2/17/2019 Hypnosis by Skype effective for IBS – Psychology Today

  Teletherapy-Hypnosis May Help Ease IBS Symptoms 2-2019

This mind-body therapy may help ease IBS pain even when delivered via Skype.


Teletherapy is gaining in popularity in part because it makes help available to people who otherwise would have difficulty accessing it due to geographic, economic, or physical health issues.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects roughly 10 to 15% of the population, and causes significant physical and psychological distress. People who have IBS suffer from frequent diarrhea, constipation, or both of these; as well as GI pain and other physical symptoms. For many, these symptoms generate considerable anxiety related to traveling due to fears of diarrhea and incontinence. The combination of distress and GI symptoms, including fears of losing control of one’s bowels, can thus make it difficult for IBS patients to make it to additional health care and other appointments.

Patients with IBS are frequently prescribed any of a variety of medications, as well as dietary changes, to manage symptoms. Yet, for some people, these approaches fail to result in adequate symptom relief.

Hypnosis to Reduce the Pain and Distress of IBS

Hypnosis has been shown to help with a number of IBS-related symptoms, including in a study of 1000 participants. Hypnosis, sometimes referred to as hypnotherapy, involves a provider helping a patient to enter a state in which they can more easily focus on and be receptive to verbal suggestions. For example, once in a more relaxed, yet focused state (often referred to as a trance state), the person can more easily take in suggestions aimed at fostering greater bodily comfort, as well as decreased pain, stress and anxiety.

Hypnosis sessions most commonly take place in person over a series of several weeks. Yet, for patients with IBS, it can be stressful and physically challenging, as well as costly, to commute to a number of additional health care appointments.

Could Teletherapy-Delivered Hypnosis Be Effective?

A recent study examined whether hypnosis sessions delivered via Skype and aimed at reducing IBS-related symptoms would be as effective as in-person hypnosis sessions.

For this study, researchers enrolled 20 IBS patients who received 12 sessions of hypnotherapy. The first session was conducted in person, but the remainder were conducted via Skype. The data from these 20 participants was then compared to that of the original 1000-person study. The Skype study participants completed the same questionnaires as the larger study, including measures of IBS severity, pain, anxiety and depression, and quality of life. They also filled out a measure of noncolonic symptoms (such as nausea, heartburn, headaches, lethargy, and other symptoms), which frequently accompany IBS.

The Results

The results of this study found that by the study’s conclusion, significantly fewer participants reported having severe IBS symptoms. Hypnosis was also associated with statistically significant reductions in both noncolonic symptom severity and anxiety, and significant improvement in quality of life. The reduction in depression symptoms approached but did not quite reach statistical significance.

The data from the Skype group were also compared to those of participants in the larger, in-person hypnosis study. Although the degree of improvement on most outcomes was somewhat greater for in-person hypnosis, after adjusting for age, there was no statistically significant difference between the Skype and in-person groups with regard to improvement in IBS symptoms and pain.

Summary: Skype-Delivered Hypnosis is Helpful for IBS

To summarize, the results of recent research have found that hypnosis may be an effective treatment for reducing pain, anxiety, and IBS severity and improving quality of life in people who have IBS. These findings seem important both for people who have inadequate relief from medications and dietary changes and in general for those dealing with painful gastrointestinal and related symptoms. It’s worth noting that the Skype study was small, and it will be important to conduct further research with larger numbers of participants. Yet, the results suggest that teletherapy hypnosis sessions can be an effective option for those who otherwise would have great difficulty accessing or be unable to avail themselves of in-person hypnosis sessions.

Psychology Today 2-2019

Dr. Traci Stein, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, certified clinical hypnotherapist, and health educator who integrates complementary/alternative and conventional healing approaches





Concord TV Explores Hypnosis with Beyond Your Best, LLC.

(See link below to actual TV interview)

We recently appeared as invited guests on Concord, NH TV’s “ Believe  It” series with host Dawn Drew to explore Hypnosis and how we use it as a tool to help people create positive change in their lives.

Dawn asked us what led us to become certified professional hypnotists and open our business, Beyond Your Best, LLC. As our regular readers know, we are both highly experienced professionals in careers that are focused on helping people; Thom has spent nearly 40 years taking pain away from people as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, and Lynne has spent nearly as many decades helping people with problems and challenges in their work lives in Human Resources management.  Hypnosis gives us a tool to use to continue helping people, but in a deeper and more meaningful way.

Hypnosis is a tool we use for helping ordinary people create positive change to resolve ordinary, everyday problems and challenges. Hypnosis is a natural state of brain wave activity that people automatically enter into every day. When you fall asleep, your brain waves transition from your awake state through to your deep sleep state. The brain waves between these states are hypnotic frequencies. You might already know about that normal and natural state almost everyone has experienced with “highway hypnosis”, or when day-dreaming or perhaps so absorbed in a book or movie that we do not notice someone into the room. In highway hypnosis we can be “deep in thought” about something else (work, family, etc.) while our subconscious is doing a superb job of the complex learned task of driving.

Hypnosis is similar to, but different from meditation. Meditation is a practice that clears the mind to become relaxed. Hypnosis is an active process that relaxes and clears the mind, then introduces focus on what we want to change or learn. In Hypnosis, you are awake and aware, you hear everything and remember everything you want to remember. Actually, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis which is why hypnosis can be used for a wide variety of personal change issues and also why you cannot be made to say, do, or think anything outside of your moral or ethical standards.


With hypnosis you can successfully address things like sports and academic performance, managing stress, or learning a new skill. The long list of applications includes making positive changes to bad habits, fears and worries, sleep problems, self-confidence, anger and many more areas of life including common issues like smoking, weight and chronic pain management.


We believe that we are all doing our best in a very competitive and stressful world. We know that in order to reach your hidden potential, you are called to perform Beyond Your Best. We chose to practice hypnosis after careers of helping others in both health care and human resources because we believe that you have more potential to be more successful than you might realize. We have the tools to help you function at new levels Beyond Your Best.


Our company, Beyond Your Best, LLC has other services including personality specific stress reduction strategy, corporate training and medical hypnosis. As part of our community outreach program we are also glad to do free introductory presentations on stress, introduction to hypnosis and more for groups, clubs and associations.

For more information explore our website HTTP://wwwbeyondyourbestnh.com and / or call us at (603) 493-1450.

If you explore hypnosis you will find how easy it can be to make that change you want to make. Imagine making that change you often thought about. Find out how our methods can help you – call today!

If viewing is desired – click on this link and go to the right side of embedded screen to “Believe It”.  The top entry should be “Beyond Your Best”

On-Demand Player

Concord, NH, hypnosis, hypnotists, change, stress, smoking, pain, trance, relax, stress management, habits, skills, performance, enhancement, information, hypnotic, help, health, New Hampshire, NGH, guild, certified, speciality, human resource, guide, coaching, personality

—  Concord hypnotist presents to international audience.

Thom Bloomquist, MSN, CRNA, CH, FAAPM presented on the intriguing topic of Neuroplasticity at the National Guild of Hypnotists meeting in Marlboro, MA, on August 12th 2017. Thom says, “Neuroplasticity is the ability of the nervous system to respond to internal and/or external events to reorganize its structure, connections and processes. Much more than we ever knew, our central nervous systems can:

  • Reprogram
  • Reorganize
  • Grow/regrow neurons
  • Increase speed of processing

Just a few years ago, we thought the nervous system you are born with was all that you would ever have. The belief was if there was damage or injury, there was loss of tissue and function never to be regained. We now realize not only can the nervous system change but  is  literally changing all the time.  For example, anytime:

  • we learn a new dance
  • change an old habit (good or bad)
  • learn a new song
  • pick up new skills
  • make any change (positive or negative) in thinking or behavior —

— neuroplasticity occurs to change thinking and literally reorder nerve connections.  We now understand that there are some very simple things that we can do to use Neuroplasticity for our benefit.” 

Looking for a speaker for your organization, company or club?  This presentation is a free service to our community – call or email today. (603)568-9775


Golfers – Tired of YIPs?

Want more consistency in your game? Want fewer distractions – more focus? Want a better long game? We can get you there with methods proven effective by successful pro’s, Olympic and top armature athletes without adding more real practice time.

“I never missed a putt in my mind” – Jack Nicklaus

Beyond Your Best, LLC in Concord, NH offers its Mental Driver program for golf (and other sports.) to help you tap into your hidden talent. For most successful golfers, good performance has become a subconscious activity-like riding a bike. They don’t have to stop and consciously think about, it’s become muscle memory. Distraction in the form of overstimulation, competition worries, making a bad shot stress, overconfidence, worrying about minutia or worst of all, – switching your focus from the ball on the ground to the trophy at the club house. What can you learn from this-what’s in it for you? What did famous golfers like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus use to stay focused that you also can have?

“Sometimes the biggest problem is in your head. You’ve got to believe you can play a shot instead of wondering where your next bad shot is coming from.” – Jack Nicklaus

They were able to play to their full potential, focus, stay relaxed, play one hole at a time and worry about their own game and not the competition’s and clearly were having fun by harnessing the their mental power. .

We can share with you tips they learned like;

  • Benefits of the pre-shot routine
  • Elements of the pre-shot routine
  • Visualization strategies
  • Full shot routine
  • Eliminating distraction
  • Focus enhancement
  • The 15 second golf swing sure and more


  • We provide individual & group sessions
  • Reinforcing materials
  • Ongoing personal support is available

You can learn the same proven methods used by world-class golfers. Imagine so much improvement in your game, right here at home, without traveling to expensive golf camps.

Call Today! – (603-568-9775     Get Your Mental Driver!

(golf, links, sports, psychology, mental, courses, improvement golfers, tips, clubs, green, fairwary, tee, hole, putt, sandtrap, hints, secrets, Jack, Nicklaus, Tiger, Woods,  Professional, Pro-Am, trophy, winner, leader, top, irons, driver, grip, stance, focus, concentration, distraction, competitition, visualize, imagery, Concord, Manchesster, Nashua, New Hapmshire, Laconia, Hooksett, Chichester, Pembroke, Granite state )

Previous Blogs


Hypnosis has applications in academics, athletics and everyday issues like fear of dental procedures. Many professional and Olympic athletes and teams use sport hypnosis.  These services are available right here in the Concord, NH area. This article appeared in a TN newspaper.


CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) – by Natalie Potts  (edited by BYB)

A growing trend has parents hypnotizing their kids to do better in sports and in the classroom.

It’s called “hypno-parenting” and those parents say it works! Some local parents swear by it, saying hypnosis therapy has really helped their child overcome big fears they thought they’d never get over. This practice has it’s critics too, therapists say it’s not be for everyone.

“The word hypnosis is kind of creepy and I would be the first person to say yea no,” said parent Salida Brooks.

Local mom Salida Brooks says she was scared of hypnotherapy practices at first, but willing to try anything to get over her long time fear of going to the dentist. After a few sessions of “reworking” her subconscious mind, Brooks found a new perspective.

“It was a completely different experience, I was asking them what they were doing and was not nervous at all and watched them on the video camera with things and it was very different,” said Brooks.

She later tried the therapy with her 7-year- old daughter who’s also afraid of the dentist.

“We were in a little private area and so I used some of the techniques I know from my training,” said Brooks. “Within 10 minutes, I had a completely different child.”

Leah had several teeth pulled that day with no problems.

“She walked back there by herself and said ‘bye mommy’ and put the mask on and she was fine and has been fine ever since,” said Brooks.

Chattanooga Hypnotherapist Joshua Gunter says he’s helped several clients to lose weight and stop smoking.

Hypno-parents too are now seeking help with kids struggling to perform on the field or in the classroom.

” One of the main ones is test taking anxiety where people don’t have the confidence when it comes to either standardized testing or other types of testing, so hypnotherapy is a great resource for that,” said Gunter.

Gunter describes the hypnosis” trance” like a day dream, when you’re into a really good book or movie and time just slips away.

“Highway Hypnosis is common,” said Gunter. “It’s where you’re driving down the road and you just become so absorbed in your thoughts that you either miss your exit or you get somewhere and you think ‘I don’t even remember half of that drive…where was I?'”

He believes that negative emotions like anxiety or fear can be corrected in your subconscious mind, but it takes a few exercises to get there.

“I don’t swing any watches, don’t make anybody cluck like a chicken, none of that goes on here,” said Gunter.

Competitive cheerleader Kendall Kukta tells Channel 3, she tried hypnosis as a last resort.

“It definitely wasn’t what I expected, it felt like it made you feel really good,” said Kendall Kukta, 14-years-old. “Other than helping you through being scared or whatever you’re going through…It helps you just really feel good about yourself.”

Kukta was unable to tumble on her own after a bad fall. She feared she’d be kicked off the team after years of private lessons and no luck.

Three hypnosis sessions later, she’s made the High School squad.

“I think it made me believe in myself a little bit more and be able to visualize myself doing it so that I can do it,” said Kukta.

While some parents are thrilled, Brooks who is also a licensed counselor, warns that hypnotherapy can’t be a substitute for good parenting and should not be used to manipulate.
“It’s one of many tools though; I don’t think it’s a fix all for everything.”

Some say the therapy may be going too far, mental health experts say hypnosis is not a good idea for someone who is using drugs and alcohol or for someone with mental health issues. They suggest having a doctor evaluation before receiving the therapy.
(testing, studying, test anxiety, performance fears, public speaking, self-confidence, weight, smoking, behavioral modification, habits, concerns, nail biting, complusive issues)


Hypnosis Might Really Help You Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, and Beat Pain

These studies say it works. Would you try it?

By Macaela Mackenzie March 24, 2017

If the word “hypnosis” calls to mind swinging clocks and party tricks, sorry to burst your bubble. According to Scott Sandland, CHt, a clinical hypnotherapist in Newport Beach, Calif., the mind control misconception is actually the exact opposite of what hypnotherapy strives to achieve. Hypnosis helps you be more in control of yourself, not less, he says. “If Hollywood tried to make a show about what hypnosis was really like, it would just be some fairly relaxed people who eat healthy and aren’t afraid of public speaking,” he says.

Hypnosis induces a state of focus that may help you tackle everything from your workout goals to your fear about that upcoming root canal. “One of my favorite things about hypnosis is that it’s about opening up a dialogue with that part of your mind that drives your behaviors and feelings,” says Sandland. “It’s about connecting the dots from where you are now to where you’d like to be.” And research suggests he may be right. Here are five science-backed ways hypnosis may improve your health.

Hypnosis may help curb dental anxiety.

Hypnosis may help curb dental anxiety.

No matter how badass you feel in your daily life, a fear of the dentist can take down the best of us—according to expert estimates, up to 15 percent of the population suffers from serious dental anxiety. Rather than risk a mouth full of cavities, consider trying hypnotherapy to get over your phobia. A study published in the Journal of Physiology found that dental-phobes had reduced activation in the areas of the brain associated with fear when they were hypnotized.

Hypnosis highly relaxes you and shifts your consciousness in a way that helps you bypass your critical conscious mind and access the subconscious, says Delia Chiaramonte, M.D., associate director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Then you can start putting suggestions into your subconscious, which is what drives your actual behaviors and motivations,” she says.

Hypnosis may help you kick your smoking habit.

Hypnosis may help you kick your smoking habit.

Hypnosis may help you break a bad habit or pick up a healthier one, and smoking certainly ranks among the top habits to drop. “If we were only driven by our conscious mind we would say ‘I want to stop smoking,’ and then we just wouldn’t have any more cigarettes,” says Dr. Chiaramonte. “But our subconscious controls the craving. Hypnosis can help you break those subconscious behavioral connections and associations.”

While hypnosis won’t magically make quitting easy, research shows that it may set you up for better success in the long run. According to a 2013 study, people were less likely to experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms after just one group hypnotherapy session.

Hypnosis may help you lose weight.


Hypnosis may help you lose weight.

Hypnosis may be a helpful tool to add to your fitness arsenal—specifically when it comes to shedding pounds. Here’s how it works: “The hypnotherapist might ask you to call to mind a time when you felt really confident and great,” says Dr. Chiaramonte. Then they’ll ask you to do a simple, physical behavior—like touching your fingers together—to serve as what hypnotherapists call the “anchor.” “The therapist will then tell you to imagine yourself in the body you want to have and perform that anchoring behavior in order to call to mind that feeling of confidence when you think of your goal,” she says. “That can help increase your motivation.”

Hypnosis may help you de-stress.

Hypnosis may help you de-stress.

When stress sets in, hypnosis may help. “Hypnotherapy is an excellent tool for helping people get out of stress states and get back into a state of mind that allows them to perform better and enjoy the process of succeeding,” says Sandland. In a study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, people who listened to a self-hypnosis CD over the course of 12 weeks reported a decrease in negative coping behaviors such as pessimistic thinking and perfectionism.

