Hypnosis: Myths, Science, and the Powerful reason it's so effective (Ep. 1)
January 14th, 2022
Welcome to the first full length episode of the weight loss with hypnosis podcast!
This is a transcript of the Weight Loss with Hypnosis Podcast, Episode 1. To listen to the full episode, click the link here.
If you’re joining us on an app or listening online, we’re glad to have you here. And if you’re joining us on the Anywhere Hypnosis YouTube page, welcome! I want to dive right into it today with no boring preamble or housekeeping info.
Let’s just dive right into the content. I wanted to answer a question that people ask me all the time when they first discover me on Instagram or TikTok or YouTube. And that is why hypnosis? In this episode, I am detailing the why and the how of hypnosis. I’m detailing the hundred and 25 years of scientific study behind hypnosis. I’m also sharing the surprising number of health organizations around the world that approve hypnosis as a powerful healing modality. I’m also sharing the science of hypnosis, how it actually works, including the brainwave patterns, and it’s linked to modern meditation.
I’m [00:02:00] also going to share why hypnosis is so effective when dealing with weight, with body image issues and disordered eating. I’m also sharing a bit of my own story, how I got into hypnosis and why I work with these issues specifically.
So let’s dive right into it. First, the science of hypnosis. Not many people realize just how scientific hypnosis is. Hypnosis is not magic, it’s not witchcraft, And it’s not mind control. It’s also not simply a placebo effect. It’s not people thinking they changed. People are actually changing at the neurological and biological level. Hypnosis is an actual scientifically proven method. And to illustrate that, let’s look at how many health organizations around the world actually approve it as a healing modality.
In 1958, it was first approved by the American medical association. Since then it’s been approved by the American [00:03:00] Psychological Association, the British Medical Association, the National Health Service, the National Institute of Health and even the national cancer society here in the US. Before I specialized in the areas that I now work with, I once worked with a cancer recovery organization to draft a 30 page study on how hypnosis helps cancer patients to quickly recover from treatment and from the disease, and even how it might help prevent future remission. More on that in a future episode. If you’re worried about religious implications, you can also relax about that as well. Because way back in 1847, the Roman Catholic church declared that hypnosis was not witchcraft, not magic and not the tool of the devil.
Instead, hypnosis they declared is an actual legitimate power our minds can use to help us change. And in fact, in the 1950s, the standing Pope actually recommended [00:04:00] hypnosis for women in childbirth who didn’t want to use medication. As a quick side note, one of hypnosis is oldest known uses is for pain relief, whether it’s chronic pain or acute and immediate pain, hypnosis definitely helps.
Why is that? Because pain is just a signal. It’s a signal coming from some part of our body to our brain, and we only actually feel it in our brain. Hypnosis can work just like pain-relieving medications by stopping or minimizing the signal before it reaches the brain. And this is extremely powerful.
I know people who have undergone dental work and even major surgeries without anesthesia only using hypnosis. I even know hypnotist who had performed minor surgeries on themselves, just with hypnosis for pain relief. I also know people who have resolved decades of chronic pain in a single session. It’s not a miracle.
It’s simply using the science [00:05:00] of our own mental processes to change how we feel and how we react to those pain producing stimulants. But that’s not the focus of this particular podcast. I simply bring that up to illustrate how powerful the mind is and how flexible hypnosis can be. And that brings us to another critical point.
Your mind is incredibly strong. There’s a myth that hypnosis is mind control. And most of us simply know hypnosis only as a stage show gimmick. And I want to put that to bed right here and right now. Hypnosis is not mind control. In fact, hypnosis couldn’t be mind control, even if it tried. Here’s why that myth still exists in modern society. Because of stage hypnosis.
It’s in a stage hypnotist’s best interest to maintain the myth that hypnosis is mind control. Why? Because it makes them seem cool. It adds [00:06:00] mystique to the show, but really that part is just window dressing. It’s a way to make the show seem cool and engaging for the audience. And as a side note, I actually do both sides of hypnosis.
I do change work and stage performance. During certain parts of the year, I travel the US performing fundraising shows for marching bands and school music programs, because it’s really rewarding for me. The students and community get the fun of a hypnosis show. And at the end of the night, they walk away with a cheque for 10,000 to 20,000 dollars.
