People often ask me if hypnosis works. They want to know how effective hypnosis is.

effective hypnosis

Do I really need to say anything more?

Hypnosis is a natural state, one that we experience daily. So, while people are often wary of hypnosis, thinking that it is an altered state and one is out of control, quite the opposite is true. You are in control, in fact it it is an intense state of focus. Driving a familiar route to work is a common example of operating on autopilot, without thinking about it.

Although heart rate and respiration may slow down, this is due to the relaxation involved in the “induction”process,often used progressive relaxation. Those symptoms are not the hypnotic state itself. Research into the hypnotic state has shown that there are different brainwave levels that are involved.

According to science.howstuffworks.com, “The most notable data comes from electroencephalographs (EEGs), measurements of the electrical activity of the brain. Extensive EEG research has demonstrated that brains produce different brain waves, rhythms of electrical voltage, depending on their mental state. Deep sleep has a different rhythm than dreaming, for example, and full alertness has a different rhythm than relaxation.”

Understanding how natural hypnosis is

Understanding how natural hypnosis is

April 16 (the day after Tax Day, April 15) has become a special day to set aside for Americans to become aware of just how stressed they may have become! Everyone feels stressed from time to time and if left unchecked, it tends to be a real happiness killer as well as a threat to your health. This makes it harder for us to live joy-filled lives. Stress has also been reported to lead to a number of major health problems, ranging anywhere from anxiety or severe depression to physical symptoms such as a mild case of acne to life-threatening heart attacks. It is easy to see why it is so vitally important to keep life’s major stressors in check.

Scientists report that psychological stress may exact its toll, at least in part, by affecting molecules believed to play a key role in cellular aging and possibly, disease development.  Anecdotal evidence and scientific evidence has have suggested that chronic stress can take years off your life. Stress can also have an indirect effect on the immune system as a person may use unhealthy behavioral coping strategies to reduce their stress, such as drinking and smoking. It is easy to see why it is so vitally important to keep life’s major stressors in check.
Enough of the dire news and warnings, I don’t need to stress you out more.
Instead, here are some quick tips for changing into a stress free zone for the day and at the end a link  to 3 free audios I have available for you to reduce your stress!
  1. Focus On The Now

So many people live their entire lives in yesterday or tomorrow. The truth is, however, that there is only the Now. Focusing on this moment, right now, provides a wonderful escape from the disappointment of what once was and the fear of what might be, leaving stress stuck in a time warp. (You do remember the Time Warp, right?)

2   Give Yourself A Pep Talk
Sometimes a good talking to is all you need to keep stress at bay. Maybe it is about time you gave yourself a pep talk, reminding yourself what is right with your life instead of dwelling on what’s wrong. Ask yourself how you got so lucky to have a roof over your head, food on the table and the opportunity to experience so much each day.

3.     Get the Giggles
Laughter really is the best medicine. Watch a comedy, share a funny joke, or go to a card shop and read funny cards. I always told my sons to find a reason to smile and laugh as they walked out the door. Maybe you can do the same, then share whatever it is, give yourself time for laughter each and every day.

4.     Use Self-Hypnosis
A still mind is a stress-free mind, so take a deep breath, quiet your thoughts and let the stress melt away. Even ten minutes done daily for the next 30 days will do wonders for releasing stress in your life.

5.     Keep a Happiness Journal
Starting today, spend a few minutes reflecting on the day you just experienced and list five things about the day that delighted you. Review that list when tempted to return to the old stinking thinking track.

6.     Lend  A Helping Hand
Sometimes the best way to deal with stress is by providing relief to someone else. Placing your focus on others needs takes the focus off your own challenges. This will lead to less rumination and therefore less stress. So look around you, see who needs a hand up and offer yours.

7.     Listen To A Hypnosis Audio
I have three audios I have created that are free for you. Just stop by anytime to listen. Share them with your friends, let’s get this stress-less party started! Stress Free Audios

