By Parveen Chopra June 2002 Hypnotherapy is increasingly finding acceptance in overcoming addictions and phobias and treating psychosomatic disorders, says Sunny Satin, a certified clinical hypnotherapist based in the USA who is now offering hypnosis courses in India A girl in the USA had come to see Sunny Satin with a peculiar problem. She had an irrational fear of cotton. She couldn’t even touch the material or wear it. After conducting past-life regression therapy with her, Satin traced the source of the problem. It was discovered that she had worked as a slave at a cotton plantation in Georgia in 1786. The owner of the plantation had sold her husband to another plantation in Tennessee for a measly $10. She never saw her husband again. Therein lied Satin’s patient’s resistance to cotton. By recourse to hypnosis, the problem was treated at its root. Speak thy mind-a mind responds to another mind and thereby traces the genesis of the problem. No medicine, no artificially generated waves. Simply talk, slow and smooth between two individuals and unveiling the past like peeling layers of onion-without any pain. With its ability to enhance the power of suggestion because it works at the subconscious mind level, hypnosis has been found effective for a variety of problems that hinge on emotions, habits, and even the body’s involuntary responses, thus removing impediments for personal growth and success. It can relieve virtually all types of pain , including the pain of surgery, and migraine, no matter what the source. In physical disorders such as cancer, heart disease, or infection, hypnosis accelerates the healing process when used in conjunction with medical treatment. Experience and knowledge of the hypnotherapist do play a key role in calming the patient’s mind. The trick of asking questions and tracing the path to the cause of the problem is equally crucial. As the patient slowly slips into a hypnotic state, the mind is relaxed. The conscious mind then no longer controls every thought and emotion as it does when we are awake. The surroundings become less important. The patient then is aware of the inner feelings and sensations that envelop him. With all worldly troubles, pains and other negative thoughts cleared away, the patient is able to focus intently on the hynotherapist’s suggestions. ‘Only suggestions are offered, no orders are given,’ affirms Satin, ‘to recall buried memories or emotions that may have caused the problem at hand.’ Satin, a certified clinical hypnotherapist with an established practice in southern Caliornia in the USA, cites that 70 per cent of the diseases are psychosomatic. And hypnosis is very effective in dealing with anything to do with the mind, particularly fears and phobias and addictions. Unlike other medical disciplines, hypnotherapy is easier to learn and practise. ‘All you need to know is how to access the subconscious mind and how to place suggestions there. The scripts for suggestions to treat different disorders are even available on the Internet,’ says Satin. One plus point of hypnosis, he adds, is that it complements all other healing modalities including allopathy. However, case studies reveal that self-motivation is essential for success with hypnotherapy. Says Satin: ‘If we are trying to change because someone else wants us to say stop smoking, chances of hypnosis working are greatly reduced. The success rate in case of patients coming on the insistence of their family members drops to 45 per cent instead of the standard 90 per cent.’ But hypnosis is so effective that Satin usually requires no more that three sessions to cure addictions. So, how different is hypnosis from psychotherapy, meditation and NLP? In psychotherapy, replies Satin, we deal with the conscious mind; under hypnosis, the conscious mind is only an observer and we access the unconscious. Meditation, on the other hand, is not a therapy but a way of calming the mind. Nor is NLP a therapy, it works only in behaviour modification. Allaying the fears people may have about the hypnotist making them do unwanted things under hypnosis, Satin says: ‘The conscious mind is critical and takes all the decisions. The subconscious is just a data-storage, from where only the information can be retrieved. It can’t be asked to do things like withdraw X amount of money from the bank, because when you execute such an order, the conscious mind comes into play. Negative suggestions therefore don’t work.’ Yet, the evolution and acceptance of hypnosis as a therapeutical tool has been slow. In its modern form it goes back to Anton Mesmer (1734-1815). But it was as recent as 1956 that the American Medical Association (AMA) declared this practice adjunct. Satin remarks: ‘Hypnosis resurfaced in the USA when Milton Erickson began experimenting with it for the treatment of both mental and physical ailments. The American Psychological Association approved hypnotherapy as a valid medical treatment in 1967 and it is slowly becoming a part of the mainstream. Many universities in the USA recently have incorporated hypnosis as a part of the psychology course. The American Pacific University in Hawaii even offers a doctorate programme.’ Satin believes that hypnosis is at the same stage today where reiki healing was 20 years ago (that is, ready to burst on the scene). Curiously, the practice of hypnotherapy has flourished in California and New York. Satin also reports that a majority of the leading sports teams in America have a resident hypnotherapist to enhance the players’ performance levels and ensure their personal success. Likewise, many Hollywood personalities pay regular visits to hypnotherapists especially before major shows to reduce anxiety levels and overcome stress. Based in Irvine, near Los Angeles, Satin is privy to latest developments in hypnosis. He received his training from Hypnosis Motivation Institute, the world’s leading institute in the field. He specialises in past-life regression therapy and is a certified graphologist. He has given talks on hypnosis and hypnotherapy in the USA, Europe and Asia. Satin says that like many other practitioners of alternative therapies, he too has enriched his repertoire with disciplines such as reiki, crystal and colour therapy and magnetotherapy. He’s also got a Ph.D. in transpersonal psychology. This is a curious turn in life for Satin, who has master’s degrees in engineering and management and is a global information systems consultant. But perhaps it is this background that took him around the world innumerable times, giving him an opportunity to study different cultures and learning secrets from many spiritual masters. Some techniques he knows but doesn’t want to reveal because they belong to the Mystery School. Now Satin is returning to the country of his birth, offering training courses on hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Those who complete his 3-day introductory course and the 5-day advanced course can start practising hypnosis. Subsequent to at least a month’s practice, they can take the clinical hypnotherapy course and get certified. Contact: Sunny Satine-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgIn India, Yogesh Choudhury, Phone +91-124-6357411
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