Mention the word hypnotherapy and many people immediately think of this as a way to lose weight or stop smoking.
According to Connect Hypnotherapy, hypnosis can indeed help with weight loss, but it may also provide a host of medical benefits, including chronic pain management, stress reduction, improved sleep habits, and decreased anxiety, to name a few.
Debra Kizilcan, BA, LMT, CCH (Certified Consulting Hypnotist), and owner of Empowerment Hypnosis, reports that in addition to weight loss and smoking cessation, hypnosis may also successfully addresses irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Lyme disease.
But more important, regardless of the physical or emotional difficulties, hypnosis can help the person see permanent, accelerated change, she says. “It’s more than just counseling. It’s a way to relax the busy mind and reduce worry and stress.”
Steps to healing
At the initial intake, Kizilcan listens carefully to the client and takes note of keywords that will help as she guides the person toward healing. These words represent what’s most important to the client and provide a gateway for her to access the client’s unconscious mind.
For instance, a person who wants to quit smoking might mention that her mother died from lung cancer. “I tap into the unconscious mind of the person and find their motivation,” she says. “The answer is inside of them. I help to bring it out and allow the true essence of the person to emerge.”
During a session, Kizilcan uses a watch or some other tool on which the client concentrates. “This tires the client’s eyes and helps take the focus away from their problems. It brings the anxiety level down and slows the heart rate.”
Because hypnotism comprises a mind-body connection, Kizilcan partners with other healthcare professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, and chiropractors, for individuals suffering with both physical and emotional injuries.
“When there is stress in the mind, it releases hormones that then affect the physical body. The patient gets high blood pressure, diabetes or other injuries,” she says.
Andrew Fran DeFalco, DC, has collaborated with Kizilcan on several occasions and emphasizes that the relationship between chiropractic and hypnosis yields many benefits for the client. He explains that chiropractors work with the neuromuscular-skeletal system to try to improve overall function.
“We adjust the spine to address subluxations that cause fixations and postural problems that can lead to a multitude of complaints,” he says, adding that the majority of patients have issues related to physical stress from car accidents, sports injuries, repetitive work, or sedentary lifestyles. “But there are also times people present with physical ailments that are related to chemical or emotional stress–things like loss of a loved one, problems with work, family, co-workers or substance abuse or smoking.”
During consultation and subsequent visits, DeFalco gets to know the patient and begins to better understand some of the underlying issues. “I realize there could be more needed than just the adjustments. They might need an ‘adjustment of the mind’,” he says.
“Hypnosis is a great tool to help get people to change, not just behaviors, but how they think about a stressful situation that is going on now or one that happened in the past. It can help with quitting smoking or another destructive addictive habit. It can help with weight loss and getting over a fear,” DeFalco notes. “All these things start in the mind, create stress in the body and lead to physical presentation of pain in the body, so the combination of chiropractic and hypnosis is very helpful in regaining and maintaining a person’s health.”
Kizilcan agrees and says, “I work with the mind and the chiropractor addresses the physical aspects. We work collaboratively to use our tools to make changes.”
Hypnotism is not recommended for individuals with serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, Kizilcan emphasizes. Otherwise, anyone who is open to change might reap some significant benefits from hypnotherapy. And for victims of physical trauma, the combination of chiropractic and hypnotherapy might bring healing to both mind and body.