While most people associate hypnosis with stage shows where people are convinced to bark like a dog, hypnosis is actually an effective and long-tested form of therapy that can help you better understand - and modify - your mental habits.
There is plenty of evidence that hypnosis works, even as scientists debate exactly how it happens. In one Stanford University study, researchers saw changes in three regions of the brain in the hypnotized group: the area that allows you to suspend judgment, the part separating thoughts from feelings, and the part controlling self-consciousness. This combined activity allows people under hypnosis to evaluate their thoughts and behaviors more openly and objectively, especially when guided by a trained professional.
In general, about two-thirds of people are hypnotizable. To some, hypnosis is seen as inducing an altered state of mind. The person goes into a trance with a much different awareness level than in a conscious state. To others, hypnosis is not an altered state but rather an invitation to imaginative role-enactment. In either case, hypnosis allows you to explore an issue of interest to you in a more direct way, getting to the root of it and finding ways to alter your behavior towards the desired outcome.
Hypnotherapy is a powerful treatment option for a number of conditions precisely because, when hypnotized, you have heightened focus and concentration. A skilled hypnotherapist can guide you to concentrate intensely on a specific thought or memory. Since distracting thoughts and noises are blocked during hypnosis, your mind can concentrate on the issue that needs to get addressed.
The effectiveness of hypnosis is best underscored by that Stanford study’s senior author, Professor David Spiegel: "I think this illustrates the reality of hypnosis as a phenomenon, 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."
Losing weight is so hard. I really try to eat healthy and exercise. It’s just too much weight. I get really hungry and have to eat. And surgery is scary. So I Googled alternative ways to lose weight and saw Dr. Shmidt’s website. It sounded weird but I read many articles about how hypnosis really works. So I tried it - amazing! I don’t know what she did but I feel full after eating very little like maybe one third of what I used to eat. And I can see my body shape getting smaller. So cool. Definitely recommend.
Helen B.,Brooklyn, New York
What’s the process of hypnosis like?
Hypnosis starts with hypnotic induction - a preparation that brings you into a state of mind with heightened focus, where a trained professional can guide you through your issues.
Once induction has been achieved, a hypnotherapist uses a variety of suggestion techniques to focus your mind on the issue you need to explore. These may be direct or indirect verbal suggestions, or even non verbal suggestions such as invoking mental images. Changing mental behavior must be done with great care and patience. Thus these verbal and nonverbal hypnotherapeutic techniques often need to be repeated in future sessions to fully achieve effectiveness.
What results can I expect?
It’s important to understand that hypnosis is not magic. It does not give you some amazing new abilities like playing the piano perfectly or speaking a foreign language. However, hypnosis does have the ability to create profound and immediate changes in behavior, including behavior related to bad habits like smoking, drinking, or overeating. When done by a trained professional, hypnosis can help you develop your innate, individual abilities. You probably didn’t even realize you had these abilities, but they are there and they can enable you to make the desired changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These are the same changes you may struggle to make consciously (like quitting smoking or eating less sugar). With properly administered hypnosis, you can harness your natural abilities to make these behavioral changes automatically and subconsciously.
What can hypnosis treat?
You’d be surprised how much of what goes on with your body originates or is strongly influenced by what is going on in your brain. Over the many years of it being part of comprehensive therapy programs, hypnosis has been shown as an effective treatment for a number of common conditions, such as pain, anxiety, stress, panic attacks, insomnia, stuttering, overeating, smoking, and alcohol issues.
Obviously, you should always first consult with your healthcare provider to see if hypnosis is an advisable treatment option for you. Just make sure that it’s a provider who is well-informed about the benefits and limitations of clinical hypnosis.
When you come in for a consultation with me, we’ll discuss your specific case. Then I will evaluate your hypnotizability and will review the strategy for resolving your issues.
There is a reason so many people come to Dr. Shmidt for hypnotherapy after their other treatment options elsewhere have failed. With extensive training, certifications, and licensing in key areas of alcohol and smoking cessation, pediatric hypnosis, and thinner band hypnosis, she is able to achieve remarkable and consistent results in patients after only a few months of sessions.
Research has shown that, in those who are hypnotizable, hypnosis affects certain brain regions. As a result, hypnotherapy is able to openly examine - and modify - behaviors. This allows trained practitioners like Dr. Shmidt to improve people’s lives by reprogramming the brain into positive, quality of life enhancing behaviors.
The modification of behavior leads to a healthier lifestyle where positive actions happen naturally. This is the essence of Dr. Shmidt’s unique and powerful expertise.
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