Below you will find out what hypnotherapy can do for a wide range of areas. Each treatment is approached in its own way to ensure the maximum impact. Find out more.
What is Hypnotherapy?
So to start with, let's get rid of the usual myths. We don't use swinging pendulums or watches; we don't get you to stare at swirling spirals and you don't have to look into my eyes to put you into a trance. We simply use words to get you into a nice relaxed state so that we can bypass the part of the mind that has been stopping you achieving your goal.
The brain is only 2% of the body yet uses a whopping 20% of the body's resources! As a result, the brain tries to be as efficient as possible and uses short cuts, rules of thumb and previously learnt behaviours to stay alive. It hates changes as they require the use of more resources to inspect, analyse and learn and to ultimately build those neural connections which make those changes stick.
Have you ever tried to do something different? Maybe go for a run, eat more healthily or stop a bad habit. Did you notice that the idea of doing something different is all well and good, but when you actually try, there is a voice inside your head, a feeling inside you making excuses not to. 'It's wet out today, I'll start running when it's dryer; just one chocolate bar isn't going to hurt; it's better if I cut down gradually and see how we go'. That is your mind persuading you to keep doing the same old thing.
What hypnotherapy does is bypass this little voice and talks directly to the part of the brain that will listen and make those changes feel so much easier for you. By allowing the intellectual part of your brain to be in control, it will use all its resources to help you create the changes you want, the way you want, instead of putting up barriers.
The treatment of anxiety, stress, fear, depression, confidence, ability and performance broadly fall under the same category - that of being perspective driven. The way the mind perceives things in its surroundings can cause it to react in uncontrollable ways and elicit emotions such as fear and avoidance. These reactions usually follow from experiences in the past that can be deeply ingrained in the mind. Hypnotherapy can help alter those perspectives and change the mind's automatic reactions and replace them with more appropriate ones.
Treatment of habits, addictions are also similar in that they work on behaviours that have been repeated over a very long period of time. These behaviour patterns can be deeply ingrained into a person's identity and can often lead to a severely reduced quality of life. Examples include trichotillomania (pulling out hair), nail biting and constantly checking things. Hypnotherapy can help change these patterns by offering the mind an alternate narrative to follow, one that puts you back in control. Weight management involves finding the internal solution to overcome the barriers that stop you from achieving your goal. Smoking, however, can be treated a little differently and can be stopped in just one session. With a very specific phobia, we can use a 'rewind' technique that only take three sessions.
Treatments for internal, external conditions, pain management and sleep issues are similar in that they focus on how the physical bodily reactions to stimuli. Types of conditions that hypnotherapy can be useful for include Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Weight management, Insomnia and Migraines. An important focus of pain management involves the link between the body and mind and how stress and anxiety are commonly experienced alongside and can exacerbate pain. The perception of physical sensations is directly linked with the way that the mind responds to pain. Focusing on changing the thought patterns related to pain can make a huge difference to pain perception, and helping to reduce associated stress
The key to understanding the ability of hypnosis to improve memory is found in how our memory works in the first place. Hypnosis is a trance that focuses attention on a limited area, can slow down thinking, heighten the imagination, and prevent distractions. There is no question that hypnosis has the power to enhance memories by improving the mechanisms by which we create and retrieve them. It can also be used to reduce the impact of negative memories by removing the triggers of these memories, breaking the painful associations they hold and removing their importance which allows your mind to no longer need them.
When it comes to sports performance, hypnosis really shows what the body and mind are capable of. The mental state of athletes during training and competition can impact performance massively. Hypnosis is a form of mental training and can therefore contribute to enhancing athletic execution and do for the mind what physical activity does for the body. Hypnosis helps athletes attain relaxation during practise and competition, control anxiety and manage stress allowing them to be focused without being tense. We can develop auto-responses within athletes to pre-established stimuli which are geared towards achieving optimal performance levels. Sports Hypnosis can also eliminate phobic responses, such as 'Trigger Freeze' in the Clay Pigeon Shooter, 'Target Panic' in the Archer and fears of further injury in sports people following injury.
Hypnotherapy for work performance can some in several forms. By using the Solution Focused approach we can reduce anxiety and fear in meetings, giving presentations and delivering speeches as well as improving performance, concentration and creativity. We can also use the SWISH technique that anchors the negative emotions before an event and flip them to the euphoric, satisfying sensations you feel after you achieve the event. A combination of the two is a great way of tackling the issue completely.