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Hypnotherapy

What Is It?
How Does It Work?
What Happens During Treatment?
What Is It Used For?
Side Effects/Cautions
Recommended Books
Recommended CDs


What Is It?
Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis - the inducing of a trance-like state which enhances the power of suggestion - to treat a range of illnesses, emotional problems, phobias and addictions.

The use of hypnotic suggestion in healing dates back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese. Modern hypnotherapy originated in the 18th century, when Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer introduced the concept of “animal magnetism”. Mesmer believed that imbalances in the body’s magnetic forces caused illness, and that he could restore this imbalance by transferring magnetism from his body to the ill. His technique came to be known as “mesmerism”, from which the word “mesmerise” originated. While his treatments were said to be effective, they were performed with such theatricality that Mesmer was widely discredited. During the 19th century, interest in the power of suggestion for healing purposes was renewed by Scottish surgeon James Braid, who coined the term “hypnosis” from the Greek word “hypnos”, meaning sleep.

How Does It Work?
The mind is divided into two parts: the conscious, which provides awareness of our thoughts, feelings and actions, and the subconscious, which holds unexpressed emotions and memories (good and bad) that we are unaware of, and normally have no control over. The strong connection between the mind and body means that fears or painful memories which are hidden in the subconscious can cause physical, mental and emotional problems. Hypnotherapy aims to reach the level of the subconscious by inducing a trance-like state, opening the mind to suggestion to promote positive change.

A hypnotic state or trance is similar to the kind of state we enter while daydreaming, or when we are completely absorbed in reading a book or some other activity, and are able to shut out all distractions. A trance induces deep relaxation while we are still fully aware, allowing us to focus on problems, pain or memories that are bothering us. A hypnotherapist can then provide positive suggestion to help create new ways of thinking and behaving.

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What Happens During Treatment?
During the first visit your hypnotherapist will discuss with you the problem/s you want to work on and what you hope to achieve from the therapy. Hypnotherapy does not work for around 10% of the population and some hypnotherapists will perform tests which measure your susceptibility for hypnotic suggestion, to determine whether you are a good candidate for hypnotherapy.

When therapy begins, you will be made comfortable in a chair or couch, often in a darkened room with no distractions. The method used to induce a hypnotic trance varies; your therapist may talk to you in a soft, soothing voice, suggesting that you are feeling sleepier while slowly counting backward, or you may be asked to focus on an object or a spot on the wall until you enter a deeply relaxed state. The time it takes to enter a hypnotic state varies from person the person. While in this state, your hypnotherapist will help you to focus on what is bothering you, sometimes facilitating the resurfacing of deeply buried memories which may be at the root of your problems. Your therapist will then introduce positive statements designed to help you change the way you respond to your problems. For example, if your problem is overeating unhealthy foods, the statement may be something like “I enjoy eating healthy foods and only eat as much as my body needs”. Or you may be asked to visualise your problem in some form, then make it disappear. Your therapist may also teach you self-hypnosis techniques to use at any time.

Hypnotherapy sessions last between 60 and 90 minutes. People generally see their therapist once a week for 5-10 weeks, though long-standing emotional problems may require a longer period of therapy.

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What Is It Used For?
Hypnotherapy has been used to help people overcome drug, alcohol and food addictions, for relaxation in those suffering from stress and anxiety, for pain relief during childbirth or dental procedures, and to treat many other ailments such as asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, morning sickness, arthritis, back pain and insomnia.

Side Effects/Cautions
Hypnosis is not recommended for people suffering from psychosis, or other severe psychiatric disorders.

Hypnotherapy does not work for everyone, and the outcome of treatment will depend on the skill of the practitioner.

References

Find a Hypnotherapist

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Recommended Books

Prices are in US Dollars

 

Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnotherapy / NLP
Jack Elias

"This is a manual for those wishing to be hypnotherapists and for those who simply want to explore and understand the process for their own reasons. The book is divided into six phases, each of which cover different aspects of therapy, such as the basics, including induction; regression and past life; parts therapy; timeline; shame and addictive personalities; archetypes; the 'Shadow'; and several other topics.
Mr. Elias's approach is to integrate aspects of various approaches to hypnosis and therapy with spiritual actualization to resolve issues. This is a practical 'how-to' book, not just another book of scripts, or theory, or metaphors used by Milton Erickson. You'll learn more about hypnotherapy from this book than any other you're likely to find." - A. T. Eagles, hypnotherapist.

