Elizabeth Jackson of Bern Township delved into hypnotism and hypnotherapy after decades of noticing how people gravitated to her and opened up to her about their inner hardships—sometimes much more easily than they could with their close friends and family.
“Hypnotherapy is a deep state of relaxation where your subconscious is alert and where healing can begin,” Jackson explained.
Jackson received her certification through the National Guild of Hypnotists in 2008 after studying in classes that lasted for two years. Today, she is a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming, which many hypnotherapists use.
Jackson also has a show on BCTV and bctv.org called “Some Days You’re the Windshield, Some Days You’re the Bug” in which she teaches viewers to enjoy life more, reduce stress and laugh and play more.
Many people today still have misconceptions with what hypnosis-related efforts are; they tend to think of someone saying “You are getting very sleepy” in a pendulum-like voice, with a pocket watch dangling back and forth in front of the eyes of the person undergoing hypnosis.
And some even associate hypnosis with negativity and manipulation; but most of the specialists who do hypnotherapy sessions with clients today mean wholly well for them and want them to learn to be better to themselves, easier on themselves, happier, more capable of genuinely enjoying life and less stressed.
Jackson described the difference between hypnotherapy and hypnotism as merely semantics, but of course the former carries a more therapeutically intentioned feel to it.
She also pointed out that hypnotherapy and hypnosis have strong similarities with the words prayer, meditation, mindfulness and relaxation; there isn’t too much different between one and the others.
“In this modern age, there are so many illnesses, and most of the chronic ones stem from untreated stress in the body,” Jackson said. “All illness starts as stress in the body.”
Jackson noted that hypnotherapy can be beneficial in this regard since it allows a person to step into a slowed, relaxed state compared to the rushed, all too busy, often overly anxious way of life today for the majority of us.
“All people go into trances on their own a minimum of 10 times a day,” she said. “Think of when you drive from one place to another and don’t remember any of the ride, once you arrive.”
Trances are a form of hypnosis, which means everyone joins in on this routine on a daily basis, whether they realize it or not.
“Hypnosis and going into trances are very natural for us,” Jackson said. “What’s difficult is when someone comes in to see me but has a misconception, and there’s resistance.”
Those who are willing to be open to this new sort of experience, with a professional, and not locked down in fear, tend to benefit more healthily from sessions. And resting with eyes closed is encouraged.
In general, Jackson uses very positive language during hypnotherapy work; the words chosen are geared toward helping people to open up to let go of painful, embedded traumas and unhealthy thought patterns built into the history of their core beliefs.
Jackson elaborated that some benefits of hypnotherapy are becoming healthier, having more abundance, seeing an improved lifestyle, being in the present and even being at peace.
“Studies suggest that 21 days is when a new habit forms, as said in this field,” Jackson added.
She and her fellow local colleagues often provide clients with customized CDs made for listening to in down time or before sleep to help neutralize worse traumas in the subconscious to better hone healthier modes of living.
Listening to one of these CDs three times a day can be steps toward better progress in the mind and heart.
When someone is under hypnosis, they will be conscious for all of it if they’d like to be; if a person doesn’t want to remember something in a session, the person can choose in advance to let go of it before it becomes a memory.
One way hypnotherapy is widely practiced in many countries besides in the United States is through preparing for surgery; the famed Mayo brothers who lived through the early 1900s and are known to have been the first minds behind what is now the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. performed hypnosis successfully on thousands of patients.
The patients they hypnotized before surgery ended up needing less anesthesia and often improved better and more quickly after their procedures.
Jackson also works in drug and alcohol counseling; she recently practiced hypnotherapy on a co-worker who was about to have hip surgery.
The co-worker ended up hearing extremely constructive remarks from doctors and nurses about his recovery and left the hospital three days earlier than anticipated by the medical staff.
He also noticed that the doctors used the same words as Jackson, verbatim, in pointing out how well his healing and recovery seemed to be going.
Jackson had used encouraging, positive language before the surgery, noting that all would go very well and that there would be minimal complications.
Giving examples to help others understand hypnosis for correcting unhealthy, worrisome or guilt-building and anxiety-stirring thought patterns through analogies is one way Jackson gets through to people, too.
“If you turn left instead of right as you’re driving, and you needed to go right, the GPS unit in your car doesn’t say, ‘You idiot, why did you turn left—you were supposed to turn right.’ Most people beat themselves up inside and feel shame and guilt when they believe they’ve made a mistake or have done something wrong, even if they have no logical reason to feel badly,” Jackson said.
“A GPS unit says ‘recalculating’ and moves you back to the place you’re heading, along your path or to your destination,” she added.
So the next time you’re feeling guilty or badly where you’re perhaps being a bit unreasonably hard on yourself and initially have trouble seeing that, verbally correct yourself by saying ‘recalculating,’ to get yourself back on track. And keep saying it if you find yourself falling back into trap of worse feelings.
To contact Jackson, reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-413-5932.