There seems to be a tremendous increase in the number of movies and shows about Superheroes. The idea of having extraordinary powers captivates the young and the old alike. If you think about it, the concept is as old as man. Consider Greek mythology or the Journey of the Fool that is portrayed in the Tarot. We love a good story of triumph over struggles. We see many of the superheroes as modern day Greek gods, (of secular life – otherworldly figures able to tackle the problems of this human world).
Like the gods of Greek mythology, superheroes are often flawed. (Some may argue that we need them to be flawed.) A part of their appeal is that we can relate to them, despite their powers. I personally have enjoyed many of the Marvel characters (no offence to DC comic fans) beginning with the X-Men and it’s metaphor for prejudices, Thor’s having to leave behind a life of privilege until he becomes humble, Captain America who’s strength is his compassion before he has physical strength and the soon to be explored in cinema Scarlet Witch (Yea for a female hero!).
We are drawn to their backstories, the apparent lessons they must learn or hardships overcome in order to become the superhero. At their best, superhero origin stories inspire us and provide models of coping with adversity, finding meaning in loss and trauma, discovering our strengths and using them for good purpose. (Wearing a cape or tights is optional.) There is something about the vulnerabilities they display that help us accept our own.
There is a growing trend amongst therapists to begin to use the Superheroes as part of their therapy. I have found the rich visuals of the transformations and adventures useful in some of my hypnosis sessions. It has certainly been an opportunity for me to get to better know some of my younger or geekier clients. (I do love me some geeks!) All of this leads me to think about some of the lessons I have learned through the stories of these characters. So here are 9 lessons I have learned from Superheroes.
1.     Life has ups and downs. You can overcome one obstacle only to discover another one. Enjoy your victories, but understand you must always keep up the fight!
2.     Not everyone will see you for who you are. Clark Kent is not recognized as Superman, nor is Peter Parker as Spider-Man or Bruce Banner as the Hulk.
3.     Be proud of who you are. The X-men were misunderstood in spite of the good they did for mankind and not seen as human. How many groups can claim the same prejudice whether it is about their skin color, sexual orientation, gender, culture, religion or any other reason?
4.     With great power comes great responsibility. Peter Parker chose to use his ability to scale any height to work for the good of all, rather than make a personal profit.
5.     We can all make a difference. The lesson of Batman is this: you don’t have to be born with super powers to be a hero. Bruce Wayne can’t fly, he’s not part god, he doesn’t transform when he’s angry. He just fights bad guys. “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me,” Batman says in 2005’s “Batman Begins.” Even fractured people can make a difference.
6.     Don’t be paralyzed by self-pity. Disabled? I don’t think so. Professor Charles Francis Xavier is a paraplegic, but he possesses one of the most powerful mutant minds of all time.
7.     Don’t focus on your weaknesses.  Superman let his secret out to the world regarding Kryptonite. It became the most effective tool used against him. Focus on your strengths instead of your “kryptonite”.
8.     Everyone has a dark side.  We all have our past or our “secrets” that we fear will someday be exposed and ruin us. The Scarlet Witch (aka Wanda Maximoff) went through many changes in character before she eventually became a positive force in the Avengers.
9.     Capes are cool.  I loved them as a kid and I still wouldn’t mind running around with a cape flying behind me.


I’d love to know what your thoughts are on the Superheroes and maybe even some lessons you have learned that I left out here. Please, next time you have a little spare time, imagine which Superhero you might be, close your eyes and imagine putting that ability or talent to good use. Then breathe in the thrill of adventure in your life or, just don a cape and fly!
In January 2013, Lena Redding walked into my life. It was a slow and courageous walk. In the year that followed, her steps became lighter, quicker and more determined. I have had the great joy and privilege to be a part of that journey. Allow me to digress in order that I may explain.
Lena was recently featured in an article in the Personal Best section of the Tampa Bay Times. Writer Irene Maher shared Lena’s new found love of Zumba and how she has made the decision to inspire and motivate others to becoming fit and healthy no matter how large they are. (Lena began her own journey at 324 pounds.) However, that is only part of the story. Lena’s journey merged with mine when she decided to undergo the Virtual Lap Band™ program.
Lena said, “I always knew I needed to lose weight, no doubt, ‘cause I had tried many times, but my chiropractor had a very stern, but loving talk with me.” Dr. Scott Coletti spoke about the serious issues she would be facing in a 5’2” frame that was carrying 324 pounds.  Although she had been a patient of the practice, it was not the doctor she would normally have visited with, which allowed this talk to stand out even more in her mind.  Lena made the decision to turn this weight around for good.
Lena has tried numerous diets and programs throughout her life, and says that she, like most heavy people, knows all the tricks and tips to weight loss.  She had tried the appetite suppressants in the past and knew they didn’t work for her. She decided to embark on a journey that included hypnosis. Earlier in her life she had ‘fallen” into using a trance state and discovered that it really worked for her. It helped her transition from knowing what to do into actually doing it.
Lena chose to go through a program known as the VirtualGastric Band™ (VGB). This is a procedure of hypnotherapy developed to train the brain to sense that the stomach has been reduced. The sensation is similar to the actual Gastric Band (Lap Band) surgical procedure where a band is placed around the top portion of the stomach creating a small pouch. This creates a feeling of being fuller with less food consumed and significant weight reduction is achieved. The VGB procedure is natural, safe and non-invasive.

