Hypnosis and dowsing share much of the same territory as far as the general pubic are concerned. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, they both work for most people, much of the time – yet neither can be explained using the usual rules of rationality.
Hypnotherapy and dowsing/healing are therefore close cousins and very much fellow travellers.
Four years ago, the clinical hypnotherapist, and BSD member, Dave Ward gave us an eye-opening presentation on the uses and applications of the discipline. This month, his now-qualified student (and TD member) Denise Lockwood was on hand to give the topic another airing, and with a new slant.
As Denise said in her introduction, hypnotherapy is very pleasant and relaxing, has no harmful effects and is suitable for just about everybody. Hypnosis is a normal and natural process and, with a little guidance through to your subconscious, you can begin to make the changes in your life that you need.
She gave a pre-amble about the history of the craft, and an explanation as to how hypnotherapy differs from meditation. The latter can bring about an altered state of consciousness, but hypnotherapy delves deeper into the unconscious, enabling the client to effectively heal themselves.
Much of Denise’s hypnotherapy work has been employed in the addressing of various addictions – in particular smoking, and over-indulgence with food. While some people are more prone to addiction than others, once you have been drawn in, it can seem an impossibility to rid yourself of the insatiable desire ever again. It becomes the new normal, and the ramifications for the society beyond the individual addict can be very serious indeed.
Yet, for all its vice-like grip, from the hypnotherapist’s viewpoint, addiction, in all of its forms, is a relatively superficial problem – and one that the individual can deal with themselves, with a modicum of guidance.
The realisation that there are layers of consciousness, which are much deeper and more powerful than the impact of the addiction, enables the therapist to encourage the client to work through to the root cause of their addiction and quite literally weed it out.
Sandra Killen, assisting Denise on the day, made the very valid point that the therapist needs to understand if the client actually wants to be rid of their malaise – or whether they have just turned up to the appointment to satisfy friends and family. If the desire to be relieved of the tie is genuine, then the route to its removal is conceptually fairly straightforward.
Denise has had considerable success with a group seeking to reverse weight gain. As with other forms of self-compulsion, there is a myriad of different reasons for getting hooked on an unhelpful habit – but the way back out is much the same for everyone.
The secret is to get behind the veneer that hides the true causes of the problem – and that’s where hypnotherapy is so valuable. By doing this, the self esteem of the client can be boosted to the point where they realise that they are not powerless pawns, but that they can effect real change by harnessing their inner strength of self.
By way of explanation, Denise encouraged the attendees to take part in two demonstrations of the power of the mind.
Firstly, we were asked to sense the energy being squeezed between our hands, which appeared to expand as we focussed on it, until it was as almost as wide as we could reach. We then combined this energy with others, until the room hosted three or four giant energy balls, which we then sent to anyone we knew in need of a bit of help.
The term ‘energy’ is probably rather too general in this context (and Earth Energies elder, Billy Gawn, always said that he regretted coining the term for his purposes). Here, we were not talking about electromagnetic currents, as such, but more the psychic energy channelled by our minds. However, the upshot was that most people seemed to find that a pressure of some kind had been created by mental means – and it is this type of emanation that enables hypnotherapy to effect change in the mind and the body of the client.
A second group experiment had us being led through the process of cleansing and repairing our inner selves by structured self-hypnosis. It’s a process that is used in various guises for different purposes, but its relevance here was to demonstrate the power of the directed sub-conscious mind to rectify aberrations in the world of the everyday. Only at this level can the barriers of addiction be circumvented, and the psyche self-healed of unwanted and unhelpful patterns.
The presentation generated a great deal of interest, and I for one was well away during the second session!
Many thanks to Denise for taking the time and effort to devise this workshop for us – and to her able assistants, Sandra and David for providing support and visual demonstrations of the processes.
Additionally, it was rewarding to find a very respectable turnout on a day that had been blighted by multiple bouts of illness across the South West.