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clinical hypnotherapy

From Dr. Rick …

I want to illustrate the wonderful potential for physical healing and overall health through hypnotherapy by sharing with you the following story:

One of the first Clinical Hypnotherapy groups I ever designed and facilitated was in Los Angeles in the mid-nineties. The group consisted of eight people who were all diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses and were struggling, to varying degrees, with quality-of-life issues – these included medicinal side-effects, lack of appetite and sleep, income worries, depression/anxiety, relationship issues, etc.
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The group was formed with the only instruction being that they do not change anything significant in their lives, i.e., medication routines, eating habits, employment, living arrangements, and the like. And of course, that they attend all six weekly group meetings.

The hypnotherapy sessions consisted of:

1. A brief check-in about how each person was doing, physically and emotionally;
2. A relaxation exercise;
3. Hypnotherapy using strong images, guided visualizations, and post-hypnotic suggestions;
4. A closing discussion to briefly process the experience

At the conclusion of the six weeks, every single person experienced a rise in their “T-4 helper cells” (these are the “good” cells that fight off infections and disease) … AND … every person reported experiencing positive side effects, such as better appetites, better quality of sleep, lowered anxiety, etc.

It was a very hopeful, encouraging experience for the participants and for me as well. And I realized that Clinical Hypnotherapy was a wonderful tool for healing and for on-going wellness.

Since that experience I have utilized hypnotherapy in a variety of ways. I’ve worked with individuals for health and medical reasons (such as in the group, above), for the treatment of anxiety and depression, and for the release of phobias, unwanted behaviors and habits. I’ve used it to help people change their outlook on life, and to bring to light their early life experiences and repressed memories. (I’m also certified in past life regression therapy, so our therapeutic journey back in time isn’t limited to childhood.) We commonly think of hypnotherapy as being useful for smoking cessation or weight loss or a fear of flying – and it is! – but it’s helpful in many more ways and for many more issues beyond behavioral problems and fears.

As the above support group experience demonstrates, hypnotherapy is a strong tool for the mind/body connection. In fact, one way to think of hypnotherapy is that it helps the mind help the body:
  • It can reduce blood pressure … and a craving for sweets
  • It can increase motivation and test scores, and decrease hyperactivity and mood swings
  • It can decrease pre-surgery anxiety and increase the body’s ability to heal post-surgery
  • It does all this (and much more!) in a completely holistic, natural way without medication
I hold a doctorate degree in Clinical Hypnotherapy with an emphasis in mind/body wellness, yet sometimes I think of hypnotherapy like chicken soup ... we don't always know exactly why it works so well, but it doesn't hurt, it usually helps, and it always feels good!

Know this: we go through "altered states" all the time - while driving, when sitting with a cup of coffee, when staring out the window at a bird in the tree, when we first wake up, when we put our head on the pillow to go to sleep ... and countless other times during the day. The only difference between these natural moments of altered states and hypnotherapy, is that during hypnosis the altered states are guided by a trained professional to help you reach a deep state of relaxation where your conscious mind can step aside, and your unconscious mind can assist more directly in helping you reach your goals. And your unconscious mind is smart - it only accepts the suggestions you want, and automatically rejects the ones you don't! The patient always remembers what happened during the session, and usually "awakens" feeling calm and refreshed, the way you feel after a really good nap.

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about hypnotherapy and its applications. If you're interested in learning more, or experiencing the benefits of hypnotherapy for yourself, simply call or write, and we'll take it from there. Like most things in life, it all begins with a breath.

Dr. Rick Pimental-Habib, Ph.D., C.C.H.         423.326.7099         eMail Dr. Rick        

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