Your questions answered by Angela Haram, Medcare’s visiting hypnotherapist…
One of the main reasons people go to a hypnotherapist is to quit smoking. Can anyone stop smoking with hypnotherapy?
Yes, but only if they really want to. You will be wasting your time if you only go to a hypnotherapist because your wife, husband, kids or friends have nagged you into it or if, deep down, you don’t really want to stop. No hypnotherapist can make you do something you don’t want to do. But if YOU want to quit, then hypnotherapy will work for you.
Are there people you can’t hypnotise?
No, everyone can be hypnotised but the level of hypnosis varies. More analytical people tend to be harder to hypnotise, while creative, imaginative people usually make better subjects. The deeper the state or relaxation the more successful it generally is.
The simpler treatments – such a stopping smoking – work well for nearly everyone.
What happens during a hypnotherapy session and what will the patient feel?
I will just ask the patient to relax and as they listen to my voice they will enter a deep state of relaxation. It is a comfortable and pleasant experience and the patient will feel light and calm. I then talk to the subconscious mind while the conscious mind drifts off – rather like daydreaming. The patient remains in control and aware throughout the session, but will feel very relaxed.
While they are in this state of relaxation I will talk to them about whatever it is that they need hypnosis for. For example, if it is a stop smoking session, I will talk about smoking and becoming a natural healthy non-smoker. By the time the session is over smoking will seem so undesirable that even the thought of it will make them feel sick.
So they just walk away a non-smoker?
Yes, most people will not want another cigarette after the session. I do tell people that if they are struggling or have a weak moment they can come back for a free session, but people rarely seem to need to take me up on the offer.
What else can you treat with hypnotherapy?
All kinds of emotional problem and bad habits. I get a lot of requests for weight loss hypnotherapy, which is very successful. Also, I help a lot of people with fears and phobias, such as fear of flying. Gambling and alcohol addictions often respond well to hypnotherapy, and it is good for relieving anxiety and stress or helping build confidence and self-esteem. It can also be used for more specific events, such as calming nerves before a driving test, exam or public speaking engagement. The list is endless.
Is there anyone who should not have hypnotherapy?
Anyone who suffers from epilepsy or deep rooted mental health problems is advised to seek advice from their GP before trying hypnotherapy.
Stories from Angela’s patients
I started smoking when I was just 14 and was soon addicted. I smoked 25 to 30 cigarettes a day for the next 38 years. I always enjoyed smoking and never felt the urge or the need to stop. Then, as I got older, the health problems began; coughing and wheezing, bad chest, shortness of breath. Deep down I knew it was the lifetime of cigarettes but I was in denial and told myself I would be fine. I wasn’t ready to consider quitting.
As the health problems persisted, so did the nagging feeling I was doing long term damage. I really needed to explore the option of quitting seriously. A work colleague recommended Angela Haram. As I had already tried ‘cold turkey’ and patches without success I started to look into the idea of hypnotherapy. I must admit, at first I was sceptical and did not believe in the ‘holistic’ approach. I was getting desperate though, so gave it a go.
The session with Angela lasted 90 minutes and was nothing like I thought it would be. I just felt very relaxed and calm. I can remember most of what Angela said to me and felt in control at all times, and conscious. I can’t explain it but afterwards I just did not want to smoke. The thought of lighting a cigarette just did not appeal to me. That was in June 2012 and I have not smoked since.
As a result my health has improved, I have a better sense of taste and smell, I have much more money in my pocket and my sickness record at work has improved drastically as I was prone to chest infections on a regular basis, which I don’t get any more.
Becoming a non-smoker has made me realise I can do so much more, and camping trips and walks with our dog are now a pleasure as I feel so much fitter and healthier.
I started smoking at the age of 16. I smoked because it was, at the time, a social habit and all my friends smoked. I continued to smoke for years. I stopped when I was pregnant and stayed off the cigarettes for two years, but then started again. Numerous attempts to give up the habit followed, but it was impossible and there was always something (pressure, stress,), always an excuse to continue to smoke.
Then, after a reality check, I contacted Angela, who was recommended by a friend. The process was easy; learning the bad points of smoking – how the tobacco leaves are picked and sorted, and what is actually in a cigarette. It was an immediate success and I have now been a non-smoker for three years. All I can say is it worked for me. The hypnotherapy relaxed me and enabled me to stop.
The advantages are better health and you don’t smell of smoke. The hypnotherapy put me at ease and I also noticed that I didn’t get bad tempered and became calmer.
A lot of people don’t stop because they put on weight. I can say that I didn’t crave food like I thought I would [Angela can add in suggestions to counter food cravings] and did not gain any weight. You just need to think a different way and I always remember what Angela told me and the advice and suggestions she gave me.
I would certainly recommend hypnotherapy as it really does work.
