I have found the use of hypnotherapy to be a very effective treatment for a number of destructive habits such as cigarette smoking, overeating, compulsive spending, gambling and alcohol abuse as well as for helping clients to be able to overcome problems with insomnia, anxiety, procrastination, pain management, and even with unhealthy relationships. Once you understand how hypnotherapy works, you will see why it can be used for such a wide variety of problems.
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Hypnotherapy is the therapeutic use of hypnosis to achieve desired goals. Hypnosis itself is actually a natural brain state when the brain waves are moving slowly. It is known as the alpha wave state. When our brains are in the alpha wave state we are very relaxed and we function as though we are in 'automatic pilot'. Every day examples of this state are when we may be driving a route that we take often, say for example driving home from work, and suddenly we notice that we are home but don't 'consciously' remember the stops and turns along the way. It's as though our conscious brain 'checked out' and we were in a type of 'subconscious' trance. In this state, the brain waves are slower than when we are awake (conscious) but faster than when we are sleep (unconscious). In this alpha wave state (subconscious state) we feel very relaxed and our brain is open to suggestion. With our 'conscious' brain dormant ('checked out'), our subconscious brain is free to receive new information, messages, and suggestions, without our conscious brain judging, editing, or rejecting it. In this sense it is the ideal brain state for eliminating negative messages and associations and replacing them with new, positive ones.
In the alpha (hypnotic) state the brain can readily learn to make new associations. Hypnotherapy is essentially the process of using a standard set of protocols and techniques designed to engage the brain in making new associations. For example, in the case of cigarette smoking, the current set of associations may be to have a cigarette when driving, after eating, or while socializing. When associations become so strong as to become automatic, the resulting behaviors are known as habits. Habits can be desirable or undesirable; healthily or unhealthy. In hypnotherapy, we target undesirable habits and engage the brain in its ideal alpha learning state to make new associations; new habits. Often times we have also learned to associate unpleasant emotional states, such as anxiety, with engaging in behaviors such as smoking, drinking, or spending because the brain has learned that these behaviors serve to temporarily relieve anxiety. When done on occasion, it is not problematic. But when behaviors such as spending, over-eating, drinking, gambling, etc. are engaged in as the primary way of managing our anxiety (or other unpleasant emotions) or when they become habits, they can become destructive.
Hypnotherapy serves as a tool to enable the brain to automatically make new associations so that it no longer associates driving, eating or even socializing with cigarettes. Clients often tell me that they are amazed that desire for cigarettes or chocolate, for example, seem to effortlessly be gone. They are relieved that they no longer have to rely on 'will power' to stop themselves from engaging in an automatic (subconscious) behavior that they consciously want to stop.
To say Ellen's hypnotherapy has changed my life is a great understatement. It has completely opened the door to a life I didn't think was possible. I have been much more calm and able to deal with stress than ever before. At first I was a little unsure about the process but after listening to Ellen's recording just one time, I was in a state of ease, completely stress-free. I was amazed when I continued to feel that way until about twelve hours later. Now, I do my best to listen every day. The hypnotherapy really has given me a new sense of what life can be like and should be like. Even if it's not necessary every day, I recommend this to anyone who needs to calm down and let go every once in a while. - Shannon
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