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!