By EeVon Ling ND, CH
Since announcing my certification as a hypnotherapist in the last newsletter, there has been a positive response from patients wanting to use this therapy to improve their health and well-being. However, I am sure there are many of you who may know very little about hypnosis and know even less about how you can benefit from it.
My interest in hypnosis stems from my experience in helping individuals overcome the internal hurdles that keep them from achieving their goals. As a naturopathic doctor, I believe very strongly in the mind-body connection – that physical issues are influenced by your mental and emotional state and vice versa. While making diet changes, following supplementation plans and taking herbs are indeed useful and required in many health conditions, for some people, the larger need is help in implementing and sticking to changes. Smoking, overeating, being overstressed, having fears – these are all conditions that we know we must do something about; however for many, there seems to be a block or obstacle that keeps them from transforming “knowing” into “doing”. This is where hypnosis can help.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of focused attention in which the individual becomes receptive to suggestions. Hypnosis allows the individual to gain insight into their subconscious mind while still maintaining a degree of conscious awareness. Individuals in the hypnotic state are still aware of their surroundings and are able to make their own decisions.
To further explain, the brain normally produces various electrical brain wave patterns throughout the day: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta:
Beta waves (14 – 30 Hz) occur while we are alert, conscious and/or under stress, (such as while we are working, actively thinking and problem solving).
Alpha waves (9 – 13 Hz) occur while we are calm, perhaps relaxed, but still lucid. We produce alpha waves when resting after completing a task, when taking a “mental break”, while taking a deep breath after having been in a beta state for a long time. Simple breathing exercises can produce an alpha state.
Theta waves (4 – 8 Hz) occur during deep relaxation, meditation and focused visualization. We produce theta waves while daydreaming in class or during a meeting. Long distance runners are often in a theta state when they are “in the zone” or experiencing a “runner’s high”. Even driving on long stretches of highway can produce theta brain waves; this explains the experience of being unable to recall the last few kilometers you have passed while driving.
Delta waves (1-3 Hz) occur during sleep and dreaming.
While under hypnosis, the brain fluctuates between the alpha and theta states. So, in these states, the brain feels relaxed but is still consciously alert when it needs to be. Therefore, most of the general population has experienced being in a hypnotic state at some time or another. Unfortunately, because modern life is very stress inducing, many people spend a lot of time in a Beta state (which increases the stress response) and they have a hard time producing their own alpha and theta states.
During a clinical session, you are guided into an alpha or theta state through hypnosis to increase your ability to relax and influence your own subconscious mind to make positive changes. Furthermore, you will eventually learn how to self-hypnotize and control your own beta, alpha and theta states – thus improving your overall health.
What conditions can hypnosis help with?
Dr. Ling is currently offering the use of hypnosis as a treatment option for:
Fears and Phobias
A More Natural and Comfortable Childbirth
Hypnosis sessions are 45 to 60 minutes long and may be scheduled on a weekly to monthly basis depending on your main concerns. The Pacific Wellness Institute currently offers packages for multiple sessions. If you are new to hypnosis and interested in how it can help you, please make an appointment by contacting the clinic at (416) 929-6958.
Eevon Ling, ND, CH is a licensed naturopathic doctor and Certified Hypnotherapist at The Pacific Wellness Institute. Please contact The Pacific Wellness Institute at 416-929-6958 for an appointment.