What is Self-Hypnosis?
While there are many books available on self-hypnosis, it is best learned and practiced under the guidance of someone who is a qualified professional, like a Hypnotherapist. Once guided through the process, it becomes easier to understand accessing the state. Choosing key words that help describe the state are an integral part of designing the self-hypnosis experience. Together, the Law of Repetition and the Law of Association create the platform for self hypnosis. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis because the subject must desire to have the experience. With this technique, the subject is both the 'facilitator' and 'receiver' of the suggestion. After practicing frequently, simply by allowing the eyes to close while taking three big deep breaths, begins to create the necessary comfort state. Relaxing the body is another element of this process that allows the conscious mind to rest while the subconscious mind becomes more open and receptive to positive ideas. Along with positive information (suggestions) for the subconscious, the final element necessary for using self-hypnosis as a tool for success is visualization and/or imagery. The subconscious mind works on expectation and imagination. Creating visuals or images that promote a concept of the desired goal or very specific pictures of the desired goal are a part of any hypnotherapy work.The Law of Repetition: This law is used frequently in hypnosis. You get better at going into self-hypnosis, the more frequently you practice it. By repeating a suggestion over and over, a new conditioned response can be achieved. It has been said that 21 times creates a habit!
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The Law of Association:
This law, in conjunction with Law of Repetition, is what helps make self-hypnosis effective. In the repetition of chosen key words that help describe the state, those words become associated with the state of hypnosis. Also, the act of taking three deep breaths to begin the process of relaxing the body begins to be part of the formula, and of the association to the state of hypnosis, as well.
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What is Hypnotherapy?
Technically, Hypnotherapy is self-improvement counseling dealing with job related issues or personal development issues. These areas of self-improvement do not include major medical disorders or psychopathologies. In addition, under the auspices of Doctors or other related licensed professionals, Hypnotherapy can be very beneficial with certain health care issues. Some health issues which can be addressed are listed under Medical Hypnosis.
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Typically, when embarking on a course of Hypnotherapy, the client will have chosen a professional clinical Hypnotherapist who will help them to achieve their goals. Whatever the goal, a Hypnotherapy session always involves a cognitive portion of time, where the client vents issues, worries, or concerns, and goals are discussed. The final segment of time is always devoted to hypnosis. During the first session, after hearing the presenting problem, the Hypnotherapist will be intent upon determining the client's suggestibility. From that, a conversion to hypnosis will take place, with a progressive relaxation to follow. While the client is in the state of hypnosis, the Hypnotherapist will suggest positive information to begin laying the foundation for the achievement of the client's goals.

Through the course of working with any client, imagery, as well as other "tools" of the Hypnotherapist may be used with hypnosis. Hypnotherapy works as a motivating force for client self-improvement issues or as a partner to the medical community for use in an integrative therapeutic approach for patients.
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Progressive Relaxation
This is what is called a "secondary induction" that is used to relax the body. It is best used after a conversion to hypnosis induction, whereby suggestibility has already been established. Receptivity to positive suggestions is greater because the body is deeply relaxed while in a still position.
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What is the Fight/Flight Mechanism?
This is a primitive trigger mechanism of the mind that alerts the body to an involuntary response. Whenever danger or threat of danger (anxiety) is present, the heart begins to beat more rapidly, the breathing begins to change, the adrenalin pumps, and the human reaction is to move into a protective mode of fending off the threat or escaping it. When we slam the breaks on in our car because the car in front of us has stopped suddenly, our level of anxiety is determined by how close the call is that we experienced. An episode like that, once over and all is safe, may create a need to pull off the side of the road and take a break. This flooding of information to the mind, creating an anxiety state, may send a person into a trance, so that the anxiety will not be experienced. If the car hit the car in front of it, a kind of suspended animation could occur for that person experiencing the accident. It might feel as though time stopped or everything was happening in slow motion. The escape from the anxiety is taking place by going into a trance state. This escaping process is a throwback to some primitive area of mind. Doctors, nurses, and ER professionals who have knowledge of hypnotic suggestion can make a big positive difference to an individual who is in trauma due to an emergency. It's interesting to note, then, that hypnosis and anxiety spring from the same roots – the flooding of information to the mind. Under the professional care of a Hypnotherapist, in a safe confidential environment, the escape process of going into hypnosis is controlled by the client's desire to be there. In the first session, with the state of hypnosis being fully explained to them, myths and misconceptions being debunked, and ultimately, a very comfortable state of relaxation experienced, the Hypnotherapist helps guide the client through a positive process that brings them to clarity of mind.
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Difference between Hypnosis and Meditation:
In meditation, the individual is focusing either on one particular image, word, or idea. Some meditation work encompasses emptying out the mind of any thought. In Hypnosis, the work is much more specific, directed for a particular use or goal. While the initial feeling of state may be similar, the experience is quite different, with different purposes for each.Medical Hypnosis: With Doctor referrals, and as an integrative therapeutic approach, hypnosis can be used for pain management, cancer and related side affects from treatment, HIV, irritable bowel syndrome, preparation for surgery, post surgery, pregnancy issues, gentle childbirth, and other medical issues. Hypnotherapy encompasses working with mind/body concepts for all presenting problems. And, when it comes to the health related problem, how the mind affects the body becomes an even more integral part of the Hypnotherapy treatment plan.
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Medical Emergency and Hypnosis
Hats off to the emergency care Doctors, Nurses, EMT, and ER personnel who are trained in hypnotic suggestion. More often than not, a patient who has experienced some trauma or is rushed to the hospital because of medical emergency, is already in a hypersuggestible state – some form of trance. What is said, talked about around the patient, and how it is said, can have a definite affect on the patient's recovery rate. When in a trance-like state under these conditions, the patient can also be in fear. When in fear, in anxiety, the mind is so open, everything can be picked up. What comments are said, whether meant negatively or not, the emergency patient will interpret in a negative way. Here is the opportunity to use suggestion and make a positive difference in the outcome.