Lena was from day one an exemplary client. One of the agreements in the program is that a client will purchase an item of clothing in their desired size. This is to be placed where it will be seen daily. I am insistent that it is something new, past purchases represent past failure.  She not only bought the dress she wanted, she named it. She has kept the outfit wherever she was around her home and even put a picture of it on her cellphone wallpaper to view when away from home. Lena and her outfit have had some serious conversations when she has been tempted to cheat.

Beyond the weight, she says that her biggest change has been that she is now a person who likes to move, she would rather walk and talk then sit and talk. She prefers to be active over going out to snack with friends. Shopping is easier (she no longer needs her friend along to tie shoes when she tries them on), she can check her calendar when invited to go to an event instead of checking on the distance she would have to walk and the size of the seats available. She also believes she is more relaxed with the help of hypnosis, she states, “things aren’t as serious as they used to be”. Even when things are bad her attitude has become “can we solve it and how? If not, it is what it is.”
Although Lena has had tremendous support from Margo, the same friend who used to tie her shoes and she knows she can call her if feeling tempted to get the reminders of why she is doing this. However, not all friends are the same and so Lena believes that you have to be able to walk this journey on your own, because at the end of the day, it is only you who will step on that scale. With as much weight as she needed to shed, there were some moments of temptation and self-doubt. That is when she would listen to her hypnosis audios from the sessions we shared.    
I asked Lena what she liked best about the Virtual GastricBand™ program. This was her response: “What did I like best about the hypnosis sessions?
I imagined the session would focus on what I ate and how much exercise I did.  Boy was I wrong. The sessions were not just focused on what I ate and how much exercise I did or didn’t do that week.  Of course we did discuss those things. However during the session you asked questions like what’s going on?  With that being said, it was up to me to decide what I wanted/needed to talk about.  You were more like a facilitator or guide.  My answer would generate more questions on your part.  By you asking the probing questions we’d get to what the actual issue was. Then another question to help me think about how I could handle the issue/stress in the future.  
Stress eating was an issue for me so if I determined how to handle the stress better it was more likely I’d do it.  That was the key I determined ways to solve my own problems. The sessions worked so well because I was an active participant.”
After Lena dropped some Zumba flyers by his office, Dr. Coletti called Lena to congratulate her on the changes she has made. She said it was a great 15–20 minutes with a “whole lotta love”. Lena has invited me to join in her Zumba classes and I can attest to her energy in those classes. 

When asking Lena if she had any final words for others who want to drop weight and have tried all the usual ways. Her response was, “Overweight people have tried so many things, so why not try stepping outside the box?” She says that feeling the band in her stomach and working on her reasons for overeating have changed her for life!
To attend one of Lena’s Zumba classes, find her schedule here: Lena Reddings Zumba
UPDATE: The fine folks at Zumba found this article and suggested that I could add a link to their coupons. To quote them, “who doesn’t love to save?” Here is the link…. Coupon Codes Zumba

Just a little fun with the ways that hypnosis can help you. My clients create change as they set goals and earnestly desire to obtain those goals. 

If you knew you couldn’t fail, what might you do? What changes would you create in your life? Why not start today?

I frequently get questions about hypnosis and faith. In particular, I am asked about how hypnosis can relate to the Bible and Christianity. There are many times when someone will tell me that I am doing the “work of the devil”. I am not now, nor have I ever been a fan of the dark side. 

My father, who was an engineer by profession, was an ordained minister by avocation. If anyone was going to protest my career choice, it would be him. He did question me when I first took hypnosis courses. As I explained the science behind hypnosis, showing him that it is a natural state and showed him pictures graphics of brainwaves as they occur when under hypnosis, he was open to learning more. The more he understood, the more intrigued he became. When I told him that I could use the metaphors from the Bible and even specific scriptures, he wanted to try it out. Well, once in that chair, I thought he might never leave! It is how my audios Walks With Jesus were inspired.

One of my heroes in hypnosis was Chaplain Paul G. Durbin, Ph.D. Th.D. He was a Chaplain (Brigadier General) in the United States Army. He was interviewed by the International Association of Counselors and Therapists on this subject, here is what he said when asked, “Why do some Christians and member of other faiths view hypnosis as evil or as some say “The Work of the Devil”?”

“Hypnosis is condemned because of lack of understanding or misuses:  Hypnosis should not be condemned as anti-religious just because some people misuse it. Some oppose hypnosis because they say it is used by the occult, but do they condemn prayer because prayer is used for occultic purposes? Hypnosis can be a very helpful tool in counseling. Though many in various churches opposed to hypnosis are using the principles of hypnosis (relaxation, concentration, suggestion, repetition) in their healing services, they denounce hypnosis. I was channel surfing on my TV and this minister, by the last name of Crank was preaching against hypnosis. When he finished preaching, he had an Alter Call for those who wanted to be healed and proceeded to use hypnotic techniques. He would stand before the person wanting healing. Crank had some of the church leaders standing behind the worshiper. He stared into the eyes of the worshiper as he made suggestions and then taped them on the head and said, “Heal”. What a hypocrite.

