Sunday, July 5, 2009

Do hypnosis CDs work?

Many people seek hypnosis and other effective therapies because they don't understand the core issues that are causing their challenges. Even when they do understand them, they still have trouble making the changes they want to make simply because they don't know where to get the help they need. Even when money isn't an issue, those people still can't seem to ever get motivated enough to seek a professional to help improve their lives.

Some people choose not to seek any help at all, and continue to live with feelings of pain, fear and doubt. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those who will try everything! They've been to therapy, they've purchased books, CDs, videos, and even tried those "change your life forever" seminars. Yet they still cannot seem to get beyond the obstacles that are stopping them from having a better life.

This article discusses not the pros and cons of hypnosis CDs, but how to choose the right ones to get the most benefit from your purchase. Live hypnosis sessions will always be the most beneficial and specific to your needs, but hypnosis CDs are perfect when you want your own personal hypnotist on your own time. Which leads us to the all-important question:

Do hypnosis CDs work?

The answer depends on if you are actually aware of the outcome you want to accomplish. In other words, if you are consciously aware that you want to stop smoking, it would make sense that you invest in a smoking cessation hypnosis CD. However, this is where some people may become disappointed. They purchase the CD with the full intent to listen every day until they no longer smoke. However, after a few days, they have seen no improvement. There are some who will continue to persevere, listening every day - taking in all the positive suggestions, and still not get any results!

Hypnosis CDs can and do work. But why don't they work for everyone? It's usually because not everyone has a true grasp of what's really going on inside of them. So they purchase what they think they need. If you're a smoker, think of the reasons you smoke. Is it because you get anxious? Or stressed? Or, perhaps you just want to "get away" for a while? A cigarette does a very effective job fulfilling those emotional needs. In fact, the reason some people find it difficult to quit smoking is because they use cigarettes for comfort during challenging times. Even if you're not a smoker, you can relate to doing something that gives you comfort during stressful times. Whether it's watching TV, eating ice cream, or even exercising.

Should you invest in yourself by purchasing a CD from a hypnotist?

To answer this fairly, think about a problem that you are having that you really want to get over. Maybe it's a habit, or you're really afraid of spiders. Or perhaps you want confidence to speak in public. Whatever it is, really explore what causes you to 'do' that behavior. If it's spiders, are you afraid of the spider itself, or what you think it will do to you? Likely you fear what the spider will do to you. And, if that's the case, what do you fear it will do to you? If you think it will bite you, what will happen then?

As a hypnotist, I keep digging until I find out exactly what is causing your fear (or whatever emotions you are feeling). When you ask yourself probing questions such as those above, the answers will give you more of an understanding of where your problems come from - giving you the direction to take.

Here is my opinion on what steps to take when deciding what hypnosis CDs to purchase:

1. Think about and identify the specific problem you want to stop having.
2. Ask yourself probing questions about that problem.
3. When you come to some deeper, rooted emotions and needs, those are what you use to base your decision on what CDs you should purchase.

Sometimes a "Feel More Confident" hypnosis CD can cover a range of behaviors. I'm sure a CD on "Overcoming Fear" will indirectly cover a spider phobia without even talking about spiders! Maybe something like "Endless Energy" will help you lose weight. I don't know if these are real products, but I think you know where I'm going with this.

The point to all this is: Be informed about your problem.
The more you know what causes you to do the things you do, the more you will understand what you need to overcome those behaviors. Then you can search for the programs that are right for you. That doesn't mean that smokers shouldn't look for those Stop Smoking CDs, it just means that everyone should do some research before investing their money. It's very likely that many hypnotists think like me, and have already created products that cover all aspects and reasons for certain behaviors. If this is the case, then you are certainly getting your money's worth. What's great about purchasing hypnosis CDs is that almost every hypnotist will be happy to answer your questions directly so that you purchase the right items. Make sure to take advantage of their expertise!

I should disclaim that there are hypnotists out there that are very popular and may not give you any type of free consultation. You will need to do your research and make sure you feel comfortable with and from whom you purchase. If you don't resonate with their business practices, the wording on their website, or them as a person, you probably won't like their CDs either.

At this time, I don't sell audio or video products. I wrote this article to help those who may not know which direction to take. I always recommend live sessions with a hypnotist over audio products mainly due to the fact that a CD cannot give you objective feedback, ask questions, or help you through the hypnosis process with the personal guidance that is sometimes necessary. Every session is unique. I need your feedback during a session to make sure we are always going in a direction that's comfortable for you. That is why I always get results where a CD may or may not. I do however want you to seek the help you need in any way you can find it. Hypnosis CDs are an excellent source of guidance from the right people. Find someone you really connect with, find a program that fits your needs, and enjoy making the changes of a lifetime!

