Expert reveals what it's really like to do Hypnotherapy

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·Lifestyle Reporter
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Are you ready to start the new year energised and motivated? Keen to finally knock-over your to-do-list?

According to Hypnotherapist, Mandy Merrifield of Simply Well Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy can support you to do all this and more.

woman doing Hypnotherapy
Ever wondered what it's really like to do Hypnotherapy? Photo: Getty

If you’ve been wondering what Hypnotherapy is all about and how it can support wellness, Mandy has spoken with Yahoo Lifestyle to bust some commonly held myths about this therapeutic tool.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a form of psychological therapy which uses guided relaxation, intense concentration and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness – sometimes called a trance.

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It is one form of therapeutic treatment for conditions including anxiety, pain, and quitting smoking.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hypnotherapy is now one of the most sought after natural therapies," explains Mandy.

Hypnotherapist, Mandy Merrifield
Mandy Merrifield (Hypnotherapist) answers some of the most commonly asked questions about Hypnotherapy. Photo: Supplied/Mandy Merrifield

“It is an ancient healing modality, a mind-body intervention, dating back to the late 18th Century, when Franz Mesmer, a German physician developed mesmerism. If you have ever been ‘mesmerised’ by something… you have actually experienced a hypnotic trance.”

Common myths and questions about Hypnotherapy

What does Hypnosis feel like?

“Hypnosis feels like that lovely dream-like state just before you nod off to sleep,” Mandy explains.

“You are aware of the room around you, you are aware of sounds around you… they just don’t call your attention. You may still feel a tickle or an itch on your body – again, it just won’t call for your attention.

“You may or may not remember what is said to you during a hypnosis session; never fear – your subconscious will register it; and if you fall asleep – your subconscious will still take on the suggestions embedded during the session.

"Hypnosis is effective no matter what level of trance you are in, and by the way – if you snore…. No big deal.”

Blonde female psychologist sits near female client who is lying on the sofa, experiencing hypnosis during hypnotherapy
'Hypnosis feels like that lovely dream-like state just before you nod off to sleep,' says Hypnotherapist, Mandy Merrifield. Photo: Getty

Does a Hypnotherapist control my actions?

This is probably one of the most popular myths about Hypnotherapy that Mandy says isn't quite right.

"I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do," she says.

"The subconscious will only take on suggestions that are consistent with what you want to do, your values, ethics, and the way you want to live your life.

“When potential clients come to me wanting to quit smoking – the first question I ask is: ‘why?’ If the answer is ‘because my partner is nagging me’ - please come back and see me when you want to give up for yourself… there is no way I can make you stop smoking when you don’t actually want to.”

What if I can’t come out of trance? What if I go too deep?

“You as the subject are in control the whole time," Mandy reassures, "all you need to do to come out of trance is to open your eyes.”

Mandy Merrifield is a hypnotherapist
Mandy Merrifield explains that a person remains in control during hypnosis. Photo: Supplied/Mandy Merrifield

How is Hypnotherapy beneficial to wellbeing?

According to Mandy, Hypnotherapy works to instil deep change within individuals. These deep changes can create ongoing cycles of self-improvement and transformation.

“Hypnotherapy can give you a quick boost of motivation and energy, to get your to-do list knocked out of the park; it can unlock procrastination, fear of failure, assist with time management, fear of success, and self-sabotage," she says.

“It can reprogram negative voices – into motivation, success and positivity; helping you to achieve your goals.

“These are absolutely fabulous outcomes to have not only in your personal space, but also in the corporate world.”

Additional wellness benefits of Hypnotherapy include: weight loss, quit smoking, nail biting, binge and emotional eating, bed wetting, insomnia, and removing fear and phobias.

“In the wake (and the on-going effects) of the COVID-19 pandemic, I see many clients seeking to manage and eliminate apathy, malaise, lethargy. Through Hypnotherapy, they’re supported to replace these common pandemic symptoms with motivation, vitality and energy.

Woman holding smartphone on sofa at home. She is smiling and looking relaxed.
Through Hypnotherapy, Mandy has supported client's to replace common pandemic symptoms with motivation, vitality and energy. Photo: Getty

“Hypnotherapy works with your unconscious mind; the part of your brain which beats your heart when you sleep, allows your lungs to breathe in and breathe out when you are asleep, drives from place A to place B without having to use your navigator every single time, moves all the muscles in your feet and legs when you walk, heals wounds over time. The unconscious (or subconscious) is an extremely powerful part of your mind.

“It is said that the subconscious mind is responsible for up to 95% of our brain power – so accessing it can deliver some powerful results.

Can Hypnotherapy improve my wellbeing if I’m healthy and stress-free?

Mandy saysHypnotherapy can be a tool to enhance overall wellbeing.

“A lovely side effect of hypnotherapy is that it is beautifully relaxing, it is rejuvenating. Hypnotherapy assists in the release of stress chemicals built up in your body. Twenty minutes of deep relaxation hypnotherapy can equate to approximately 4 hours of REM sleep.”

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