LENEXA, Kan. -- You're getting tired… you're getting very sleepy. That's probably what you imagine when you think of being hypnotized. But many people are turning to hypnotherapy for some serious problems.
Could the key to losing weight, reducing stress, even stopping smoking be found in this chair? A metro doctor says hypnotism works and it's as simple as leaning back and closing your eyes.
Overland Park entrepreneur Jim Mellon has been spellbound by hypnotist Dr. Kenneth Plumb for years. As a former power-lifter he started seeing Dr. Plumb to gain focus in the weight room. Fifteen years later he’s still mesmerized.
“There are times when I go through the process and I believe and feel like I have heard every single word that Dr. Plumb has said,” Mellon said. “And there are times when I go under so quickly that the next thing I know, I am coming to and it may have been 30 minutes later."
Mellon said being hypnotized is his prescription for success. It brings him clarity, he sleeps better, has more energy for time with his family. He is also more motivated to grow his new business and is less stressed out.
“I call it a “mental massage,” being married and having three young children, the stress of work and career, everything sometimes takes its toll,” Mellon said.
Dr. Plumb says hypnotism works but not for everyone--one out of three people can't be hypnotized. But he says when it works, it's like magic.
"The brain is a funny thing. It's how you learn to play a musical instrument or how you develop any new hobby or habit and you can un-learn things." Dr. Plumb said.
The term 'hypnosis' comes from the Greek word ‘Hypnos’ which means sleep. Dr. Plumb says relaxing through hypnosis actually helps people wake up.
"When you come in here I find out what you want and we go from there," Dr. Plumb said. "Just imagine what you could accomplish if you have no fear,”
Dr. Plumb has his Ph.D in hypnotherapy and is registered with the American Guild of Hypnotherapists. But no law requires Hypnotherapists to get a state license to practice.
So is it safe? Can hypnotherapists make you lose control or act against your will? We asked a board certified psychiatrist -- Dr. Ken Sonnenschein.
“The other important thing is to understand hypnosis is not a party trick, that hypnotherapy is not a party trick,” Dr. Sonnenschein said.
Dr. Sonnenschein said it's a safe therapy when done by a trained professional but warns it has a limited scope.
"Hypnosis is not a cure-all or panacea, just like any therapeutic kind of therapeutic intervention is not a cure-all or panacea," Dr. Sonnenschein said.
Mellon says there's only one way to know if it will work for you.
"It's not black magic, it's not voodoo, give it a try,” he said.