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Hypnotherapy for Self-Healing

Hypnotherapy for Mental Illness

 Hypnotherapy utilizes the natural state of hypnosis to facilitate the changes clients want.  Hypnosis is as natural as breathing; most everyone experiences it daily.  It is not sleep, unconsciousness, nor is it therapy in of itself.  It’s better described as a day-dream state during which a competent therapist can assist a client to make the desired changes at the subconscious level.

Navigating the Field of Hypnotherapy: From Mental Illness to Emotional Wellness Naturally

Sometimes the interchange of the terms hypnosis and hypnotherapy, hypnotist and hypnotherapist, consulting hypnotist, hypno-psychologist, doctor of hypnosis and so on, cause confusion for those looking for assistance with a particular issue or goal.

In the USA, UK and Canada, several organizations promote hypnosis and hypnotherapy.  Some are simply membership organizations and anyone can join, but two others – The IMDHA (International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association) and the APHP (Association of Professional Hypnosis and Psychology) have specific requirements around medical, dental and clinical hypnotism training.  Because of these strict requirements, hypnotherapy practitioners are skilled to assist with emotional, spiritual and mental illnesses and imbalances.

The APHP have very strict requirements of their members.  Membership and certification of schools is by application and proof of credentialing and training in the field of medical hypnotism. The IMDHA certifies hypnotherapy schools which teach basic hypnotism techniques first, followed by training in the applications of hypnosis for medical (including mental illness) and dental purposes.  The designation earned is Certified Hypnotherapist. Practitioners are trained to work with allied healthcare (mental/dental) professionals in focus areas of regression, medical , dental and behavioral hypnosis.  As a result, regression hypnotherapists are typically skilled at assisting those suffering from mental illness identify and dissolve the root causes of emotional suffering.

Clinical hypnotherapists are able to provide safe, dignified assistance to those suffering mental illness issues without need for a diagnosis and in all clinical settings.   Hypnotherapy practitioners are required to continue their education in the medical/dental areas and remain up-to-date with the advances in this rapidly expanding field.

The Difference Between a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Hypnotist

Perhaps Dr. Fred H. Janke (University of Alberta Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine) describes a CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPIST best:  (more…)

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Hypnosis is such a natural feature of our being that we routinely go in and out of the hypnotic state throughout the day. Most everyone can learn, in just a few minutes, how to hypnotize themselves and willing others, technically making them a ‘hypnotist’. But does that also make them an effective therapist?

Few people who have learned to hypnotize others have the verifiable skills in therapy required to assist others to heal themselves of emotional issues, unwanted habits and physical ailments. Qualified hypnotherapists on the other hand, can provide verifiable credentials of specialized hypnotherapy training and demonstrate advanced skills in the therapeutic aspect of their work; the use of hypnosis facilitates their therapy.

What is the State of Hypnosis?

Being in the state of hypnosis means that a person has narrowed their focus to a single thought or feeling and allowed other mental functions to fade into the background of their mind. Although the brain is not evaluating new data when one narrows their focus to a specific stimuli or set of stimuli as it would if in the fully alert state, it is not comatose, asleep or anesthetized – it is still operating ‘in the background’.
Therefore, hypnosis is merely a state of mind during which a person has suspended reality. Often it involves relaxation, but we can also be in a deep state of focused concentration when panicked, fearful, obsessively washing our hands, or apprehensively waiting on our doctor to share test results.

Why is it Important to Understand Hypnosis?

Because it’s so easy to induce hypnosis in a willing person, we see thousands of ‘hypnotists’ claiming that they can also help people with all sorts of personal issues.

While hypnosis is not harmful, its allure can separate you from your money if you do not keep in mind that it is the ‘therapy’ undertaken while a person is in a focused state of concentration that will help you achieve your goals, not the state itself. To be an effective therapist, one must have not only advanced training in how to use the state of hypnosis effectively, but relevant experience and skills with life and the specific issues to be resolved; these a practitioner does not acquire in a weekend course on how to induce hypnosis.