If you have any questions, feel free to visit my contact page here: mindguidance contact

Monday, April 20, 2009

Who's Hypnotizing Who?

There is such an intense interest in hypnosis, even after all these years. When someone asks me what I do for a living, I tell them, "I help people become hypnotized." The reactions I get are usually of fascinated curiosity. Many people say "Hypnotize me, hypnotize me!". And some say "I don't think I can be hypnotized". Then there are those who think I'm practicing the devil's work. Hmmm...

I am going to expose you to some in-your-face truths about hypnosis. Things you may not have read before. If you have a few minutes, I'd like you to keep an open mind and read on.

We are ALL hypnotists. Every infant, child, adult and senior citizen already has what it takes to be a hypnotist. Even inanimate objects are hypnotists! I'll give you examples for all of the above in a moment.

When many people think of being hypnotized, they envision relaxing and listening to someone guide them into a deeper state of relaxation. While this certainly works, you can also be hypnotized riding on a rollercoaster, or driving a race car, or even doing your laundry. The best definition I've heard of hypnosis comes from the book by Heller and Steele titled:
Monsters and Magical Sticks: There is No Such Thing As Hypnosis.
They define hypnosis as, "any transaction and communication that causes an individual to go into their own experiences and call upon their own imagination in order to respond." I couldn't have said it better myself. But what exactly does it mean?

When you 'go into your own experiences', you are essentially recalling the past. You are bringing up memories, or references, to identify with your current situation. For example, I had a client tell me about a beloved pet she lost a few years ago. She recalled his precious face, the spots around his nose, his floppy ears, and the unconditional love he gave. He was 'adorable' and she missed him terribly. She was sad about the loss and I certainly understand why. Her loss however can become someone else's loss too! She can tell this story to a complete stranger, and that person will start to recall what it was like to lose their own pet. A storyteller shares, a listener relates, and it becomes listener's experience too. This is hypnosis. It's not the only definition for hypnosis, but it is a good example how we are all being hypnotized all the time.

In the above example, the person who lost their pet felt sad. The listener then goes into his or her own references about losing an animal they cared for and suddenly, he or she is sad too. Some might say that the listener was involuntarily hypnotized by the story and became sad. However, was it involuntary? Actually, no. This is where most people get confused. No one can directly hypnotize you. You actually hypnotize yourself by going inward and having the experience. You will see this over and over again on many hypnotherapist's website:

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis

In order for the listener mentioned above to have that experience, he or she chose to remember their own animal and their own experiences with death. This put them into that trance-like state you always hear about. She was in her own trance, thinking of her own 'stuff.'

So, the real question is: What state do you choose to be in?

When someone is griping and complaining about the service they got at a restaurant, do you join in? Do you commiserate? Do you suddenly feel a bond when you are both complaining about the same thing? Or how about when you watch a commercial about how thirsty someone is while they're reaching for a cold drink, do you 'go into your own experience' to find out if you're thirsty too? Even better, do you suddenly want the drink shown in the commercial? Or, perhaps you want that drink months later when something reminds you of when you were watching that commercial.

We are all being hypnotized, all the time. It's the natural process of learning. Some professionals like myself know and have studied this process well and can use our learnings to help you make the changes you want to make in life, instead of the ones that you don't know you are making. This information is golden. Advertisers will never share this with you. Most hypnotists won't even share this with you. I however believe that everyone has a right to make an informed decision. If you are considering hypnotherapy as a method of change for the better, do your research. Search the pros and cons. Read about the myths. Read about the science. The more you know, the more you will be empowered to come to your own conclusion about what's right for you. You are going to find every angle out there. And, you will find people vehemently against hypnosis.

Do you want to be hypnotized? Just 15 seconds of your time please...

When you close your eyes and think of green, what comes up for you? Is it just the color? Or, is it grass... money... a car...? If you answered the question, congratulations! You have successfully entered a state of hypnosis.

My own definition for hypnosis says that we internalize our external experience. In other words, what we see, hear, feel, taste or smell, we bring into our minds to experience and relate to it. Usually relating it to something we already know. If we don't internalize something, we may not really experience it at all. If you chose not to go inward and think of green, then you simply didn't want to play. And that's ok too! There are many people who don't go inside their own minds to experience things. Some people really don't like what they see in there and choose not to go. Or, they don't trust who's leading them there, which is a safety mechanism (and a good one at that!). Otherwise, those who 'tried it on', got to have the experience. It may have been a simple example, but it shows how the process can work.