In her book, Medical Hypnosis, Roberta Temes reports about a study done with EMT's at The University of Kansas by M. Eric Wright. One group of EMT's was trained in suggestion and the other group not. (Wright 1990) The results showed after 6 months that the trained group's patients had fewer hospital admissions from ER, the hospital stays were shorter, and a considerably lower mortality rate than patients brought in by the untrained group.
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Stages of Hypnosis:
There are many stages of hypnosis that produce various levels of depth. Here are three of the most important. The hypnoidal stage is a light stage of hypnosis. Eye movements tend to be more up and down at this stage, almost a fluttering movement. The cataleptic stage is a deeper state of hypnosis, where the eye movements tend to be more side to side. The somnambulistic stage is deeper still and the eyes tend to roll up. Sometimes whites of the eyes can be seen just underneath the closed lid of the eye. There are three levels of the somnambulistic stage. The first two levels involve a kind of amnesia, where the client may not consciously remember the exact suggestions, yet the subconscious mind received the information. The third level of the somnambulistic stage is a level that is so deep, 80% amnesia takes place, and major surgery without anesthesia can be performed. While everyone can reach the somnambulistic stage, not everyone can reach the third level depth of this stage.
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The Client:
This is the person who the Hypnotherapist is working with to help them achieve desired goals. In Hypnotherapy, that person is not referred to as a patient, but is referred to as a client.
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What are suggestions?
Suggestions are designed specifically by the Hypnotherapist when working with the client. These are statements of the positive nature that help the client meet their specific goals. The specific suggestions the client receives are based on the client's desires, wants, and needs. Suggestions are always framed positively because negatively phrased suggestions have not been found effective in eliminating destructive habits, changing behaviors, or whatever the case may be. Suggestions may be phrased either literally and directly or inferentially, based on the client's type of suggestibility. For example, a direct suggestion for fear of public speaking might be, " When you stand up and speak in front of others, you'll find the fear will diminish." A more inferential suggestion might be, "You'll calmly express your knowledge, feeling very comfortable, the harder you try to bring up the fear of public speaking, the more it will diminish."

A suggestion can be accepted immediately by the subconscious mind and be there for life. More often, the Hypnotherapist needs to work with the Law of Repetition to insure that the suggestion has been accepted. This is especially true when dealing with a long term held belief or habit.

A post-hypnotic suggestion is simply a suggestion that is given in hypnosis that can affect the behavior of the client at some future point in the client's waking state. In the clinical setting, this is particularly used to help create new behavior when the desired intent is to discard an old, destructive habit, such as smoking.