Hypnosis may help treat chronic pain.

Hypnosis may help treat chronic pain.

This is a use that Sandland says is becoming more and more prevalent. “Helping people overcome pain without the use of opiates is one of the greatest things we can do to improve quality of life for the individual and their family,” he says. Similar to helping relieve stress, a 2014 study on hypnosis for chronic pain management found that not only did patients get a better handle on pain management after hypnosis, but they also reported better sleep and a greater sense of control. According to the American Psychological Association, hypnosis may help with more acute pain as well.

Hypnosis is a powerful tool to make desired changes. We utilize several methods including recordings, self-hypnosis and hypnosis to boost people toward thier goals

What would you like to change about you?  Can you imagine you reaching that goal?

Call TODAY! to get started – get into it – have that change You want


(readers – Im’ Back.  Becuase of limited space-this article is abridged from Men’s Health.  Picture from Getty Images).


7 Secrets Of People Who Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions

How can you become one of those elite few, who actually achieve what they set out to do?

I know you didn’t achieve your New Year’s resolutions in 2016.

I say that confidently, even though we’ve never met, because research shows only 8% of people actually achieve them. So statistically, I bet you didn’t.

How can you become one of those elite few, who actually achieve what they set out to do? Do you need more motivation? A special system? What are the secrets?

To find out, I interviewed one of the leading experts in behavior change, psychologist Paul Marciano. Dr. Marciano is the author of Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work and he specializes in the area of behavior modification and engagement. He offered seven keys to achieving your goals.

Make your goals specific. People proclaim, “I’m finally going to get in shape.” But what does that actually mean? Do you intend to reach a certain weight? Or body-fat percentage? Do you want to run three miles without rest? Maybe be able to do 10 pull-ups? Dr. Marciano is a fan of the classic goal system that makes goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).

       Measure progress. “If you can measure it, you can change it” is a fundamental principal of psychology. These feedback loops will be a source of motivation as you reflect on where you started and where you are. They will also help you to know when you are hitting a plateau or slipping backward, so you can adjust your efforts.

Be patient. Progress is seldom linear. Some people will see rapid gains only to hit resistance later in their efforts. For others, initial progress may be painfully slow but then they suddenly achieve rapid breakthroughs. Making lasting changes takes time.

Share your goals with friends and family. Social support is critical. Yes, it takes some personal courage and vulnerability to share something that you might actually fail at, but to dramatically increase your odds of success you’ll want support from those around you. One of the most effective things you can do is to get an “accountability partner”, someone who checks in with you daily or weekly. It’s easy to break a promise to yourself, but far harder to admit it to a friend.

   Schedule it. Have you ever said you can’t “find the time” to do something. Nobody finds time, we choose time. We all choose to spend our time the way we do—whether that’s eating junk food or going to a spin class. Make your new goals a priority and actually schedule them into your calendar. If you have a fitness goal schedule recurring time blocks for your daily workouts. Want to declutter? Schedule time to clean out your closet or garage on your calendar. Treat these New Year Resolution’s appointments just like they were scheduled doctor appointments. You rarely reschedule your doctor, you should treat this time the same way. That which is scheduled gets done.

    Something is better than nothing. Are you guilty of “all or nothing” thinking? Do you ever think, “Well, I might as well get dessert since I already ate those French fries?” And then, “I blew my diet last night so I’ll just restart it next week.” Dr. Marciano says the difference between doing something rather than nothing is huge. If you don’t have a full hour to workout at the gym, just decide to make it the best 20-minutes you can. If you stumble out of bed and don’t want to do 20-minutes on the treadmill, lace up your sneakers and do five minutes (and you just might find you do another 15 minutes once the first five are out of the way). Dr. Marciano says, “Any effort towards your goal is better than no effort.”

    Get up, when you slip up. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi said, “It isn’t whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” Resiliency is paramount. Don’t turn temporary failures into total meltdowns or excuses for giving up. Instead, just acknowledge the mistake and recommit to the path towards the goal.

Dr. Marciano says achieving your goals isn’t about willpower. It’s about developing the right skills, executing strategies, and having the patience that inevitably lead to success. Will 2017 be the year you join the elite 8%?

Excerpted from Forbes – by Ken Kruse


Llast-minutes gift suggestions? Here are BYB’s Christmas/Holiday gift packages..

Relaxation Package $ 125.00
The gift of relaxation for you or a loved one! This hypnosis session soothes away stress and tension.
45 minute consult, 45 minute relaxation session plus one 15 minute relaxation CD/MP3 recording.

Deep Sleep Package $ 225.00
Deep, restful slumber is essential for good health. This package provides techniques that can have you – or your loved one – sleeping like a baby!
45 minute consult plus two 45 minute hypnosis sessions including self-hypnosis training and one reinforcing CD/MP3 recording.

Student Package $ 350.00
Do you have a student in your life that would benefit from increased focus and concentration, better testing skills and improved grades? This gift gives the opportunity to build a lifetime of success!
45 minute consult plus three 45 minute hypnosis sessions including self-hypnosis training and two reinforcing CD/MP3 recordings.

New Year Resolution Package $ 475.00
2016 is the year for you to have successful resolutions! Loose those holiday pounds, quit smoking, stick to your fitness routine, build self-confidence, eat healthier, get organized, stop procrastinating … bring us your resolutions and we will give you the tools you need to make the changes you resolve to make!
45 minute consult plus four 45 minute hypnosis sessions including self-hypnosis training and three reinforcing CD/MP3 recordings.

Golf Package $ 600.00
Winter is the best time to work on your golf game! This is the perfect gift for the favorite golfer in your life to increase their enjoyment on the course, IMPROVE THEIR SCORE and gain the full health benefit of their time between tee-offs.

Anger, Stress and Conflict management programs (individual or group)

These multisession programs (4-6) help clients make desired changes in thinking and behavior around important issues that dramatically affect our lives, careers and families. Ever felt guilty in unwanted ways in these areas?  Seen co-workers or loved one look hurt because these background issues instigated poor word choices or action?  These programs have documented effectiveness in help people create codes to live by. A side effect could be improved focus and concentration in other areas of their life and work.
45 minute consult plus Five 45 minute hypnosis sessions including self-hypnosis training and three reinforcing CD/MP3 recordings.


Happy Holidays from your friendly neighborhood empowerment/hypnosis specialists.

Give someone you care about the gift of a happier more successful life through personal improvement.

You are invited to a public presentation – “Goodbye Holiday Stress”  on 12/12/16 at the Concord, NH public library



Using Hypnosis to Manage Holiday Stress

The holidays are a wonderful time of year that can also turn into stress related issues like financial worries, sleepless nights, anxiety, fear, and depression. Between the joyous times with friends, you also have a list of holiday decorating, planning parties, family get-togethers, shopping and exchanging those perfect gifts. Do you wish there was a natural way to effectively stop the stress and anxiety and enjoy the holidays. There is – through hypnosis.

Hypnosis is something we all experience, though we don’t call it by that name. Think to a time you were deeply involved in a TV program and didn’t hear the phone ringing or people around you. That is similar to what you would experience in hypnosis. It’s a state of relaxation and focused concentration.

It is a highly effective method for reducing emotional issues, such as stress, anxiety and fear. Hypnosis helps to relax your mind and body by reducing the effects of the emotional stressors from past holiday experiences. Your hypnotist will guide you into a deep trance state of complete relaxation.

You will also learn self-hypnosis to learn how to handle these difficult situations. In between sessions, you can use it to help yourself reduce overwhelming feelings. The more you practice, the more effective and easier it becomes.

Think about your list of things to do this week. What tops your list? Most of us plan our week by packing the extra holiday activities amid our regular must-do things, like work, school, housework and family. It becomes overwhelming. Your thoughts might turn to how you’ll get everything finished. You start worrying about money for gifts or dreading the obligatory office party.

When you think of your holiday plans, what makes you instantly stressed? Everyone experiences stress, and a little of it motivates us to complete tasks. If you feel continuing stress over a prolonged period, your body continues to react. Instead of inspiring you to finish tasks, you feel overwhelmed. Extended stress puts your physical and mental well-being at risk. The good news is that you can reduce it so you feel better.

It’s important to put yourself at the top of your to-do list. Make your well-being a priority. At Beyond Your Best, LLC, Concord, NH, our certified hypnotists help you reduce stress and immediately begin self-hypnosis. When manage the stress, you will have more energy and a positive mindset. Isn’t that a better way to experience the holidays? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to enjoy this time of year?

If you’re overwhelmed right now, visit http://beyoundyourbestnh.com for free information on how hypnosis can reduce holiday stress.


(excerpts from Florida Hypnotherapy)

New Hampshire Union Leader
08/21/2016 – G01

Changing your body’s operating system

Clinical hypnosis:

The practice can be used for pain control, side effect management, to curb cravings, insomnia, weight loss and more.


Special to the Union Leader

Chronic pain affects nearly 100 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Furthermore, some argue chronic pain has been a contributing factor in the staggering number of people who find themselves addicted to strong opioid pain medications.

While not a remedy for all painful conditions, one Concordbased clinical hypnotist is offering a complimentary, even alternate, therapy option.

“Now more than ever,” said Thom Bloomquist, chief clinical advisor at Beyond Your Best, LLC, “mind-body medicine like hypnosis can improve health, speed healing, control pain and help many conditions and states — without side effects, addictive or expensive medicines and provide economy.”

Hypnosis explained

When it comes to hypnosis, Bloomquist explained that we all experience some form of hypnosis every day, whether it’s times when we feel hyper-focused on an activity to the exclusion of other distractions, when our minds drift, or when we’re in that state between sleep and wake.

Bloomquist said hypnosis is an awake state, that is also a different state of consciousness.

“A clinical hypnotist can guide a client into hypnosis but cannot ‘put’ someone into hypnosis,” he said. “If someone does not believe or does not want hypnosis to work for them, it can’t. In hypnosis you cannot be made to say, do or think anything outside of your value system as you are not asleep or unconscious. You hear everything and are aware.”

Bloomquist explained that the conscious mind is like the hardware in a computer.

“It runs programs, does calculations, it makes judgments, it works in numbers and letters and evaluates everything,” he said.

Whereas the subconscious mind is like the operating system of a computer.

“It tells the conscious mind how to do things,” he said. “Because it doesn’t have a critical (thinking) factor, it is far more suggestable. We program our subconscious early on when we learn how to eat, ride a bike and dress ourselves. We can reprogram that system, but you have to talk its language.”

Hypnosis at work

If the conscious mind works in numbers and letters, the subconscious mind works in pictures and metaphor, Bloomquist said. Which is why, when someone comes in to be hypnotized, the patient works with the hypnotist to define a specific, actionable result or goal the person is trying to

“Can we harness our minds to go deeper and affect the internal workings of our body, control what we feel like pain and simulate healing?

Unequivocally yes!”


Chief clinical advisor at Beyond Your Best LLC




In the relaxed state of hypnosis, he said, the conscious mind takes a bit of a backseat to the more suggestable conscious mind. It’s in that state that Bloomquist might suggest to a patient that he or she would sure feel better if they weren’t smoking, for example.

As for pain, Bloomquist said it’s a matter of perception. A pain signal gets sent up the arm, to the spinal chord. The spinal cord then sends a pain message to the brain.

“The body has the ability of modulation,” he said.

“The brain can tell the spinal cord, OK, I heard you, now turn down the volume on the pain message. We can literally effect and close down these pain gates.”

prof pix

C linical hypnosis

Hypnosis has been used under many labels since the dawn of time. There are stage hypnotists and entertainers, but most hypnotists provide care and help to clients who want to make changes, control habits or address health issues. A smaller number of hypnotists, called clinical hypnotists, come from the caring professions like nurses, dentists and mental health workers.

“Most stage hypnosis is a real form of hypnosis, but done for entertainment and amusement,” Bloomquist said. “In clinical hypnosis, clients can actively harness and modify the processes within their body because ultimately our minds control all of our body’s processes.”

Bloomquist explained that the mind perceives the world through our senses and produces instructions to move, look, smell, feel, analyze based on our lear ning and experiences, and then to think and act in a certain way accordingly.

“Can we harness our minds to go deeper and affect the internal workings of our body, control what we feel like pain and stimulate healing?” Bloomquist said.

“Unequivocally yes!”

Hypnosis has been used under many names since the dawn of recorded history to help people make changes and address ailments and injury, Bloomquist said.

In recent years, traditional medicine and science has started to recognize the benefits of hypnosis.

Several papers, including a 2003 Harvard study have been published showing — albeit on a limited number of patients — the efficacy of hypnosis in shortening healing times, for example.

Bloomquist said hypnosis can be used for a variety of conditions including pain control, cancer treatment, palliation, side effect management, to curb cravings and addictive conditions involving smoking and other substances, insomnia,

weight loss, teeth grinding, self-esteem/confidence, anger and avoidance of unwanted unhealthy habits, among many things.

An interest in hypnosis

Bloomquist, who earned his bachelor of arts at Ottawa University and master of science degree in nursing at Rush University, said his interest in health care began at an early age after a bout with polio. His interest eventually led him to study with The Cleveland Clinic Nurse Anesthesia program and on to Fellow American Academy Management. Bloomquist, who is an amputee, also has studied phantom limb pain, which he experiences himself.

Bloomquist served on the New Hampshire Board of Nursing and his publications include the AANA Journal and In-Motion, the official journal of the Amputee Coalition of America.

Bloomquist explained that he came to hypnosis after he left anesthesiology for the study of pain management and was not impressed with what he saw.

“(The treatments) are potent, they are effective, but they are also toxic,” he said.

“And that led me to explore hypnosis.”

Bloomquist’s corporate office is located at 149 East Side Dr. #261 in Concord.

For more information, visit https://beyondyourbestnh.com

(note from BYB – I was misindentified as a doctor or physician – correction published)

MRI machine
Monty Rakusen | Getty Images

The word “hypnosis” might conjure notions of the supernatural, or of parlor tricks and con men, but real hypnosis is a clinical tool frequently used by psychiatrists. Now scientists are catching a glimpse of how it affects the brain.

 Most people show some susceptibility to hypnosis, and the technique has been used to treat pain management and anxiety, among other conditions.

A group of researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine just used brain imaging to see what was actually happening to people while they were under hypnosis. The team gathered 57 people, some of whom were highly susceptible to hypnotic trance states and others who were not hypnotizable at all.

They placed the participants in brain imaging machines, and played various sets of prerecorded instructions—two sets were meant to induce hypnosis, and two others were given other instructions.

The images captured the regions of the brain that were most active and most dormant while the participants were hypnotized. The team saw changes in three regions in the hypnotized patients.

They saw decreased activity in a region known as the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, a region known to be critical for evaluating contexts, which aids in deciding what to worry about and what to ignore in a particular situation. Reducing that activity shows hypnotized people are able to suspend judgement and immerse themselves in something, without thinking of what else they could or should be attending.

The second change appeared in some of the parts of the brain that give people the ability to separate the thoughts in their heads from the feelings in their bodies.

People in hypnosis “can picture something that makes them stressed, but they can imagine that their bodies are floating and comfortable,” said the study’s senior author, Stanford psychiatry professor David Spiegel, in an interview with CNBC. “So, when you are thinking about something, you can better control how your body responds to that thought.”

The third region affected is located very deep in the brain and involves self-consciousness. “People who are hypnotized tend not to be self-conscious, and so can more easily change how they do things for example change habits or behaviors.   Spiegel said. “That has therapeutic potential. You can get people to shake up the way they react to problems and approach them from a different point of view.” For example, change habits like smoking, eating, , nail biting, alter how they perceive things that once evoked fears, speaking abilty, academic and athletic performance and much more.

The team published its findings Thursday in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

Spiegel hopes the research will push forward the use of hypnosis as a clinical technique.

“This is showing that hypnosis is not a parlor trick or a magic show,” Spiegal told CNBC. “It is a neurobiological phenomenon.”

He added that hypnosis is underutilized in health care, and that hypnosis can be a viable alternative to the use of painkillers, which have proven to be addictive to millions of people.

“I think this illustrates the reality of hypnosis as a phenomenon,” he said, “and the fact that this is not a way of losing control, as a lot of people fear. It is a way of teaching people to enhance control over their brains and bodies.”

