I first heard about hypnosis over 15 years ago when my mom used it to quit smoking. Her first time, she quit for 7 years, lapsed again for a year, did hypnosis again and she has not picked up a cigarette again.
I had to try it after I saw what it did for my mother but I still always thought hypnosis was kind of weird until I found out that Andre Agassi used it. Just his name alone motivates me to be more, do more and accomplish what I dream about. I then found out Richard Branson and Tiger Woods use hypnosis and it made me feel a little less "out there" about my love of hypnosis. I am in some GREAT company.
So when I was asked to write this article (by Habib who discovered hypnosis relaxed him more than red wine), I went hunting for the evidence that supports why I like hypnosis so much.
From David Spiegel, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine: "We are now producing evidence showing(hypnosis) can be significantly therapeutic... studies have shown it to be highly effective as a tool for certain kinds of habit control... Hypnosis is safer than virtually any medication any of us doctors use."
...and this one from the Journal of Consulting Clinical psychology: "A Study conducted at the University of Connecticut found people using hypnosis were able to lose, on average about 2 1/2 times as much weight as those not using hypnosis.
...and this one, from Harvard Medical School: "Hypnosis is one of the top 4 mind-body therapies practiced by Americans today."
I'm a big fan of hypnosis for this simple reason: the "suggestions" aren't saying anything that I don't already want for myself. I want to feel great about working out and I want to select good food. I want health, real health so I can have a high energy day when I'm hanging out with my children. I can't even tell you all the science behind the "suggestions" in your subconscious vs your subconscious and how it actually works.
What I love is the way it makes me feel. I'm somewhat of an anxious, person, always on the run and never sitting still. Even when I'm doing yoga, I'm thinking about the person I forgot to call before the class. I know the value of meditation and being still and alone with your thoughts but for the entire 20 minutes, I'm processing the day.
Hypnosis is different. It combines the best of meditation and yoga, being alone with yourself and instead of filling your head with all the "should dos and didn't do's, your head is filled with all of the stuff you want. You're sitting there, not worried about everything you didn't do, and you're feeling just incredible and listening to this great hope in a euphoric state. I've never felt anything quite like it. Even after my first session, I remember thinking, who cares if I really lose weight, this feels so great I'll do it anyway.
The best part is you're doing something that feels great, and day by day, you start to realize the suggestions. They actually start to happen. It not only clears your mind of the negativity, you reach for it when you feel down, and you're immediately put in this hopeful, charged state, filled with energy, but calm directed energy. Not frenetic energy that is a bunch of action without really getting anywhere. It's the calm energy that makes you feel strong and directed and gives you the certainly that you will do it this time.
After I've listened to a hypnosis mp3, that day, throughout the day different sentences pop into my head. It's like being in an endorphin induced state after you workout.
While hypnosis can make you feel all of those great things, they are not all created equal. Different therapists have different techniques. You might like the way one person puts you into a specific state, while another therapist can invoke uncomfortable anxiety, just by the sound of their voice!! If you've tried it before and declared it's not for you, it might not be but it also might be the wrong cd or the wrong person. It really is just like a yoga instructor - some are great at their craft, and some should really keep their day job.
What i like the most is this: my mp3's are always there when I need them. I can be back on track anytime I want just by putting in my earphones. I know that I can feel great in an instant, any time I want which is sometimes, the only thing I need. In a great state, I make great choices. It's when I'm not feeling great, I'm overwhelmed or I'm stressed, that I need to have something that can change my thinking in an instant and my hypnosis CD's do this.
We have written much more about this on the site, and have written an article that looks into the link between hypnosis and successful weight loss. We also interviewed Matt Hoover of The Biggest Loser recently and discovered that he used hypnosis as a top collegiate wrestler and also to help keep the weight off that he lost.