Suggestions are not always readily accepted by the subconscious mind. Even when the Hypnotherapist has determined suggestibility, an abreaction can occur. This abreaction can present itself as a movement of some kind in the hand or foot, a scratch, a frown, a yawn. Repeating of the suggestion or an eventual rewording of the suggestion at a later session may be necessary before the subconscious will accept it.

Sometimes, the Law of Delayed Action may occur with certain types of suggestibility. This law is in effect when suggestions do not take place until days, weeks, even months later. Or, the suggestion may not actually occur until the exact situation presents itself. For example, the client may not feel calm when they think about taking the test, but the moment that they are there, picking up their writing utensil to write the answers, the calm about taking the test is present.What is hypersuggestibility?

Every moment of every day, we receive small pieces of information from the body, the environment, the conscious and subconscious minds. When something unusual happens that heightens those pieces of information to double and triple proportions, then the conscious mind is receiving more than it can handle. High anxiety may occur. This begins to lead to a "spaced out" experience for the individual because the mind is overwhelmed with information. A kind of conscious trance-like state may take place. The individual is hypersuggestible at this point and the subconscious mind takes over and works from all its known information. It is also more open and without proper guidance, now receiving all kinds of new information, including negatives. Being hypersuggestible is not a great state in which to be. If a client would arrive at the Hypnotherapist's office in a hypersuggestible state, the Hypnotherapist would take them deeper into hypnosis, suggest good, positive information, and bring them back out with full clarity, focus, and able to more easily deal logically with their conscious mind.
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What's this absence of time?
During hypnosis, time distortion takes place. Sometimes a client may feel they have been in the state for a half hour, when in fact it has only been ten minutes. Conversely, a client may feel that only about five minutes has past, when it has actually been about twenty minutes that they were in the state. Every minute in hypnosis is equal to about fifteen minutes of good quality sleep. It is not advisable to use hypnosis for lack of sleep for more than a couple days in a row.
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What is a Hypnotherapist?
From movies and television shows, people often get the idea that when a person is in hypnosis, they are under someone's "control," or someone else has "power" over them. In fact, by the person's desire to be hypnotized, they are allowing the state to take place, and are in total control of their own mind and body. In a clinical setting, a Hypnotherapist helps facilitate the hypnotic state, and provides a safe, controlled, and confidential environment. A professionally trained Hypnotherapist is someone who helps you on a journey to accomplish your goals using hypnosis. (It's a good idea to check out the professional training of the Hypnotherapist you go to. Most educational programs do include a "Certification." Yet, as you can imagine, there is a vast difference from a weekend training program to one that is an intensive year long program.) By applying hypnosis to modify human behavior and perception, the Hypnotherapist helps people achieve things like stress relief, stop smoking, lose weight, enhanced sports performance, motivation, and with Doctor referral certain other health issues. There are many applications of hypnosis, some Hypnotherapists prefer to specialize in certain areas, while others provide a general practice.