(Minor editorial changes made for clarity)



7/6 Blog-news     natural pmDrug-Free & Natural -Hypnosis For Pain

The symptoms of chronic pain  can sometimes be so painful that they prevent sufferers from going to work, attending school classes, or just managing their daily routines. Unfortunately, there is no cure available for some forms of chronic pain like fibromyalgia syndrome so patients often resort to numerous different treatments to lessen the severity of their symptoms.. However, hypnosis is now emerging as one of the best alternative treatments available for many chronic pain states including fibromyalgia pain. The use of hypnosis has been proven to reduce pain symptoms and it has become a doctor-recommended treatment. If you are suffering from fibromyalgia pain symptoms, consider hypnosis as a treatment option.

History of Hypnosis
Though it is often disregarded as a proven therapy, hypnosis has long been used to treat both psychological and medical disorders. The Ancient Egyptians and Chinese used hypnosis to relieve symptoms of pain over two thousand years ago. Hypnosis was also used in the 1800s by medical doctors for anesthetic purposes. Recently, hypnosis has received more attention from the medical field; in fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has now recommended that hypnosis be used as part of a treatment regime for chronic pain, like that caused by fibromyalgia.

What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a non-invasive technique that encourages you to achieve heightened levels of focus and sensation. People who practice hypnosis believe that there are two main components to the mind: the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. Through relaxation and suggestion, you are able to access your subconscious mind and stop behaviors or thoughts that may be contributing to pain or other unpleasant symptoms.

Contrary to popular belief, though, people who are in a state of hypnosis are fully aware their , here actions, hear everything and will not do anything that they have a serious moral or ethical objection to. In fact, you do have control over your actions as well as what you say while you are hypnotized. Moreover, you have the ability to remember what transpired while you were hypnotized. However, in some cases, your subconscious mind may choose to “forget” just what happened.

Types of Hypnosis
There are two main types of hypnosis techniques:

  1. Hypnosis Performed by a Clinical Hypnotist: This type of hypnosis is performed in-office by a certified professional or medical professional who is also a certified professional hypnotist.. The hypnotist will explain what hypnosis is and how it works to reduce pain. He or she will then lead you into hypnosis through a series of relaxation exercises. Once you are in a hypnotic state, the hypnotist will make suggestions as to how you can change your thoughts or behavior in order to minimize your symptoms.


  1. Self Hypnosis: Self hypnosis is a type of hypnosis that you can do yourself in the privacy of your own home. You can learn self hypnosis either from a clinical hypnotist or from one of a number of books available on the subject. Self hypnosis programs and hypnotherapy courses are also widely available. Self hypnosis techniques can be indispensable for chronic pain clients like fibromyalgia sufferers. Self hypnosis is usually used as a form of relaxation or meditation. At Beyond Your Best, LLC your hypnotist will begin instruction in self hypnosis at the very beginning of your program so that your results can be sustaining and you have a tool to use for the rest of your life.

Stages of Hypnosis
There are three main stages of hypnosis. Your hypnotist will lead you into a certain stage of hypnosis, depending upon the illness or symptom you wish to treat.

First Stage: The first stage of hypnosis is often referred to as a superficial trance. This is the lightest stage of hypnosis, during which you are aware of all of your surroundings. This type of trance is commonly used to help correct addictive behaviors such as smoking. During a superficial trance, you will accept suggestions but may not act upon them afterwards.

Second Stage: The second stage, the alpha state, is a deeper level of hypnosis. You may notice that your breathing begins to slow down, as will your heart rate and blood pressure. It is this stage of hypnosis that is used to control pain.

Third Stage: The third stage of hypnosis is the deepest. .

How Does Hypnosis Work?
Researchers and pain practitioners agree that all pain is na function of element of perception. In hypnosis you can choose to alter your perception. All bodily functions are controlled by your mind. As an example, if you think intently of your favorite food, your mouth might start to water. Likewise if you think intently about seeing, smelling, feeling and tasting a lemon, you may get some tightness in your jaw like you would if you were eating raw lemon or something sour. This is a demonstration of how what you imagine can, in a very real sense, affect your body’s functions.  A recent study performed at the University of Iowa looked to explain what actually happens to the brain during hypnosis. Brain scans were taken of chronic pain sufferers in hypnotic trances and analyzed for activity changes. Researchers found that people under hypnosis had reduced activity in pain network areas of the brain. In particular, the area of the brain responsible for “feeling” pain had significantly reduced activity levels. This suggests that hypnosis treatment works because it actually has a physical effect on the brain.

Effects of Hypnosis on Fibromyalgia Sufferers
Fibromyalgia patients are frequently examined in chronic pain studies.  Many fibromyalgia sufferers attribute reduction in their symptoms to the power of hypnosis. Fibromyalgia sufferers often use hypnosis as a way to limit their pain symptoms and increase their energy and comfort level. A study conducted by the NIH showed that fibromyalgia sufferers undergoing hypnosis reported 80% fewer pain symptoms than those who received no hypnosis treatment. Other benefits of hypnosis include:


  • decreased muscle pain
  • decreased morning fatigue
  • fewer sleep difficulties
  • increased relaxation

Things to Remember
Before engaging in any type of hypnosis there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to find a certified clinical hypnotist. Better yet is a medical professional and even better if a hypnotists who is also a medical professional specializing in pain management like you find at Beyond Your Best, LLC in Concord, NH. Clinical hypnotists have specific training and many hold specialty certifications in area such as pain. Want to know more?  Call!





6/23 blog news

Hypnosis has been around for as long as humans have been around, but under many different names. That’s because hypnosis is a natural state of the human mind, one that can be triggered by a variety of experiences. Around the turn of the 20th century modern medicine was being developed. The study of the mind occurred right along side that development, and great leaps have been made in the areas of psychology and hypnosis.

If you know me then you know I’m a bit of a scientific study nerd. I love looking at the data and seeing what works and what doesn’t work. While not everything is conducive to being studied in a research lab (especially subjective experiences), there are many studies and published articles showing the efficacy of hypnosis. Here are just a few of my favorite quotes and links to the studies themselves.

Evidence for Hypnosis and Pain Control

Before the advent of modern analgesics and anesthetics, hypnosis was often the most effective approach for eliminating pain and increasing survival in major surgical operations. James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon in the early 1800’s performed hundreds of surgeries and amputations using hypnosis as the pain reliever. James Braid was another surgeon famous for his speedy amputations. His use of hypnosis significantly reduced shock and dramatically increased his patients survival rates.

Even today hypnosis is still used in surgical situations. Below is a link to a video of a dental surgery being performed without any chemical analgesics.


One of the best endorsements of hypnosis is the summary of a paper by Mark P. Jensen and David R. Patterson of the University of Washington on the topic of using hypnosis for chronic pain. In fact, if you are really interested in how hypnosis can affect pain and you want even more research than my article will provide, I recommend reading all of the paper I’m about to quote. It shines it’s light on every area of pain and how hypnosis can positively impact it.

“The empirical support for hypnosis for chronic pain management has flourished over the past two decades. Clinical trials show that hypnosis is effective for reducing chronic pain, although outcomes vary between individuals. The findings from these clinical trials also show that hypnotic treatments have a number of positive effects beyond pain control. Neurophysiological studies reveal that hypnotic analgesia has clear effects on brain and spinal-cord functioning that differ as a function of the specific hypnotic suggestions made, providing further evidence for the specific effects of hypnosis. The research results have important implications for how clinicians can help their clients experience maximum benefits from hypnosis and treatments that include hypnotic components” [7]

Beyond chronic pain, hypnosis is widely used in the area of natural childbirth. One study showed,

“Prenatal hypnosis preparation resulted in significantly less use of sedatives, analgesia, and regional anesthesia during labor and in higher 1-minute neonatal Apgar scores.” [1]

Hypnosis has been actively shown to reduce the pain associated with fibromyalgia.

“The patients experienced less pain during hypnosis than at rest.” [5]

It’s really important to realize that pain is a multifaceted experience. This next study shows that different suggestions work on different parts of that experience.

“Consistent with the Malone study, we found that different hypnotic suggestions differentially affect the two dimensions of pain. Specifically we found that hypnotic induction plus analgesia suggestion reduced the intensity dimension of pain significantly more than it reduced the unpleasantness dimension. Conversely, hypnotic induction plus relaxation suggestion reduced the unpleasantness dimension of pain significantly more than it reduced the intensity dimension. This demonstration of different pain interventions affecting different dimensions of pain is consistent with a growing body of literature in which pain is studied as a multidimensional experience.” [6]

Beyond pain there are other unpleasant sensations the body can endure. Often times during chemotherapy and cancer treatment, some of the other drugs given can cause severe nausea and vomiting. Hypnosis has been shown to actively reduce that.

“One of the first modern applications of hypnosis with cancer patients…[multiple] studies reported positive results including statistically significant reductions in nausea and vomiting.”  [3]

Hypnosis and Post Surgery Healing

And the use of hypnosis to speed up the recovery time after surgery has been shown time and again. Two studies from Harvard Medical School show hypnosis significantly reduces the time it takes to heal.

The first study showed that six weeks after an ankle fracture, those in the hypnosis group showed the equivalent of eight and a half weeks of healing. That effectively demonstrates that using hypnosis helped that group heal bone fractures 41% faster. [2]

The second study focused on people having breast reduction surgery. The group treated with hypnosis healed “significantly faster” than supportive attention group and control group. [2]

Hypnosis often works on multiple fronts. In this next study patients that went through surgery saw a decrease in pain as well as better outcomes overall.

“Hypnosis has been demonstrated to effectively control pain and emotional distress and to improve recovery…results revealed a significant, large effect size…indicating that surgical patients in hypnosis treatment groups had better outcomes than 89% of patients in control groups.” [3]

Hypnosis reduces pain and speeds up recovery from surgery:

“Since 1992, we have used hypnosis routinely in more than 1400 patients undergoing surgery. We found that hypnosis used with patients as an adjunct to conscious sedation and local anesthesia was associated with improved intraoperative patient comfort, and with reduced anxiety, pain, intraoperative requirements for anxiolytic and analgesic drugs, optimal surgical conditions and a faster recovery of the patient. We reported our clinical experience and our fundamental research.” [4]

Hypnosis and Addiction

One of the area’s hypnosis has been repeatedly tested and shown to have beneficial effects is the area of addictions. Hypnotherapy is routinely used in the top addiction and recovery centers to help people develop motivational strategies and counteract learned helplessness. Although hypnosis is used in all areas of addictions, there are many studies showing the effects of hypnosis when treating tobacco cessation.

“Of 43 consecutive patients undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent from tobacco use at follow-up (6 months to 3 years post-treatment).” [8]

“After the 2-wk. [smoking cessation] program, 92% or 86 of the men and 90% or 84 of the women reported abstinence, and at 3-mo. follow-up, 86% or 80 of the men and 87% or 81 of the women reported continued abstinence.”[9]

“Thirty smokers enrolled in an HMO were referred by their primary physician for treatment. Twenty-one patients returned after an initial consultation and received hypnosis for smoking cessation. At the end of treatment, 81% of those patients reported that they had stopped smoking, and 48% reported abstinence at 12 months post-treatment” [10]

A study was done in 2005 to test the effectiveness of guided imagery VS placebo in quitting smoking. It found that guided imagery was more than twice as effective as placebo to keep those patients smoke free after 2 years. [11]

Many different addiction centers also utilize hypnosis strategies in group settings. This is often times a supplemental strategy to what the patients may already be doing. In methadone clinics, the hardest groups to treat are those that receive methadone but continue to use street drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Hypnosis, when combined with other addiction methodologies, has been shown to be very effective with this population. In this small case study, 10 methadone users in a outpatient rehab facility underwent weekly group hypnosis sessions. These were the results:

“All patients (100%) completely stopped use of any street drugs and results remained stable for 6 months after end of treatment. Two years after end of intervention, 7 out of the 9 (78%) remained clean of use of heroin, but 2 (22%) returned to partial use; 6 (67%) of the patients returned to partial use of benzodiazepines, none (0%) showed permanent use of marijuana or cocaine.” [13]

There is also growing evidence that hypnosis can be combined with more traditional therapies in order to help things that walk the line between addiction and compulsion. This might include sexual addiction, trichotillomania, and even obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). In a pilot research paper, they mention that hypnosis can be combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), one of the traditional approaches to treating OCD. By adding hypnosis to the treatment plan it makes CBT even MORE effective.

“There is growing empirical evidence that hypnotically facilitated cognitive-behavioral therapy is more efficacious in the treatment of a number of psychiatric/psychological disorders [such as obsessive compulsive disorder] than cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) alone.” [14]

Hypnosis and…

Because of the wide range of things that hypnosis can effect, there are many different research studies and clinical trials testing hypnosis and how it treats various disorders. In this next section I will share with you a few of the more interesting pieces of evidence.


“Patients slept significantly longer when on autohypnosis alone than when they received the placebo.” [15]

“Significantly more patients had a normal night’s sleep when on autohypnosis alone than when they received placebo or Mogadon.” [15]

“There was a tendency for autohypnosis to reduce the time taken to go to sleep.”[15]

Weight loss

“Researchers analyzed 18 studies comparing a cognitive behavioral therapy such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self monitoring, or goal setting with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis.
Those who received the hypnosis lost more weight than 90 percent of those not receiving hypnosis and maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended.” [16]

“An analysis of five weight loss studies reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 showed that the “… weight loss reported in the five studies indicates that hypnosis can more than double the effects” of traditional weight loss approaches.” [16]

Teeth Grinding / Bruxism

“An objective baseline of the bruxing was established using a portable electromyogram (EMG) detector attached over the masseter muscle during sleep. Hypnotherapy was then employed…. The bruxers showed a significant decrease in EMG activity; they also experienced less facial pain and their partners reported less bruxing noise immediately following treatment and after 4 to 36 months” [17]

Increase self esteem & lowering anger

“In a research study on self-hypnosis for relapse prevention training with chronic drug/alcohol users. Participants were 261 veterans admitted to Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs (SARRTPs). individuals who used repeated self-hypnosis “at least 3 to 5 times a week,” at 7-week follow-up, reported the highest levels of self-esteem and serenity, and the least anger/impulsivity, in comparison to the minimal-practice and control groups.” [18]


Hypnosis as a Panacea?

It’s been shown that hypnosis can help with so many different problems, from cancer to teeth grinding and everything in between. It almost gives the impression of hypnosis being a panacea, or a cure all. So is this the case?

No. The reason that it can seem this way is because the very strong connection between the mind and the body. The placebo effect is a well accepted example of how the mind can positively affect the body. Just as powerful, but not as well known, is the nocebo effect. That is when a person’s negative beliefs create negative physical effects on the body.

Modern medicine is now realizing how strong that link is, and how much your mind really impacts your health. That is what makes hypnosis so powerful with such a wide variety of ailments. It’s one of the best tools you can use to positively impact the mind and how you think.

So is hypnosis just the placebo/nocebo effect? I think that’s the wrong question to ask. I think the right question is, ‘Just how powerful is your mind’? It’s been shown that the placebo effect can sometimes be so powerful as to completely cure diseases in some cases. Just as powerful, the nocebo has been shown to cause premature death in rare instances.

If that can happen almost by accident, imagine what can be done by utilizing some of these tools on purpose, with your own best benefit in mind?


All citations are in AMA format when applicable. I highly recommend using Google scholar or Pub Med if you are interested in reading the full papers. They are incredibly interesting!

[1] Vandevusse L, Irland J, Healthcare WF, Berner MA, Fuller S, Adams D. Hypnosis for childbirth: a retrospective comparative analysis of outcomes in one obstetrician’s practice. Am J Clin Hypn. 2007;50(2):109-19.

[2] Ginandes C, Brooks P, Sando W, Jones C, Aker J. Can medical hypnosis accelerate post-surgical wound healing? Results of a clinical trial. Am J Clin Hypn. 2003;45(4):333-51.

[3] Montgomery GH, Schnur JB, Kravits K. Hypnosis for cancer care: over 200 years young. CA Cancer J Clin. 2013;63(1):31-44.

[4] Faymonville ME, Defechereux T, Joris J, Adant JP, Hamoir E, Meurisse M. [Hypnosis and its application in surgery]. Rev Med Liege. 1998;53(7):414-8.

[5] Wik G, Fischer H, Bragée B, Finer B, Fredrikson M. Functional anatomy of hypnotic analgesia: a PET study of patients with fibromyalgia. Eur J Pain. 1999;3(1):7-12.

[6] Dahlgren LA, Kurtz RM, Strube MJ, Malone MD. Differential effects of hypnotic suggestion on multiple dimensions of pain. J Pain Symptom Manage. 1995;10(6):464-70.

[7] Jensen MP, Patterson DR. Hypnotic approaches for chronic pain management: clinical implications of recent research findings. Am Psychol. 2014;69(2):167-77.

