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Hypnotherapy-A powerful Tool For Healing


Clinical hypnosis is a procedure during which a qualified health professional or therapist (the “hypnotist”) gives a patient carefully worded instructions to follow with the goal of helping the patient enter a state of deep relaxation. In this hypnotic state, the “hypnotized” patient is aware of everything that is going on, but at the same time, becomes increasingly absorbed in using his or her imagination as directed by the hypnotist.

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									                 Hypnotherapy: A Powerful Tool for Healing
                             Lisa M. Smith, MHt, NLP, CC

    In 1996, my friend Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer and told she would need
surgery and radiation treatments. She confessed to me that she was nervous about the
procedure and having to go under anesthesia. Knowing that I was a hypnotherapist and
had worked with others to produce dramatically positive outcomes from their surgeries,
Mary asked me to do some hypnotherapy with her before the surgery and the radiation
    "On the day of the surgery," Mary recalls, "I went into the operating room feeling
very calm and peaceful. I did not need any pre-op medication to relax me. In our second
session, Lisa and I discussed my outcome goals for my radiation treatments and
visualizations for getting the most benefit and least negative side effects from the
radiation. I am happy to say the surgery and treatments were very successful."
    For Mary, as well as the other clients I have worked with prior to surgical or dental
procedures, the surgery went smoothly with less anesthesia, minimal bleeding, and fewer
complications; post-surgical pain was minimal and required little to no pain medication;
healing was noticeably more rapid; and additional treatments such as physical therapy or
radiation/chemotherapy took less time and fewer visits. These all led to reduced costs.
    This is just one of the many applications and benefits of modern hypnotherapy.
Emerging from its misunderstood beginnings as "mesmerism," through its popular use
and later denouncement by Freud (because of his lack of skill with it), hypnosis is at last
being acknowledged by the medical community for the powerful healing modality that it
is. This recognition by medical and psychiatric practitioners has been rather slow
considering that both the British and American Medical Associations have endorsed its
use since the late 1950s.
    Though hypnosis techniques have been used for thousands of years, the term
"hypnosis" was coined in the nineteenth century by Dr. James Braid from the Greek word
"hypnos," meaning "sleep," because the person in a hypnotic trance was so relaxed they
appeared to be asleep. However, recently studies of brain wave comparisons between the
sleep state (delta) and the hypnotic state (theta) show this assumption to be incorrect.
Hypnosis actually occurs at that same brain wave levels as meditation. The difference
between the two is that in meditation, one is opening his or her mind up to receive Divine
or inner guidance, while in hypnosis, one is opening the mind to receive guided
suggestions for positive change or control of bodily functions.
    Thanks to the expanding science of mind-body medicine, the tremendous potential of
hypnosis is being recognized. Most people have heard the statement that we only use
10% of our brain's capacity. By utilizing hypnosis, we are tapping into that other 90% of
our potential to improve our health and well-being.
    Known most popularly for its success in helping people manage stress, stop smoking,
or lose weight, hypnotherapy is now being used as an alternative to or complement of the
psychological as well as medical and dental fields, in such areas as counseling,
behavioral medicine, neurology, obstetrics, emergency medicine, burn therapy, oncology,
pediatrics, dentistry, and surgery.
    Doctors and dentists are increasingly referring their patients to trained
hypnotherapists, and many of the country's leading hospitals have recently hired on-staff
hypnotherapists or begun a referral program with area hypnotherapists. Dr. Andrew Weil
(author of "Spontaneous Healing," "Eight Weeks to Optimum Health," and other books
on mind-body medicine) often recommends hypnotherapy in his practice at the
University of Arizona's Integrative Medicine Clinic and included an article on its benefits
in the June 1999 edition of his newsletter, "Self Healing."
    Impressively, Dr. Weil states, "In general, I believe that no condition is out of bounds
for trying hypnotherapy on."
    Although hypnotherapy is not a miracle cure for everything, the areas in which it has
been a tremendous help to hundreds of thousands of people are virtually endless. I have
been privileged to use my training as a hypnotherapist to assist many people to change
their lives and health for the better. Perhaps the most rewarding areas in which I have
worked with people are: pain management, surgery, dental work, phobias, childbirth (free
of fear and discomfort), and cancer (improving immune functioning, lessening side
effects of radiation/chemotherapy, improving hopefulness and self-esteem). In many
cases, you don’t even need to come to my office for me to work with you.
    Are you dealing with an issue requiring surgery or in need of increased healing
potential? If so, give me a call for a free consultation (via phone or in person).

    Formerly practicing in Massachusetts, Lisa M. Smith, MHt, NLP, CC opened her
office in Virginia Beach in 1999. She is a Certified Master Hypnotherapist, Certified
Neurolinguistic Programming Practitioner, and Certified Life Coach. As a member of the
National Guild of Hypnotists, Ms. Smith maintains professional standards of practice and
continuing education. She is also a trained HypnoBirthing™ childbirth educator.
    In addition to offering private hypnotherapy sessions, Ms. Smith offers group
workshops, childbirth education classes, and is available to speak at your civic or group
organization. For a free consultation or more information, you can contact her at (757)
631-9940, or visit her website at

   Possible sidebar:

                           Areas Where Hypnosis Can Help:

       pain management                             sports performance
       concentration                               stress management
       fears/phobias                               smoking
       test anxiety                                tinnitus (ringing in ears)
       self-esteem                                 nail biting
       bruxism and TMJ                             stuttering
       childbirth                                  allergies/asthma
       bed-wetting                                 anxiety
       goal-setting                                motivation
       surgical & dental procedures                creativity
       cancer                                      chemo./radiation side effects
       weight/eating habits                        unwanted behaviors/habits
       memory enhancement & recall                 and much more…

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