Sometimes, a Hypnotherapist may be involved with helping a person with a medical or psychological problem, but only under the written referral of the appropriate licensed professional. Here, the Hypnotherapist's work is an adjunct to the treatment of the individual. As mainstream health care turns more to an integrated therapeutic approach, Hypnotherapy can be a helpful partner to the medical community. See Medical Hypnosis. To further understand what a Hypnotherapist is and does, take a look at, "What is Hypnotherapy?"
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What is Suggestibility?
According to Dr. John Kappas, world-wide authority in the field of hypnosis, suggestibility is the essence in which we receive information. It is formed in childhood and then locked in during adolescence. Determining suggestibility is a must for successfully hypnotizing the subject. Dr. Kappas' Theory of Suggestibility has been revolutionary to the field of hypnosis because it states that everyone, who is of sound mind and body, can be hypnotized. Prior to his theory, it was thought that about 60% of the population could not be hypnotized to the depth necessary to achieve results. The Kappas theory states that some people predominately take in information in a very literal and direct way, while others predominately take in information inferentially, or look for the meaning behind the words. Through his work, Kappas found that words have different meanings to different people. Since hypnosis is created by words, understanding how the words will be received by the client is an important and necessary step. Both for creating the state of hypnosis and having suggestions take effect for the client, understanding suggestibility is paramount for the Hypnotherapist. As a major contributor to the field, Kappas definitely takes on an important role in the history of hypnosis.
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How is suggestibility determined?
This is a key factor in successfully hypnotizing the client. Also, for true effectiveness in helping to achieve the client's goals, knowing and understanding their suggestibility is a must. For the client, it is important, as well, to understand about their own suggestibility so that they can more easily work with themselves using various tools for success. Usually, to determine the suggestibility of the client, the Hypnotherapist will give various "tests" to the client. These "tests" have no right or wrong answers and usually consist of certain physical movements performed by the client or answering a series of "yes" or "no" questions.
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What is the conscious mind?
The conscious mind deals with everyday living. It holds all our reasoning, decision making processes, logic, and will power. When too much stress is present, the conscious mind can become overloaded. When in the state of hypnosis, a person's conscious mind is still present and alert.
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What is the subconscious mind?
The subconscious mind is the source of all known associations – all memory. Without judgement, the subconscious literally accepts all our background messages – genetic, social, religious or messages based on experience, whether positive or negative. The subconscious works from expectation and imagination and it does not register the difference between fact and fantasy. If the conscious mind does become overloaded, the more primitive area of the subconscious mind becomes triggered for fight or flight. Today, in modern society, fight/flight is experienced more in the form of anxiety or depression. When a lot of anxiety or stress is being felt by an individual, due to events of the day, without some relief, a hypersuggestible state may occur.
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What does hypnosis feel like?
Those who are familiar with hypnosis might each speak about it differently. Not everyone has the same physical experience. Often, for those who meditate, a likeness to meditation is expressed. Some mention that while in the state of hypnosis they felt "tingly," another might say their body felt "heavy," and still someone else may report they felt as though they were "floating." There are numerous ways in which people describe their physical sensations during the hypnotic session. Sometimes, a client may not be cognizant of any physical "feeling" at all. When asked what the state was like for them, a client may say, "I was very comfortable." After a hypnotic session, nearly everyone states they feel very calm or relaxed. Often clients are surprised with being so aware during hypnosis and their account of the experience usually always includes, "I heard every word you said." Sometimes, a person may go very deep to a state that is referred to as 3rd stage somnambulism, at which point, surgery without anesthesia can take place.
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What is hypersuggestibility?
Every moment of every day, we receive message units of information from the body, the environment, the conscious and subconscious minds. When something unusual happens that heightens those units of information to double and triple proportions, then the conscious mind is receiving more than it can handle. High anxiety may occur. This begins to lead to a "spaced out" experience for the individual because the mind is overwhelmed with information. A kind of conscious trance-like state may take place. The individual is hypersuggestible at this point and the subconscious mind takes over and works from all its known information. It is also more open and without proper guidance, now receiving all kinds of new information, including negatives. Being hypersuggestible is not a great state in which to be. If a client would arrive at the Hypnotherapist's office in a hypersuggestible state, the Hypnotherapist would take them deeper into hypnosis, suggest good, positive information, and bring them back out with full clarity, focus, and able to more easily deal logically with their conscious mind.
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The Law of Repetition
This law is used frequently in hypnosis. You get better at going into self-hypnosis, the more frequently you practice it. By repeating a suggestion over and over, a new conditioned response can be achieved.
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Pain management
For any type of persistent pain, headache, backache, etc., the clinical Hypnotherapist will instruct the client to be checked out medically, if they have not already done so. In the area of pain, for most cases, the client must have a Doctor referral to receive Hypnotherapy. There are many available techniques that the Hypnotherapist can use with the client to help reduce pain and make it be more manageable. Hypnotherapists with expert training will never take the pain completely away. Pain is nature's signal to the body that something may be wrong. That alarm system must stay intact. However, turning the pain down and reducing the magnitude of the effect can be handled with Hypnotherapy. When there is no apparent physical or medical reason for the pain, the Hypnotherapist can help alleviate emotional pain which can often be stored in the body and causing the problem.

Hypnosis with Cancer Treatment
Hypnosis can help with cancer treatment in conjunction with medical care in the area of pain management, appetite control, nausea, patient's outlook, how patient accepts their situation, and with insomnia.