[8] Barber J. Freedom from smoking: integrating hypnotic methods and rapid smoking to facilitate smoking cessation. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001;49(3):257-66.

[9] Johnson DL, Karkut RT. Performance by gender in a stop-smoking program combining hypnosis and aversion. Psychol Rep. 1994;75(2):851-7.

[10] Elkins GR, Rajab MH. Clinical hypnosis for smoking cessation: preliminary results of a three-session intervention. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2004;52(1):73-81.

[11] Wynd CA. Guided health imagery for smoking cessation and long-term abstinence. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2005;37(3):245-50.

[12] University of Iowa, Journal of Applied Psychology, How One in Five Give Up Smoking. October 1992. (Also New Scientist, October 10, 1992.)

[13] Kaminsky D, Rosca P, Budowski D, Korin Y, Yakhnich L. [Group hypnosis treatment of drug addicts]. Harefuah. 2008;147(8-9):679-83, 751.

[14] Frederick C. Hypnotically facilitated treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: can it be evidence-based?. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2007;55(2):189-206.

[15] Anderson JA, Dalton ER, Basker MA. Insomnia and hypnotherapy. J R Soc Med. 1979;72(10):734-9.

[16] Allison DB, Faith MS. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: a meta-analytic reappraisal. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996;64(3):513-6.

[17] Clarke JH, Reynolds PJ. Suggestive hypnotherapy for nocturnal bruxism: a pilot study. Am J Clin Hypn. 1991;33(4):248-53.

[18] Pekala RJ, Maurer R, Kumar VK, et al. Self-hypnosis relapse prevention training with chronic drug/alcohol users: effects on self-esteem, affect, and relapse. Am J Clin Hypn. 2004;46(4):281-97.


 06/01 blog– Self-hypnosis can program your mind for success

A colleague in Poughkeepsie New York wrote this for his local paper.  We at Beyond Your Best, LLC in central New Hampshire use similar methods to aid clients toward their goals.  Along with the primary goal, we begin instruction in self-hypnosis at the start for use as a lifelong tool for relaxation and change.  – TCB

From the Poughkeepsie Journal————————–

 Self-hypnosis can program your mind for success

Michael Salerno 4:45 p.m. EDT May 27, 2016

Have you ever wished that you could flip a switch within yourself and instantly achieve a state of relaxation, reduce excess stress or eliminate a bad habit? What if you change your focus from negative thoughts into positive beliefs and healthy ideas? Believe it or not, you can with the use of self-hypnosis.

Self-hypnosis is a skill that anyone can learn and with some practice become very proficient at. For only 10 minutes each day, you can train yourself to feel better and program your mind for relaxation, success and health.

Emilé Coué is believed to be the father of self-hypnosis. Coué, a French psychologist and pharmacist from the late 1800s, referred to his technique as “conscious auto suggestion,” because the client was in fact conscious and not asleep, and the client is not under the hypnotist’s control or power, but instead responds primarily because he or she voluntarily accepts suggestions that are given.

Coué’s method for achieving self-hypnosis was quite simple. Hypnotist Norbert Bakas spells the process out in his book “Self Hypnosis: Your Golden Key to Self-Improvement and Self-Healing”: “All that is necessary is to place oneself in a condition of mental passiveness, silence the voice of conscious, silence the voice of conscious analysis, and then deposit into the ever-awake subconscious that idea or suggestion which one desires to be realized.” Every night, after you have been comfortably settled into bed and are on the point of dropping off to sleep, murmur in a low but clear voice, just loud enough to be heard by yourself, his little formula: Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better. Recite this phrase like a litany, 20 times or more.

In the years that followed, Coué’s work was adopted by such people as Robert H. Schuler, W. Clement Stone and Norman Vincent Peale, who achieved notoriety for his book, “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

Next month will mark the 90th anniversary of Coué’s death and the technique he developed more than 100 years ago is still taught today.

With that in mind, here is a simple self-hypnosis exercise you can practice to program yourself to success. It sounds too good to be true, but you can create a feeling of peaceful relaxation and calm around you on demand by practicing this exercise on a regular basis.

  • Sit in a comfortable chair with your back supported.
  • Focus your attention effortlessly on a spot opposite you slightly above eye level.
  • Slowly, take three deep breaths.
  • As you inhale your third breath, hold it for three seconds, and count backwards: 3, 2, 1
  • Close your eyes, exhale, RELAX, and allow yourself to go into a deep, sound, hypnotic rest.
  • Slowly count to yourself from 10 to 1.

After you have finished counting, give yourself some of the positive suggestions below. Use as many as you wish. Mix them up throughout the week or focus on one and repeat it several times to yourself. Or maybe you have a favorite affirmation that you already repeat to yourself each day. You can incorporate that into this routine.

  • Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.”
  • Every day, in every way, I am healthier and healthier.”
  • I am relaxed.”
  • “I am calm.”
  • I am confident and resourceful.”
  • I bring to me the people, places and situations needed to achieve my goals.”
  • I am safe and secure.”
  • I live my life with joy and creativity.”
  • I am patient and tolerant of myself and others.”
  • Change is natural.”
  • As I change, my life improves in every way.”

When you’re through giving yourself the suggestions, slowly count forward from 1 to 5 — you’ll emerge feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to continue on with your day in an energetic way.

Thom m& Lynne Bloomquist are NGH certified hypnostists serving groups and individuals in NH and surronding area.

Call 603-493-1450


— The word “hypnosis often conjures images of a stage performer putting audience members into a sleep-like trance and instructing them to carry out silly tasks meant to entertain.

But there are also a variety of health and wellness benefits associated with another type of hypnosis known as clinical hypnotherapy, according to those who practice it.

During a private session of hypnotherapy, a person does not lose control or fall asleep, but instead, enters a state of deep relaxation, allowing the body and mind to focus and concentrate, according to Jenn Zuccone, a Steamboat Springs clinical hypnotherapist who has been in practice for nearly five years.

From our partners: Is Hypnotherapy a Fantastic Voyage Through the Unconscious Mind?

“This altered state of consciousness lies between being awake and asleep,” said Zuccone, who works out of the Minds in Motion office in downtown Steamboat. “The hypnotic state can be self-induced, such as when you meditate, lose yourself in a good book or get into the ‘flow,’ as an artist (or) musician. One can also be guided into hypnosis through relaxation technique, hyper-concentration, suggestion and expectation.”

Zuccone said seeing hypnotism performances might be detrimental for a person who could potentially benefit from clinical hypnotherapy due to the differences between the two practices.

“Contrary to depictions of hypnosis in Hollywood, people do not lose control of themselves or their behavior,” Zuccone said. “With this misunderstanding and skewed observation, people can become afraid of it and not be open to it as a therapeutic tool to help them in their lives.”

Hypnotherapy treatments can help a person quit particular habits or overcome fears, assisting with weight issues, pain management, smoking cessation, stress management, anxiety and insomnia, among other issues, Zuccone said.

While Zuccone thinks misperceptions about hypnotherapy may exist due to stage hypnosis, the two practices of are not unrelated, according to professionals in both crafts, including Linda Bennett, a hypnotherapy instructor at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Arizona, where hypnotherapists, including Zuccone, earn their certifications.

Bennett, who has been certified in hypnotherapy for nearly 25 years, spent four years as a stage hypnotist in the late 1990s, an experience she said was “a lot of fun.”

Bennett said hypnosis can take place on stage, in a therapeutic, clinical setting and in a person’s regular life.

“Have you ever gotten in your car and driven somewhere and been so lost in your thoughts, you miss your exit or question whether you stopped at the last stop sign? … During these times, you are in an altered state of consciousness, also known as hypnosis,” Bennett said.

Durango-based stage hypnotist Rick Harman also has a background in clinical hypnotherapy and said the two crafts have many similarities.

“A clinician and a stage hypnotist use the same tools and exploit the same brain waves, but a stage hypnotist is obviously putting on a show,” Harman said. “It’s not as magical as it is perceived because of the showmanship involved in both the clinic and on the stage. It is very powerful though.”

Harman said he once also thought stage performances hindered the clinical industry.

“If you take a closer, look the story changes,” he said.

Harman said that, historically, stage shows always preceded a country’s decision to allow clinical hypnotherapy, suggesting stage performances have actually paved the way for the therapeutic practices Zuccone and Bennett now employ.

“You won’t find clinics in a place without there being stage hypnotists first to create awareness,” Harman said.

He also said that, not unlike clinical hypnotherapists, stage hypnotists should abide by a set of best practices; they can also be certified, carry insurance and have varying levels of training.

He suggested someone hiring a stage hypnotist should research the performer and his or her credentials before moving forward.

Having a better understanding of stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy, as well as their different purposes, could help people understand how hypnotherapy might benefit them, Zuccone said.

“As a hypnotherapist, I am passionate about using hypnosis with integrity to help guide people into helping themselves,” she said.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


5/2/16 — Positive change can be achieved through hypnosis

As a certified hypnotist, every day I come in contact with people who want to change in some way. Quite often that means eliminating or changing an unwanted habit or behavior. For the client who wants to eliminate an unwanted habit or behavior, it is not a matter of quitting or giving anything up. Instead it’s a matter of taking back control of that part of their life that feels like it’s been out of control.

Creating an image or a vision of how you want to look and feel can shape your future behavior. In fact, the visualization of goals with words, pictures, images and emotions while in hypnosis can make your achievement rapid and permanent. In last month’s article I outlined three steps that I take my clients through prior to hypnosis to help them program their minds for success. If you missed my piece in the April edition, let’s take a moment to recap what was covered. This month’s article continues with No. 4.

•Buying in — Can you imagine, think, or even visualize yourself having achieved your goal? If you cannot envision a slimmer version of yourself then it will be difficult for you to become slimmer. If you cannot imagine yourself turning down a cigarette then it will be difficult to become a non-smoker. One must decide to build an image of being the best he or she can be.

•What’s your personal motivation? As human beings we are all tuned into WIFM — What’s In It for Me? Why do you have this particular goal and what are the benefits you will enjoy? What is it that you want to gain through losing weight, becoming a non-smoker or overcoming a fear?

•Creating your personal goal image — What kind of person do you want to become? Quite often I will have the client write down in his words how he will feel as a non-smoker or how he will look having lost the desired weight. This is his opportunity to build his goal image in detail — the clothes he’ll wear, how he’ll feel and how he’ll breathe. Now, onto fourth step…

•Programming your goal image — For most people it’s not enough to make a conscious decision to take on a new behavior because the acceptance of any new habit requires subconscious reprogramming. Without any change at a subconscious level, your conscious decision to make the desired change will be undermined by your own subconscious beliefs. This is the essence of hypnosis and here we program the client’s personal goal image into his or her subconscious mind. While the client is hypnotized, I describe his goal image. This is where he experiences being his goal image. “This is you — see yourself in the mirror, here what you see, feel how you walk, hear how you talk.” In fact, I’ve had weight-loss clients imagine that they’re looking at themselves in a full-length mirror, having achieved their ideal size and body weight, dressed in the clothes they wish to wear, and seeing themselves looking and feeling great. The more these positive images are programmed into the subconscious mind, the more the client will begin to feel like a new person and change becomes a reality.

•Resisting temptation — We are all surrounded by situations that tempt us to do the things we know we shouldn’t. One of the keys to making changes that will endure is to remain focused despite the temptations around you. In hypnosis, the client can imagine, or in essence, rehearse those situations he or she is going to face in the future. As an example, the client who is on a healthy eating plan is confronted by a full dessert tray, or the client who associates cigarettes with a cup of coffee is now having his coffee. There’s no struggle or strain to avoid the dessert or the cigarette because it’s no longer for him. It’s easy to say no and then go on to something positive. Placing the hypnotized client and his goal image in a position of temptation and having him triumph is a powerful technique.

•Emphasizing the satisfactions – In hypnosis, the client experiences the feelings of pride, achievement and self-respect that are realized when the temptations are resisted and his goals are realized. This positive experience tends to make the client crave success and quite often leads to other changes in his life as well.

04/25/16 -Mindfulness training can help manage painful cycles of thoughts in veterans with PTSD

Like an endlessly repeating video loop, horrible memories and thoughts can keep playing over and over in the minds of people with post-traumatic stress disorder. They intrude at the quietest moments, and don’t seem to have an off switch.

But a new study in veterans with PTSD shows the promise of mindfulness training for enhancing the ability to manage those thoughts if they come up, and not get “stuck”. Even more surprising, it actually shows the veterans’ brains changed — in ways that may help them find their own off switch for that endless loop.

The findings, published in Depression and Anxiety by a team from the University of Michigan Medical School and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, come from a study of 23 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. All of them got some form of group therapy. After four months of weekly sessions, many reported that their PTSD symptoms eased up.

But only in those who got mindfulness training – a mind-body technique that focuses on in-the-moment attention and awareness – did the researchers see the brain changes that surprised even them.

Shifting brain connections

The changes showed up on functional MRI, or fMRI, brain scans that can visualize brain activity as different areas of the brain “talk” to one another through networks of connections between brain cells.

Before the mindfulness training, when the veterans were resting quietly, their brains had extra activity in regions involved in responding to threats or other outside problems. This is a sign of that endless loop of hypervigilance often seen in PTSD.

But after learning mindfulness, they developed stronger connections between two other brain networks: the one involved in our inner, sometimes meandering, thoughts, and the one involved in shifting and directing attention.

“The brain findings suggest that mindfulness training may have helped the veterans develop more capacity to shift their attention and get themselves out of being “stuck” in painful cycles of thoughts,” says Anthony King, Ph.D., a U-M Department of Psychiatry researcher who led the new study in collaboration with VA psychologists.

“We’re hopeful that this brain signature shows the potential of mindfulness to be helpful for managing PTSD for people who might initially decline therapy involving trauma processing,” he adds. “We hope it may provide emotional regulation skills to help bring them to a place where they feel better able to process their traumas.”

King, who has experience providing individual and group therapy for veterans from many conflicts, worked with a team of brain-imaging experts and PTSD specialists including senior author Israel Liberzon, M.D. They used an fMRI scanner at the VA Ann Arbor that’s dedicated to research.

In all, 14 of the veterans finished the mindfulness sessions and completed follow-up fMRI scans, and 9 finished the comparison sessions and had scans. The small size of the group means the new results are only the start of an exploration of this issue, King says.

A palatable option

Before they launched the study, the researchers weren’t sure that they could find enough veterans to try mindfulness-based training. After all, it has a reputation as an “alternative” approach and has a relationship to traditionally East and South Asian practices like meditation and yoga.

But in fact, more of the initial group of veterans stuck with mindfulness-based therapy sessions – held each week for two hours with a trained mindfulness teacher and psychotherapist – than made it all the way through the comparison psychotherapy group that didn’t get mindfulness training.

“Once we explained the rationale behind mindfulness, which aims to ground and calm a person while also addressing mental phenomena, they were very interested and engaged – more than we expected,” says King. “The approach we took included standard elements of exposure therapy as well as mindfulness, to help lead veterans to be able to process the trauma itself.”

The comparison group received a VA-developed intervention that was designed for “control group” use. It included problem-solving and group support but not mindfulness or exposure therapy.

The mindfulness group saw improvement in PTSD symptoms, in the form of decreased scores on a standard scale of PTSD severity, that was statistically significant and considered clinically meaningful, whereas the control group did not. However, the between-group effects in this small study were not considered statistically significant, and therefore King wants to explore the trend further in larger groups, and in civilians.

He emphasizes that people with PTSD should not see mindfulness alone as a potential solution for their symptoms, and that they should seek out providers trained specifically in PTSD care.

That’s because mindfulness sessions can sometimes actually trigger symptoms such as intrusive thoughts to flare up. So, it is very important for people with PTSD to have help from a trained counselor to use mindfulness as part of their therapy for PTSD.

“Mindfulness can help people cope with and manage their trauma memories, explore their patterns of avoidance when confronting reminders of their trauma, and better understand their reactions to their symptoms,” says King. “It helps them feel more grounded, and to notice that even very painful memories have a beginning, a middle and an end — that they can become manageable and feel safer. It’s hard work, but it can pay off.”

Network shifts

At the start of the study, and in previous U-M/VA work, the fMRI scans of veterans with PTSD showed unusual activity. Even when they were asked to rest quietly and let their minds wander freely, they had high levels of activity in brain networks that govern reactions to salient, or meaningful, external signals such as threats or dangers. Meanwhile, the default mode network, involved in inwardly focused thinking and when the mind is wandering, was not as active in them.

But at the end of the mindfulness course, the default mode area was more active – and showed increased connections to areas of the brain known as the executive network. This area gets involved in what scientists call volitional attentional shifting – purposefully moving your attention to think about or act upon something.

