Spa & Beauty Adventures: Hypnotherapy
Our graphic designer Michael is always tired.
Each of his sentences are punctuated with a yawn and the bags under his eyes would struggle to meet Ryanair’s carry on weight requirements.
The poor guy struggles to get a decent night’s kip, citing a sensitivity to noise as one of the main problems.
So when Catriona Stewart-Smith, a hypnotherapist who claims to be able to cure a number of problems, including insomnia, joined 5pm, we decided to send him along to see her.
Hearing the word hypnotherapy, might conjure images of swaying clocks and being made to dance like a chicken.
However, hypnotherapy is not the same as hypnotism.
“During hypnotherapy the patient is never actually unconscious,” Catriona said. “There are a lot of misconceptions with hypnotherapy but throughout the process you are never going to lose control.”
“You are always aware of everything going on. If I suggest something you don’t want to do or something that is not relevant to you it is not going to work.”
Instead the hypnotherapist puts the patient into a deep state of relaxation and uses suggestion techniques to change behavioural patterns.
Catriona claims it is effective for problems which result in patterns of behaviour, such as nail biting, smoking, insomnia and being overweight.
The problems are tackled by working with the patient’s unconscious mind.
So first of all, what exactly is the unconscious mind?
“Your unconscious mind is when you become so relaxed your mind wanders off,” Catriona said. “It happens to everyone all the time. It’s like when you’re driving and you arrive at your destination without any real memory or recollection of the journey. You drove the right route and stopped at all the stop signs because your unconscious mind knew what to do.”
“A lot of habits are created through the unconscious mind and hypnotherapy helps change that.”
“For example, nail biting might have been a habit that developed when you were a child to deal with stress. When you are still doing it as an adult it is an unconscious behaviour. You don’t really think about why you are doing it. It is the same with emotional eating.”
“We are not aware of what our unconscious mind is doing and it becomes difficult to change.”
So Catriona set about working with Michael’s unconscious mind to help him get a good night’s sleep.
“First we spent around half an hour discussing what I wanted to improve,” Michael said.
“Then I lay down and Catriona took me through some breathing exercises before beginning an exercise where I focused on each individual part of my body, beginning with my feet and moving upwards.”
“She told me to release the tension in each part of my body and feel myself relaxing as I did.”
“Then she told me to imagine certain different scenarios.”
“One was that I was standing on top of a high staircase walking down each step. With each step, Catriona told me to breathe out and feel a little more relaxed. So when I got to the bottom I was the most relaxed.”
“Another exercise was when she told me to imagine a scenario or a room I feel very comfortable and familiar in and imagine inside this room is a lever. She told me to imagine turning the lever down and as I did it reduced my sensitivity to noise.”
“The idea was that I could use this scenario in the future when I was trying to sleep to help reduce my sensitivity to noise.”
“She gave me a number of exercises to work on at home so now it’s up to me to keep practising it.”
“Our mind deals primarily with images, not words, which is why I use a lot of images in my hypnotherapy such as staircases and forests,” Catriona said.
“People often don’t realise how crippling insomnia is. I had a patient who didn’t sleep for 30 years and once I helped her sleep it solved so many of the other problems she had. When I questioned her about her other problems she said, oh that’s not a problem anymore, because they were all caused by not sleeping.”
So insomniacs, nail biters, people who want to lose weight. Who else would benefit from hypnotherapy?
“People who think “I don’t want that to be a part of me,” Catriona said. “I don’t want to be a nail biter. I don’t want to be overweight. I don’t want to suffer from stress or anxiety. It’s about changing behaviours.”
“However, you must be willing to go in with an open mind and willing to make a change. If you have decided before you go in it’s not going to work, it won’t work.”
“Hypnotherapy is suitable for anyone who wants to make a change in their life.”
Offers at Catriona Stewart-Smith Hypnosis on 5pm.
£40 instead of £50 for one session of insomnia hypnotherapy.
£60 instead of £100 for two sessions of insomnia hypnotherapy.
£25 instead of £50 for nail biting hypnotherapy.
£40 instead of £50 for one session of weight loss hypnotherapy.
£60 instead of £100 for two sessions of weight loss hypnotherapy.