The ground breaking work in this area was done by Dr. O. Carl Simonton and his wife, Stephanie Matthew-Simonton. In their book, Getting Well Again, (Simonton 1978) relaxation, visualization, and imagery were part of their treatment plan. In 1985, Dr. David Spiegel, renowned hypnosis researcher and Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, wrote a paper printed in Ca–A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, on "The Use of Hypnosis in Controlling Cancer Pain." In this detailed support of using hypnosis, he points out three principles in controlling pain; filtering the hurt out of the pain, not fighting the pain, and the use of self-hypnosis. Dr. Spiegel also did a study of women with breast cancer that was reported in 1989 in Lancet. The results of that study have had patients with cancer contacting Hypnotherapists to receive help through imagery.

In 1997, The National Institutes of Health Technology assessment panel, determined that the use of hypnosis, as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan, can be an effective pain relief method. They believed this to be especially important in oncology, because 60% to 80% of patients with advanced cancer have pain. The panel emphasized that the key to use of hypnosis is to introduce it early in the cancer patient's treatment and to use it along with – not as a substitute for opiate drugs. They found that early use is important because cancer patients often have pain from multiples sources (including treatments), which last for years. The NIH panel also emphasized that hypnosis for pain reduction was cost-effective and often cheaper than other methods. In fact, hypnosis was singled out as an effective, noninvasive, and inexpensive way of helping relieve cancer pain. The study found hypnosis to be more effective than biofeedback, or cognitive behavioral training which strives to change a patient's negative thought patterns about pain. It is also effective for many cancer patients who fear addiction and won't take enough medication to relieve their pain.

Mind/body work through imagery in hypnosis is an excellent path to take for an integrative therapeutic approach. Hypnosis can help the HIV client to reframe the picture of what it is to live with HIV. Reframing is often used in hypnosis. It means creating a new picture of the situation at hand – looking at the old idea in a new way. Building confidence and self-esteem are part of this HIV treatment in Hypnotherapy. Negative attitudes about changing medications frequently, taking many different kinds of medication, social stigmas, and being able to create a loving support network are all possible to work on with hypnosis.

Hypnosis Support for Surgery
The thoughts you think can affect the feelings in your body – your thoughts can influence your body. Let's influence the body toward the positive! Being able to visualize and imagine in the hypnotic state how you would like the surgery to go is an excellent mental rehearsal to do. It is very helpful for pre-surgery patients. It's always important to follow your Doctor's orders. Your Hypnotherapist can help you practice imagery to promote a sense of well being and enjoy a harmonious condition of mind/body before and after surgery. Also, you can learn to be relaxed about having the surgery with techniques your Hypnotherapist can teach you.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Again, mind/body concepts are used with irritable bowel syndrome. Along with a program of Hypnotherapy that would help the client to slow down the digestion process, an aggressive stress relief program would be recommended. Several times throughout the day, short periods of relaxation exercises, as suggested in hypnosis, would help to relieve that irritation.

Hypnosis for Gentle Childbirth
If you are a "Mom-to-be," wouldn't you like to change that painful horror movie you might have in your head about birthing your child and create a more peaceful, harmonious, natural, and safe picture within which to see yourself? And then, have that experience? You and your birth partner can learn together how to create a more gentle childbirth experience through the use of hypnosis, relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, and being instructed about the body's natural state of birthing.

Marie Mongan, founder of the HypnoBirthing Institute, has done wonders in this area. She describes her book, HypnoBirthing – A Celebration of Life, as "a definitive guide for easier, safer, more comfortable birthing." Mongan states the inspiration for her program is based on the work and philosophy of the late Dr. Grantly Dick-Reed, to whom she expresses much gratitude and appreciation.
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The Applications of Hypnosis
Under the scope of Hypnotherapy, hypnosis can be applied additionally to a number of issues – some of which are: General self-improvement, memory improvement, performance or test anxiety, nail biting, stuttering, children's bed-wetting, fear of flying, and fear of success. Some other applications include insomnia, addictions (in conjunction with support groups), and relationship difficulties.

General self-improvement and motivation
Often clients come in, wanting more out of life, not quite sure of which direction to go, needing inspiration to get them going, or wanting to have more understanding about themselves. Goal setting is a part of the conscious work done with the Hypnotherapist. Through visualization or imagery, the subconscious becomes lined up with the feeling of the desired outcome. This then helps to accomplish goals and increase motivation.

