You’re probably aware of hypnosis to stop smoking. Or for losing pounds. Maybe you’ve heard how hypnosis can help explore past lives, but there are some things hypnosis can help you do that might surprise or amaze you: 1. Locate lost objects. If you were the one who put it away, or you witnessed it being put away, hypnosis might help. Even if the incident was years ago. Try it and see what happens. 2. Enjoy foods you’ve avoided. Brussel sprouts are healthy, and whole-grain bread is better for you than white, nutritionists tell us. But what if you just don’t like the taste? A little hypnosis and you might change all that, though if your resistance persists, check for an allergy. Sometimes your body just “knows.” 3. End cravings. The reverse of #2, this helps you turn down brownies, stop uncontrolled shopping, or even give up the boyfriend who keeps doin’ ya wrong. 4. Enjoy public speaking. They call it a greater fear than death. Too bad. Being an effective speaker can boost your career in your company, your industry, and beyond. Once-reticent clients gasp at the changes in themselves—and the benefits they reap. If stopping smoking stops draining money, becoming a good speaker puts money in the bank. 5. Exercise longer, stronger and more efficiently. Hypnosis can help your turn distaste for working out into a craving. Ask yourself: “What would exercising give me? What would it make possible in my life?” A talented hypnotherapist spins a powerful motivational story for your subconscious, making it all so desirable that you can’t wait to shop for running shoes. 6. Attract your life partner. You think finding the person of your dreams is about mesmerizing her or her? Nope. Start with yourself. Hypnosis for confidence, sex appeal, or immediate rapport gives you a feeling you’ve never had before. And that sense of self is very appealing to others. Try it out. 7. Get more done in less time. It’s not all about organizing your files or upgrading your technology. Productivity, effectiveness, and enjoying what you do all start in the mind. And specifically, in your subconscious mind. Uh-huh. 8. Relieve an itch. Yeah, really. When is an itch not an itch? When it’s a habit. Keep scratching it and it feels itchier. And irritated. Irritated skin often itches (not to mention bleeds) so you’ve created a cycle. But you can tell your subconscious to disengage that phantom itching, allow your healing, and get back that healthy smoothness. Finding Your Hypnotherapist Once interested in hypnosis, people ask me how they can find a good hypnotist in their area. If you live in or near a metropolitan area, it shouldn’t be too difficult. But people trained in hypnosis can sometimes be found in rural areas too. You may see the title “certified hypnotherapist” or “certified hypnotist,” and more recently “consulting hypnotist.” Ask which organization(s) certified him or her. For hypnotists who are not licensed as psychotherapists or psychologists (and yet are extremely effective and trustworthy), the National Guild of Hypnotists is nationally known and deemed trustworthy. The American Board of Hypnotherapy is also a respected organization. When you call a hypnotherapist, found through referral or simply by Googling “hypnosis”, notice how comfortable you feel during the conversation. Great skills are crucial, but so is the rapport between you. If you want to test the waters, arrange for a single appointment, and then decide whether you want to continue. A hypnotherapeutic relationship can be ongoing, especially if there’s a coaching aspect to it, but it is often short term: one appointment, three appointments, perhaps six, depending on the issue or the habit you want to break—or create. In your phone conversation, you should be encouraged to ask all the questions you need to ask. As a consumer and potential client, you have that right. Two good questions are: “How long have you been in practice? And what are your specialties?? (Mine are smoking cessation and women’s issues including love and relationship.) You may also want to ask, “Do you work with ______(your issue)?” And “How often?” What Can Hypnosis Be Used For Hypnosis, in a clinical setting—as opposed to stage hypnosis for entertainment—is usually used to create or break habits. These are habits of thought or action. Grabbing the next potato chip, and the next, and the next, without even noticing you’re doing it, is a habit of action. But that action may have been due to a habit of thought. Perhaps you were focusing on a painful, sad, or angry thought or an unfulfilled desire and wanted to distract yourself. And you found that a tasty food could do that for you temporarily. A conscious motive? Maybe. But it’s often unconscious. You may not realize why you’re reaching for the chip. You’d probably say “I like the taste” or “I’m just hungry and I can’t take a break now.” Hypnosis is ideal for working for working with the subconscious mind. The Power of Self Hypnosis Self-hypnosis is an empowering tool because once you’ve tested the waters, you may want to continue the work on your own, with only occasional visits to the hypnotist of your choice for tougher issues or to upgrade your skills. Self-hypnosis allows you to work with yourself, whenever you choose, on simple things, reserving another office visit for times when you need an outside perspective or when self-hypnosis doesn’t seem to be working. Smoking cessation, initial weigh loss work, and relationship issues seem to work best with outside help, at least at first. But once you’ve sampled the powerful results of hypnosis, you might want to make it part of your life. So ask up front if your hypnotherapist teaches self-hypnosis. Many of us do. For example, I teach self-hypnosis one-on-one, in a group workshop, or with a CD I have created for that purpose. When choosing your practitioner, find out what choices she offers. Hypnotherapy is not psychotherapy If you suspect you need psychotherapy, don’t expect the “certified hypnotherapist” or hypnotist to do that. She is not licensed for that work. Instead, either look for a psychotherapist who is also trained in hypnosis and uses it commonly in her practice, or go to two different people. In my practice, I have relationships with many psychotherapists. When the situation calls for both skills, we share a client, and with her expressed written permission, we exchange progress reports to maximize the impact of our work to benefit that client. Generally I see the client a specified number of times, while the psychotherapist’s care is ongoing. Clients generally say the combination made a difference in speed, effectiveness, and enjoyment. Hypnosis is pleasant The process of being hypnotized is usually a pleasant one. So many of my clients have described as a “mental massage,” that I now teach a corporate workshop called That Marvelous Mental Massage.™ Clients often say they feel healthier, more alive and committed to their lives after walking out of a session. They can’t believe they could alter their minds to be so rested and optimistic, after merely sitting on a sofa for an hour, listening to someone say some words to them. If you have an issue you think can be addressed by hypnosis, call some practitioners near you, describe the issue, what you’d like to have happen, and sample this ancient art and science for what it can do for you.