Questionable Claims by Poorly Trained Hypnotists

Many hypnotists incorrectly claim that hypnosis has a 90-95% stop-smoking success rate, while failing to define ‘success’. Hypnotists who are unable to recognize and address the underlying root-cause of the habit may well leave behind a non-smoking client with heightened anxiety or a new, equally undesirable coping mechanism to handle ‘stress’. It is very common for a person to stop smoking only to become an emotional eater when the underlying reason for the anxiety and stress reactions are not first dissolved – or worse, to return to smoking more heavily.

Similarly, there are so many variables to be considered in safe weight management that hypnotists without significant experience and knowledge of root-cause issues, GMO’s, nutrition, medication side-effects, depression, anxiety and physical conditions may unwittingly lead a weight-loss client to believe that their weight problems will resolve with hypnosis scripts designed to reduce food intake, even though food intake may well not be the problem.

Beware Exaggerated Credentialing

It is not uncommon to hear of hypnotists, with little more than a few hours training in how to induce hypnosis in another, string all manner of unrelated titles behind their names, hoping to appear to be qualified in the medical and dental use of hypnosis. Many even claim they are ‘hypnotherapists’ despite having no therapy skills and experience whatever. Ethical hypnotherapists do not engage in exaggerated credentialing.

Titles such as Doctor of Divinity, Ph.D of Philosophy, and so on, have no bearing on a hypnotists’ ability to help clients resolve emotional hardships, unwanted habits and health issues and are entirely irrelevant to the field of medical and dental hypnotherapy. No real ‘bricks & mortars’ educational facilities offer doctorates or Ph.Ds in hypnosis or hypnotherapy. As seen in many other professions as well, millions of Ph.Ds and doctorates are acquired from on-line diploma mills by the unprincipled.

Choosing the Right Hypnotherapist

So while it is exciting that hypnosis can be easily induced by most people, confusion can result about which practitioner is best for the prospective hypnotherapy client. Thus the need to question more! What is their training in medical and dental hypnotherapy exactly; have they completed their Master Hypnotist and then Hypnotherapist training, or are they simply taking a few hypnosis courses, getting a handful of diplomas from poorly trained ‘instructors’ and joining one of the several organizations that take a membership fee and cavalierly proffer an important-sounding title without any formal testing or supervision? Have they been supervised by a qualified instructor before being unleashed on the public? Did their instructor have a successful hypnotherapy practice prior to instructing, or did they too just take a few courses and then offer to teach others?

Summary

As you can see, practically anyone can be a hypnotist, and any hypnotist can claim to be a hypnotherapist, or appear to have magical powers, but only those who can demystify the hypnotherapeutic process, prove their medical and dental hypnotherapy credentials and support their claims, deserve your patronage if you are seeking to heal yourself physically and emotionally.

Grace Joubarne, CCHt, LAPHP, offices in Ottawa and Belleville, ON, contact:
1-888-390-3553 or 613-422-7027  info@graceplacewellness.com  Verifiable credentials: www.graceplacewellness.ca

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The Mayo Clinic among many other major IBS research facilities spearheaded countless studies on IBS over the last 20 years and found that it was not caused by dietary/nutritional/bacterial problems and attention to diet has never provided permanent relief. Indeed, one’s doctor would have checked for this as well as for parasites and pathology before settling on the diagnosis of IBS. In fact, research shows that many sufferers have a perfect balance of digestive enzymes and gut bacteria, leaving stress and cortisol the likely culprits.

Dr. Grant Thompson, one of the world’s leading authorities on IBS concluded in his review of drug management of IBS “the sheer number and variety of drugs sold for IBS treatment are testimony to their collective uselessness (Thompson, 1994). There is occasionally temporary relief of symptoms by diet control.

Permanent response of IBS to hypnotherapy treatment is in 80-95% range (studies: Whorwell et all 1984,1987), Palsson et al 1997,2000). They concluded it is a comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable treatment, without side-effects, often resulting in significant improvement or complete dissolution of other problems usually found with IBS, such as headaches.

According to solid data by IBS expert Michael Mahoney, Hypnotherapy has proven highly effective in alleviating IBS symptoms. In his 15 year scientific research, it is shown that it is safe and inexpensive and conclusively shows Hypnotherapy routinely produces positive results in over 85% of the people who use it.

Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, Chair of the National Women’s Health Network in Washington DC stated because of it’s efficacy Hypnotherapy should be the treatment of choice for IBS before drugs or the humiliating treatments are tried.

Journal of Gastroenterology: Dr. Peter James Whorwell, Manchester, UK, a world leader in IBS research, reported significant benefits of Hypnotherapy in all gastrointestinal disorders, particularly IBS. Many studies in pain management at Case Western Reserve University, found Hypnotherapy to be a very valuable and reliable tool.

The BMA (British Medical Association Journal) specialist publication “Gut” reported a long term study of more then 200 IBS patients and found 71% of patients had permanent improvements with 8-12 sessions and that this was faster, more cost-effective treatment then the temporary fixes of medicine and surgery. The UK government operates hypnotherapy clinics for IBS sufferers and their results are phenomenal as well.

Hypnotherapy is not counseling (talk-therapy) in the sense people are accustomed to. Hypnotherapy works with the subconscious mind of a person to convince it to normalize body functions. It guides a person into a state of relaxation and lower brain-wave frequency that allows that person’s subconscious to accept direct suggestions about gut function, as well as to help reduce the sufferer’s reaction to stress.

Whether stress is/was the precipitating reason for the development of IBS, stress affects all bodily functions and distorts memory and thought…those are also very well researched facts. People under stress get headaches, irritability, etc. etc., therefore it is not hard to see how stress could impact the way their digestive tract functions. The reason for the stress may be long gone, but the memory of the events may well work subconsciously.

It only stands to reason that if a person is stressed and they hold the stress in, their entire body will be tense. If the entire body is tense long enough, not only their breathing, but other bodily functions are affected…affected long enough, the effect becomes permanent. Just as people subjected to prolonged stress soon become shallow breathers, many people subjected to prolonged stress also develope digestive problems.

The common thread for all sufferers I have worked with is how they have learned to manage stress…many of those who internalized stress ended up with gastro-intestinal issues. There are many forms of stress…physical, mental, emotional. Therefore it is not only the source of the stress, but how the person has learned to manage stress that factors in. There is a great deal of stress associated with having to manage a life with IBS for instance.

My Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) treatment program therefore targets not only the resumption of normal gut behavior, but the sufferer’s reaction to stress. If the stress is emotional and is tied to past unresolved events, then those old memories are neutralized in hypnosis as well, so that they no longer impact the sufferer’s current life.

IBS can start in childhood, as children have even less opportunity to relieve emotional and mental stress. It is not something that starts overnight and it takes years to manifest as full-blown IBS, a syndrome that often gets worse with time, severely interfering with a person’s quality of life and mobility.

In the past it was thought that diet/enzymes, etc. caused IBS, however better information through research is conclusive on that issue now…certain foods can cause a worsening of the symptoms in some people some of the time, but they are not the cause of IBS and attention to this, as many have discovered, does not relieve IBS symptoms.

The program used at GracePlace Wellness focuses on resolving the emotional root-cause of the sufferers anxiety and once that has been completed, attention is directed toward teaching the client new ways to manage stressors in their lives, so that their reactions result in the release of calming hormones into their bodies rather than the damaging stress hormone cortisol.

I see many clients with IBS…always there is ‘stress’ factoring in, whether it is recognized or not. Some may be from past unresolved events and always there is some accumulated from having to deal with this suffering. To heal through Hypnotherapy it is not necessary to believe in hypnosis, hypnotherapy or even agree on the causes….it just works because the subconscious mind is convinced.

Using my emotional freedom program, which targets and resolve the root cause of the high anxiety levels which manifest as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, my success rate has been over 90% .

In the end, it doesn’t matter what the stressor is, the subconscious mind can be convinced to resolve the issue and restore normal gut function and that is what is important. Working with the subconscious mind while a person is in a relaxed hypnotic state is the purview of a competent hypnotherapist specializing in IBS symptom relief….that is why hypnotherapy is fast becoming the treatment of choice for permanent IBS symptom relief world-wide.

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