So when the hypnotherapist from Achievement Strategies, located in the same shopping center as our Roswell Neighbor office (at 10930 Crabapple Road; come say hi!), came down to ask if anyone would volunteer to be hypnotized, I jumped at the chance.
The doctor, Laura B. Pagano, MA, DCH, is a board approved hypnosis certification instructor, so she was using me to explain hypnotherapy to some other therapists in the area.
Of course, for hypnotherapy to be useful, there has to be some objective, so I told the doc I've been eating a lot of sweets lately and not drinking nearly enough water.
My exact words were, “I'd like to just not want sugary snacks or sodas. I want to think they're gross. Is that possible?”
Pagano explained that hypnosis is the power of suggestion and I could only be influenced to do things I wanted to do. Everyone can be hypnotized, she told me, but only if they want to.
I thought, well, I definitely want to think sugary treats are gross. They rot your teeth and add empty calories to your daily intake. Let's do this.
Doing this, however, wasn't exactly as I'd imagined.
You see hypnotists on television, and they're using pendulums and making their subject cluck like a chicken.
But it's not like that. In fact, Pagano actually assured me I would not cluck like a chicken at any time during my visit. What a relief!
After lots of explaining my problem and a series of yes-or-no questions, we were ready for the hypnosis.
Some people will go into deeper states of hypnosis than others, I'm told, and I actually think I might have gone into a pretty deep state.
The whole time I was in a very relaxed state with the doctor speaking to me, telling me to imagine certain situations and to think certain thoughts.
Basically, she was using my subconscious and the state I was in to suggest to me that I really don't care for sugary snacks and that I really like drinking water.
This all may sound silly, but it's actually very difficult to explain the state I was in and how her mere words were actually working to convince me I could say no to cakes and cookies and other snacks.
When I came out of the hypnosis — they actually do that counting thing you see on TV — I had a hard time remembering a lot of the experience.
But then throughout the rest of the day, I'd remember more and more. It was like suddenly remembering a dream.
So did it work? Well, so far I haven't had any sweet treats or soda, and I do feel like I want to drink water when I get thirsty. It also made me feel very relaxed afterward. Like I'd taken the best nap ever.
I could definitely see how, when used with some regularity, hypnotherapy could be a useful tool for people trying to lose weight, stop smoking, have more positive thoughts, tackle fears and more.
It's certainly something I'd recommend, even if it's just to see what it's like.
But you have to want it. And who wouldn't want to feel more relaxed?