Sometimes it’s over 30,000 or more. The point is, I know what’s actually real on that stage and what is just windows dressing. Here’s why hypnosis cannot be mind control. Hypnosis is working with the unconscious mind. The unconscious is that part of us that is always awake and always aware. It’s always listening to protect us. In hypnosis, it may look like we’re in a [00:07:00] catatonic sleep state. And I’ll touch on the brainwaves that explain that in just a moment.
Though it looks like sleep, a client in hypnosis is awake and aware the entire time. Most remember just as much as they would during a normal conversation. The unconscious mind will never let anyone gives you a suggestion that you don’t agree with.
For example, if someone does give you a negative suggestion, your mind will either ignore it completely or bring you fully out of trance. And to illustrate that, I once did an informal study with about 10 to 15 volunteers. They were each in separate hypnosis sessions. In the session, I gave them four positive suggestions and one mildly negative one that I knew they wouldn’t agree with. Something like you’ll give me $10 after the session, or you will hug the first random stranger you meet on the street. Everytime, it brought the volunteer out of trance. Their unconscious mind sounded the alarm and said hey, I don’t trust this anymore, we’re going to wake up [00:08:00] out of this hypnotic state. It’s why in stage shows, hypnotist never tell volunteers to go rob a bank, or to give them the contents of their wallets. It’s why hypnotists still do stage shows and work with clients because they have to earn a living. If they could just tell someone to give them 10,000 dollars, don’t you think some hypnotists would?
While most hypnotists I’ve met are extremely kind and caring professionals who would never think of doing anything to hurt another person. Hypnosis has been around since the time of ancient Greece. And if it was mind control, don’t you think someone with malicious intent would have used it for fame for fortune or for world power by now? Hypnosis isn’t mind control.
And in fact, it’s actually a powerful tool for change that’s based in science. Hypnosis has been scientifically studied for well over 125 years. It’s actually been around as a [00:09:00] practice as long as psychoanalysis. And if you want to see some really great research studies on hypnosis, go to anywherehypnosis.com.
I’ve got about 7 to 10 great studies on weight loss and anxiety relief hypnosis on the menu bar there.
If you’d like, you can also do your own research. Go to Google scholar and type in hypnosis and see what the actual studies has shown about hypnosis as an effective tool. Now, researchers have been putting hypnotized people into MRI machines for decades now. That’s how we know the brainwave patterns of hypnosis and how it’s linked to modern meditation.
So here’s what happens. In a normal waking state, we are in a brainwave frequency that we call a beta frequency. That’s when we’re having a conversation with someone or we’re just awake and aware. Below that we have alpha, which is a light state of trance. Alpha is where we go when we are reading a good book or when we’re driving a [00:10:00] car and our unconscious is driving while our conscious mind is off thinking of something else.
Below alpha, we have the golden state of hypnosis which is theta state. Now, theta frequency is right above delta frequency and delta frequency is the frequency where you’re at when you are asleep. That’s kind of why theta and hypnosis looks like sleep, but it’s not. In hypnosis, a person is extremely relaxed because they’re so close to that delta frequency but they are awake and aware the entire time. In that theta frequency, our minds are a little more permissible to positive suggestions than they would be in normal waking state in beta frequency. And that’s one of the most powerful secrets of hypnosis. By putting people into that trance state into theta, we are able to communicate directly with that unconscious mind, without the conscious mind putting up barriers and locking down the gates.
We are able to [00:11:00] communicate with the unconscious and to remove habits that no longer serve us. So here’s the interesting relation with meditation. In solo meditation, our mind is actually speeding up. It’s actually going faster than beta into a state we called gamma frequency. Now, solo meditation isn’t really linked to hypnosis.
The link is with guided meditation. In guided meditation, subjects are being brought down through that alpha state and sometimes even into that theta state. Guided meditations are that really interesting gray area. For anyone who’s ever experienced a guided meditation, that’s often what hypnosis feels like. Now, the difference between guided meditations and hypnosis, is that meditations are simply about calming your mind or emptying your mind or making you feel good in that moment.
