Hypnotherapy can hold the key to answer many problems

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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.

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  • Betsy Wactor- Mathews

    Even if you’re willing you can’t be hypnotized to overcome your basic thought structures, like protecting yourself or being unwilling to surrender to others. You can’t be made to do something you really don’t want to do either. I had the same experience as “witty” when I used it to try and quit smoking. It didn’t help a bit, probably because I couldn’t surrender and it was also a physical addiction. On some level, I really didn’t want to quit. But it’s great for those who have success with it.

  • Shirley Price

    Yes, I have used hypnosis and believe that it works. Like anything else, you have to keep up on it. It often is not a one time thing. Sometimes a “booster” is needed. I also have used self hypnosis and have had great results. You have to trust in it and yourself.

  • Truth

    the patient said it’s not voodoo or black magic, but what’s funny is that hypnosis is a mysticism that came from the Kabbalah. Even Kabbalists and Zionists say the Kabbalah is indeed black magic. I’m not religious, but we don’t know what we’re tampering with here. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, and neither does anyone else. It’s the same idea with over the counter or prescription meds… a majority of the people that get them don’t even read into them. They just look at some of the possible side effects but dont research into the long term use. Find out what you’re putting into your body or your mind. Seek the truth. Question everything.

  • Daphne Gilpin

    Thanks for explaining that hypnotherapy isn’t a magic cure-all, and the only way to know it it’ll work for us is to give it a try. My husband suffers from really bad anxiety, but he wants to treat it without medication. I’m glad I read your article because I was pretty skeptical about hypnotherapy before, and you helped me view it in more realistic way.

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