For those who oppose hypnosis on religious grounds, I remind them of the words of Jon Baptist Van Helmont, “Hypnosis is a universal agent … and is a paradox only to those who are deposed to ridicule everything and who ascribe to Satan all phenomena which they cannot explain. ” Without apology and when appropriate, hypnosis can be used for growth, health and the benefit of people.”

The Chaplain, who worked in a hospital setting in his later years told the story of a woman who requested his assistance in pain management through hypnosis. She was worried her daughter (a devout Christian) might object. The woman responded wonderfully to the hypnosis. The daughter was aghast and ready to raise havoc until Paul Durbin was able to explain that he too was a Christian and how well the mother responded. 

Although there are no direct references to hypnosis in the Bible, that is because it wasn’t called that during the time that the Bible was written, there are hypnotic like examples sprinkled through out it.  The first written recorded use of hypnosis is found in the book of Genesis 2:21-22, “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon man, and while he slept, took one of his ribs and closed up in its place with flesh, and the rib which God took from man, He made woman and brought her to the man.” In this incident, God used hypnosis as an anesthesia so that Adam felt no pain during the removal of his rib. Paul speaks of going into a trance while praying in the temple (Acts 22:17).  Peter “fell into a trance” and from that experience came to see that God loved all people and accepts all people who come to him. Peter had been invited to the home of a centurion who was devout in his faith, but was not Jewish. At that time, it was religiously unlawful for Peter to visit the centurion’s house.  After the dream, Peter went to visit the centurion and accepted him as a man of faith. (Acts 10:1-48).  Elsewhere in the book of Acts, there is a reference to an apostle looking into the eyes or gazing into the eyes of a person that resulted in the person being healed. “This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who when he had fixed his gaze upon him, and had seen that he had faith to be made well, said with a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on your feet.’ And he leaped up and began to walk.” (Acts 14:9-10)

Hypnosis is merely one more means of helping an individual reach his/her goals. Can hypnosis be used for bad? All things can be used for good or evil. Hypnosis is neither anti-religious nor pro-religious. Hypnosis can be used to ease or eliminate pain, overcome fears and phobias, smoking addictions released, weight management and more. It can be used for good or bad depending on the hypnotist and the client. Religion can be used to promote the Spiritual or to control and manipulate the masses. So,if we are using the ability/gift of our own God given mind to help us improve,how can that be a sin?

Yes, Walt Disney had a fear that seems improbable today. Keep reading to find out what it was. 
Halloween is a time that we seem to celebrate our fears.  We set up scary scenes and haunted houses. We tell ghost stories and watch zombie movies. The instant thrill of fear can be very compelling, we seek the thrill. Some even become addicted to the thrill, but that is for another time and another post. So, what about those who are unhappily consumed by fear?
Fear can be productive; a warning to keep us safe if there is a hungry tiger ready to attack. This would be an appropriate signal for the fight or flight response. Fear can also be upsetting and limiting. We often fear situations that aren’t life or death. We can easily learn to overcome fear, although it may take time. When fear crosses over into phobia, it becomes life altering and that may take the help of professional using tools such as hypnosis.
Here are some simple steps to overcoming fear.
·                   Cultivate Awareness. It is important to recognize that fear is limiting your enjoyment of life in order to begin the process of overcoming it.  It’s easy to get attached to your thoughts and feelings.  
·                   Identify what exactly you’re afraid of. Notice the pictures in your head about the situation. What is happening in those scenes? What are you really scared of?
·                   Be curious, about what thoughts fuel the fear, where you feel it and how you react to it.
·                   Breathe in a sense of calm and imagine the fear as a cartoon. With each breath in, relax, with each exhale and imagine the fear as a cartoon.
·                   Have fun with it. Find or print out a picture that represents your fear. Punch, kick, or do whatever helps you feel better as you tell the fear that you are bigger and more powerful than the fear. Perhaps you can imagine beating it the way a gamer beats the “boss” in a video game.
·                   Imagine how you would be without the fear. What would be different about you? How would you talk, walk, hold yourself? Imagine you are free from the fear and practice being that person.
It has been reported that Walt Disney had musophobia or a fear of mice. That leads me to wonder if the creation of Mickey and Minnie and eventually the whole kingdom/world of Disney wasn’t in fact an attempt to overcome his fear. He certainly imagined his fear as a cartoon and had fun with it.
If your fear has become a phobia, you know it isn’t rational, yet nothing you try seems to help eliminate it then it might be time to seek help. Hypnosis is a great tool for changing fearful into powerful!
Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Maybe it’s time for you to release the fear and live fully!
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