Those with the greatest easing of symptoms had the largest increases in connections.

“We were surprised by the findings, because there is thinking that segregation between the default mode network and the salience network is good,” says King. “But now we are hopeful that this brain signature of increased connection to areas associated with volitional attention shifting at rest may be helpful for managing PTSD, and may help patients have more capacity to help themselves get out of being stuck in painful ruts of trauma memories and rumination.”

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-4/11/16 Blog / News – Golf – Jordan Speith and Hypnosis

It’s tragic to see a really good golfer stumble like Jordan Smith did at the Masters. He has committed and worked so hard before for his sport – but happened?  We could analyze what went wrong for him but for most, a more important question is: “What can I learn from his experience?” Vicarious learning is always the least painful.

He lost his concentration. The experience goes by many names from crumping, folding, failure and more but in short-his concentration dropped below the critically needed level.  He has the ability, he’s learned techniques and strategies, and he has demonstrated professional performance in the past-so what went wrong?

For most successful golfers-good performance has become a subconscious activity-like riding a bike. They don’t have to stop and consciously think about, it’s become muscle memory. Distraction in the form of overstimulation, competition worries, making a bad shot stress,  overconfidence, worrying about minutia or worst of all, – switching your focus from the ball on the ground to the trophy at the club house. What can you learn from this-what’s in it for you? What did famous golfers like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus use to stay focused that you can use? They used hypnosis!

They were able to play to their full potential, focus, stay relaxed, play one hole at a time and worry about their own game and not the competition and clearly were having fun by harnessing the power of their subconscious mind through hypnosis. A hypnotist, certified in hypnosis for golf, can guide you to using the same methods used by some of golf’s greats -without expensive new gadgets, weeks away at golf camp, drastically changing those skills you have worked so hard to acquire.

We can share with you tips they learned through hypnosis, like;

  • Benefits of the pre-shot routine
  • Elements of the pre-shot routine
  • Visualization strategies
  • Full shot routine
  • Eliminating distraction
  • Focus enhancement
  • The 15 second golf swing sure and more


  • We provide individual & group sessions
  • Self-hypnosis training for life-long use
  • Reinforcing materials

You can learn the same proven methods used by world-class golfers, right here at home. To learn more about using what you already have – beyond your current best, call, text or email

Beyond Your Best, LLC

Concord, NH





(Thom’s editorial coments.  In many other countries there is less programming like “See your Doctor -Take a pill” on every show, paper and magazine. Hypnosis is very effective for pain management (I say comfort management instead of pain management – why feed yourself  more negative programming? – Our bodies listen!).

More Turkish surgeons are returning to hypnosis during operations to shorten hospitalization and intensive care periods as well as reduce the amount of medication prescribed.

Professor and surgeon Ahmet Akgül of the Istanbul University’s Faculty of Medicine and his team apply hypnosis during open-heart surgeries and report that patients feel almost no pain during the postoperative period. “They also do not have to stay a week in the hospital, which affects costs,” Akgül told Turkish newspaper Sabah. For his study, Akgül divided patients into two groups, a control group and a study group.

“Before the patients were operated on, the study group underwent a hypnosis section, instructing them they would not feel pain,” Akgül said, adding the results were successful. Akgül said they stayed only one day in the intensive care unit and their hospitalization period lasted only three days. The study results were published in the journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. In previous studies, it was also reported that women who underwent hypnosis before breast cancer surgery needed less anesthesia and had fewer side effects than women who received only counseling instead.

Can Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy End Bad Habits Permanently?
Hypnosis may seem like a party trick used to make someone think they are a chicken, but it could actually be used to help people solve their problems…permanently.

(Newswire.net — March 18, 2016) Vermont, South Australia —  Hypnotherapy is being used as a tool to help people overcome a wide range of issues. Board certified hypnotherapist Hugh Sadlier has been using the technique to help overcome their bad habits by tapping into their own subconscious mind. It is Sadlier’s believe that there are all kinds of bad habits, whether emotional or physical, usually when a habit takes hold, it will influence us, and if it’s not a good habit they want to make a change. The two most common issues that people need to have addressed with hypnotherapy are weight loss and smoking cessation. However, other problems can also be addressed through hypnotherapy. These include: addiction, anxiety, eating disorders, fears, and chronic pain.

According to Ellsworth American, Sadlier puts his clients into a state of relaxation using vocal cues, then into hypnosis—a state he describes as “altered conscious”. In this state, the person is not asleep and is always in control, having the capacity of coming out of the hypnosis at any time. Once the client is under hypnosis, the conscious mind takes a backseat to the subconscious, which is more able to accept “suggestions” to remove the bad habit. Once the bad habit is released, it is replaced by a new way of thinking.

Being able to solve problems through hypnotherapy makes it easier to break bad habits and move on to a happier and healthier life.

“Our highly qualified and professional service is focused on the achievements and success of the individual in their journey to health and well-being. The techniques are safe and non-intrusive, suitable for adults and children,” says Katherine Tassioulas, the creator of the Australasian Institute of Health & Healing, which uses hypnotherapy to treat bad habits. “We support the individual’s experiences in a safe and supported environment to provide opportunities for personal growth and change for permanent result.”

“We support all elements of organizational development. Our programs are leading edge and can be tailored specifically to meet your needs,” explains Tassioulas.

Hypnotherapy is one of the most effective modes of getting rid of a bad habit. Hypnotherapy can ensure that you will not be tempted to fall back onto that bad habit. Tassioulas’ company www.aihh.net, is dedicated to ensuring that you eliminate your bad habit and more. “Our professional therapy center, the Australasian Institute of Health & Healing provides effective mind and body solution therapies to assist in the well-being, vitality and health of individuals. Our Centre provide effective therapies to treat the person’s physical, emotion, mental and/or spiritual dimensions,” states Tassioulas.

With Beyound Your Best, LLC it’s even easier to break bad habits and move on with the rest of your life.


4 Holistic Approaches to Combat Stress

by Jessica Bartram – Huff Post -Life Handbook

Stress is an unavoidable part of life. We all have it, yet we all deal with it differently. We can choose to manage our stress properly, or let it eat away at us until we are curled up in a ball on the living room floor. Check out our list of 4 realistic ways to combat stress when faced with tension.

2. Develop A Daily Mantra. Some days we wake up knowing it’s going to be a hard day. Hello, Mondays! Developing a daily mantra is a great way to remind your mind, “Hey, I got this!” Think of your mantra as your theme for the day. A few favorites include, “Today I focus of the control I have over my thoughts,” and “Today, I choose to be happy.”

3. Anchor Your Positive Feelings. We use anchoring a lot in hypnosis. They serve as a reminder when old, negative feelings start to creep up. You can set your own anchor easily.

  • Take 5 minutes to yourself. Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes and spend some time focusing on your breathing, just enough to relax.
  • Once you feel relaxed, think of a time you were really stress free. Perhaps everyone around you was stressed, but you were calm and peaceful. If you can’t think of a time, just visualize a situation like this.
  • Feel like feelings associated with this situation — as if you are experiencing it for the first time.
  • Take your left hand and squeeze your right wrist. Not too hard, but enough to feel it.
  • Open your eyes.
  • Repeat this process two more times.
  • Once you have set your anchor, when you feel stressed, you will simply squeeze your wrist and it will actually trigger your mind into thinking those previous feelings of peacefulness. The more you use your anchor, the stronger and more effective it becomes.

4. Self-Hypnosis. Self-hypnosis is a wonderful fast and effective way to reduce stress and calm your nerves. It’s similar to meditating. The major difference between self-hypnosis and meditation is meditation is used to clear the mind. Self-hypnosis is used to achieve a goal. In self-hypnosis you focus on achieving an outcome (i.e., reduce stress, build confidence, etc.).

  • Prepare. The great part of self-hypnosis: It doesn’t take long or much prep time. You do need to be prepared but not overly. Set aside 20 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time. To track your time you can set a timer: one for 15 minutes and one for 20 minutes.
  • Get Comfortable. A huge factor in the success of self-hypnosis: Your level of relaxation. If you’re wearing leather pants or haven’t had a meal all day, you won’t be comfortable. Put on some sweats and grab some food. You will need to be comfortable in order to relax.
  • Get Your Trance On. Don’t worry. It’s not as weird as it sounds. “In a trance” is not a new thing. You have experienced it before. Probably several times a day like when you’re reading, driving your car, etc. So how do you get to this state?
  • Sit down, close your eyes and begin to focus on each breath you take.
  • Once you are relaxed, you will need to deepen your trance. To do this, start counting backwards from 10. Imagine you are heading deeper and deeper into a relaxed state as each number passes. Feel each part of your body getting heavier and harder to move (start at your head and work your way down, all the way to the tips of your toes).
  • Positive Thoughts, Sweetheart! Your goal: Confidence. Think about what you want. Similar to the way you would repeat affirmations: focus on your intention. “I radiate confidence. I am secure with who I am. I am enough”. Focus on confidence. IF a negative thought comes into your mind, push it out. Positive, confident thoughts only! Do this until your 15 minute timer goes off.
  • BEEP! Once your timer goes off it’s a safe bet you’ve spent adequate time repeating your intention. It’s time to emerge. Start counting from 3 to 1. Tell yourself when you get to 1, you will fully emerge, feeling fresh, renewed and confident.

Try these techniques next time stress creeps into your day and watch how drastically you can reduce your stress simply by changing your thoughts.


Hope Through Hypnosis

Beth Spicer, 44, had been smoking for almost three decades when she decided she wanted to quit — once and for all.

“I said I was going to quit at 40, and I kept putting it off,” said Spicer of Fenton. “I just didn’t want to keep aging and smoking, plus my dog needed surgery and I knew I had to stop smoking to save money for it. I drove by a sign for an upcoming Mark Patrick Hypnosis Seminar at the Hyatt Regency on Hill Road, and I decided right then I was going to go.”

That one three-hour session in February, right near her birthday, changed her life. “I don’t have the cravings I thought I’d have,” she said. “I feel so much better. I know I can never pick up a cigarette, or I’ll be a pack-a-day smoker again.”

Hypnosis group seminars are just one of the ways people can use hypnosis to change or improve just about anything in their lives. Chronic pain, losing weight, sleep disorders, stress, phobias, fears and anxieties all can be helped through hypnosis.

“I used a group seminar when I quit smoking years ago,” said Terry Peabody, R.N., who opened her own practice, Optimize Hypnosis, in Fenton a year ago, while still working as a critical care nurse. She had seen the benefit of hypnosis when she was a student nurse, and has always been fascinated by its benefits for helping people.

“People are their own worst enemies,” said Peabody. “We’re controlled by our feelings, which are in our subconscious. Your subconscious mind is the best and easiest way to change your lifestyle. With hypnosis, you change your feelings about whatever you’re trying to change in your life. Rather than feeling deprived, you feel proud of your efforts.”

Several of the most popular reasons for seeking help through hypnosis are to quit smoking or lose weight.

Quitting smoking

Group seminars, individual hypnosis sessions and smoking cessation programs are all ways people can use hypnosis to quit smoking. Dr. John Tomlinson of Tomlinson Medical Hypnotherapy in Grand Blanc Township boasts a 90-percent success rate for smoking cessation, compared to 14 percent for Chantix (prescription drug) and 7 percent for nicotine patches. “I get at the deeper causes for people who smoke, which makes the problem go away and stay away,” he said.

During hypnosis to quit smoking, a person is often asked to imagine unpleasant outcomes from smoking. When Spicer was hypnotized with a group, her visual for this step was slimy, raw meat coming out of a cigarette. “I know it sounds gross, but it has worked for me,” she said.

According to Peabody, clients who want to quit smoking or lose weight usually require three sessions of hypnosis, each about a month apart.

Losing weight

If a client desires to lose weight, Peabody doesn’t mention the word “lose” in a hypnotic session. “In the critical thinking part of one’s brain, it doesn’t want to ‘lose’ anything, so we talk about having a healthy shape and body,” said Peabody. “Our subconscious mind is very literal. It depends on what you say and how you say it.”

Tomlinson offers a unique “Virtual Bariatric Surgery” for his weight loss clients. “When they come out of hypnosis, they eat like they just had bariatric surgery,” he said. “I’ve saved a lot of people from actually having the surgery.”

How hypnosis works

Hypnosis works by updating the unconscious mind with new and more helpful information, like reprogramming a computer.

It is nothing like the stereotypes you may have of someone acting silly or zombie-like during a hypnotic session, according to Peabody. Even though you appear to be in a trance, you aren’t unconscious; you are very aware of your surroundings. Despite what many stage performers claim during an entertaining show, you can’t be made to do anything against your will.

“Have you ever driven somewhere and when you arrived at the destination, you can’t remember the drive that got you there?” she said. “Your subconscious mind became more alert and got you there. That’s exactly what happens during hypnosis.”

Hypnosis – Does It Work?


In recent years, hypnosis has become an accepted medical therapy to address a variety of conditions, including childbirth pain and weight loss, which are concerns for many women. This increased popularity is probably due to research that shows hypnosis can produce profound improvements in health–though we know very little about the mechanisms by which these improvements are made. The word hypnosis comes from ancient Greek and means “a mental state like sleep” -but as a therapy, it isn’t so easily defined. Though hypnosis produces changes in the body, it appears as if these physiological changes occur through our own mental processes.

Hypnosis was first used medically in the mid-1800s as an antidote to pain during surgery. Anesthetics had not yet been discovered, and 50% of all surgical patients died from the neurogenic shock of extreme pain. Before hypnosis, surgeons could offer their patients only shots of strong alcohol.

Then, with the aid of hypnosis, the Scottish surgeon James Esdaile performed about 3000 surgeries between 1845 and 1851 in India without any reported patient pain and with a death rate reduced to 5%. At this same time, anesthesia began being used in the U.S., and the comparative ease of administering drugs meant that hypnosis was never again the pain killer of choice for surgeons.

Since Esdaile’s time, however, scientists have continued to study the positive effects of hypnosis for many medical procedures, e.g., postoperative pain, and pain related to childbirth.

In fact a major university, Stanford Medical Center, offers hypnosis training for many medical procedures and conditions.

Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in hypnosis as an aid in childbirth. A number of carefully designed clinical studies have shown that this method of reducing childbirth pain may have beneficial effects for both the mother and newborn child, including improving the infant’s condition and reducing not just labor pain but also the duration of labor, complications related to birth and postpartum depression.

A physician who conducted a study on self-hypnosis during childbirth reported that, in addition to shortening labor, the practice helped these women to be composed and self-confident during childbirth and to see it in retrospect as a gratifying experience.
Another study gathered a firsthand account from a woman who went through childbirth under hypnosis. The woman, identified as KG, tried hypnosis in giving birth to her second child after having had an extremely childbirth in the first pregnancy. She said she met with her doctor, who was trained in hypnosis, for several sessions and then listened to recordings of these sessions every day for the next two months.

When my labor started, I used hypnosis at home until my doctor said to come to the hospital. I was 7 cm dilated when I arrived and felt great. I remember my daughter’s delivery as calm and quiet. My husband and I listened to music and talked. When a contraction started, I put myself in a trance, and when it ended, I came out of the trance. I was fully aware, completely pain-free, and in control of my mind and body. I even had much less tension between contractions, because I didn’t fear the next one. My delivery was calm, and my recovery was easy as well. I am a huge advocate for hypnosis in all forms…. I tell my friends they should at least try it.
The woman’s doctor also commented on the childbirth experience, saying, “Having attended both of KG’s deliveries, I noticed a marked contrast between the two, and the second was inspiring.”

As striking as these case studies are, there remains a question about how hypnosis actually works. One of the scientific enigmas that remains for hypnosis is that its mechanism for pain reduction isn’t clear. Unlike chemical anesthetics, which universally act on a specific part of the brain, hypnosis has differing physiological effects on various individuals. One study found that in the same procedure, hypnosis caused pain-reducing physiological changes for some subjects in the anterior cingulate cortex (the brain’s decision-making center) and for others in the somatosensory cortex (perception of touch)

This suggests that with hypnosis, the individual’s own mind has the ability to choose where in the brain the experience of pain will be blocked–either a decision making center or a sensory center.

As a neuroscientist, I consider the effects of hypnosis to be amazing. How is a mental image translated into a physiological reaction that is physically transforming? As one scientist stated, the existence of such a phenomenon “poses a serious challenge to much of the ideology of biomedicine . . . [that] disease is a mechanical phenomenon.” It suggests, rather, that our thoughts have the power to alter our physiology in many ways, including not only the function of the pain pathways in our brain, but also the manifestation of a genetically inherited disease. Our thoughts support healing in very powerful ways.

