And relax…

Imagine the scene – I am lying on a couch. There is a man sitting in front of me swinging a watch in front of my face. His voice has changed. He was talking normally until he told me to relax and then his voice went all “woo woo”. I tried not to giggle…

  • Relax. Let a good, pleasant feeling come all across your body. Let every muscle and every nerve grow so loose and so limp and so relaxed. Arms limp now, just like a rag doll. That’s good

I wonder what a pleasant feeling is. It’s not very relaxing lying on this couch with a stranger talking to me. Why is he saying it’s good? I’m not really relaxed. Why did he just grab my arm?

  • Your eyelids are heavier and heavier and you are sinking deeper and deeper into a relaxed state

Am I? I don’t feel any different. Should I feel different? What should I do? Should I pretend or let him know that I am still wide awake? It might make him cross.

  • In a moment I’m going to relax you more completely. In a moment I’m going to begin counting backwards from 10 to 1.
  • The moment I say the number 10 you will allow your eyelids to remain closed. The moment I say the number 10, you will, in your mind’s eye, see yourself at the top of a small set of stairs

 That’s not very relaxing…what if I fall down the stairs. I did that and broke my toe you know?

  •  The moment I say the number 9, and each additional number, you will simply move down those stairs relaxing more completely. At the base of the stairs is a large feather bed, with a comfortable feather pillow

I’m allergic to feathers. They bring me out in a cold every time. I’m not sure I want to walk down these stairs to that bed. I think I might stay where I am and pretend

  • Number 10, eyes closed at the top of those stairs. Ten …
  • Nine, relaxing and letting go. Nine …
  • Eight, sinking into a more comfortable, calm, peaceful position …
  • Seven ….
  • Six … going way down …
  • Five … moving down those stairs, relaxing more completely.
  • Four …
  • Three … breathe in deeply …
  • Two … On the next number, number one, simply sinking into that bed, becoming more calm, more peaceful, more relaxed …
  • One … Sinking into that feather bed, let every muscle go limp and loose as you sink into a more calm, peaceful state of relaxation.

I wonder if he’s noticed that I am not relaxed. I wonder if I can peek out of the corner of my eye without him noticing. Hmm maybe best not. I’ll just pretend.

I think many of us associate Hypnotherapy with this kind of scene. Well, either that or getting up on stage and doing bizarre things! So what is Cognitive Hypnotherapy all about and is it really any different?

Most of us are in some sort of trance state throughout our day. In fact, it’s only up to about 20% of our day that we are really fully in that moment, in the present. Some call it daydreaming, some call it absent mindedness – you might even call it bored! But whatever you call it, it’s the sort of state where your mind is elsewhere. Maybe a smell has reminded you of a time when you were a kid. Maybe you walked out of your door and realise 5 minutes down the road that you don’t remember locking it. Of course, when you go back to check it was locked.

In this state it is our subconscious that is driving our actions rather than our conscious thought.

So where do all these subconscious thoughts come from if they are something we are not controlling? Well from the moment we are born our brain is filing and storing our experiences according to how they felt to us at the time. This storage is then referred to constantly in later life whenever we need to work out what to do in a given situation. Each of us has a unique set of files based on how we interpreted things. This means that even twins, experiencing exactly the same situation, will file and store them in a different way.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy is about working with that filing system in your subconscious to help reframe events that may be driving behaviours you want to move on from. It’s about using whatever works for you to achieve what you want to achieve. So if you want to relax, let’s not impose our interpretation of what relaxing means on you, but rather guide you to find whatever works best for your model of the world.

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I am a married mother to one little girl. I live and have a Cognitive Hypnotherapy practice in Dundee. Although I will help anyone with anything I specialise in pain management and weight loss

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