How Your Pain is Lying to You [Video]

This surprisingly funny video about how pain works tells you everything you need to know about pain except what to do about it, which I’ll get into when you’re done looking at it.

If pain is largely a matter of interpretation by our brains, then one of the most helpful ways of dealing with it is reinterpretation.

Hypnosis can turn pain from 11 down to 1 or 2Hypnosis has been used for pain control for more than 150 years. One of the classic techniques is very similar to an experiment described in the video. In the experiment, you have the subject wear a “pain helmet” that doesn’t actually do anything, and allow him to watch as you turn up a “pain knob” that doesn’t do anything either. And as you turn up the knob, the subject’s pain increases. It really does. Even though the knob isn’t connected to anything at all. Continue Reading...

How Long Does it Take?

Some hypnotists claim to be able to do just about anything a single session. Sometimes they’re right! But some of their clients end up seeing me when the one-session approach fails.

Let’s face it: people are different, and there aren’t any one-size-fits-all solutions. Hypnosis produces quick, lasting results, but often not that quickly.

Rather than focus on ultimate speed, I’m looking for broadly beneficial results that last forever. If someone comes to me to stop smoking, I don’t want them to be one of those non-smokers who are white-knuckling it all the time. That’s a heck of a way to spend the rest of your life! I want smoking to become like riding a child’s tricycle — something they used to do, something that used to fit, and used to be fun, but you’ve moved on now and have new ways of having fun that are even better.

So I pace things for maximum benefit, taking two sessions to work with even the simplest problems, and roughly five for the harder ones if things happen to resolve quickly, and maybe ten if they move slowly. People differ, after all. Continue Reading...

Time to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution?

What separates the people who keep their New Year’s resolutions from the ones who don’t? How do you stack the odds in your favor, so that, instead of starting the new year with a disappointment, you hit the bullseye and get just what you said you would?

I don’t often quote Shakespeare here, but I’m reminded of the scene in Henry IV, Part 1, when Glendower bragged, “I can call the spirits from the vasty deep.” To this Hotspur scoffed, “Why, so can I, or so can any man! But do they come, when you do call for them?”

So when it’s time for you to call something from the vasty deep, just calling might not be enough. You might want, say, a hook with the right kind of bait on it, and a line from the hook to a fishing rod, and a good place on shore or in a boat to hang out until you get a bite. And a resolution that that’s more than a wish, but a commitment to spend the time, money and effort that’s needed to bring your catch to shore. Maybe it’ll be quick and easy and maybe it’ll be a long haul, but it’s the people who show up day after day who catch the fish. Continue Reading...

Habits Are Made to be Broken … Today

In our formative, impressionable years, people try to teach us to be good children, and even if they do a good job, guess what? Being a good child is the wrong answer, once we’ve grown up! How many of those “good” habits we picked up, way back when, are holding us back today? It can be hard to take charge when you were taught to wait your turn, to hold your tongue, or to do what the people around you do, instead of finding opportunities.

Bad habits hold you back, and good habits propel you forward, don’t they? Who doesn’t want fewer bad habits and more good habits? But few things are harder than adjusting your habits consciously. You only have so much attention to spend, and it’s mostly called for already.

That’s where hypnosis comes in. Hypnosis bypasses most of the need willpower and constant vigilance when adjusting your habits, because it communicates with your unconscious mind directly, in terms it understands, so you start acting on your desires quickly and easily, in just a few short sessions. Continue Reading...

Don’t Want to Talk About It? Try “Secret Therapy!”

People in hypnosis don’t talk much, and that means that the less you want to talk about your issue, the more appropriate it is.

When I was being trained in hypnotherapy, one of the things we’d do is pair off to practice our new skills, and it didn’t matter very much whether we told our partner, “I don’t like flossing, and I want to floss every day,” or “I don’t like to do X, but it’s important, so I want to do X every day.” Both are perfectly adequate.

That’s because hypnosis is all about guiding the client through an imaginative process, using combinations of stories, metaphors, and step-by-step instructions to help the unconscious mind to re-evaluate the old decision that gets in the way of progress.

Because your unconscious mind is very responsive to fables, fairy tales, metaphors, and stories of all kinds, it doesn’t matter if I use your real information or tell a story about a different situation that happens to have some similar elements. That’s all the unconscious needs. Continue Reading...