Naturally, after reading these studies, I was interested in trying hypnosis. Looking online, I found a local hypnotherapist and asked her to help me with weight control, another application of hypnosis. Throughout my adult life, I’ve struggled with what I consider to be an “extra” ten pounds. During our session, the therapist led me verbally into a mental exercise that ended with my stepping into a new image of myself. I felt fully present and relaxed–so relaxed that when the she said I could begin to become aware of the chair underneath me, I didn’t want to. This was when I realized that I had gone deep in this session.

I was able to lose the ten pounds in ten weeks, but more importantly, I was aware of a shift in my attention, away from cravings for my favorite foods and toward other, more playful ways of enjoying myself: I began to make more space for myself to be at ease. It is this, I find, that is making a difference in the way I eat. Of course, what I have experienced–a healthier lifestyle–isn’t the same as surviving an operation or childbirth without anesthesia or with reduced pain. I propose, however, that these outcomes have the same source. Each involves an internalization of a new way of being through the power of the mind. This can positively change our health and our reality.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————“When you start thinking negatively, you have no chance of ever doing something positive,” Rosenberg said.

2. Stay in the moment: This is one he tells athletes he’s worked with in the past

3. Give back: Volunteer

4. Get back to nature: It can help calm the mind

5. Limit social media

“Try to your best to put down your phone,” Rosenberg said.

He says in some cases, people can feel ‘social media envy,’ seeing other people’s posts can make you feel negative about your life. In that case, he says keep things in perspective.

“It’s just a millisecond of their lives, very often they’re doing the same thing you are doing,” Rosenberg said.

For Kevin, he says the changes he’s made have made him happier.

He delegates more work, plays in a band for charity events, and spends quality time with his grandson.

Other tips include getting enough sleep, exercise, spending time with people you like to spend time with like family or friends, and getting rid of clutter.

Dr. Rosenberg says when your house is cluttered, your mind is also cluttered. And one of the keys to happiness is having a clear mind.


Previous blog

This report comes from Burlington. It illustrates services provided by your Concord based professional hypnotists at Beyond Your Best, LLC.

Burlington Woman Loses 55 Pounds With Hypnosis Friday, January 22, 2016 8:52:56 EST PM Sponsored Bookmark and Share Change text size for the story Print Report an error Helene Berthiaume was pretty well at the end of her rope. Struggling with high blood pressure, she was told by her doctor that she needed to lose weight. She tried everything – a variety of diets, exercise, you name it – but nothing worked for her. Then she paid a visit to Burlington Hypnosis. “I felt trapped and very stressed out about what was happening to my health,” she says. “As soon as I tried hypnosis, I began losing weight. And I know I will keep it off. It is my lifestyle now.” Prior to using the services at Burlington Hypnosis, Helene says she was extremely self-conscious and embarrassed about her weight. “I saw an ad and called Burlington Hypnosis to make an appointment for a free screening,” says Helene, who has dropped 55 pounds with hypnosis. “I had the chance to see other people similar to me who had succeeded with the program. It was fun and I learned a lot. I found out that all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis. I saw that weight loss was possible, and felt confident that it would work for me.” “It felt like the right place for me from the minute I got there.” Celebrating 10 years of hypnotizing local folks, Burlington Hypnosis is where people enjoy the adventure of discovering real weight loss, escaping smoking or managing stress, says Director Robbie Spier Miller. “In many ways, it’s like visiting a spa,” she says. “I want folks to enjoy the adventure. Discovery of real weight loss or escaping cigarettes can be exciting. And this is the place to do it.” Robbie says that relief awaits those who want to use hypnosis to lose weight, quit smoking or reduce stress. And she points out that a sincere desire to change and being honest with one’s self is half the battle. Burlington Hypnosis has built its success by providing the best service available, at the lowest possible cost, with the least amount of hassle. Professional facilities, a free consultation, and a written service guarantee help people feel confident and comfortable about their decision to come to the centre for help. Not only that, but many budding hypnotists prepare for their careers at Burlington Hypnosis. They enjoy a world-class, hands-on learning experience. The training programs offer virtually the highest standards for hypnosis expertise and business skills. Students have the opportunity to build their dream careers; the satisfaction of having successful businesses doing what they love and loving what they do. Burlington Hypnosis helps people improve their lives in powerful ways. People like Helene Berthiaume, for example. “I got relief right from the start,” she recalls. “Things improved right away. The binging ended. I stopped worrying and obsessing about food and started choosing the activities that could really help me.” “I felt like I was finally in control. Going to the gym became exciting and I learned to actually enjoy eating healthy. I felt more confident. I found it easy to consistently make the right choices because I developed the right attitude and motivation.” Helene noticed changes immediately. She started to feel in control. Her body started feeling better and she stopped focusing so much on her worries and more on what she could do. She never felt so good. “Now, I have drive and I feel in control,” she says. “I like myself and I love the way I look. I have a positive attitude, confidence and lots of energy. Hypnosis helped me have a healthy lifestyle and I love it!” When people ask her how she lost weight, Helene tells them about hypnosis. They are often skeptical, but the results speak for themselves. “There are many misconceptions about hypnosis that are so far from the truth,” she says. “I tell people that it’s completely safe and you are always alert and in control. Hypnotists can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do, but they help you want to do the right things. The entire process is relaxing, enjoyable, and empowering.” The upshot? No more ‘fat’ clothesfor Helene and her self-esteem has skyrocketed. “Thank God I found hypnosis,” she adds. “I finally got results! No more worries about what the excess weight is doing to my health. My new confidence benefits all aspects of my life and I am enjoying every minute of it. I can’t say enough good things about this program. I went from a size 18 to a size 9.” “I had a terrible time with binging on sweets and junk, but after the hypnosis I find I can be around junk food and it’s not talking to me anymore. Even at parties or when I am eating out, I feel in control. I now have the belief that no food could ever taste as good as being thin feels!” Helene can’t put a price tag on that. “How important is good health, getting fit, getting thin, and feeling this way? It means everything and it’s well worth what you get for the long term.” “Why suffer when you can get the help you need? I’d say call the Burlington Hypnosis now for your free screening. And tell them Helene sent you.” Beyond Your Best, LLC  Phone 603-493-1450 Free consultation Beyond Your Best, LLC helps people lose weight, stop smoking, and make other positive changes in their lives with hypnosis and personality specific stress reduction.


Hypnosis can help train the subconscious mind Michael Salerno 1:36 p.m. EST January 15, 2016 When I meet with clients in my practice they will often ask, “Why do I feel stuck?” or “Why do I do things I know I shouldn’t be doing?” The answer to these two questions is the same. The subconscious mind is running a mental program that we may not be consciously aware of. If so much of what you do and experience is driven by how your subconscious mind is programmed and conditioned over time, then doesn’t it make sense to discover how to positively condition and program this powerful part of you? This is how hypnosis comes into play. For most people it’s not enough to make a conscious decision to take on a new behavior because the acceptance of any new habit requires subconscious reprogramming. Without any change at a subconscious level, your conscious decision to make the desired change will be undermined by your own subconscious belief that you need a cigarette every time you feel stressed, or that you need to eat something because you’re bored or stressed. The conscious mind is just a small portion of the human mind. It works very well at organizing our daily lives, reasoning and controlling our deliberate actions. Yet for all of its wonderful attributes the conscious mind can also get in the way of changing behavior patterns because it’s logical, analytical and rational. The process of hypnosis neutralizes the conscious mind, so the analytical, conscious thoughts, every day “noise” and observations we possess are quieted. Hypnosis silences the logical and analytical side of us and eliminates the “noise” or the distractions that often get in our way and destroy our efforts to be or act in the manner that we wish. Do you know someone who will come up with all kinds of reasons why it’s all right for them to have a cigarette? Have you ever seen someone use stress as a reason to overindulge on food? The rational side of us comes up with reasons and excuses why it’s all right for us to engage in behaviors that are not in our best interest. The conscious mind is also where our willpower is stored. Unfortunately, willpower runs on adrenaline and adrenaline is temporary. How many people got a burst of adrenaline when the calendar turned to 2016? Perhaps you were one of them. With a new year often comes New Year’s resolutions. While people often have the best of intentions when establishing a New Year’s resolution, quite often our resolutions are associated with negative feelings, disappointments and past failures. When you couple this with the fact that we’re running on adrenaline, for many people it’s simply a matter of days before they slip back into their old patterns and habits. Meanwhile the subconscious mind operates much differently than our conscious mind. The subconscious mind is a computer that has a memory of everything that has transpired in our life. The subconscious mind also works for you as a very obedient servant. In fact, it can be said the subconscious mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. It doesn’t analyze or rationalize, but it will accept any information and all hypnotic suggestions that are in accord with your goals and desires. The subconscious mind is also the home to our habits, both good and bad. All of the positive habits we have established throughout our life live in the subconscious mind. At the same time, the habits we would like to rid ourselves of reside there as well. Along with those negative habits there are thoughts, feelings and emotions that spark the behaviors we want to change. By communicating suggestions to the subconscious mind that are believable, achievable and in agreement with the individual’s desires and goals, hypnosis can help eliminate the feeling of being stuck. Hypnosis can help you do the things you know you should be doing. Hypnosis will help you change your life. Michael Salerno is a Certified Hypnotist through the National Guild of Hypnotists.

Why It’s Hard To Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions
Most people are full of good intentions when it’s a new year. People often want to lose weight, quit smoking, or earn more money. However when it comes to action, all too often this enthusiasm fizzles out. Why is it so difficult to make a change in your life, even when you really want this change?
You haven’t told your subconscious mind
We basically have 2 sides to our mind that we use to make decisions. It is the conscious and the subconscious. Before I move on, I’ll give you a brief explanation of them both.
Conscious mind – Is the part responsible for your logical reasoning. It is also the voice in your head when you speak to yourself. The conscious mind is the part of your mind that you use for doing maths and solving logical problems.
Subconscious mind – Is the part responsible for your automatic flowing thoughts. It’s what lets you catch a ball without thinking, or breathe with no conscious thought. The subconscious mind also controls your automatic fears, habits and urges. Your subconscious mind might for example trigger an automatic fear response when you see a spider, even though your conscious mind knows its not dangerous.
Caught in two minds
The problem when someone wants to make a change is that often only their conscious mind knows this. This catches them literally in two minds. The conscious mind wants to quit smoking, eat less or exercise more, but the subconscious mind wants to continue. The subconscious mind likes pleasure, and often doesn’t understand why you’d want to deny yourself.
When caught in two minds, there’s only going to be one winner. Your subconscious mind keeps sending automatic urges, over and over again, gnawing inside your mind. Irresistible cravings can take over almost every thought in your head. Eventually most people crack and succumb to these urges.
A big part of a hypnotherapist’s work is telling someone’s subconscious mind what they consciously want. A patient may wish to quit smoking (on a conscious level). I will tell their subconscious mind of their conscious desire to quit smoking. I will also explain why this is a positive thing.
I do this by guiding them into a hypnotic trance, which is a daydream state of mind (not how it’s portrayed in the media). This tunes down the conscious mind, allowing me to more easily talk to their conscious mind.
The subconscious mind needs to be made aware that you want to quit smoking, and that smoking is a bad thing. Once your conscious and subconscious minds are in harmony, it makes achieve your goals far easier.
How to help yourself
A great way to tell your subconscious mind what you want is by visualization. You must visualize the positive end of what you want. For instance if you want to lose weight, don’t visualize yourself starving and doing gruelling exercises. This won’t entice your subconscious mind to cooperate. Instead visualize yourself at your ideal weight, as clearly as you can, feeling all the nice benefits of this. Looking great, attracting others etc. It is not essential, but if you can learn self-hypnosis, then this helps make the visualization brighter and bolder. Then the message is more likely to be understood by your subconscious mind.
To enhance this further, it is a great idea to leave reminders of your goals. You may have a goal that you want to make more money to buy a luxury house. First visualize this house of your dreams as if you already own it. It’s a good idea to do this once a day for the first week, then about once a week after that. (This is just a general rule of thumb. You may want to do more.)
Once you have visualized this, get pictures of what you want your house to look like and leave them in prominent places. If you work at your computer, then it is great place to leave a picture. This will help inspire you when you work.
Final thoughts
In order to stick to your new years resolutions, you must have both your conscious and subconscious minds working towards the same goal. Any conflict between the two is likely to see your subconscious win in the end, and you go back to your old behaviours.
Find a way to get your subconscious mind to want the same thing as your conscious mind, and it is far easier to make any lasting change.
If you need help with ANY new years resolution, then it is likely Beyond Your Best, LLC has a hypnosis program and/or play-at-home recording for you.
based on article by John Rhodes
ABC Health & Wellbeing
By Bianca Nogrady
Updated Wed at 9:14pm
Photo: There’s more to hypnosis – or more specifically, medical hypnotherapy – than mere showmanship. (Getty Images)
Map: Australia
Hypnosis may well conjure images of black-clad, eyeliner-embossed performers convincing seemingly innocent people to perform cringe-worthy acts.
But there’s more to hypnosis — or more specifically, medical hypnotherapy — than mere showmanship.
Clinical hypnotherapy is a combination of hypnosis and a psychological treatment. It involves getting you into a relaxed state where the therapist can communicate with the subconscious part of your mind and make suggestions relevant to your symptoms, says clinical hypnotherapist Simone Peters.
“For example, if somebody has diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, you might get them to imagine that their gastrointestinal tract is being represented by the flow of a river, and that they need to slow the flow of the river down in order to control the bowel movements,” said Ms Peters, PhD candidate at Monash University and therapist at Melbourne’s Shepherd Works clinic, which focuses on the treatment of people with gastro-intestinal conditions.
“Or with bloating, it’s this idea of blowing up a balloon and letting the pressure from the balloon go, or getting them to put their hands on their abdomen and imagine that soothing the gut.”
Online, there is no shortage of people who say it has helped them quit smoking or lose weight, or helped them manage medical conditions such as depression.
So is there any evidence to support these anecdotes and which conditions, if any, is hypnotherapy most effective in treating?
Irritable bowel syndrome
Perhaps the clearest evidence for a benefit from hypnotherapy is for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that affects as many as one in five Australians.
People with IBS experience some pretty unpleasant digestive symptoms — abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation — that can have a significant impact on their quality of life.
Sometimes these symptoms go away by themselves, without treatment, but for some people, the symptoms are severe and no treatment — including the gold standard approach of the FODMAP diet — brings relief.
Understanding IBS
Most of us can live with the occasional abdominal indiscretion. But for those with IBS it’s much more than just a bad bowel day.
Several studies, including one from Australia, now point to hypnotherapy as a way to bring significant and lasting relief from symptoms, especially for those people who haven’t responded to other treatments.
Another Dutch study in children with abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome showed that 68 per cent of those treated with six sessions of medical hypnotherapy over three months were still in remission after at least four years, compared to 20 per cent of the group treated with standard medical treatment.
Ms Peters said a study at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne had shown similar results.
“They don’t just walk out of the first session and find that they’re completely symptom free; it usually takes a number of sessions, but after about four to six sessions they start to show improvement.”
Adolescent health specialist Professor Susan Sawyer says we do not quite understand how hypnotherapy works in irritable bowel syndrome, but the evidence shows it works better than any other form of conventional therapy for severe, intractable symptoms.
“If we think firstly about what is hypnotherapy, how does it work, it is defined as the ability to focus narrowly, intensify ones’ concentration and perception, while, if you like, you’re reciprocally diminishing awareness of all other stimuli,” Professor Sawyer said.
“During that focused state, therapeutic suggestions can be more readily accepted and incorporated into the subconscious mind with the individual being able to then modulate some of their physiological processes.”
Professor Sawyer said the process could be changing how people’s minds respond to and process pain, or could even be influencing gut function. It could also help by reducing stress.
If people are considering this hypnotherapy for IBS, they should ask their doctor for a referral to a clinical hypnotherapist with experience in treating IBS, and who is registered with organisations such as the Australian Society of Hypnotherapists.
Other studies have found that medical hypnotherapy can help relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment, particularly in children.
There is also growing evidence that hypnotherapy can help you manage pain both chronic and acute.
Studies suggest that it may be more effective than other psychological treatments, such as supportive counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy alone, physical therapy or educational programs for cancer pain, low-back pain, arthritis pain and other chronic pain conditions.
There is some suggestion that hypnosis can reduce pain and distress when used in conjunction with sedation (hypnosedation), or before a general anaesthetic is given.
At this stage there are relatively few studies on this.
Quitting smoking
Many people quitting smoking turn to hypnotherapy to help them beat their addiction. But unfortunately, here the evidence isn’t quite as strong.
A 2010 Cochrane review of studies of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation failed to show that hypnotherapy was any better than any other quit smoking interventions, or even no treatments at all.
So it’s difficult to make a blanket statement for or against hypnotherapy as a quit smoking aid because the programs are all so different, says QUIT Victoria director Dr Sarah White.
“All programs are not created equal, and it could be some of those programs contain elements of motivational interviewing or coaching, so it could be that which has an effect,” says White.
Some people also struggle to break the routines associated with smoking, White says.
“For some people, hypnotherapy might help them change that routine because it’s making them more aware that they get up and have a cigarette, but there’s no solid evidence of this.”
Weight loss
The few studies that have looked at the use of hypnosis for weight loss show that it only achieves a slight weight loss.
The advice from US-based Mayo Clinic is that hypnosis alone is unlikely to achieve significant weight loss.
Another area where hypnotherapy may show benefit is in helping women during childbirth.
A 2012 Cochrane review of seven studies of hypnotherapy in childbirth concluded that while the results across these studies were mixed, there was suggestion of benefits.
For example, some studies showed women who underwent hypnosis had a lower intensity of pain, shorter labour and shorter hospital stays compared to women who did not undergo hypnosis.
But on the question of whether hypnosis led to less pain medication being used, or a greater likelihood of a vaginal birth, the studies were too mixed to deliver a clear answer.
What about psychological problems? After all, if hypnotherapy is a psychological process, shouldn’t it be effective for the treatment of conditions such as depression?
According to Beyond Blue, there is not a whole lot of good clinical trial evidence examining the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for depression.
One study that combined hypnotherapy with another well-known therapeutic approach called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) suggested that the combination might be more effective than CBT by itself, but the size of the effect was not huge

There’s nothing worse than spending the entirety of Christmas wearing your ‘This wasn’t what I wanted’ face. Especially not when you’re old enough to know better than throwing a tantrum because your gran bought you a pen pot for the fourth year running.