Whereas hypnosis, is bringing you to that theta state and then using tools from psychology, from NLP, from [00:12:00] EFT and other tools that can help you actually make that change. Meditation is just about getting to that state. Hypnosis is about changing while in that state. And while hypnosis may seem mystical and unknown, it’s actually heavily researched and scientifically proven.
So now that you know the basic science of hypnosis, let’s touch on why hypnosis for weights and for eating? Hypnosis is actually one of the most effective ways to overcome it that no one is talking about. Even though hypnosis is currently experiencing a renaissance with more people and more practitioners becoming skilled in hypnosis, the practice is still widely misunderstood. Here’s why hypnosis is so effective when dealing with these issues. Much like therapy, hypnosis deals with the root cause of the issues. I often tell my clients that disordered eating or excess weights or the body image issues are not [00:13:00] actually the issue.
They’re kind of like the fruit of a tree. And if you try to fix that fruit tree by tackling the symptom. Meaning, the presenting issue, you’re not going to get very far. It’s like plucking a fruit off that tree and screaming at it to change or taking a rake and desperately trying to whack off all the fruit from that tree.
It’s just going to grow back at a later date. To get it out of your life, you need to pull up that tree by its roots. You need to deal with the root cause of the issue and then, after you removed that tree, that root cause, you need to put something back in its place so that negative weeds of other issues don’t grow upas a way to heal that empty space that is left behind. Both therapy and hypnosis are very effective and they’re actually created around the same time. Sigmund Freud, the man who many call the father of psychoanalysis was actually a failed [00:14:00] hypnotist. He was trained for many years in hypnosis, but he did not have very much success in hypnotizing people because his dentures would fall out, and people would come out of trance. Hypnosis has always been a very rapid way to deal with traumatic events. It was used extensively in Europe and around the world after both world war one and world war two. That’s because there weren’t enough therapists to help thousands of people facing post-traumatic stress disorder.
Where therapy kind of unboxes difficult emotions to get them out of the system, hypnosis takes those difficult emotions and just gets rid of it. It’s like taking that emotional baggage and chucking it out the window. It can also be much faster than therapy because of this. And that’s why hypnosis was used so extensively after both world wars.
Whereas one psychoanalyst might take six to eight weeks to see a single patient, a hypnotist could work [00:15:00] with 50, a hundred, 200 people to resolve that issue in that time.
So let’s talk about what is the actual root cause. Now this can be many things. Often it’s rooted in trauma. Now that doesn’t have to be capital T trauma, like a single event, like abuse or sexual assault or anything like that. Many times a client is afraid to view what happened to them as trauma because they survived and they know others may have had it so much worse than them.
And if this is what you believe, you’re only doing yourself a disservice. The key here is that all trauma is trauma. All trauma is legitimate. And all responses to trauma are legitimate as a way to work through that issue. Now you don’t have to have the worst experience to be traumatized. The brain reacts the same way to large-scale traumas as small-scale traumas that build up over time.
Maybe it was small things [00:16:00] that eventually added up. Maybe it was nitpicky comments by a parent that you had to face for years. Maybe it was constant judging by middle school and high school peer groups. Maybe it was losing a distant relative or a friend and realizing that we all face death at some times in our lives. Young minds may not be ready to face that truth and that can be traumatizing.
And though I worked with many clients with big T traumas, including physical abuse, sexual assault, and emotional or verbal abuse, that’s not the only trauma I deal with. The presenting issues that most people come to me with are often just responses to some type of trauma. We’ve all heard that stereotype of all issues stem from something terrible and your childhood.
And while that’s not always true, it does carry a lot of weight. And here’s why, first I do want to include a trigger warning. I’m going to touch lightly on topics like trauma, abuse, and suicide in the following minutes. You [00:17:00] know your ability to tolerate these subjects and I encourage you to be strong, but I understand if you need to step away. So let’s get into it.
As kids, we are impressionable, especially during our early years. From age zero to seven, that’s what’s often called the impression stage. Our critical faculty hasn’t developed yet. Our critical faculty is the part of us that weeds out what is, and isn’t good for us mentally.
