Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to bring about beneficial changes, often very quickly and effectively, in a comforting and gentle way. It can help with most conditions including managing weight, stopping smoking, managing stress, anxiety, fears and phobias, difficulties in relationships and day to day living, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also help with some physical conditions, given the inter-related nature of our mind-body system. For the treatment of life- restricting phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder I use the Rewind Technique, a quick and non-intrusive way of bringing relief from these painful conditions. You can read more about this in the section dedicated to this technique.

First of all, it's important to know that, despite dramatic television programmes appearing to show the contrary, you are aware and in control at all times, and able to stop the session at any time if you wish to do so. Clinical hypnosis is not something that is used irresponsibly or for entertainment purposes.

Rather, we feel pleasantly relaxed, drifting in and out of waking awareness: anyone familiar with meditation will feel some similarities with this state. If our conscious mind wanders, or we drift into a light sleep, that's fine, our unconscious mind continues to pay attention and to learn and the therapeutic benefits of hypnosis wonít be affected. There may be some bodily sensations similar to when weíre falling asleep or on waking; for example, our eyelids might flicker as in the Rapid Eye Movement phase of sleep, our body may feel lighter or heavier, sometimes we feel a tingling in the hands or feet. Time might seem to pass more slowly or more quickly. When the session is over you will return to conscious awareness very quickly and easily, and you can trust your unconscious mind to continue the work of positive change.

The terms 'conscious mind' and 'unconscious mind' are shorthand terms for changes and processes which take place in different areas of the brain during the altered state known as hypnosis, and into which weíre guided by the hypnotherapist for therapeutic purposes. This is the natural state which weíre all very familiar with in our daily lives, for example, when driving, working, walking, playing sport or watching TV. Itís a state very similar to the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep we experience during the night, and not unlike meditation. When we're in the grip of a phobia, of anxiety, compulsion or any one of a number of other distressing states, we are in a negative hypnotic trance from which we don't consciously know how to break free, and which we canít talk ourselves out of, no matter how illogical or irrational we may feel it to be.

Using breath, imagination and the therapistís voice, we take a mini-break from stress and anxiety as the strong emotions that drive distress are eased . As in meditation, there are alterations in the pattern of our brain waves, bringing about calmness and a learning state in which new neural pathways can be created, 're-wiring' us to change old behaviours that no longer serve our best interests. In this state of deep comfort and rest, logical thinking and reasoning take a back seat, where they can't put up barriers to change as the left side analytic part of the brain is dialled down into a calm state - a pleasant and relaxed sensation.. Meanwhile, the more creative right side of the brain comes into dominance, allowing the unconscious mind to learn, re-learn and discover solutions to whatever behaviours, difficulties, problems or challenges you want to resolve or change, enabling your inner resources to work for you in your best interests

Anyone can be hypnotised if they want to be. If you donít want to be, then no-one can make you enter this state. You can't be unwillingly put under anyone else's control, you can't be made to do something you don't want to do, and you wonít tell anyone anything you want to remain known only to you.. You are fully aware and in control and can stop the session any time should you want to for any reason, or you can wait until the therapist guides you to do so at the close of the session.

There are some conditions for which hypnotherapy may not be recommended, for example conditions involving what's commonly known as psychosis, or if you are actively using alcohol or drugs at the time of the session.

For more information about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and its treatment please see The Red Poppy Company on

www.theredpoppycompany.co.uk

The information contained in this website is not intended to replace guidance from your doctor or other medical professional.

Do contact them for advice if you have any health concerns.