 Imagine if there was some way you could hypnotise her to get you that scarf you’ve been eyeing up. Or a house.

Hypnotherapy might ordinarily be used for things like helping you quit smoking or lose weight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hypnotise the shit out of your gran in the run-up to Christmas. Sure, if you don’t tell her what you’re doing beforehand, it runs into all sorts of moral grey areas, but what would you rather be: an immoral person with that thing you wanted, or a moral person with four pen pots?

I spoke to clinical hypnotherapist Ilona Latta to see how I could try and get the Christmas presents I truly deserve this year, so I don’t have to spend the whole day face-acting. Which is hard after you’ve eaten four dinners and a bottle of some weird blue stuff you found in your mum’s drinks cabinet. That could possibly be Cif.

Turns out that, while you obviously can’t force people to buy you a MacBook, there are definitely some techniques that can at least embed the idea into the hearts of your loved ones. Because that’s what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? Forcing people to buy you nice things.

Attack from all angles

‘In a hypnotherapy session, you pick one thing your client wants to deal with, and you come at it from lots of different directions,’ explains Ilona. ‘For getting the right Christmas present, you should mention it in lots of ways, rather than whining about wanting something, or having a screaming match. Drop the word into conversations, work the name of the thing you want into sentences.’

For example, if you want an iPhone, then every time you mention someone’s phone in an anecdote, call it an iPhone. Tell your parents you’re going to call them when you’re coming home from your mate’s iPhone. Call the landline an iPhone, why not? When you ask for it – or, if you already have – it’s going to be imprinted on their subconscious.

Use hypnotic language

Less pocket watches and telling someone they’re feeling sleepy, another hypnotic trigger (ie, a technique to trigger a hypnotic response) is to get alliterative.

‘Your subconscious responds to sentences that are more like flowing prose, and less like you’re having a meeting,’ says Ilona. ‘For reasons that haven’t been proven scientifically, your subconscious love alliteration and describing things in groups of three – so the candle glows, flickers and shimmers.’

Or the new Mango coat you’re dying to get your hands on is warm, cosy and good value. If you get alliteration in there, then bonus points: the new Mango coat is warm, wosy and wood walue. Look, I’m not a poet.

Pounce when they’re already hypnotised

Yes, you could actually hypnotise them (see below), but a lot of grans won’t like you lying them down and telling them to visualise a third eye in their forehead. They’ve got things to do, misguided presents to buy. Ilona suggests you make the most of the times in the day when your victim, sorry, subject, is already partially hypnotised. Because, yep, you do spend a fair bit of your day in a light hypnotic state.

‘We go in and out of hypnosis as we’re going to sleep and waking up, if you’re commuting a well-known route, if you’re a musician and you’re playing your instrument, doing a sport you get absorbed in, or even reading a really good book,’ she tells me.

‘You want to use those everyday moments of hypnosis and use hypnosis triggers. If you’re trying to talk about a Christmas present, talk to them when they’re receptive. When they’ve just woken up, come back from sport, or just been listening to music, so their subconscious is quite receptive.’

Describe what you want using all the senses

Yet another hypnotic trigger is getting the person to really experience that present you’ve asked for. Don’t just say you want a pair of shoes, and start working the word ‘shoe’ into every conversation you have with them. Really evoke some visualisations of what those shoes are going to be doing when you’ve got them.

‘Projecting it into the future awakens the subconscious, as it responds well to different senses and evocations,’ says Ilona. ‘So if you want some perfume, and you’re going out one night, try saying something like, “I love this dress, just imagine when we go to [insert friend’s] party and we’re in the bar and you can smell [insert name of perfume] on me…”

‘The whole premise of hypnosis hinges on bypassing the critical factor, which is when your conscious mind engages rationally with what it wants to accept and what it doesn’t want to accept. If you get the senses and emotions involved, that just moves your state passed the critical factor and into the subconscious.’

Actually hypnotise them

Alternatively, you could get them to lie down in a room and genuinely hypnotise them into getting what you want. First, you start with visualisations that will help open the subconscious mind – there are loads of them, but Ilona has one she uses a lot that involves a candle.

‘The candle is flickering, and you allow people to project onto that candle the colours that make them feel more comfortable. The idea behind this is to get the mind to start engaging and playing with those visual ideas. If you can engage the conscious mind, that allows the subconscious mind to be accessed,’ she explains.

Speaking using hypnotic language (see above) is important, as the subconscious engages more readily with that than practical descriptions, and look out for physical signs that the person is fully relaxed into the first stage of hypnosis.

‘You can see the eyes start to move, like they’re trying to blink. They can also start swallowing more frequently, as when you relax your mouth feels like it’s getting drier,’ she adds. ‘If their fingers twitch, they’re definitely in the right state.’

Next, you can either take them deeper, by asking them to remember something from their past (a popular one Ilona uses is to get people thinking about the first time they learned to read) or begin making the suggestions.

‘There’s no exact science or theory behind this, but it’s widely accepted that dropping in slightly odd words works to keep the subconscious engaged when you’re making the suggestions,’ she says. ‘The subconscious likes playing with context – you can describe flowers that go beyond expected descriptions. They’re a sharp crackly orange, for example.’

Use the hypnotic triggers to make the suggestions, speaking in flowing prose while you tell them to buy you Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. Difficult to make that alliterate, sure, but it’s worth a shot.

If you’ve tried all the above, and still you end up with a pen pot, then you know you’re either not cut out for hypnotherapy, or your family are doing this out of spite. In which case, suck it up and start buying them pen pots. See how they like it.


3 Benefits Of Hypnosis For Smoking Cessation

Sunday 13th, December 2015 / 20:13 Written by +

Even though people are aware of the deadly consequences smoking can cause, still they find it hard to quit this bad habit. If you have tried everything from nicotine patches to prescribed medicines, then it’s time to put your trust in hypnosis for smoking cessation. The hypnotherapy has been used for treating various health issues and mental problems for centuries. However, this powerful approach became a number one choice for smokers in the last few years. Hypnosis for smoking cessation today is very popular technique. It takes a lot of character and good will to stop smoking, because smokers are not big fan of the word quitting.

What makes the hypnotherapy so effective, is the fact that the hypnotherapists work on the reasons why you started smoking at first. Unlike other treatments, this one deals with your thoughts at subconscious level. Hypnotherapists put patients into state of deep relaxation, so they can influence them with positive suggestions and eliminate the problem successfully. Even though patients are in trance, they are fully aware of everything that happens around them. If you are still skeptic about it, learn more about the benefits you get from hypnosis for smoking cessation.

A Completely Different Approach – What makes hypnosis for smoking cessation different from other methods, is actually the different approach this treatment use. All other smoking cessation methods (nicotine replacement therapy, anti smoking pills) approach the problem physically. Where as the hypnosis for smoking cessation treats the problem on a psychological basis. This effective technique addresses the psychological and emotional aspects of this annoying and deadly habit.

Drug-Free Therapy – All other methods use medications and other devices to help patients quit smoking. That’s not the case with hypnosis for smoking cessation. On the contrary, this treatment is a natural and don’t require medications or other drugs. There is no need to use harsh medications when you can solve the problem on your own. The problem lies in your head. Hypnotherapists go to the roots of the smoking problem, and reprogram your mind. By using positive suggestions, they convince you to stop smoking.

Immediate Results – Compared to other smoking cessation treatments, this one gives immediate and permanent results. You may use nicotine patches for months and still find it difficult to quit smoking. That’s because you stop smoking temporarily. Hypnosis for smoking cessation includes a set of sessions that last for 6 weeks. During the sessions, a hypnotherapist will free you from this smoking habit by suggesting how bad cigarettes are, how bad they smell and etc. You’ll be amazed how effective this method can be.



Here are BYB’s Christmas/Holiday gift packages

Relaxation Package $ 125.00
The gift of relaxation for you or a loved one! This hypnosis session soothes away stress and tension.
45 minute consult, 45 minute relaxation session plus one 15 minute relaxation CD/MP3 recording.

Deep Sleep Package $ 225.00
Deep, restful slumber is essential for good health. This package provides techniques that can have you – or your loved one – sleeping like a baby!
45 minute consult plus two 45 minute hypnosis sessions including self-hypnosis training and one reinforcing CD/MP3 recording.

Student Package $ 350.00
Do you have a student in your life that would benefit from increased focus and concentration, better testing skills and improved grades? This gift gives the opportunity to build a lifetime of success!
45 minute consult plus three 45 minute hypnosis sessions including self-hypnosis training and two reinforcing CD/MP3 recordings.

New Year Resolution Package $ 475.00
2016 is the year for you to have successful resolutions! Loose those holiday pounds, quit smoking, stick to your fitness routine, build self-confidence, eat healthier, get organized, stop procrastinating … bring us your resolutions and we will give you the tools you need to make the changes you resolve to make!
45 minute consult plus four 45 minute hypnosis sessions including self-hypnosis training and three reinforcing CD/MP3 recordings.

Golf Package $ 600.00
Winter is the best time to work on your golf game! This is the perfect gift for the favorite golfer in your life to increase their enjoyment on the course, IMPROVE THEIR SCORE and gain the full health benefit of their time between tee-offs. A side effect could be improved focus and concentration in other areas of their life and work.
45 minute consult plus Five 45 minute hypnosis sessions including self-hypnosis training and three reinforcing CD/MP3 recordings.


The Last Bedtime Story You’ll Ever Need
By Lisa Wong Macabasco

Photo by IPGGutenbergUKLtd/Thinkstock, with additional illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker
Forget counting sheep and/or sleepy herbal teas. The newest weapon in the age-old battle between parents and kids over bedtime is a self-published picture book titled The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep, a text that guarantees it will knock out children using linguistic trickery to induce a quasi-hypnotic sleep state.
Promising “a new way of getting children to sleep,” the book claims to be “an innovative and groundbreaking type of bedtime story that uses sophisticated psychological techniques,” including repetition, emphasis on yawning, subliminal suggestions, and frequent use of the child’s name to nudge young ones toward slumber. “Every word has been carefully chosen to create the magic, as parents sometimes call it,” says Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, the book’s author.
Written in consultation with psychologists and therapists and imbued with these clinically proven methods, the book asserts that kids will not only fall asleep faster but also sleep more calmly. It’s a bedtime story for the FiveThirtyEight set. It’s Goodnight Moon on steroids.
Self-published in 2011 by Ehrlin, a Swede who has written on leadership and personal development, the 24-page book was translated into English in 2014. Fueled by breathless reviews that claim the book produces miraculous results, it rocketed this summer to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list in both the U.S. and the U.K., becoming the first self-published book to go to No. 1. Within just a few months, it has been published in over 40 languages.
Ehrlin attributes the success in large part to word of mouth: “Helping your child to go to sleep can sometimes be a real challenge—parents have told me that it took up to five hours each day before they tried The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Sleep,” he said. “When you find a solution to your big problem, then you are really happy to tell all your friends that have similar challenges.”
The story itself is unremarkable—Roger the Rabbit goes on a journey to fall asleep, meeting friends like Uncle Yawn, Sleepy Snail, and Heavy-Eyed Owl along the way—and almost every news article mentions how tedious it is. The illustrations are equally trivial and seem to have been done by a somewhat talented grade-schooler. The intro even advises adults reading it aloud that they can skip the illustrations completely and just read the text. As Kirkus Reviews wrote in their coverage, “That this title … became an international bestseller says a lot more about the desperation of parents of sleepless children than it does about the quality of the book.”
Still, it has all the key elements most conducive to sleep. Umakanth Khatwa, director of Sleep Laboratories at Boston Children’s Hospital, points to three reasons for the books success: First, it’s a simple story that toddlers and preschoolers can relate to. Second, children identify with the sleepy characters, which pushes them towards sleepiness. But, most important, any magic powers the book possesses are derived from the way it’s read. “It’s the power of hypnotic language,” Khatwa says.
Detailed instructions direct adults to stress bolded words, read italicized sentences slowly and calmly, yawn at particular times, and read through to the end even if the child falls asleep before that to ensure the child is fully asleep. Example (using Lisa for the child’s name):
Relax your feet, Lisa. Roger and you do as Heavy-Eyed Owl tells you and now you relax your feet. Relax your legs, Lisa. Roger and you do so now. Relax your entire upper body Frankie. Roger and you do so, now. Relax your arms Lisa. Allow them to be heavy as stones. The Rabbit and you do so, now.
You are relaxing your head and allowing your eyelids to be heavier Lisa, just letting them relax. Roger and you are relaxing deeply. Now.
Khatwa calls it “a form of gentle hypnosis.” A common reason that children have trouble sleeping is anxiety, and he says this method of reading can soothe that anxiety and make them relaxed. Once that happens, children will fall asleep and stay asleep. And although there are many other books that aim to help children sleep, Khatwa says he hasn’t seen a book with such emphasis on the way it’s designed to be read.
But why has this book caused such a commotion? Hasn’t it always been true what Tom Selleck says in Three Men and a Baby—when he reads an article about a bloody boxing match to baby Mary in a soft, soothing storybook-reading voice—that it’s not what you say but the tone of your voice?
Probably, Khatwa says. “With the right story, using this technique of stressing certain words, intonations, characters that resemble sleep and alleviate anxiety, it should work. It is nothing particular to this story.”
In fact most parents are already doing a version of this when they read to children before bed. But Khatwa says that for kids who have more trouble falling asleep, they need “a more refined technique, like this book, which may help more than the regular reading books, in a gentler way.”
Khatwa says he finds himself recommending the book a few times a month, as an option to pediatric patients without any medical condition who have trouble falling asleep because they’re anxious. While he’s quick to note that the book won’t work on all children, he says that almost anything that’s not medication is worth trying, and these books tend to work best on preschoolers and early grade-schoolers.
It’s also important to use the book in concert with other methods to induce sleep, like having a consistent bedtime, maintaining a pre-bed routine, and avoiding things that will stimulate the mind, like sugar or TV, right before bedtime. Reading the book after feeding a kid a bunch of sugar or before his or her natural bedtime will have little, if any effect. And don’t read the book on electronic devices, which emit a light that can increase alertness.
Does the voracious demand for this book indicate that children are more anxious today than in earlier eras? Not so, says Khatwa. What’s different now is that parents are more aware of children’s anxiety when it’s present. That’s because many parents today are both working and they need their sleep to get up for work. Children who have trouble sleeping take up more of their time that could be allocated to sleep or other tasks—not to mention causing anxiety for the parents themselves. Unfortunately, there’s not yet a similar knockout book for mom or dad.


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Researchers here have determined that hypnosis and related relaxation techniques can actually prevent the weakening of the immune response that often follows periods of acute stress.

A new study suggests that hypnosis may even slightly enhance the immune status in some people compared to similar individuals who don’t use these interventions. If true, the findings could have important health implications for patients facing surgeries.

