Why Do Hypnotherapists Use Physical Relaxation Techniques?

July 22, 2016

Although relaxation is not required for hypnotic states (think of accident victims, attendees of rock music shows, tribal drumming participants, athletes, etc.) there are several reasons why I might use a relaxation approach when you come in for hypnosis.

Relaxing the body feels good. Relaxation is pleasure. When muscle tightness and tension leave, circulation improves and comfort levels usually rise. Simply allowing the body to relax instigates what is known as The Relaxation Response.

Coined by Dr. Herbert Benson in the 1970’s, The Relaxation Responseis a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress... and the opposite of the fight or flight response.”

It is postulated that up to 90% of the reasons for visits to medical professionals are heavily influenced, if not caused, by the damaging effects of excess stress in a person’s life. Sometimes, patients are told by their doctors, “You need to learn how to relax.” This is good advice but unfortunately, beyond prescribing medications to reduce stress and anxiety, these people aren’t told how to effectively relax. That’s my job.

We hypnotists also know that when one relaxes the body, it often becomes easier to relax the mind. Even clients who have worrying thoughts and very busy minds can quickly learn how to still that activity and welcome in a sense of calm clarity. Hypnosis is all about turning down the chatter so that the inherent problem-solving abilities within us all can be accessed and utilized.

Most folk are familiar with the concept of the Mind-Body Connection. If they are not, I explain how our body is constantly responding to whatever we are thinking, hearing, speaking and experiencing. Examples of this are salivation at the thought of a favorite meal, blushing, getting itchy when thinking about head lice, sexual responses, etc. Perhaps you have experienced a time when you felt exhausted until you got an invitation to do something really fun and then your energy levels immediately rose. These responses happen automatically, often without conscious control.

I explain to my clients that the communication in that Mind-Body Connection is two-way; not only is the mind influencing the way the body feels, but the body is implicit in mental and emotional states. People in chronic pain get depressed and begin to feel hopeless and helpless, whereas a comfortable massage leaves a person feeling mentally balanced and at peace. Chronic anxiety and other “hot states” promote not only physical dis-ease but disturb cognitive abilities and a sense of wellness.

With this in mind, it affords us options when it comes to increasing a sense of well-being. We can start with changing the way we are thinking about ourselves and our experiences…resulting in improvements in the physical body. Or, we can create more comfortable, healing states in the physical body to elicit healthier mental and emotional states.

In other words, we have a choice in our approach to healing and change. When it comes to changing the way that we are thinking to change our body, or changing the way our body feels to change our mind, choice leads to a sense of control. When you come to work with me in hypnosis, we’ll take full advantage of that Mind-Body Connection to get you in control of your life!


A Little Change Can Do a Lot

June 26, 2016

I helped a man move away from his 45 year long cigarette habit. It took three hours, longer than most, because of the complexity of this person. At one point, as I was suggesting during the intake that he remove all smoking paraphernalia from his home and car, in addition to even moving the position of his "smoking chair" and end table, he sat upright and started laughing. He then told me this story:

When he was young, he got tangled up in the drug scene and found himself, a skinny white k...

Continue reading...

My clients teach me

June 26, 2016

I love my clients...all of them; I appreciate their unique personalities and problems...each and every one. But sometimes, one particular person enters our life who is very special, who almost makes me feel like I should be the one paying them!

Today I had the joy of working with such a client; a spry 85 yr old woman who sought me out for pain relief. In recent years, due to an increase in deaths due to prescription drug overdose, the powers-that-be have imposed restrictions on pain med us...

Continue reading...

Tapping Inner Resources

March 4, 2016
Driving in town this weekend, I noticed a bumper sticker on a work van ahead. It asked, "GOT SISU?" I smiled because I do have sisu. It's actually part of my Finnish ancestory.

"Sisu" (see-su) is a Finnish word that describes an element of Finnish culture which represents a dogged perseverance. To the Finnish people, "sisu" has a nearly mystical, magical aura, bordering on the spiritual.

"The Finns have something they call sisu. It is a compound of bravado and bravery, of ferocity and tena...
Continue reading...

Your Hypnotic Intelligence Quotient

July 25, 2015

One of the most powerful benefits of using hypnotic principles in life is an increase in Emotional Intelligence – the ability to sense and understand not only one’s own emotions, but also those of other people and even animals. Additionally, being able to respond appropriately to these inner senses affords us autonomy over reactions, behavior and overall mindset.

Those of us who practice mindful hypnosis regularly find that we live with a certain attunement of attention that is not onl...

Continue reading...

Stop Trying to Think Your Way Out

May 1, 2015

(Originally published on Soberistas.com )

You are an intelligent person. You have learned a lot in your life and you like to think that you generally pay attention to what’s good for you. Unless you are living under a rock, you know that the consumption of alcohol has little to no benefits and a whole truckload of detriments. Compound all of this wisdom and then add your own personal experiences (it is said that we are destined to be presented with life’s lessons until we learn them) t...

Continue reading...

Paint On, Paint Off

July 27, 2014
I thought it was time for a word about the value of perseverance, with some caveats. Here's a personal story:

One of my projects (I have several ongoing because we creative types like it that way) is re-painting my 120 yr old farmhouse and adjacent garage. Now, I could have either hired a contractor to do this for many thousands of dollars or recruited some friends to help me, but I chose largely to do it myself. Why? Why would a 55 yr old woman take on such a task?

The answer to that is that I...
Continue reading...

Get in Touch With Your Inner Monster and Moan Your Troubles Away!

October 27, 2012
Many people are annoyed by someone who moans and groans...for a variety of reasons, some of which may be that these irksome sounds are a reminder that a person is in some type of pain, or perhaps the moaning is frightening, triggering an association to some scary character, a monster in a movie. Some may even recall a disappointed or frustrated parent or teacher moaning at our undesirable behavior or attitude.

If you also feel this way about moaning and groaning, here is some surprising...
Continue reading...

Pace Away Pain!

August 28, 2012

Pace Away Pain by Kelley T. Woods 

The act of walking is therapeutic in itself; activating muscles and engaging in physical motion encourages the release of those feel-good chemicals that can help reduce the suffering of pain. Walking helps one pay attention to breath, reminding you to breathe fully and calmly.


As a student of karate, my feet take a beating. We work out on a wooden floor, barefoot. One day my feet were aching and cramping, making it very difficult to move through the ...

Continue reading...

Hypnosis is a Substitute for Medical Marijuana

September 3, 2011
Recent statistics from the State of Colorado reveal that there is a big increase in the number of young males utilizing medical marijuana for such complaints as chronic pain, sleep improvement, relaxation and anxiety, among other uses. In fact, a large percentage of these patients are actually manifesting symptoms in order to qualify for their MM cards.

Understanding the power of the imagination to create and maintain physical conditions, I worry about these young men! The subconscious mind d...
Continue reading...

About Kelley

Kelley Woods I'm a hypnotist living and working here in beautiful Skagit County in Northwest Washington. Besides helping people improve their lives through hypnosis, I love boating, hiking our forestlands, and playing with my family and friends!