by: Heather Good, MSW, RSW
A Quick Background on Hypnosis
Hypnosis offers so much to individuals struggling with a wide variety of health issues, but it sometimes gets a bad rap and is misunderstood. For decades, hypnosis has been associated with stage show antics and showing unsuspecting victims quacking like chickens. In its early days, before anesthesia, hypnosis was used to help people undergoing surgery to “fall asleep” and to not experience pain. Hypnosis is also often associated with helping people to stop smoking; however, the benefits are far more profound. Hypnosis can help individuals with a whole host of challenges including:
- mental health issues like grief, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, body image issues, phobias and post-traumatic stress
- emotional challenges such as life transitions, grief and loss, or relationship issues
- behavioural issues or unwanted habits like nail biting, smoking, and overeating
- physical health issues including hot flashes, chronic pain, labour pain, nausea, vomiting, IBS, and cancer treatment
One health issue where hypnosis can be extremely effective is for sleep disorders including insomnia.
Why Are Sleep Disorders So Prevalent?
In our busy society, people are working long hours and are forced to move from one activity to the next. This causes their cortisol levels to remain elevated throughout the day and into the evening. When this happens, burnout, depression, anxiety and sleep problems can arise. When sleep problems are prolonged, they can have a serious impact on a person’s health.
Whether it’s elevated cortisol, an over-active mind, hormonal imbalances, or even if your sleep challenges are triggered by a health crisis, there are many issues that can cause you to not get enough zzzz’s. Compounding the problem is that any sleep problems can be worsened by stress. Stress has become a significant problem for many people and wreaks havoc on people’s professional and personal lives – and especially on their sleep patterns.
How Hypnosis Helps Improve Sleep
Although sleep problems can be complex, reduced stress levels and a calm nervous system can assist with regulating sleep. By ensuring that there is a focus on enhancing the relaxation response in order to improve sleep, we can help the bodies and our minds calm down and settle. Good sleep hygiene, along with the tools of hypnosis, mindfulness, and yoga therapy can all help set the stage for a good night’s sleep.
The human brain has a profound plasticity to it: we can focus our minds in a way that changes the structure and function of the brain. We can work on changing automatic patterns and embrace healthier patterns that may include deep rest. But changing our patterns can sometimes be difficult, so this is where hypnosis comes in. Hypnosis induces a state of relaxation, focused attention, and can facilitate a deeper connection to the wise part of oneself that holds information and knowledge. If you’ve been experiencing insomnia or sleep challenges, hypnosis can be used to help you relax, fall asleep, and stay asleep.
How Hypnosis Works
Almost like a deep guided meditation, a hypnosis session brings the client into a place of focused awareness and deep relaxation. Hypnosis works with the deeper mind, the unconscious, to support lasting change. When there is a focus on the mind and the body together, and when we get deeper beyond the patterns of the conscious mind, anything is possible. Hypnosis can help those stuck in what is called a flight and fight, or a sympathetic nervous system response, to access more power and to break out of the cycle that is often not resolved through talk therapy.
Many hypnotists use a model of practice called Eriksonian Hypnosis. I used this style of hypnosis for years and found great success in treating many issues. However, I have found more effectiveness with pattern shifting through a practice called Depth Hypnosis.
What is Depth Hypnosis?
Dr. Isa Gucciardi is the creator of Depth Hypnosis™, which is a groundbreaking therapeutic model of hypnosis. She is also the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, a non-profit organization and resource centre which offers classes and certification.
Depth hypnosis is a co-active form of hypnosis that helps people tap into the wise part of themselves, to get an understanding of where pattens began, and to change them at their root. It uses the tools of suggestion, whereby the suggestions are designed with the client to bring about the desired results and are facilitated in a manner that is relaxing and direct. Depth hypnosis can be used to treat a whole host of challenges that are often difficult to manage.
Hypnosis and Sleep: The Research
Hypnosis, like a powerful guided relaxation, connects you to your deeper mind. The process of focusing on deep relaxation of the body has an impact on the brain and its neural pathways, bringing about changes that might otherwise be difficult to attain. In fact, hypnosis has been scientifically proven to help with insomnia:
- A study of 36 women aged 32 found that with two hypnosis sessions, approximately 43 % remained symptom from sleep disturbances in a five year follow up (Hauri, 2007).
- In a 2018 review of 24 different research papers, more than half (58.3%) of the included studies found that hypnosis benefits sleep (Chamine et al., 2018).
Feedback About Hypnosis
Many of my clients have had a life-changing, positive experience after their hypnosis sessions.
- One client recently wrote, “So it is a really big deal to have interrupted the nail-biting habit, to have let go of that coping strategy for dispelling anxiousness, stress, nervousness, and the like that I have had my whole life. It’s been over 8 weeks now and the impulse is virtually absent.”
- Another client said, “The hypnotherapy process enabled me to peel back significant layers and go right back to the situations where challenges began and to see what needed to be released on a subconscious level. It felt so much better to have this released and it felt good to become aware of–to really access–the root of something and to face it, to be able to start working with it in my life. This has made a difference for me as I approach challenges and difficulties with a greater sense of calm and clarity.”
Register For A Free Hypnosis Sleep Workshop
Please join me for an upcoming workshop on sleep (see information below), or book a workshop for your group.
You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book your own complimentary consultation for a one-on-one session.
Your life is waiting for you. What are you waiting for?
-Heather Good, MSW, RSW
Hypnosis and Yoga Therapy Tools and Tips for a Deep Restful Sleep
A FREE Online Workshop
October 20, 2022 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm
About Heather Good
Heather Good has been in private practice and worked as a mental health therapist for over twenty years. She has a specialization in mind-body wellness and hypnotherapy and is also a registered yoga therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She is also a registered Applied Shamanic Counsellor and in the process of completing her Depth Hypnosis Practitioner Certification.
For a complimentary counselling or hypnotherapy consultation you can reach Heather at: email@example.com
If you are struggling with sleep, please discuss your concerns with a medical or naturopathic doctor to rule out any potential medical conditions.