“Touch the earth, love the earth, honour the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas rest your spirit in her solitary places.” ~ Earnest Dimnet

Don’t you wish there was a solitary place where you could rest your spirit? Don’t you wish you could stop your obsession with food with the snap of fingers? Don’t you wish you could rid yourself of vomiting your food for fear of gaining weight and instead learn to eat healthy and maintain a “normal” weight? What if I told you there’s a sanctuary—a paradise in your mind—where you can get relief once and for all. What if I told you hypnosis might be your answer.

My students in the introduction to psychology course I teach are fascinated by the subject of hypnosis. They can hardly wait for the discussion of the chapter on hypnosis and inevitably ask me questions about it each week prior to the week hypnosis is the topic—and make further queries during all the weeks that follow. Why such an interest? Perhaps it’s the mystery that seems to surround the topic of hypnosis. The questions I’m asked after the initial one, “What is hypnosis?” are “Does it really work?” “Can anybody be hypnotized?” “Will I get lost in there?” On and on, the questions flow—and of course, one by one I tackle each inquiry.

The issues my patients raise are very similar to the ones brought up by my students, except my patients experience hypnosis firsthand specifically to release their obsessions with food, to lose weight, to quit smoking or put a stop to other addictions or to let go of a range of fears and phobias. I tell them hypnosis is definitely not a “fix all” resolution to their problem at hand but rather an excellent tool to jumpstart a recovery and often help them connect to their Higher Source by moving deeper into the subconscious mind—a springboard toward prayer and meditation.

To better understand hypnosis I begin with the explanation on what hypnosis is and isn’t, and if it really works down to who can get hypnotized and gosh will I get lost in there and end up stuck in some garden in the mind or worse a purgatory of some sort.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a super-concentrated state of mind brought about by suggestions, which can be direct or indirect. Hypnosis produces a hypnotic state, or trance that’s actually a natural phenomenon. One can tap into this relaxed state of mind through intentional self-hypnosis (the person hypnotizes himself), through induction by a therapist, or accidentally by sheer repetition of a phrase or “mantra.” The hypnotic state is a “normal” altered state of consciousness, similar to, but not the same as being awake. It also is similar to but not the same as being asleep.

Does hypnosis work?

It’s possible, without a shadow of a doubt, to redirect your thinking through the effect of suggestions to the mind by means of hypnosis.

Take Tabatha, a redheaded beauty, who strolled into my office cautiously guarded for fear hypnosis might not rid her of habitual purging of food once and for all. She’d purged since she was 13 years old, and when she came to see me was closing in on 50 years old. She had purged, at the least, five times a day for 37 uninterrupted years.

Tabatha and I met several times for psychotherapy sessions before we delved into hypnosis. She was prepared to let go of this horrendous nightmare of clinging to dirty toilet bowls in public restaurants to rid herself of her just-eaten meal while spitting up clumps of blood and experiencing anxiety attacks after a bout of dry heaves. Her eyes, sunk deep into her skull, were surrounded by the dark black bruises that often accompany purging, and she looked as if she had been in a boxing brawl. She was ready.

Can anyone get hypnotized?

No one can be hypnotized unwillingly. Hypnotic suggestibility is based on the person’s willingness and trust. It is also based on freedom from fear on the subject’s part. Every person can be hypnotized with the exception of infants, psychotics, mentally retarded persons and/or individuals who lack attention span, concentration and comprehension.

Will I get lost in there?

No, all subjects are in control of their journey in hypnosis and can be brought out of hypnosis at the suggestion or on their own. Hypnosis under trained experts has definite therapeutic value, but again is not magic and definitely is advised against the non-scientific amateur. And at no time in this blog do I suggest or encourage depth analysis by the individual, for those who are seriously mentally or emotionally disturbed who must seek expert help. My aim is to show how the rest of us who are leading “lives of quiet desperation,” can acquire through a hypnotic trance the ability to connect with their Higher Source and with people as an additional step toward freedom from compulsive eating.

There is a solitary place where you can rest your spirit and stop your obsession with food almost with the snap of fingers. You can rid yourself of purging, restricting, dieting, and obsessing over food and maintain a normal healthy body weight. There is a sanctuary—a paradise in your mind—where you can get relief once and for all. Yes, hypnosis with a credentialed, licensed practitioner might be your answer to a life-long crippling illness.

Photo by: Dr. Lisa Ortigara Crego

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