Students who hadn’t used self-hypnosis prior to academic tests showed a major difference in the levels of two assays used to measure the activity of white blood cells important to immunity.

The research, reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, is the latest to test whether people can protect themselves from immune system changes that normally accompany increased stress.

Lead author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser describes using hypnosis in this research as something like “hitting a reset button” for the participants in the study.

“We’re really talking about being able to shut out a lot of distracting thoughts. And it varies according to how anxious a person is at the time,” said Kiecolt-Glaser, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Ohio State University.

Jan Kiecolt-Gl aser

Phillip Marucha

Ronald Glaser

“Our goal was to really get people to focus on the task at hand.”

Along with colleagues Phillip Marucha, an associate professor of periodontology, and Ronald Glaser, a professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, Kiecolt-Glaser chose medical and dental students facing examinations as the test bed for this work.

This group of researchers has done numerous studies in the last decade using these students as subjects since the exams they face are known to be highly stressful events.

At the end of this project, students who had not used self-hypnosis as a relaxation technique prior to their academic tests showed a 26 to 39 percent difference in the levels of two immunological assays utilized to measure the activity of certain white blood cells — T-Lymphocytes – important to the immune response.

This approach uses two compounds prepared from plants called Con-A and PHA. Measuring the activity of these cells serves as a measure of a healthy immune response.

Glaser said these two plant compounds are used by researchers as “surrogates” to gauge how readily certain white blood cells – T-lymphocytes – multiply in one of the most important stages of an immune response.

Earlier studies had looked at whether immune status could be improved by the use of hypnosis. This group wanted to determine if the frequency of the technique – how often they practiced it – and the hypnotic susceptibility of the individuals tested played a role in their immune status at test time.

Thirty-three medical and dental students at Ohio State were selected for the study. All had completed two tests to determine how susceptible they were to hypnosis.

Half of them were taught to use self-hypnosis as a relaxation technique while the remaining students served as a control group. Students in the hypnosis group were required to attend a minimal number of sessions and advised to practice self-hypnosis regularly.

Initial blood samples were taken from all students to determine a baseline of immune status markers prior to the start of the study. A second set was taken three days before the exams.

Once the samples were analyzed, they showed that:

When tested for exposure to Con-A, T-Lymphocytes from students in the control group showed a 24 percent decrease in T-lymphocyte proliferation compared to a 2 percent increase in the hypnosis group;
The cells that were exposed to PHA showed that in control group students, T-lymphocyte proliferation dropped 33 percent compared to an 8 percent increase of T-lymphocyte proliferation in the hypnosis group;
The more frequently the students in the hypnosis group practiced their technique, the better their immune response was, based on these tests.

“If you look at individuals who continue to practice (hypnosis), they will continue to have enhanced immune function,” Marucha said. “Those who don’t, won’t.”

The researchers said that for patients, the study shows hypnosis – or other intervention techniques – is only useful when patients practice it.

“If you have no compliance, then there is no real intervention,” Marucha said.

Kiecolt-Glaser said that intervention techniques can have a real practical value to patients facing surgery, since anxiety about a coming test is no different than anxiety over impending surgery.

If the immune response can be maintained – if not enhanced – then recovery from the surgery should be less problematic.

“Patients should do these techniques and do them consistently,” she said.—————————————————————————————————————————————– How to deal with emotional eating
joy allison healthy decisions 6:32 a.m. EST November 24, 2015

What are your triggers to eat, or over-eat? Most people who struggle with weight issues have certain triggers that set over-eating or even bingeing into motion.

The most common triggers to emotional eating are stress, boredom, sadness or anger. Some less common ones are happiness, tiredness, insomnia, peer pressure, and visual stimulation, (such as walking into the kitchen and seeing a pie on the counter).

Binges often times will start out innocently enough with just one cookie, but then that cookie leads to an entire sleeve, and then what the heck, might as well just eat the ice cream, too. All of this may be triggered by an emotion, and sometimes we may not even be aware that it is happening.

Whatever your triggers to emotional eating are there are ways to short circuit them, and eliminate them from your life.

Common triggers

Let’s start with one of the most common triggers – stress. Stress, in all its forms represents a feeling of lack of control. If we’re stressed due to work, home, friends, family, or anything else, we tend to feel a lack of control of that aspect of life. Food gives us a sense of control and comfort. Food fills the gap and soothes the fear. These types of triggers usually begin early in life. As children we are taught that food is the reward for good behavior and a comfort for feelings of fear or sadness. We begin to establish the connection between the particular emotion and the relief or comfort that food can provide. Then, as we grow up we continue to repeat these patterns as they have become part of our subconscious mind almost like a reflex. The more often it happens the more it becomes ingrained and rooted in the subconscious. Some folks live their entire lives battling these connections and the negative results of them.

So what is the answer? The good news is that there are several great tools that can help to break the connection and establish new and healthier patterns that last a lifetime.

The first tool I recommend is hypnosis. Yes, that’s right I said it. Understand I’m not talking about stage hypnosis, which is a form of entertainment. I’m talking about real clinical hypnosis with a professional. This kind of treatment is designed to undo the patterns established through repetition that live in the subconscious mind. Hypnosis uses the same method of repetition to replace old patterns with new ones. It is extremely effective and can work much faster than more traditional methods. However the traditional methods are very effective as well, and can be used in conjunction with hypnosis, such as behavior modification.

Behavior modification, working with a coach, therapist or behaviorist can effectively uproot negative behavior patterns and establish accountability. We are much more willing to bail on ourselves and stay stuck in negative patterns when there is no one around us to push us to get better. Making the commitment to meet with another individual and talk about what is working and not working is a powerful tool, and well worth whatever the professional fee might be.

Everyone thinks they “should” be able to make these changes on their own, however very few of us can. I meet with people every day who’ve struggled literally for years with the same negative patterns, and still don’t believe that they should seek help. They walk around with a feeling of failure, because they’ve tried so many times, with so many things and just can’t seem to make lasting change stick. Over and over again, I hear people tell me that they’ve lost the weight but regained it again, many, many times. I always ask, “What do you think happened”? And the answer is the same,

“I just slipped back into my old eating habits.” Defaulting back to old behaviors simply means that those patterns are still stubbornly locked in the subconscious mind, and unfortunately they’re not going anywhere, without some help.

We all know people who’ve been able to affect change in their lives on their own. Many times I hear people say that their spouse or significant other has said, “Why don’t you just stop eating so much!” Why indeed. The majority of folks cannot “just stop.” It’s the human condition. For those of you who can do it alone, hats off to you, but understand you are in the minority.

Emotional eating is a tough challenge, I encourage anyone who has tried to make these changes on their own and failed more than once, to try one of the aforementioned modalities. Lasting change really is possible with the right help and the right tools. Don’t let anyone tell you and don’t tell yourself most of all, that you should be able to do it on your own. That is a myth that keeps so many of us stuck. We all benefit from giving and receiving help, it’s the human condition!
Everyone gets stuck sometimes. I regularly get emails from people who feel as though they’ve hit a wall, whether it’s in the intuitive eating process, in eating disorder recovery, or just in attempting to change their food and fitness behaviors. Because I get stuck all the time myself, I’ve learned that there’s a common-denominator issue underneath all these other issues: body acceptance. Yes, there are myriad triggers and causes behind our individual histories, but the bottom line is that, unless you can find a way to accept (even if you don’t like) your body, it is virtually impossible to change the way you feed and move it. So, when I get stuck, I know the way out begins with rolling up my sleeves and jump-starting the ol’ body-image engine.

This fall, finding myself in need of a good jump-start, I decided to try something new and slightly scary: hypnotherapy.

Hypnosis has been dogged by controversy and myths ever since 18th-century doctor Franz Mesmer first began using it to treat patients (first in private, then on stage). But the truth is that the hypnotic state is totally natural and requires no trickery. You know that almost-asleep phase you hit right before nodding off? Or when you find yourself driving down the highway on autopilot? That’s it. In this state, your mind is at its most suggestible, but you’re in no way unconscious. The magic of hypnosis is that it allows suggestions to cross the barrier between conscious and sub-conscious, rooting them deeply into your mind.

“Essentially, hypnosis works by shifting negative beliefs about ourselves at the subconscious level,” says Theresa Walker, C.Ht., the hypnotherapist I began working with in September. Because it’s such a powerful tool for changing behavior and thought patterns, hypnotherapy is often used for things like quitting smoking, managing anxiety and compulsions, improving concentration, etc. Walker is particularly invested in body image work, since changing self-perception is such an enormous challenge for so many people.

“What I’ve learned is that it’s usually a call for a strengthening of self-worth,” she says. “I always start by becoming clear on what my client’s definition of improved body image and self-acceptance would mean for them, because it’s different for everyone.” Then, once Walker and a client have clearly defined their goals, Walker introduces those ideas during hypnosis, planting them in the fertile ground of subconsciousness. “The change starts first within the mind,” concludes Walker, “and ultimately manifests in conscious, awake life.”

That’s my kind of magic.

I did my first session with Walker in her Los Angeles office, where she walked me through a series of suggestibility tests — noting that, while everyone can be hypnotized, we all have different ways of taking in information. The fact that she made hypnosis sound not unlike those “learning style” tests from elementary school was oddly comforting. (I’d been looking forward to this for weeks, but upon entering this cozy, quiet room, I found myself suddenly nervous.)

Next, we got into goals.

“Um, body image,” I said. “Like, a better one.”

I now realize how absurd my expectations were, but I kind of thought Walker would just have the magic words to address my personal sense of self-perception and reinforce my specific body-image goals. But though she is highly trained and experienced, she couldn’t literally pop open my mind and look around. I’d have to actually do some of the work. A lot, in fact.

It forces you to get specific about the issue you want to address and really envision what success would look like.

This is what’s so great (and so annoying) about hypnotherapy — about all therapy, but much more so in this particular process. It forces you to get specific about the issue you want to address and really envision what success would look like. I started by launching into my general history, but with each query, Walker led me deeper into the details. What is it I don’t like about my body — or that specific body part? What is it about my stomach I don’t like? When and how do I criticize my stomach? What does that critical voice say? Whose voice does it sound like? How would I like to feel about my stomach? No really, what are the words?

It took forever.

Once we’d mapped out my suggestibility, overall goals, and specifics to focus on in that first session, Walker eased me into hypnosis. I quickly understood what Walker had meant when she described hypnotherapy as “a permission-given” therapy. “The truth is, when you are in hypnosis, you’re in control the entire time. You will never do or say anything you don’t want to,” says Walker. “Everyone has the ability to be hypnotized — but it is a willing state. You have to allow it.”

I was still nervous, but having talked to Walker for over an hour, I felt comfortable enough to allow myself to ease into that not-quite-sleeping state of relaxation, guided by her voice and instructions. It was both strange and totally comfortable, like being in a deep dream state, yet simultaneously aware that you’re sitting in a chair, in an office, on a Tuesday afternoon.

The session began with a simple visualization of walking down a path in a peaceful environment (the details of which Walker directed me to select to suit my preference). She wove in the language and intentions we’d discussed, anchoring them in symbolic visuals and actions for me to take within the scene. There were bonfires into which I threw old, unnecessary behaviors, and a glass full of liquid self-assurance or something. As with a dream, it was difficult to recall the details after I “woke up.” But the feeling of calm and clarity resonated in me for days.

Funny that diving so deep into my own head is what helped me get out of it.

Have you ever said something to yourself aloud, just before sleep, in an effort to remember it in the morning? I do that trick sometimes, saying, “laptop” or “phone charger” to myself, and, upon waking, the thought pops up instantly, as if I’d left it on my bedside table. That’s what it was like after my first hypnotherapy session, and each of the sessions that followed.

Looking in the mirror, I’d think, Oh right, I accept and appreciate myself, just as I am in this moment. It wasn’t as if I had instant, totally positive body image after one session (or even after six). But the habits and thought patterns I consciously strived to ingrain in my mind were made more accessible. Though these moments of self-acceptance weren’t totally automatic, all of a sudden they weren’t as much of a stretch, either.

I did the rest of my sessions with Walker back in New York, via Skype. I was surprised to find that falling into hypnosis was even easier via this medium, perhaps because I could do it while in the comfort of my own home (and sweatpants). What was not surprising was just how many other subjects arose during our sessions. After all, body image is interlocked with so many other personal issues: stress, relationships, childhood, parents. When one of those emotional minefields got tweaked, I could immediately see the aftershocks rippling through my perception of my body. And with each hypnotherapy session, Walker helped me to take a closer look at all those areas, too. But no matter what we worked on, I always left a session feeling more clear and grounded in myself. Funny that diving so deep into my own head is what helped me get out of it.

It was as if my mental path had been swept clean of those needless, nagging thoughts and patterns I kept getting stuck on. Each time I came out of hypnosis, I found that I could move more easily and see where I needed to go.

Hypnotherapy isn’t a spell that makes everything better with a few magic words. It’s a process that teaches you to find your own magic words — and remember them. It’s not a party trick; no one’s going to make you run around barking and acting like a dog. If anything, hypnotherapy is a tool that lets you be yourself, achieve your goals, and free yourself from all the old nonsense that’s keeping you stuck.

Maybe it sounds like a shortcut — and maybe it is. But, really, what’s so wrong with a shortcut when you know exactly where it is you want to go?

Updated 11/21/15
Written by Anuja Vaidya | November 19, 2015

Calming words from physicians may be more effective than medicine at easing the fears of anxious patients, according to a study published in Anesthesiology.

Here are six insights:

1. Researchers used “conversational hypnosis,” which consists of talking quietly and positively to the patient as well as focusing the patient’s attention on something other than the surgery preparations and anesthesia procedure.

2. They compared the results of hypnosis to the use of a standard medication called hydroxyzine in 100 patients.

3. They then asked patients to provide a measurement of their comfort on a scale ranging from 0 (no comfort) to 10 (maximal comfort).

4. The researchers also used an objective test called the Analgesia/Nociception Index.

5. Patients measured an average ANI of 51 before and 78 after the use of hypnosis; whereas those who were given medication averaged 63 before and 70 after.

6. The average comfort scale of those who had received hypnosis was 6.7 before and 9.3 after, while patients who had medication averaged 7.8 before and 8.3 after.

Updated November 12, 2015.

If you have back pain, hypnosis might help. Sometimes referred to as hypnotherapy, this mind-body technique involves reaching a trance-like state of mind marked by deep relaxation and openness to suggestion. It’s thought that hypnosis might help back pain sufferers to gain greater control over their condition.

Also used to help people quit smoking, ease anxiety, improve sleep, and support weight loss, hypnosis is typically induced a practitioner.

However, many people also use self-hypnosis techniques to treat back pain and other conditions.
Why Is Hypnosis Sometimes Used for Back Pain Relief?

Science has found hypnosis can effectively alleviate back pain by causing changes in central nervous system activity and reducing your sensitivity to pain.

Known as “hypnotic analgesia,” this hypnosis-induced decrease in pain sensitivity has been associated with improvement in pain symptoms and reduced need for pain medication in preliminary research.

Proponents of hypnosis suggest that the technique can also benefit back pain sufferers by encouraging them to increase healthy behaviors (such as daily stretching and getting regular exercise, which are considered essential for managing back pain). It’s also thought that undergoing hypnosis can improve patients’ ability to cope with their pain.

In addition, hypnosis is said to address chronic stress and other underlying emotional issues thought to contribute to back pain.

The Science Behind Hypnosis & Back Pain

Although few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of hypnosis in relieving back pain, there’s some evidence that this technique may be beneficial for back pain sufferers.

The available clinical trials on hypnosis and back pain include a pilot study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis in 2010. In the study, researchers observed that four sessions of self-hypnosis (combined with psycho-education) significantly reduced pain intensity in people with chronic low back pain.

In a more recent study, published in the European Journal of Pain in 2015, researchers also found that self-hypnosis may be helpful in taming back pain. For the study, 100 veterans with chronic low back pain were split into four groups, each involving a different type of treatment. The treatments included eight sessions of self-hypnosis carried out with audio recordings, eight sessions of self-hypnosis performed without audio recordings, two sessions of self-hypnosis, and eight sessions of biofeedback.

Compared to participants treated with biofeedback, members of the hypnosis groups reported a significantly greater reduction in pain intensity. What’s more, subjects in all four study groups reported significant improvements in sleep quality.


Hypnosis is generally considered safe when administered by a qualified medical practitioner.

Since back pain may signal an underlying problem (such as a muscle strain, ruptured disk, or arthritis), it’s important to see a health care provider also. The Beyond Your Best, LLC team of certified hypnotists is the only Concord area hypnosis service to include an anesthetist with special training and certification in both pain management and hypnosis.