Hypnotherapy is such a powerful tool for creating changes. In my Sudbury hypnotherapy practice, I see many patients for issues that one would expect: weight loss, smoking cessation, anxiety, fear of public speaking, and the list goes on. I have treated many, many people for fear of spiders-this seems to be the most common phobia that is out there. I also see many clients who DO NOT have fears, but want to empower themselves to create other positive changes in their lives. I’ve helped clients to let go of obsessing over past relationships, I’ve utilized this tool for breakups, and I’ve assisted people in seeing their true value and worth. I’ve helped athletes and artists and musicians to perform at a higher level. I help people to become more confident, more creative, more open to attracting abundance. When we open ourselves up to bringing in our core desires on a subconscious level, magic happens! I firmly believe that when we change the energy that we are subconsciously putting out there, we can enhance our lives tremendously, on all levels. However, my FAVORITE thing to treat is one that I myself have suffered from: fear of flying.
I WISH I HAD THOUGHT OF HYPNOSIS FOR MYSELF, BACK IN MY TWENTIES
A little background: until I turned 26, I refused to get on a plane. We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, and long-distance vacations were not within our budget. Once I could afford it, I realized that I was terrified of the idea of flying. I didn’t want my fear to hold me back from traveling, so I forced myself onto a plane and took a trip to New Orleans. I was proud of myself for being able to fight through my anxiety, but the trip was horrible for me. I white-knuckled my seat the entire trip there and back. It didn’t help that, to this day, my first flight was the WORST I have ever experienced. I had no idea what to expect, so I asked everyone I knew what it was like to fly. Each person told me that I wouldn’t even know that I was on a plane, that I could just close my eyes and imagine that I was in a car, being driven somewhere. This couldn’t have been further from what I endured! We hit terrible turbulence, the kind where people are screaming and everyone starts taking out the vomit bags. It was awful. At one point, I asked the man next to me, “Is this normal? Is this what flying is supposed to be like?” He responded, “No, we might die today.” Obviously, we did not die, but that first horrific flight is burned into my memory. It was so terrifying!
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY ABOUT A “SIDE EFFECT” OF PERFORMING HYPNOSIS SESSIONS
Regardless of that first terrible time, I was committed to not letting my anxiety steal my desire to see the world. So I forced myself back on to planes, over and over. I was always fearful, but I powered through it. And as time went on, I finished my acupuncture graduate program and my certification program in hypnotherapy. I began to treat tons of patients for anxiety, and noticed that I was attracting a lot of clients who also had a fear of flying. I thought about my own fears, and geared my sessions toward how I wished I would feel as I got on a plane. Soon, I began to notice something strange happening. Whenever I flew, I would sit in my seat, and immediately fall asleep. It didn’t matter how loud the plane was, whether there were screaming children nearby, I could be grumpy or hungry or sore…I would still fall asleep almost as soon as I fastened my seatbelt. One day, I flew to Venice. The plane descended, and I slowly opened my eyes to find an older couple staring at me. I touched my face, wondering if I was drooling or if there was something else going on with my face. Finally, I asked, “Is something wrong?” The woman responded, “My husband and I were making bets as to whether you had died! It was the strangest thing…you sat in your seat, and as soon as the engines kicked on, you slumped over and fell asleep. You did not move for the entire six hour flight. Not an inch. We started to wonder if you had actually passed out and died! You were so deeply asleep that it didn’t even look like you were breathing! But I guess you are alive, after all!” I laughed, and explained that I was a hypnotherapist, and because I so often treated clients for fear of flying, the sessions must have integrated into my subconscious, since I had that same fear and the desire to change it.
HOW WOULD A HYPNOSIS SESSION FOR FEAR OF FLYING WORK?
Hypnosis is all about creating changes in the subconscious mind. We all have a conscious and a subconscious. The conscious part is rational. We can reason with it. When we tell ourselves, “I should not worry about being on a plane, because in reality planes are very safe,” we are speaking from our conscious mind. Yes, planes are statistically very safe. Yes, we are much more likely to be harmed in a random accident than a plane crash. While this is true, talking about it from the perspective of the conscious mind doesn’t really help up, because fears are quite often not rational. You can tell yourself, over and over, that a certain situation will not harm you, but if you have a phobia, all bets are off. You will still suffer the physiological effects of that fear: the shaking, racing heart, sweating, etc. This is because fear is a subconscious matter. The subconscious part of our brain is the part that creates connections that stick. I often explain this phenomena by using the example of driving. Remember the first time you drove a car? It wasn’t smooth, or natural. You had to think about what to do. You had to focus on the gas, the brake, the lights. The first few times you drove, you continued to focus on each step of the process. But then, after a while…it became easier. It flowed. You just got into your car, and went. You didn’t have to think about how to make the car start, or stop. Your foot automatically traveled between the gas and the brake; your hands knew what to do on the steering wheel. You may have even encountered a situation where you COULDN’T think, because there was no time. Perhaps an animal ran in front of your car. At that moment, you didn’t have time to process the next few moves: “Ok, I’m going to brake, and then swerve, and then swerve back…” No, your body acted before your mind could even get to that point. Your subconscious took over. This part is your autopilot, in a way. It’s your automatic response. Getting back to that plane ride: at one point in your life, something got stuck in your subconscious mind that created a connection between getting on a plane, and crashing. Very often, people have no idea where these fears came from. It may have been a conversation you heard when you were too young to remember, or a movie, or a news story. You may never know why you experience this fear, but even though you might not know where it came from, it still exists. Somewhere in your subconscious mind, there is a connection that tells you planes=terror. You can’t talk yourself out of it, but with the power of hypnosis, you can break that connection and let go of that fear. Click here to view our blog.