Thanks to stage- hypnosis; those public brainwashing sessions and movies featuring confused people doing weird antics in the streets, hypnosis has been given a bad reputation for being little more than pure entertainment.

This of course is NOT TRUE! Hypnosis stems from the findings of psychologists and researchers, and even though it has been given a bad name over the last few decades, it is finally making a way back into mainstream. The British Psychological Society has now officially declared hypnosis as a proven therapeutic method to reduce stress, to get fit, curb anxiety, pain, insomnia, migraines and also help in performance issues. “Improvements from hypnosis can be as specific as eliminating erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, remaining committed to a workout plan, delivering a dynamic sales presentation – or as broad as improving motivation and increasing confidence,” says psychologist & certified hypnotherapist Marty Lerman, Ph. D.

While hypnotherapy is consistently linked to the psycho- sciences, it is also gaining popularity in the mind- body arenas as well. In one of the recent Harvard studies, it is found that patients who undergo hypnosis during surgery had fewer complications and required shorter procedures and less post- op medicines.

It is also reported that celebrities, like Princess Catherine, Matt Damon, Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi and Fergie have used hypnotherapy for one reason or other, be it to break bad habits, to lose weight or to improve focus.

A question almost everyone asks me is, “Do you use a pendulum to put me into trance?” Most of my friends who meet me on the streets will say in a deep voice, “You are getting sleepy.” In fact, hypnosis is very similar to guided meditation and it can bring you into an altered state of consciousness, or a hyper- attentive mental state (without the use of a pendulum) in which you are more suggestible to positive affirmations than the hypnotherapist. Think of it as planting positive suggestions in your brain (without any space for self doubt).

“By accessing this subconscious part of the brain, we can bypass all the negative critical thinking and open inward to an awareness of potential and knowledge. Your imagination and creativity are free to explore all kinds of solutions and game plans to situations,” says Lerman .

There is no one big unifying body for hypnosis in the world. In Malaysia, there is the Association of Hypnotherapy Practitioners Malaysia (AHPM) that is registered under the Ministry of Health. You should seek therapy only from licensed professional, or one with mental health background.

Once you find a qualified therapist, call them to talk to them about what you hope to gain from hypnosis and how they can help you achieve your goals.