Since having hypnotherapy sessions with Angela Haram I have totally changed my attitude towards myself and others. I have gained confidence and am achieving things in my life I could only dream about previously. I am much more tolerant of others and don’t judge people on their behaviour like I used to. I no longer get angry and frustrated over small things. My self-esteem and self-confidence is 100% improved on what it used to be. I have grown as a person and focus very much on the future and my own personal development. I have lost weight and the change in my outlook on life has made me a different person on the inside as well as the outside. I would certainly recommend hypnotherapy.
I had been overweight all my adult life, going back to my time as a student. I tried every slimming class going; meal replacement shakes and soups, boot camp, gym memberships, the cabbage soup diet – you name it, I tried it! Some methods did work but as soon as the weight came off, I would slip back into my old eating habits and the weight would go back on. Years of struggling from a size 14 to a size 20 (I had four wardrobes, depending on my size!) and yo-yo dieting took its toll on my emotional well-being, my physical health and my metabolism.
Out of sheer desperation I decided to try hypnotherapy. I had four sessions with Angela Haram and I had no idea what magic she would work with my life. I simply haven’t looked back and will never be able to thank her enough for helping me realise that with a different perspective and attitude what seemed to be impossible was actually very natural and easy.
The weight came off. It came off slowly and steadily and it has stayed off. I reached my goal weight and have stayed there now for almost three years and have no intention of ever going back. My ‘fat’ clothes are long gone. I replaced all my old bad habits with healthy new habits. I have more energy as a result and my health has improved. I control portion sizes well and am regularly active. I am so much happier and more confident as a result.
Ever since I can remember I had a problem with going bright red whenever I was in a situation where I became the main focus or centre of attention. It was much worse than blushing; it was more like a nasty bright pinky-red rash spreading through my whole body from my head downwards. It prevented me talking to girls at school, stopped me going for promotion at work or even speaking up at meetings even though I wanted to say lots of things and put my ideas forward to help the company. I don’t know how I ever got a job as I found the interview horrendous.
The problem came to a head when I met Rachel, my now wife, and wanted to marry her. I proposed and the wedding was planned and booked. I love her so much and desperately wanted to be married, but as the big day approached the thought of being looked at and, even worse, bright red on the wedding photos, filled me with dread.
Rachel is a hairdresser and she told me about one of her clients, Angela, who did hypnotherapy. I was willing to try anything. A week before the wedding I was a bag of nerves. I had one session with Angela and felt really good. She made me understand that the problem had stemmed from an incident at school when I was seven years old.
By relaxing me so I felt calm and sleepy, then taking me back to the incident and making me see how trivial it actually was and putting it in perspective really helped. I felt great after the session and on my wedding day did not even blush slightly. Nothing. I now look back at the photos with pride and happiness and am also much more confident at work and the redness has never returned.
I am from Belfast and was at Sunderland University with my studies. I met Angela through a friend and was at rock bottom. I was doing a degree in TV and Media and felt under immense pressure to pass with the highest mark.
My family has a history of depression and I was very worried I was heading for some sort of mental breakdown. I was having panic and anxiety attacks on a regular basis, I was extremely stressed and unhappy and could not see a way out of the black hole I was living in on a daily basis. Hypnotherapy sessions with Angela helped me through and I can honestly say without the therapy and her support I would not have made it.
Hypnotherapy made me realise that when you change your mindset and put things in perspective you can change the outcome. I passed my degree and didn’t end up with serious depression as I had anticipated. I can’t thank Angela enough or recommend hypnotherapy strongly enough to anyone suffering from depression, stress, anxiety or panic attacks.
I had a horrific fear of flying and was known as a ‘screamer’. I had to have Valium before making even a short flight and then had to be physically manhandled onto the plane. I would spend the whole flight gripping the arms of the seat tightly and staring straight ahead. I was unable to look at or speak to anyone.
My husband and children got that sick of me, as well as being embarrassed by me, it reached the stage where we could no longer go abroad as a family on holiday. I felt terrible but the fear of getting back on a plane was greater than the thought of upsetting my kids and depriving them and my husband of a holiday abroad.
Someone in my gym recommended Angela and hypnotherapy. I was not sure at first but my mind kept going back to it. I did a bit of research online into the process of hypnotherapy and decided to give it a go. My husband was delighted but did not dare tell the kids as we did not want to get their hopes up. He booked a holiday to Prague – a four hour flight! The furthest I had ever gone was France – just over one hour.
I had one session with Angela two days before the flight. On the day I felt slightly anxious but as we reached the airport a feeling of total calm came over me and I was fine. I relaxed and actually enjoyed the flight and was laughing and chatting with my family, other passengers and the staff. My husband and kids were speechless and overjoyed. They said it was like travelling with a different person.
They were a bit concerned the hypnotherapy would ‘wear off’ as we neared the end of our break and prepared to return home after eight days. No need. The return flight was just as enjoyable and I have flown several times since. We are now planning a holiday to Florida, a ten hour flight! I might book another session just in case before we go but would thoroughly recommend hypnotherapy for fears. I just wish I had done it years ago.