You Are Already Hypnotized

I was sitting at the Flying Goat Coffee shop yesterday (typing my blog), and a gentleman approached me and struck up a conversation. He eventually asked me what I did for a living, and I told him I was a hypnotherapist. I’ve noticed that this tends to receive very similar responses. Most people ask me (in defiance): “Well, can you hypnotize me?” as if daring me to try to push against all of their resistance. My natural response is, “I don’t need to. You’re already hypnotized.” People are always a little startled by this. Let me explain what I mean. You have had an entire lifetime of experiences that have caused you to form opinions about the world around you. Those opinions will either lift you up or drag you down in your life. Just by forming those opinions, you have automatically begun to limit your own potential as a human being. The catch is, you formed many of those opinions when you were younger than 10 years old (often the tender age of 3 or 4) and were completely lacking in an adult viewpoint of the world. My question to you is: do you want to be driven by the decisions, emotions, opinions and tantrums of that 4-year-old for the rest of your life?

The subconscious mind is responsible for directing our energy that drives us toward our goals in life. If you don’t set a goal for it, it will either choose its own, or choose a goal that someone else has suggested. And that means — you guessed it– our subconscious mind often chooses the goals that were programmed in us by the things that happened in our childhood (often by our parents). At that point in our lives, we were too young to filter out the destructive messages from the constructive messages, so we took them all in. No wonder we walk around so often in a state of confusion. We are so used to giving ourselves mixed messages that we don’t even know we’re doing it.

Here are some examples for you. You say to yourself, “I would really love to go to the gym, but I never find the time.” Your subconscious mind is working very hard to not find the time to go to the gym, just like you directed it to. Here’s another one. You say to yourself: “I shouldn’t eat that piece of chocolate cake, but I really can’t resist it.” Your subconscious mind is working very hard to drop all resistance to the chocolate cake. Or how about this one: you say, “I want to be in a loving relationship, but no one ever seems to notice me.” Your subconscious mind is working overtime to make you INVISIBLE, just like you requested. The subconscious mind is like the genie in the lamp. It says, “Your wish is my command,” and goes out of its way to make that wish come true. Be careful what you ask for, because your subconscious mind will manifest it for you (in all of its dysfunction). It doesn’t seem fair, does it?

The solution is to get clear on what your actual goals are and to drop the mixed messages entirely. Hypnosis is a great way to go directly to the subconscious mind and upgrade the system software. You can actually grow up that 4-year-old inside of you and bring them with you into your adult perspective. You have more control over what you choose to manifest in your life. How about that? In my previous examples, that would be: 1) Go to the gym regularly; 2) Eat healthy foods; 3) Manifest a loving relationship and be VISIBLE to the world.

My favorite personal mixed message is, “I should really type a blog entry, but I would rather do a billion other things.” Let’s just say I’m transforming that one as I type this. My new inner message is, “I love writing blog entries, and I carve time out of my week to sit down and type. I type especially well with a cup of tea next to me.” If I get to choose the new message, I want it to involve tea. Enough said.

That’s all for now.

Turning Breech Babies with Hypnosis

Almost a year ago, a new client came to me for hypnosis. She was hoping for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) and a home birth, but her baby hadn’t turned yet and she wouldn’t be able to birth at home with a breech baby. Her midwife and a few other people referred her to me to help her turn her baby. Within a week, her baby was head-down and she continued on with her home birth.

This might sound miraculous to the many moms who have tried other techniques to turn a breech baby. Actually, turning breech babies with hypnosis is easy. I’ve been helping moms from my HypnoBirthing® childbirth classes do it for years. About half of the time, babies are head-down the next morning. My success rate is about 95%. I strongly believe that most of the time, babies haven’t turned yet because the mom is experiencing some kind of tension, fear, or upset that the baby is picking up on and deciding to stay where it is. The HypnoBirthing® classes that I teach dramatically reduce the possibility of having a breech baby, mostly because the moms in my classes are identifying and releasing any fears they might have that could get in the way of their ideal births.

In 1992, Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona performed a study on 200 women who had been diagnosed with breech babies at week 36+ of their pregnancies. 100 of the women received standard western medical care, with external cephalic version (manually turning the baby from the outside) performed on moms who were good candidates for it. The other 100 moms received hypnotherapy sessions, including guided visualizations to encourage the babies to turn. The results of the study were phenomenal. 81 of the 100 moms in the hypnotherapy group had their babies spontaneously turn into the head-down position. Only 26 of the 100 moms in the non-hypnotherapy group had their babies spontaneously turn, and another 20 of them had successful external cephalic versions. The average time spent in hypnotherapy was 4 hours, and half of the moms in the hypnotherapy group had their babies turn after just one session. Wouldn’t you like to be in the group of 81 moms?

In my hypnotherapy sessions, I focus on a few things. I do fear release work with the mom to clear out any emotional baggage that might be getting in the way of her baby turning. I love to use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to clear out negative emotions. The results of the EFT are rapid and powerful. Within minutes, I’ll see a change in the mom’s demeanor as she releases her fears. Then, when the mom is in hypnosis, I talk to the baby and encourage him or her to move into the head-down position as soon as possible. I reassure the baby that mom is ready for birth and it’s time for the baby to prepare for the birth as well. I also talk to the mom’s subconscious mind and request that her mind relax all of her abdominal and uterine muscles so that the baby has plenty of room to turn. The results speak for themselves.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a breech baby at week 36 of your pregnancy, there’s no reason to panic or to schedule an elective c-section. Find a hypnotherapist who will work with you to turn the baby and to release your birthing fears. You’ll go into your birth feeling empowered, relaxed, and, chances are, your baby will be head-down as well.