Memory Improvement
Here is an area that much can be done to create new behavior for improving the client's memory. Something that helps immediately is to remove negative thoughts that have been cluttering up the mind. The capacity of the mind is huge – we have the ability to remember everything. Desire to do so is the key. Hypnosis can help stimulate that desire to become stronger and therefore the memory becomes stronger.

Performance or Test Anxiety
In hypnosis, learning on a subconscious level that "the thoughts you think control the feelings in the body," and that "you can not have two different thoughts of the opposite nature at the same time" is part of a process often used to help a client replace those anxious feelings. This desensitization helps the client change the behavior. Associating calm and comfort with an anchoring process is also a part of the program for relief. With hypnosis, public speaking can be an enjoyable process and tests can be taken with ease.

Nail biting
Since this is a nervous habit, what better way to deal with it than with relaxation techniques in hypnosis. Sometimes, it may be necessary to discover the cause and counteract it.

Usually the stutterer will not stutter while in hypnosis. This place of relief can then be used to create an association for a new relaxed way of speaking.

Children's bed wetting (enuresis)
Wetting the bed is fairly common for children. Depth of sleep and capacity of the bladder are two factors to be considered. If the child has learned to control himself, but then returns again to bed wetting, or the child is past an age where it is expected for him to have control and the problem still persists, this is the time when hypnosis can be effectively used. Children are very receptive to hypnosis and the response to treatment can be fast.

Fear of Flying
Movie and television images have not exactly fostered a sense of safety about flying. The news media also contributes to negative messages we all receive. What kind of images are we going to allow our minds to take in? This is important to think about when you are dealing with any kind of fear. A fear of flying can be due to a specific incident that the client has experienced. More often, there is no specific incident, only the fear. While treatment varies between the two, always a series of desensitizing sessions are a part of the program. Soon, with hypnosis, you will be flying quite comfortably.

Fear of Success
Many people arrive at the Hypnotherapist's office wanting to achieve more success, money, fulfilling career, a house, a relationship and no matter how hard they've tried, it seems next to impossible to them. They may have a subconscious desire to stay exactly where they have arrived – not too successful, not enough money, no career, house, or perhaps no relationship. A powerful hypnotic tool for fear of success is The Mental Bank, developed by Dr. John Kappas. In his book, Success is not an Accident, Kappas explains the concept of The Mental Bank's ability to re-script the subconscious mind. Along with hypnotherapy sessions, re-scripting is a key element that the client can continue doing on their own. Bringing the subconscious mind on board for a new level of success takes creating a new belief system.

Relationship Issues
Strategies for successful relationships have never been better since the Kappas theory of Emotional and Physical Suggestibility and Sexuality. In his book, Relationship Strategies, The E & P Attraction, Kappas provides a powerful handbook on behavior. Whether the problem lies with your boss, your best friend, or your significant other, E&P points the way to solution. E&P gives understanding and recognition of yourself and of those whom you attract. With hypnosis, significant changes can be made toward happier and more fulfilling relationships.

In conjunction with a group support system, hypnosis is beneficial when the individual is able to admit the problem. Since using the substance begins to be associated with the way to "get through life," the habit becomes the only choice. The individual is now limited by the addiction and does not see all the other choices and options available – and therefore, the dependence. Whatever the substance, it can be a coverup or a substitute. Once the client has admitted the problem, helping them to feel better about themselves, and increasing motivation are paramount.

Whatever you think is keeping you awake at night, it probably is! That reason has become real to you because you believe it and now it is causing your problem. The culprit is more likely the current tension and stress of the present, plus a mind “that won't stop thinking.” Since sleeping is a habit, 'not sleeping' can also become a habit. The subconscious mind has memory for good quality sleep, and that kind of sleep is what your Hypnotherapist can help you get back in your life.

Let's Get Stress Relief
Since nearly every system of the body can be damaged by stress, experiencing Hypnotherapy for this kind of relief can be extremely beneficial. Beginning to pay attention to your breathing is one of the first things we do in the hypnotic states with clients. In our fast paced world, where almost everyone can relate to being "stressed out," associating new positive thought to your natural rhythm of breathing can produce immediate results in how you respond to your life on the stress scale.

