Hypnotherapy can reduce stress and pain, says expert

People received insights into hypnosis and trance during a public talk and workshop on hypnotherapy held at the WOU main campus today.

The event titled “Hypnotherapy: Unleash Your True Potential” was organised by WOU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences in collaboration with the International College of Clinical Hypnosis Practitioners (ICCHP) Asia.

The large crowd at the event in the main campus.

The large crowd at the event in the main campus.

ICCHP Malaysia Senior Lecturer Jyothi Chelamcharla, said that a trance occurs in instances of strong emotion, learning, repetitive work, deep involvement (in the zone), and sudden event.

She said everyone is naturally capable of entering a trance, which she illustrated by getting the audience to think of a pleasant memory from the past, focusing on sounds, smells and anything associated with it.

She explained about helpful and unhelpful trances, citing pleasant memory as a positive trance, while unhelpful trances can happen in strong emotions like anger, in addictions to smoking, alcohol or foods when that single thought keeps coming to mind, as well in other negative emotions like phobia/irrational fear, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder where they can be transported to a past traumatic event.

Jyothi invites the audience to close their eyes and think of a pleasant memory.

Jyothi invites the audience to close their eyes and think of a pleasant memory.

She said hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes to help with issues that have a psychological cause. She said past practices by hypnotists have given rise to a lot of current misconceptions, like you lose control over your actions and become susceptible to suggestions implanted into your thought. “With hypnosis, 80% of the people can go into light trance to medium trance. Barely 10% of the people go into deep trances, they are the ones most suggestible and gullible.”

Jyothi pointed out that you cannot give suggestions to someone who cannot understand them, hence those having psychosis, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs cannot enter into a trance.  “So if you give a suggestion, like, do not think of blue elephant, subconsciously you think about it. But if you have no memory or image of what the elephant looks like, it doesn’t mean a thing as the association is not there.”

Imagination can help unleash your potential, Jyothi tells the audience.

Imagination can help unleash your potential, Jyothi tells the audience.

She urged people to take advantage of their subconscious to reach their full potential. “Why not use your imagination to bring up positive images, like speaking confidently in front of crowd. Use that capacity to daydream and to imagine to unleash your true potential.”

She said other misconceptions of hypnosis are that only the hypnotist can bring you out of a trance, and you cannot keep your secrets safe. She said any ethical hypnotherapist always includes the suggestion that you tell only whatever you feel comfortable sharing.

There are helpful and unhelpful trances, says the speaker.

There are helpful and unhelpful trances, says the speaker.

Joythi declared that people low on emotion, calm and relaxed can process what’s going on, as opposed to those on high emotion, like anger, fear, disgust, past traumatic exposure. “Hypnotherapy can make you relax so that you can face whatever it is.”

She shared that pain is heightened in instances of physical injury, stress, anxiety, depression, and a focus on the pain. “If you are playing a game, you won’t feel the pain so much because you were distracted and not focused on your pain. Hypnosis helps through relaxation and distraction to lower pain.”  

Several questions were posed during the Q&A.

Several questions were posed during the Q&A.

During Q&A, she replied that hypnotherapy can lower anxiety by changing the emotions associated with that thought or fear.

She stressed that it is a myth that memory can be completely erased as hypnotherapy only helps transform and lower the impact of a memory, like childhood trauma, by changing the emotions, perception, image and reaction when exposed to people or things associated with the trauma.

ICCHP Asia regional director Synthia Surin informs about the University’s new hypnotherapy course.

ICCHP Asia regional director Synthia Surin informs about the University’s new hypnotherapy course.

Over 200 people attended the event including ICCHP Asia regional director Synthia Surin, certified ICCHP trainers Assoc Prof Dr Mohammad Abdul Rahman (UniKL) and Sandhi Nagalingam, and other participants from the medical and legal professions.

SHSS is collaborating with ICCHP to offer a 72-hour ‘Introduction to Clinical Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Certificate Course’ in August.