For more information on EFT, you can visit EFT Universe.

Hypnosis Helps the SF Giants Quit Chewing Tobacco

This is an article that the Santa Rosa Press Democrat published on August 8 about hypnosis helping Bruce Bochy and a few other Giants quit their chewing tobacco habit. What I liked about this article was Bruce Bochy talking about his cravings for dipping almost disappearing after his sessions. Go Giants!

Hypnotist Helps Bochy and Staff Quit Dipping

Why is Hypnotherapy so Awesome?

Since this is my first blog entry, I thought I would write about my first career love: hypnotherapy. I stumbled upon it quite by accident: I had graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from UC Davis, moved to Seattle and was trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up (What the heck can you do with an English degree, anyway? Answer: write blogs). In May of 1998, my dad forwarded me an email about a hypnotherapy teacher in Seattle, Jack Elias, and when I read the email I knew I wanted to learn more. I immediately registered for his upcoming hypnotherapy training. I came into the classes with the same questions that everyone else has: “Will I be asleep?” “Will I remember what just happened?” “Will I cluck like a chicken?” “Will a megalomaniac force me to do evil things that fly in the face of my moral and ethical values?” Ok, maybe not everyone has that last fear. All of these questions hinged around my main fear of surrendering control of my mind to another person. Ooooooh…scary.

Hypnotherapy isn’t that scary, actually. No, it’s not. It’s very relaxing, and really fun (Take that, megalomaniacs! Hah!). It reminds me of the meditation classes I took in college. It’s just like daydreaming, but with more focus and attention. And all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, which means that you think it’s a good idea to relax, and you do. Easy. No one makes you do it. A hypnotherapist can’t make you do what you weren’t going to do already. And in that relaxed state, you can bypass the critical factor of the conscious mind and neutralize your inner saboteur. Have you ever “tried” to lose weight, and you knew that all you had to do was eat less and exercise more, but that chocolate ice cream in the freezer kept calling out your name? Hypnosis gets to the real root of why you keep obsessing over that chocolate ice cream, and makes powerful changes on a deep, subconscious level. I love that! Who can use a little inner peace and freedom in their lives? Answer: Everyone!

Quick tangent on the word “try:”

Remember in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” when Luke crash-lands on Yoda’s planet in the Dagobah system? His x-wing fighter is stuck in the swamp, and he “tries” to use the Force to get it out. He “tries” and “tries,” but then gives up. Meanwhile, little, ancient, scrawny Yoda reaches his hand out and not only lift the x-wing up, but floats it over to a nice landing pad. He says: “Do or do not. There is no try.” I love that part. My best advice is to give up the word “try.” Take it out of your vocabulary, and you too can become a Jedi master. Set your mind to something, and just do it. When you “try” to do something, you’re giving yourself a weaselly excuse to fail at it. “I tried to lose 5 pounds, but that chocolate ice cream completely overpowered me.” “I tried to stop smoking, but then I went out for a beer and I had to have a cigarette.”  “Trying” is your subconscious excuse to fail at something. ‘Nuff said.

Anyway, back to my original topic.

For the last 6 months, I’ve been honing my hypnotherapy skills and taking advanced hypnotherapy classes at the Hypnotherapy Training Institute in Corte Madera. One of the most fabulous things about taking hypnotherapy classes is that many students get to practice on me! We did a hypno-healing exercise, and I focused on my lung health (I’ve had mild, exercise-induced asthma since I was 12). In that profoundly relaxed state, I asked my subconscious mind to give me an image of healthy lungs that I could use in my life. And suddenly the image of thousands of red balloons appeared in my mind. They were all inflating and deflating with my breath. Balloons? Really? Think about balloons: the latex is so stretchy and resilient, and balloons can inflate to amazing sizes quite easily and quickly. The red color for me represents hemoglobin and the powerful capacity of my lungs to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen and send those happy red blood cells throughout my body. I wouldn’t have come up with this image  in my normal state, but when I was in hypnosis, the deep wisdom of my subconscious mind knew exactly where to go. And that’s what happens in hypnotherapy: the deep wisdom of your subconscious mind knows exactly where to go and what you need, and the hypnotherapist is merely the facilitator for helping you get there.

How has the image of thousands of balloons helped me in my life? Well, when I go to the gym now, I can exercise at an increased cardio rate without freaking out. So, I’ve been pushing myself harder without the usual fears of suffocation that tend to accompany shortness of breath for me. It’s a dramatic change, and all it took was a little deep relaxation and a facilitator who knew where to guide me.

Many people associate hypnotherapy with smoking cessation and weight loss, and it works very well for both topics, but for me, the sky’s the limit!  Hypnotherapy melts away your inner saboteur and leaves you feeling empowered, in-charge, and at peace with yourself. A little food for thought.

Peace out.