I'm very excited to announce that Healing Point Therapeutics will soon be incorporating hypnotherapy into the mix. Aside from packing an extra punch into treatments designed to help clients lose weight and quit smoking, it will be a wonderful addition to treatments for phobias, depression, PTSD...and that is just the beginning. Since I've always harbored an interest in the mind-body connection, I've spent a good amount of time reading about how hypnosis works. After learning about it, I decided to see a hypnotherapist for educational purposes. That first session was so fascinating that I never forgot it. My visits took place long before my career as an acupuncturist got started, and like so many other things in my life, it eventually formed a clear connection to what I am currently doing.
My first hypnotherapist was in Connecticut, and he was known for two things: his popularity with various celebrities, and his cancer-sniffing dog. I still remember entering his tiny dark office with some trepidation; what if he did something awful to me, and then erased my memory? Or had me do something horribly embarrassing? Everything that I had read said that you couldn't force someone to do something against their will, but if that was true, why did every hypnosis show feature people barking like dogs, or pretending they were chickens?
Despite my initial fears, I went in. As is often the case, my curiosity won out over my good sense. And within an hour, I learned all about the "magic" of hypnosis.
First of all, you don't lose consciousness, or your memory. In fact, you are more tuned in to what is going on around you than you normally are. I daydream a lot (which, I was informed, makes me far more suggestible than most), and being under was a somewhere between being completely zoned-out, and drifting to sleep. I think the best way to describe it is like this: you are on the verge of a nap, drifting back and forth between consciousness and sleep. Right at that point, the phone rings. You know how it makes you almost jump out of your skin? That is because you are still very aware of your environment, even though you are kind of out of it. You are simply dealing with stimuli from a subconscious perspective, rather than a conscious one...and the subconscious, as we all know, is extremely powerful.
My second hypnotist had a different method, but it was just as powerful. He had me imagining a trip to the forest, and while I won't get into boring detail, I will say that his session was akin to daydreaming so hard that the daydream starts to fade into an actual dream...but even in the dream, there is awareness that you are dreaming, if that makes sense. My point here is that there are so many misconceptions about hypnotism that stem from books and movies; and where misconceptions begin, fears follow. There is nothing scary about hypnosis; you can't "lose control" of yourself, you won't be taken advantage of, and you are always aware of what is going on. It's a shame that such a powerful tool isn't utilized more often due to the mystique surrounding it. People fear a loss of power, but they don't realize that hypnosis is actually about retaining their own power. It's all about allowing patients to harvest the power of their subconscious mind, using it to achieve better health and happiness.