stage hypnosis, one might think hypnotists can control others and hypnosis is magic, comedy or just plain silly. This is not true.

Hypnosis is a natural state of mind which we experience daily. The hypnotic state happens to all of us when we are relaxed. It occurs in the twilight of waking up and going to sleep, in meditation, prayer and daydreaming. And yes, it can happen while driving or watching T.V.

It is at these times the brain slows down and the conscious mind becomes quiet. The conscious mind is the structured, analytical, logical, and rational part of the brain. The unconscious mind, the non-logical computer part of the brain, stores our memories, emotions, beliefs and behaviors. Many of these patterns originated in the past. Some we acquired as children. For example; if you were told at age 3 you would catch cold when you got your feet wet, and now 30 years later you are still getting sick from wet feet; that belief is stored in your unconscious and is still active.

Hypnotherapy assists in overcoming old negative emotions, beliefs, attitudes and reactions which are no longer useful. By communicating with and reprogramming the unconscious, positive changes are allowed to happen.

The role of the Hypnotherapist is like the role of a teacher. By communicating directly with the client's unconscious mind, new positive thoughts may be taught to replace old negative thinking. The intent, however, is always formulated by the body, mind and spirit of the client. Transformation happens thru a willingness on the part of the client to create change.

Hypnotherapy is a complementary adjunct for health care, as doctors today understand that the mind has a direct and powerful effect on the body. Thus, Hypnotherapy has become an important tool to manage stress, lose weight, create wellness, improve self esteem, enhance performance, accomplish goals, overcome fears and to explore past lives as well as delving into this life. The goal of Hypnotherapy is self-improvement, self mastery and relaxation. It enables those who use it - to become the best they can be.