It’s that gatekeeper that says, I’m not sure I want to believe this and pushes whatever that was out of the way. Before age seven, if you tell a kid, hey, there’s a purple dragon out in the hall and he’s got some candy and he wants to see you, that kid might jump up all excited and say, oh, I want to go see this purple dragon.
If you tell a kid after age seven, they have often built up that critical faculty and they know there’s not really a purple dragon out there, purple dragons don’t really exist. Before that critical faculty develops is when a lot of our issues come up.
And that’s why we have that [00:18:00] stereotype of childhood issues. During childhood we also can’t defend ourselves as well as adults. We don’t have the money or the freedom to escape negative situations. And physically we can’t fight off people larger or stronger than us. During that time, our minds are like a sponge soaking up everything because our brain isn’t sure yet what is critical for our survival and what isn’t. So it’s soaks up everything without judging it, whether it’s good or bad, false, or correct. Maybe during that time, someone told us we were worthless or fat or ugly and we internalize that unconsciously. Maybe we face judgment by our peers and it entered our unconsciousness as our reality. Maybe we had a big T trauma like a loss of a loved one, and we had to cope with that in some way. And that became part of our unconscious programming. In the case of abuse, the young brain has to rationalize it [00:19:00] as logical. Because our brain wants and needs our environment to make sense. When faced with abuse, the brain either has to rationalize the abuse some way or believe that the world is a terrifying chaotic place where terrible things can happen at anytime. For our very sanity, many victims of abuse, rationalize that they must be at fault.
Many believe that they caused the abuse just by existing. They may believe the verbal abuse is true. They may believe they invited the physical or sexual abuse. Many believed they deserved it. Because logically, why else would someone, often someone we love or someone we trust, why would they do this terrible thing to us?
Abuse and trauma are very serious subjects. When I work with a client on this, all info is strictly confidential. I am bound by the same HIPAA laws as doctors and psychiatrists and health professionals.
When working with trauma, [00:20:00] clients also receive empathy from me because I have my own struggle with food and weight, starting from trauma and abuse. I understand both from a psychological standpoint and from experiencing it, what they actually went through. I mentioned I’d share a bit of my own story here and I won’t go too deep into detail.
Here’s how I got into hypnosis for these specific issues. It’s because I used to struggle with the same things. When I was very young, my mother ended up taking her own life. And unconsciously, I had to rationalize this very traumatic events. I had to ask, why did she leave? My brain wasn’t ready for the difficult, complex knowledge that I now understand about our mental health, about depression and about suicide.
So for much of my young life, I simply assumed it was my fault because she took her life about seven months after that I was born, and I had to ask if I hadn’t been [00:21:00] born, would she still be here? Along with that struggle goes a lot of anger in my childhood home. My father was dealing with my mother’s death in his own grieving process and often there were verbal explosions. And at that young age, I didn’t have ways to deal with those emotions. It took me years to realize exactly why this was. I grew up with a midwestern rural family where no one talked about their emotions. Essentially, they buried the issue and never brought it up.
I actually never even knew that it was suicide until I was in the seventh grade. When my aunt let it slip in a story. And as a side note, my family had told me that my mother had been struggling with a disease that couldn’t be cured and kind of left it at that vague state. This was a terrible thing to tell an impressionable young person, especially when I developed my own symptoms of depression later on in college. I unconsciously believed that depression could not be cured, that [00:22:00] the only way out was suicide.
And that journey to recovery is one we can touch on more deeply in future episodes. What’s important for this episode is how I dealt with the emotions. I dealt with it the same way my family did. We never talked about it and I used food to mask when I was feeling bad. Because of that, I became an overweight kid.
I was the chubby one for most of my childhood. And in middle school and high school, I eventually found sports and athletics and I got thinner, but I still have that terrible relationship with food. I also had a terrible relationship with my body image. For almost a year after first losing the weights, I only wore baggy sweatshirts and sweatpants to school.
It was like I was trying to hide in my clothing. And if that sounds like you, it’s actually one of the most common and subtle warning signs of body image issues. Fast forward a couple of years through some really impactful events, including getting lost in a blizzard and [00:23:00] almost freezing to death. And I realized I couldn’t keep living the way I was living by just pushing away my emotions and not dealing with them. I had to face them and get them out of my life. And this was terrifying.
