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Hypnotherapy, or the use of hypnosis by a trained professional, has been used as a form of therapy for decades now. When performed by an experienced practitioner, hypnotherapy is a tried and tested therapeutic technique that can have an enormous positive impact on people’s lives. And yet, the benefits of hypnosis are still not entirely understood by many. In this article, we take a look at some personal stories of transformation, as people share, ‘How hypnotherapy changed my life’.

Hypnotherapy changed my life: Ilana’s story

In the summer of 2016, Ilana was suffering from crippling insomnia and anxious thoughts so powerful – they were physically excruciating. Sitting, shaking on the floor of her bathroom at 3am one night, she finally decided that she needed to make a change. The next morning, she called her therapist, who had an idea…

“Before that summer, I had assumed hypnosis involved mind control, a pocket watch swinging in front of my face and me unknowingly word-vomiting my secrets. But after hitting rock bottom with my depression, anxiety, insomnia and obsessive-compulsive disorder after a layoff from my media job, I was willing to try anything.”

Ilana found comfort in researching hypnotherapy and, to her surprise, found that the claims about its benefits were backed by science. In fact, a 2013 study by the University of Quebec found that even the short-term effects of hypnosis (after one to two months) and relaxation training were comparable to those of short-term drug therapy. Furthermore, the long-term effects surpassed those of drug therapy, in some instances. For those wanting to avoid popping pills to tackle their anxiety and other mental health concerns, hypnotherapy has been proven to be a game-changer.

Suffering from what she calls a ‘cocktail of mental health issues’, Ilana found herself ping-ponging from energetic highs that helped her in her job as a writer, to suffocating lows which made it almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning. Despite her misgivings about hypnosis, she figured she had nothing to lose. Taking her therapist’s advice, Ilana booked herself in for a hypnotherapy session with a highly recommended hypnotherapist. That decision would change her life.

“Just six weeks in, I began sleeping through the night and found myself wanting to escape the walls of my apartment; nearly three months later, my constantly quivering foot stopped tapping. I gained a newfound optimism that fed me, as my body coped with the trauma it had been through. I believed in hypnosis like people believed in God.

For six months I stuck to that routine until one day I was back in my body again: no longer crying, no longer wearing the same distressed tee; I was sleeping without the aid of medication again. What I learned was that people who are struggling with phobias, trauma and other mental health problems can see results with hypnosis if they’re open to it, as I had been.”

Even today, Ilana finds herself slipping back into her old anxious thoughts occasionally. But now, armed with the tool of hypnosis and its ongoing life-changing effects, she knows what she needs to do to gain back control over her mind. Whenever she finds herself slipping into anxious thoughts, she plays her 30-minute personalised recording. With it, she quiets her mind and is able to relax again.

How hypnotherapy changed my business: Sophie’s story

When someone first suggested hypnotherapy to business owner Sophie, she was less than inclined to take it up. Like many, she had misgivings about hypnosis and assumed that it had something to do with being put into a trance and made to act like a chicken! However, Sophie would soon discover that she couldn’t have been more wrong!

Dealing with terrible anxiety and extremely low self-confidence, Sophie would find herself exhausted by social events on a regular basis. But one such event turned into the wake-up call she’d needed. After getting home from this event and crawling quickly under a blanket (her usual coping mechanism), she experienced a new and terrifying set of symptoms. The heart palpitations, panicked breathing, and crying she suffered that night made her ask herself, “If you can’t even talk to people at a networking event without having a meltdown, how are you going to make this business a success?”

That very night at the networking event, Sophie had met not one, but two hypnotherapists. After deciding that enough was enough, she picked up her phone and made an appointment to see one of them.

At that first meeting, she was still apprehensive. But she made the decision to be open-minded, and so, poured out her heart to her therapist and told her everything that had been going on for recent months.

“The combination of my hypnotherapy sessions, the sleep track, and my “3 Good Things” journal started to have a real impact on my confidence and happiness more or less straight away and it just kept getting better as the weeks went on. The more I steered my brain towards the ways in which I was already being calm and confident in my life, the more calm and confident I felt. And those are some of my favourite feelings!”

“One of the most liberating and empowering things about having hypnotherapy with Tara [her therapist] was the way she showed me that my “socially awkward and anxious” persona wasn’t the real me. I had become so wrapped up in feeling that way that I genuinely believed it was my true identity and that I was condemned to struggle with those things for the rest of my life. Tara taught me that I had the power to undo those stories and retrain my brain to focus on all the great things in my life and all the things I’ve achieved so far, proving that I am totally capable of achieving even more.”

Sophie describes her hypnotherapy as having given her the tools to rewire her brain and to go out into the world ready to be the person she was always meant to be. She credits her business’s success to these incredible changes.

I’m no longer afraid. I rewired my brain. – S.B.’s story

Although she’d been seeing a therapist for years, S.B Castaneda had never really considered hypnotherapy as an option. As she explains in her article, hypnotherapy was “something I never took seriously before, albeit never really dismissed either”.

However, when she decided to transition off of her anxiety medication (with the support of her doctor and therapist) due to falling pregnant, she felt a marked increase in her anxiety. That’s when her therapist brought up the option of hypnotherapy to her once again.

“Since she’d been right about so many things before, I really owed it to myself to give it a try. Plus, the meditative nature of the practice drew me in: closing my eyes in a dark quiet place, the deep breathing, the visualizations — for me, it wasn’t too far of a leap to give it a try because I had already believed in the power of meditation.”

Her hypnotherapy sessions helped S.B. to identify her anxiety, rather than try to ignore it. The techniques she learned during her sessions empowered her to tackle her anxiety, head on, rather than retreat from it

“After my hypnotherapy sessions, I started getting into the habit to immediately identifying and addressing anxiety as it happened. This wasn’t part of my process prior to hypnotherapy, and I credit both the first consultation visit and the reinforced suggestions for forcing me to be more attentive to the sources of my anxiety. When that warming feeling starts building up in my belly, I immediately triage the situation with some deep breathing coupled with introspection. I start to ask myself what is happening in this current situation that is causing me to feel this way. Deeper than the “what,” I also ask the “why” and the “how (can I make this go away).”

S.B. now considers herself to be more intuitive. She also makes relaxation a priority, as she recognises the benefits that self-care has on her life. Furthermore, she credits hypnotherapy with helping her to rewire her brain.

“By introducing a new way of thinking to my brain, then re-introducing this thought repeatedly, my neurons are creating new pathways, re-setting their default settings when it comes to reacting to certain stimuli. This is what makes hypnotherapy so powerful — rather than a quick fix, I’m thinking differently in lasting ways.”

We hope these stories have given you more insight into the healing power of hypnotherapy and the life-changing effect it can have. If you’ve ever considered trying hypnotherapy, now is the time.

At Integrated Health Specialists, our professionally qualified and experienced psychologist and hypnotherapist has designed proven and successful Behavioural Modification Programs to reprogram and align your subconscious mind with the desires of your conscious mind, through hypnotherapy. For more information on our hypnotherapy programs, as well as our other services such as NLP, get in touch with us and change your life today.

Michelle van Namen
Author: Michelle van Namen