Busting the myths behind hypnosis

When you think of hypnosis, you probably visualize villains or doctors with pocket watches, but all stereotypes aside, experts say real hypnotherapy can cure some of the most common problems.  

"Smoking, weight loss, anxiety, depression, anything that they would like to be worked on," said Hypnotherapist Pattie Freeman.
 
Freeman has gotten into the minds of everyone from celebrities to athletes. It all begins with relaxing.
 
"Every muscle throughout your body but your toes especially are starting to relax," she said.  "Let go of the obstacles.  Let go of anything that stands in your way."
 
She's says it's not much different what we unknowingly go through everyday.
 
"You daydream when you're driving home.  You miss your exit," Freeman said.  "You're in your own little world.  When you're on the computer and you find, wow, time has flown by."
 
The term hypnosis comes from the Greek word "hypnos," which means sleep, but what people don't know is that during hypnosis, you are more relaxed than asleep.
 
"Everyone thinks hypnosis means you have to be totally asleep. That's not true.  It's just a state of mind where you're in a dream state and when that happens, then you can really take in all the suggestions," Freeman said.
 
Whether or not you believe in hypnotherapy, if you've ever been mesmerized, say by a spinning black and white pattern, you can thank Franz Mesmer--the father of hypnosis.
 
While Freeman says you can't be hypnotized against your will, she has gotten people to do some pretty silly things, like pretending to surf on dry land or performing an Irish jig during a comedy show at the fair. 
 
"Once you try it and you feel how great it feels, it's not so scary anymore," Freeman said.
 
At least, she says, keep an open mind.
 

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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