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Archive for July, 2010

SELF-HYPNOSIS

Self-hypnosis is a safe and effective means of self-improvement, the applications of which are virtually limitless. It’s a valuable tool for achieving goals, improving in sports, athletic competitions, school, social, or personal performance, and for bringing about positive changes in your health, emotions, or for whatever reasons you may have.

Here is a method for hypnotizing yourself that you can modify and add any suggestions you would like to make. This is similar to hypnosis performed in the office, only you are the hypnotist and you make up your own suggestions.

1. Begin by thinking about what you would like to accomplish. Some suggestions are: improved sleep, relaxation, managing emotions, relaxing before and during test, medical procedures or dental visits, losing weight, or quitting a habit.
2. Go to a quiet room where you will not be disturbed and sit in a comfortable chair or on a couch.
3. Close your eyes and begin to take slow, deep breaths. Prepare to relax by putting aside any worries or thoughts that you should be doing something else. If thoughts intrude, just dismiss them by telling yourself you will deal with them later.
4. Begin to relax your body starting with your feet, then moving up your body, telling each part to relax and let go. Imagine a soothing light (your choice of color) moving through your body and causing it to relax and release tension.
5. As you exhale, imagine tension leaving your body and say to yourself, “I am completely calm and relaxed,” over and over again.
6. Imagine yourself at the top of a staircase. As you begin to step down the stairs slowly, each step takes you deeper within yourself into a place a perfect calmness.
7. When you reach the bottom of the stairs, imagine yourself in a beautiful place where you feel perfectly calm and peaceful – a garden, the seashore, or somewhere in nature where you are carefree and surrounded by beautiful sights and sounds.
8. Now think about the thing you wish to change, accomplish, or improve, i.e. the original goal for your self-hypnosis.
9. Visualize yourself having reached this goal. Reinforce it with affirmations, such as, “I am relaxed when speaking in front of groups,” “I am an excellent test-taker,” “My piano playing is improving every day,” “I am reaching my weight goal,” I am getting healthier every day,” “I am a non-smoker,” etc.
10. Stay in this relaxed state for as long as you want, then imagine walking back up the stairs, repeating your affirmations (there may be several). At the top of the stairs, remain in the relaxed state for a while longer and when you are ready, open your eyes and affirm out loud, “I am wide awake and have accomplished my goal.”
Be patient with yourself as you start out, realizing that this is a skill that needs practice. Pretty soon, you’ll find that you are able to achieve a state of calmness and relax no matter where you are.

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There are practitioners of hypnosis who claim to make people drop weight during a hypnosis session. I know of only one biological way to do that and it could get messy. Okay, so call me a skeptic. My standard answer to someone who asks, “Can hypnosis be used to lose weight?” is, “Of course, but you have to be willing to change your behaviors and commit to a healthy diet and exercise plan.”

My approach to weight loss is to counsel people on what causes weight gain, provide dietary information, devise an exercise plan, and then reinforce commitment to the plan through suggestions given under hypnosis. For all the claims on weight loss methods that require no change of diet and no exertion of energy (and there are many out there) all I can say is, the power of suggestion in advertising is amazingly strong and even the best of us can get sucked in.

If you’re serious about losing weight for health reasons, then do it sensibly. Talk to your physician, find a diet plan you can live with and enjoy, commit to an exercise routine, and use hypnosis to give you that extra “umph” to get you the results you want.

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