Why would anyone become a hypnotist?
As I got out of the chair, I swallowed hard. The instructor of my hypnosis certification course had just called me up so that he could do a demonstration. I did a lot of research before I signed up for this course. So I had been on his website, and I had seen the video of the demonstration that he was calling me up for. It was the fifth day of the course. I knew that my thoughts would affect the outcome, so I immediately decided to have an open mind, and see what happened. The instructor began the demonstration, I was guided into a deep level of hypnosis, and then I heard the snap. As a nurse anesthetist, this snap had very specific meaning. It was the snap of a surgical clamp being closed on the skin on the back of my hand. It was a test for pain. And I felt nothing.
Why was I there? 4 years earlier, during a literature review, I discovered that hypnosis is a medically recognized means of preventing, reducing, and eliminating pain. When I found a course taught by another nurse anesthetist I signed up. Before this demonstration, it was not my intention to become a practicing hypnotist. At most, I thought I would use the skills I learned within my anesthesia practice.
What is hypnosis?
There is always confusion about what hypnosis is. And it’s not surprising. Commonly someone’s experience with hypnosis is limited to what they’ve seen on TV, in the movies, or at a stage hypnosis show. While stage hypnosis can be entertaining and fun to watch, I feel it takes away from the benefits and contributes to the misperception of ‘mind control.’
You have experienced the hypnotic state, even though you didn’t realize it at the time. Let me show you how. As adults we slip into daydreaming, or we space out while driving. During these periods our conscious analytical mind is not engaged in analysis and reasoning. This is the same brainwave state associated with hypnosis. Other times you may experience this state are when you practice meditation or guided visualization. Intent is what makes hypnosis different. In hypnosis we use this heightened suggestibility to introduce new thoughts and ideas around habits, beliefs, and sensations to create a desired, targeted outcome.
Who can benefit from hypnosis?
Many people ask if hypnosis can cure or treat disease. Hypnosis is an effective tool to aid in reducing the effects of stress, negative thinking, and behaviors that can aggravate physical illness. Hypnosis in and of itself does not cure, treat, or prevent any illness or disease. But the scientific evidence is clear that if stress is an aggravating factor in disease, hypnosis has demonstrated beneficial effect.
I have assisted clients with a wide range of issues including procrastination, difficulty falling asleep, business mindset blocks, confidence, sugar “addiction”, chronic pain referrals, IBS referrals, extreme fears, and the more commonly recognized smoking and weight loss. If it’s bothering you and willpower isn’t working, then hypnosis may be the answer you’re looking for.
Hypnosis is not a panacea and it isn’t for everyone. Like other approaches, when you work with a hypnotist, it is a partnership. Hypnosis does not rob you of your free will or choice. It is not magic. There is no invisible arm that is going to reach out and push your hand away from your face if you leave a hypnosis session and decide to light up a cigarette to “test the hypnosis and see if it worked.” Hypnosis makes it easy for you to simply forget about the cigarettes or if you have a thought of one you simply do not care about it.
Hypnosis is not therapy. Hypnosis is a skill that psychologists, therapists and psychiatrists may use in a therapy setting. But hypnosis in itself is just that—a skill—not therapy. When looking for a hypnotist, I recommend searching the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH) website. The NGH has established a Code of Ethics and Client Bill of Rights. Do not be afraid to ask your hypnotist if they are a member in good standing of their organization (there is more than one) and how much continuing education they do each year. They will gladly answer your questions.
The Journey Continues
My experience, in class that day, changed the direction of my career. In my 25 years of nursing and anesthesia practice, I have witnessed people’s struggles with pain. I was 18 years into my career before I learned of the ability of the mind to create comfort, influence habits, and interrupt the effect of stress on the body that is responsible for an estimated 75 to 90% of all doctor’s visits. I realized I had a deep desire to spread the word of the benefits of using the mind to aid in creating a more positive state of health and well-being.
One of the most difficult steps in my hypnosis career was closing my successful practice in Connecticut to return to Mississippi.
See Genesis Hypnosis, Page 6B
When I opened my practice in January 2018, I was really unsure of what to expect. What excited and surprised me was the enthusiasm and desire for hypnosis services. I had been skeptical hypnosis would be as well received here as it was in the Northeast.
Over the last year and a half I have enjoyed working with many wonderful clients. On this journey I am grateful for every client, and it is fulfilling to witness the changes they experience. Being a hypnotist allows me to aid others in changing their lives in a powerful and meaningful way. It has truly become a passion in my life.
Penny Chiasson is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Board Certified Hypnotist, Certified Professional Hypnosis Instructor and owner of Genesis Hypnosis Services and Training, LLC. As a published author, her book, The Art of Unlearning, Volume 3, reached #1 International Best Seller status. Penny is an annual presenter at the National Guild of Hypnotists Convention and contributes quarterly to the Journal of International Association of Hypnosis Professionals. Penny provides private sessions in her Flowood office and remotely, worldwide, via the internet. The next NGH-Approved Professional Hypnosis Certification training course begins September 8, 2019