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Effective Self Hypnosis: Pathways to the Unconscious, Book/Tape Combination
Ernest L. Rossi

Effective Self Hypnosis: Pathways to the Unconscious and the accompanying audiocassette tape are a comprehensive guide to the theory and practice of self hypnosis. Beginning with a history of the phenomenon gives a firm foundation for understanding. Next, the pillars of hypnosis: the unconscious, mind/body, and suggestion are the building blocks to develop concepts. These concepts are presented with exercises for understanding and easy accessibility. The step-by-step instructions offer a gradual personal experience to practice self suggestion and trance phenomena as skills to use. The skills can be then be applied successfully to help in many areas. The final section shows how to use this method of self hypnosis to enhance learning, sports, self control, overcome pain and fear, quit bad habits, and lessen stress. Creative individualizing and adapting of the method is encouraged. The companion tape supplements the book and leads the listener into producing and working with self hypnosis.

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Hypnotherapy
Dave Elman

"This book is a classic and the part of this book that has become the most popular in hypnosis circles so far is probably the famous Dave Elman Induction, which incorporates suggestibility tests to ratify the trance state and fractionation to help the individual enter into a state of deep trance very rapidly.
Some of the techniques taught are so simple and effective that there is even a charming example of a little girl who learned who to use a rapid method of inducing self-hypnosis to help herself deal successfully with an annoying itch.
The book also covers applications of hypnosis in different areas of interest to medical doctors and dentists because it was originally written for them." - Laura De Giorgio

"This book de-mystifies hypnotism and gives real and workable techniques. A non "airy-fairy" approach to this art. Each page has valuable, useful information...a great book." - D. Kramer

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 More Hypnotherapy Books
 Self-hypnosis Books

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Recommended CDs

 

Hypnosis for Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
Janet I. Decker

The eagle on the cover of this audio CD represents what this hypnotic audio product can do for you. [Eagle: It's ability to soar to great heights without so much as a thought both inspires and encourages.] This Audio CD contains 2 programs. Program 1: "Hypnosis for Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem". Verbal step-by-step instructions gently guide the listener into a hypnotic trance state. Positive suggestions are then given to the subconscious mind to improve self-confidence and self-esteem. Program 2: "Relax and be Self-Confident". Step-by-step instructions guide the listener into a deeply relaxed trance state. Deep relaxation is extremely beneficial to mind, body and spirit. Program 2 enhances the effects of program 1. Program 1 and program 2 may be used independently of each other. An enclosed booklet describes what hypnosis is and how best to use this CD to achieve the greatest results. Effects will vary from person to person. Hypnotherapy is considered "complimentary medicine" and is not intended to be used in place of medical or psychiatric care.

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Appetite Zapper
Wendi Friesen

The Appetite Zapper - What is it? This CD session uses a unique method of creating an internal (and unconscious) mechanism that makes food choices for you. Without a thought you will find that your appetite has changed. One of my clients told me that she was cutting up vegetables the next day for a snack. She says she never eats vegetables, but now loves them. Another client told me that she had a box of chocolates in front of her and didn't feel like eating them. She called me to ask if something was wrong with her. I said, well, tell me how you feel about the chocolates. She said that she just didn't feel like eating them. Wonderful! You inner mind is doing just what it should... making it natural and easy for you to turn down the fatty foods.

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Allergy Freedom
Wendi Friesen

Nine Sessions on CD Introduction- This track will help you understand why the immune system responds the way it does, and what the underlying causes are for allergic responses. You will learn how hypnosis, NLP, and EFT can permanently reduce or eliminate your allergies. Allergy Release, condition and anchoring. You will create a condition in your body that does not react to allergens. When you create the subconscious anchors you can access that healthy condition anytime. Disk of light - An easy process of using a light meditation to cleanse the body of toxins, and teach the mind to release the triggers and cellular messages that relate to allergies. Specific Allergy release - This session is from an NLP trainer, Robert Dilts. This process will target a specific allergic response to ONE allergen, and remove the brain's trigger to this specific substance. In many cases, the reaction to this one substance is permanently removed in just one session. You can then do another session, targeting another substance and eventually remove all of your specific allergens. Holographic Mind and Body - During this process your mind will integrate all the functions of the mind and body to create an optimum state of health. The immune system is creating a balance state that integrates the functions of mental, physical, emotional and energetic aspects of the best state for your body to be healthy and allergy free. Morning Meditation - Listen to this when you awaken in the morning. Your mind will hear a slow and easy sunrise meditation that will help you maintain your healthy balanced state throughout the entire day. EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique has a profound and instant effect on allergies. Direct Suggestion - Listen to this when you are going to sleep at night. Deep Trance Training - Train your mind to go into trance easily and quickly.

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