In Tune With Hypnotherapy

By Mindy Ash
Interviewed by Rasa Fournier
Wednesday - December 01, 2010
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Mindy Ash
Certified clinical hypnotherapist at Hawaii Hypnosis Center

Where did you receive your schooling and training?

At the Hypnotherapy Academy of America in Santa Fe, N.M. The school is run by a former nationally registered paramedic. I also took specialized training with a company that developed a program in the United Kingdom for stopping smoking. There’s only a handful of hypnotherapists trained in this particular system, which has an extremely high success rate. It takes the best of all the systems out there and stacks the deck. I would say that the system creates an 80 percent or higher success rate as long as the person is sincere and committed to being a non-smoker.

How long have you been practicing?

Since 2006.

What do you do here at the Hawaii Hypnosis Center?

I see clients for personal growth and personal development, for building self-esteem and self-confidence. I see a good portion for stopping smoking, as well as health and medical reasons. I’ve helped people with irritable bowel syndrome. I help with managing pain and accelerating healing, with clearing limiting beliefs. If somebody is a businessperson but they’re holding themselves back, they feel like they’re sabotaging themselves. A lot of times there’s a reason at a deeper level as to why they’re doing that. I help them pinpoint that reason and clear that so they can move forward and be successful. Alot of times it’s that we’re focusing our minds on what we don’t want versus what we do want. I re-educate and re-teach the person how to shift their focus so that they can bring about what they want to bring about.

Mindy Ash practices a convincer-deepening technique on patient Ben Dowling to improve his golf game

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is the alpha and theta brainwave state, and it’s been scientifically proven by monitoring a person’s brainwaves. Essentially, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The majority of people don’t realize this. They don’t know how to guide themselves into hypnosis. However, they’re going in and out of that brain-wave state on their own throughout the day, like when we’re lying in bed falling asleep or waking up in the morning and we’re in that middle state, where we’re not quite asleep and we’re not quite awake. I teach people how to get to that brainwave state, and when we’re in that state, we’re highly responsive to suggestions for positive change.

Does hypnotherapy use the same technique as stage-show hypnosis?

At a show, many of the people on stage are in hypnosis. For hypnosis to transpire, the person has to be in a “yes” mindset; you can’t hypnotize somebody against their will. It’s the same thing if you go to a well-trained salesperson. They’re talking to you and you’re agreeing with what they’re saying, kind of hypnotically suggesting to you and moving down a path to where you buy something. With a stage show, the hypnotist will start having the audience clap and agree, clap and agree, and then start picking who he’s going to put up on stage. All people are hypnotizable. He’s looking for the most agreeable people, the funnest people to get up on stage. But, if a fire alarm went off, everyone would be able to just stand right up and walk out of the room.

Does hypnotherapy have a place in the medical or scientific realm?

It does fit into the medical world in the sense that there are many physicians who utilize hypnosis. When we do medical hypnosis, we work adjunct with a physician. Everybody has the ability to rejuvenate or heal their body, but at what level or speed we do not know. While they continue to see a physician for medical treatment, at the same time they can be working with hypnosis and self-hypnosis to accelerate their healing. Right now in 2010, it’s almost like if you go back 35 years when you look at the industry of chiropractic. People were like, “Oh, chiropractic, we don’t really consider them doctors.” But nowadays it’s very well-accepted, and hopefully in less time than 35 years you’ll see a lot more hypnotherapists. In fact, in San Diego there’s a whole medical facility that does hypnobirthing because women can have a baby in complete comfort. We’ve been so programmed to think of labor pains and long, drawn-out painful procedures, but a woman can, with a proper frame of thought, have a baby in complete comfort.

What else do you help with that the public might not know about?

I’ve seen clients for fibromyalgia, cancer, for alleviating prostate discomfort. I also do lots of sports performance, weight loss. I’ve worked with singers and salespeople. The power of the mind is so incredible, it’s really an untapped resource. People don’t use what they have, and they don’t know our mind is a super computer. We weren’t given the owner’s manual on how to operate it, so most people let it run amok with a bunch of negative thoughts.

Are people able to practice at home?

It depends on what they come to me for. For someone who comes in for ending a habit like drinking too much soda, smoking too many cigarettes, the change takes place right then and there. Occasionally someone might need to come back for more than one session. For something like sports performance or for health, I generally will teach the client self-hypnosis so that they can listen to CDs or practice hypnosis on their own.

When under hypnosis, is your patient aware of what’s happening?

Yes. The majority of the time they will hear what I’m saying. They’re not asleep. Sometimes my voice might go in and out, but the subconscious mind hears everything. You can talk in hypnosis - you can speak, you can laugh, you can cry - boy, you can cry.

What do you mean by “all hypnosis is self-hypnosis”?

All hypnosis, being that it’s self-hypnosis - our autosuggestion, our mind-chatter - we’re hypnotizing ourselves with our stuff, our self-talk. If we’re saying, “When I go on stage, I’m sweating, I’m nervous,” that’s what we get. If we have to go up and talk and we say, “I’m calm and relaxed. These are just friends and I’m sharing what I know and I feel good about myself,” then we’re giving ourselves the right suggestions. People will say things like, “I just look at food and I get fat.” That’s giving a direction to your subconscious mind; it’s like a computer and it takes things literally. It doesn’t decipher and say, “No, I don’t want that.” It’s going, “Oh, look at food and get fat.” People hypnotize themselves to create their reality.

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