If you’re going through this process right now, I want you to know you’re not alone. And I want you to know you are very strong for going through this. In my own life, I discovered meditation, which was for me pretty radical at that time.
And when learning meditation and going deeper into the practice, I found out the link between meditation and hypnosis. Up until that time, I’d only thought of hypnosis as a stage show thing. After that, I learned hypnosis as a way to help my own issues. It became kind of a passion project for me.
Eventually I loved working with hypnosis so much that I developed it into my career. And as I touched on before, it took me a while to settle on exactly what I wanted to specialize in [00:24:00] with hypnosis. For the first few years, I did a little of everything, but weight eating and body image issues or what I understood best.
And that was where I realized I could have the biggest impact. And that’s my story. If you see similarities with your own story, I encourage you to start examining your responses to trauma. Are you using food to avoid dealing with difficult emotions? If you’re curious about using hypnosis to deal with the issues you’re facing, here’s your next step.
Go to anywherehypnosis.com and schedule a free strategy call. It takes about 45 minutes and we’ll discuss these issues in depth. I’ll share what programs that I have that can help with these issues. And I’ll also point you to free resources I’ve created to help those who aren’t financially quite ready to make that full change. At anywherehypnosis.com, you can also access a powerful hypnosis audio completely free that can help stop [00:25:00] uncontrolled compulsive eating. More on that in upcoming episodes. So in this episode, we’ve touched on many, many things. Before we close, I do want to give you resources. If you want to learn more, go to anywherehypnosis.com and learn a little bit about hypnosis and the practice.
I also have a ton of informational YouTube videos. I’ve got everything from the causes of body dysmorphia and how it impacts disordered eating to nighttime eating syndrome and uncommon eating disorders like Pica and SRED. You can also watch upcoming podcast episodes or look into the vault of past episodes as well.
Whether you’re on a podcasting app or on Anywhere Hypnosis YouTube channel, I encourage you to subscribe. Subscribe, because you don’t want to miss what’s coming up in future videos. Finally, I want to explain how many of these solo podcasts are going to close with an empowering metaphor. And [00:26:00] this is something that comes directly from hypnosis. Metaphors are a fantastic way to install new programs in our unconscious while the conscious mind is caught up in the characters and the actual story.
So with this, just sit back, let your mind drift and relax. This empowering metaphor is about the potato, the egg and the teabag. Many centuries ago in the far east, a young bride came back to her elderly mother and said that her husband wasn’t a good fit for her. He yelled a lot and there was a lot of pressure in their marital household. The old woman nodded and thought for a while. Then she told the younger woman, her daughter, to take out three pots and put them over the fire and fill them halfway with water. And so the daughter being an obedient girl, decided to do exactly what her mother told her.
She filled up these pots and set them over the fire and watched as they began to boil. And then the [00:27:00] grandmother handed her a potato, a raw egg, and a teabag. And she said, put one in each of those pots. The daughter did what she was told. And after a while the grandmother told her to take all three things out of the pot, and then they examined it sitting around their communal table.
And the grandmother first pointed to the potato and said, each of these things reacted differently to the pressure of the situation. The potato went from being hard and rigid to being soft and crumbly and offering little resistance at all. Whereas the egg went from being runny and free to being hard and controlled and domineering.
And finally, the teabag did not become any of those things. In fact, the tea itself did not change all that much. What happened instead was that the tea diffused into the water and change the circumstances around it. The daughter looked up [00:28:00] to her mother, nodded and simply left to go carry on with her life.
That was the first empowering metaphor of this series and you can simply allow that to sink in, into your unconscious. Thank you again for tuning in and listening to this first episode of the weight-loss with hypnosis podcast. Next week, we’re talking about weight loss hypnosis specifically, as well as the powerful weight loss hypnosis program that mimics gastric band surgery with a 95% success rate at helping people lose weight and keep it off.
My name is Doug Sands and I help compulsive and emotional eaters to end the obsession with food and make peace with it, often in as little as two sessions. Until next time, keep that momentum moving forward on your journey. I’ll see you in the next episode.
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To your journey towards better health,