Obviously, there are many other components to hypnosis. But what I've explained to you above is really the foundation for how it all comes about. Something comes into one of our five senses, we relate to it somehow, then we have an internal experience which leads to a thought and typically, an emotion. A professional hypnotist/hypnotherapist knows how to utilize everything you know and help you make the changes you want to make. Now you are more informed.

If you have any questions on this article or on hypnosis, feel free to comment below or send me an email

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Process of Fear

The latest mindGuided audio journey has to do with fear. To some, even hearing that word conjures up images, sounds, feelings, and emotions. Fear can serve us and does have a time and place, but it can also be intrusive when it prevents us from responding to situations appropriately.

If you broke down the unconscious process you go through to achieve a state of fear, you would be presented with an opportunity to change one or two steps so that you could experience another emotion instead. However, since most of our processes (also known as strategies) are out of conscious awareness, it's a challenge to accomplish.

Knowing every step you take to experience an emotion can allow you to alter the process. Why would you want to alter the process? So you can experience something more productive, like curiosity or determination instead!

Here's a good way to look at it:

Imagine you wake up to the alarm at 6:30 every morning. You press snooze twice, get up, shuffle to the bathroom, take a shower, get dressed, eat, and go to work.

This is a process you follow every work day. However, if you changed one aspect of that process, a small or a very large shift in the outcome would occur. If you chose to eat first, then shower, you probably wouldn't notice much of a difference. If you put your clothes on first, then took a shower, then ate... well, let's just say you'd certainly have a different experience!

Earlier today, I examined my own process of laughing. I asked myself, 'What steps do I go through before a laugh occurs?' I searched the web for funny pictures and here's the breakdown of my steps:

1. I see an image
2. The image reminds me of something in my past. I make a picture of that new image in my mind
3. I see how both images relate to one another and realize the humor from the past image also applies to the current image
4. I feel my chest tightening
5. The corners of my mouth curl upward
6. I experience a tickling in my chest
7. I laugh

The above example is one of the many ways I experience laughter, though I may have missed a step or two. Otherwise, it basically shows you what I mean by "process". I realize it reads like a textbook, but this is how our mind and body works! The process happens in a fraction of a second and the steps are completely out of our awareness.

Now that I have one of my processes broken down into steps, I am aware of how a laugh forms in my body... at least in this case. It may be different if I watched a comedian on stage or played a practical joke on someone.Now what does all of this have to do with fear? Since fear is also a process, it can be examined and broken down the same way. Some people experience fear in a very similar manner as other emotions. Using the example above, let's look how similar the process of experiencing fear can be:

1.You see an image
2.The image reminds you of something in your past. You make a picture of that new image in your mind
3. You see how both images relate and realize the fear from the past image also applies to the current image
4. You feel your chest tightening
5. Your mouth opens slightly
6. Your temperature rises
7. You ____ (scream, run, freeze, etc)

It's amazing how similar they both start, but then fear changes course and goes in a different direction. Of course, everyone is different, and your steps may be completely different depending on the situation. However, like my laughter example, it is a process so it can be altered. If you can interrupt the process before you feel your chest tightening, you may actually be able to feel differently about the situation you’re in! Once the pattern changes, so does the outcome.

Altering a process can be difficult to do on your own, but it can be done. Let's examine how you would find out your process leading to fear:

Start by paying attention to the very first thing that happens when you start to feel fear.
Do you see or hear something?
Maybe you smell something?
When you know, write it down.

What happens right after that? Do you see or hear something in your mind?
Maybe you have a feeling at the same time an image or sound comes to mind.

Note that too. And keep noting each step you take until you are able to map out the entire process.

By the time you are done, you should have quite a list of steps. I didn't say this would be easy. In fact, for someone who's never done anything like this, it may be near impossible! But if you keep at it, you will find that you actually do things inside your mind and body before you experience any emotion, not just fear.

Once you know the steps, you’re already on your way to changing them. In fact, the next time you start feeling fearful, you’ll notice the steps actually slow down a bit so that you can examine them to make sure they are relevant to the situation. And as every step presents itself, you may find that now you have a choice on what happens next instead of just waiting for it to happen on its own. And when there's a choice on how to feel fear, there's also a choice on whether to feel fear at all.


If you find it difficult to learn this process on your own, you'll find it a lot easier (and sometimes necessary) to be guided by someone who is qualified in this area. After all, these processes lie dormant in your unconscious mind until evoked, so it is quite a skill to be able to start feeling an emotion coming on at the same time you are examining the steps you're taking to feel that emotion.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

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