Initial work on what we know as stress today was done by Walter B. Cannon, a physiologist at Harvard in the early 1900's. Cannon first delineated the "fight or flight response." Then, researcher Hans Selye brought us the understanding as to exactly what is going on in the body during fight/flight. Dr. Herbert Benson's, (1975) "the relaxation response," findings stated your mind can influence your body for the better and therefore improve your health. Hypnosis is a natural partner for mind/body concepts, information, and processes that are even more in the forefront today.

Let's Stop Smoking
Many people have had a great deal of success eliminating this habit through hypnosis. Some come in for a one-stop session, others are recommended a more gradual process of a 3 to 6 session program. Smokers are usually either replacement smokers or identification smokers. Replacement smokers have replaced some old, earlier habit with smoking cigarettes. The replacement smoker is getting more oral and visual gratification out of smoking, besides doing it out of habit. Handling the cigarette, lighting it, taking it out of the pack – it all takes on a special kind of meaning for the replacement smoker. The identification smoker usually started smoking because everyone else smoked in the group or some one person they admired was a smoker, and it was "cool." Both types of smokers can become heavily addicted. Hypnosis is a safe, healthy, and effective way out.

Let's Lose Weight
In America, where the subject of overweight is a consistent topic of conversation on every tv talk show, to the office water cooler, to the bedroom at home – the latest "new diet" does not always do what it promises. With doctor referral, weight control, is an issue with which hypnosis has helped many people to accomplish their goals. The Hypnotherapist works with these clients to identify behavior patterns regarding food, as the program begins with symptomatic relief. It is extremely important to keep the client motivated in the process. With some clients, who are having trouble losing weight or maintaining a loss, it may be necessary to look beneath the problem and get to the root. Once the cause is discovered, through techniques of hypnotherapy, the client stops feeding something other than hunger, and success is on the way.  

Let's Win the Game!
Many of your sports heros use it. To win on the playing field, first you have to win the mental game. Hypnosis is now a common component in athletic training. A Hypnotherapist, along with the coach, can develop a customized program which results in peak championship performance. Professional or amateur, Hypnosis can be a dynamic tool for improving your game. Consistent visualization with the practice of self-hypnosis will have you winning time and time again. Ask Tiger Woods.
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Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Richard Bandler and John Grinder combined knowledge of psychology, linquistics, and computers – the result? NLP. This approach encourages you to be in charge of your own brain – and not the other way around. NLP teaches you to use your mind's ability to visualize and imagine the sensations of sight, sound, movement, smell, and taste so you can shape your own thoughts. The NLP premise is, once you have told your brain how you want to think about something, you will start to feel differently about it – even behave differently. NLP is a cognitive approach. Hypnotherapists combine NLP based concepts with hypnosis in order to reach and impress your subconscious mind with your new thoughts.
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The Mind-Body Connection
Go way back to the 4th Century B.C.E., and there's ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates commenting, "there is no illness of the body apart from the mind." It seems as if people have been making that kind of observation forever. While it may seem like that's what's happening, but how do you prove it? Since the 1970's some researchers have been gathering information about what's going on the inside – chemically speaking that is.

This emerging research proposes that what we might actually have is a bodymind. Until 1970's, the standard concept was more of an electrical system. The brain analyzes input and sends out electrical signals which cause the body's response. The brain was the sole place for your mind, both conscious and subconscious. Then brain chemicals, neuropeptides, were discovered. And, the unexpected happened – these brain chemicals are found in all sorts of other cells throughout the body. Some researchers believe these biochemical "information substances" or messenger molecules carry emotion – the feelings, the beliefs, the expectations – throughout the body. The new model proposed is one in which the brain is well integrated with the rest of the body at a molecular level. They view the mind as a nonphysical network that interacts with the physical components of brain and body. It might resemble a kind of bodywide continuous loop in which all body cells and organs contribute information simultaneously. Not all neuroscientists and immunologists agree with the mind-body proponents. They maintain the more traditional view. They say, just because the brain peptide is in some non-brain cell, doesn't prove it's communicating anything.

If you accept the Mind-Body concept, that the "information substances" are the chemical communicators of emotion, the possibilities are intriguing. Mind-body scientists suggest that perhaps the body is the repository of the subconscious mind, and that a repressed traumatic emotion can be stored in some specific area of the body, and affect the function of that part of the body. Interestingly, this is similar to the concept that Dr. John Kappas developed, and hypnotherapists have worked with for years, called Body Syndromes.
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