All posts by Curtis Ryals

Abstract for Hypnoethics

Here is the abstract for my thesis on Hypnosis Ethics:



Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a growing field which carries particular ethical concerns.  Hypnosis as a particular CAM has had a long standing debate about whether it is ethical for lay hypnotists to practice or whether it should remain in the domain of licensed medical professionals.  While the general consensus has been that there are risks to hypnosis and the practice of lay hypnosis is unethical, this paper argues that hypnosis itself is safe, as outlined in the medical literature,  and that the risks have been conflated with the risks of psychotherapy.  Lay hypnosis is a low risk procedure that offers the prospect of direct benefit through self-help outside of a mental health paradigm, and the benefits outweigh the risks.  As such, lay hypnosis can be conducted ethically if the boundaries between lay hypnosis and mental health practice are respected.  A proposal for regulating the profession through self-regulation, with an emphasis on professionalism is recommended.

Hypnosis and Fitness

How hypnosis can be used to increase fitness

I recently came across this article in Men’s Fitness describing how hypnosis and fitness can work together:  Hypnosis for going to the gym

This is a pretty good description of hypnosis, and sets some realistic expectations about what can be done with.  Hypnosis is ultimately a form of self-improvement, and is a great tool to use as a life hack to achieve your goals.  Hypnosis allows you to interpret stimulus in your environment in a positive way so that you can easily change your behaviors and accomplish your goals.  Hypnosis and fitness go hand in hand.

Hypnosis and fitness

Ban on Smoking in Car With a Child

As a child, my parents smoked.  They smoked in the car, and being in WI, that meant that the windows were rolled up for half of the year.  I remember the smell of the match being lit, and the clouds of smoke surrounding me, until the car was filled with a suffocating and nauseating smell.  I would crack my window and I remember struggling to get a breath of the fresh, but freezing air, before I was told to close it because it was too cold.

A new law being proposed by Wisconsin lawmakers seeks to make it illegal to smoke in a car with a child who is in a car  seat or booster seat (kids under 8).  A violation of the policy would result in a fine of $25 for the first offense, and $50 for subsequent offenses.  They are putting a ban on smoking in car with a child:

While this bill is obviously controversial with smokers, it is true that second-hand smoke is a danger for children.  Being in a confined and poorly ventilated place makes it worse for kids, and research quoted in the video shows that the toxic second hand smoke can reach levels 100 times worse than is safe for kids.  I think most smokers who smoke in front of their children feel a little guilty, but try to justify it because they do not have control over their addiction.

Luckily, there is an option for smokers who are trying to quit.  Guiding Hand Hypnosis offers a smoking cessation program proven to help you quit smoking.  By giving you the tools you need, you are able to gain control over your habits, reduce or eliminate cravings, and  live a smoke-free life.   Take a closer look at our stop-smoking program.

Hypnosis Is The Ultimate Mindfulness

Mindfulness exercises are becoming more and more popular, and recent research has supported the use of mindfulness to improve mood, be more productive, and make other positive changes in your life.  Mindfulness is even being brought into the classroom with organizations such as Breathe for Change.  This is being done to improve well-being for the teachers, but it also has an impact on the students.  In some places, mindfulness is being taught directly to the students to improve relationships, attention, and focus.

Many people are skeptical of hypnosis as a practice.  Hypontherapy as an art is notoriously difficult to study, and sensationalism about the practice in the news, on television and in film, and during stage hypnosis shows has given hypnosis a certain perception which is not very accurate.   While mindfulness is being embraced, and practices such as meditation, yoga, and tai chi are on the rise, hypnosis is in a position to enjoy a similar rise.  This is because hypnosis is the ultimate form of mindfulness.   It is the same mechanisms as meditation and other forms of mindfulness, but it is very focused and condensed.

Hypnosis is an extreme state of relaxation and focused attention.  This attention is turned inward, and you become very present in the moment.  Your perception of time is altered, the mind is calm, and while you are in this state, you are able to make profound changes.  The benefits of mindfulness can be achieved through hypnosis much more quickly and easily.  As the art of mindfulness is embraced, hypnosis will be recognized for its role in improving lives.

How to choose a hypnotherapist

There are several things to consider when choosing a hypnotherapist.  Hypnosis is a powerful tool to make changes in your life.  As such, you want a professional who specializes in using hypnosis and has experience working with your particular goals.  A hypnotherapist’s experience is the most important factor to consider when choosing someone to work with, and you should ask them about what training they have received, and what experience they have working with your issue.  There are several reputable training programs that offer certification in the United States, but not every certifying organization offers a solid foundation on which to begin a practice.  The  National Guild of Hypnotists is one of the largest and most reputable certifying organizations in the United States, but there are certainly others.  If you are looking for a diagnosis and treatment of a mental health disorder, it is best to see a licensed medical doctor.  Some doctors use hypnosis, but rarely do they specialize in it, and they are likely to evaluate you bases on a set of predetermined diagnostic criteria, and recommend a treatment plan, which may or may not include medications.  Hypnosis is not a substitute for medical treatment.  Hypnotherapists work outside of the diagnostic paradigm and offer specialization in hypnosis techniques designed to help you make changes and accomplish your goals for a wide range of topics.  Perhaps the most important aspect of choosing a hypnotherapist is whether you resonate with them personally, and whether their approach and philosophy meet your needs.  Guiding Hand Hypnosis offers hypnosis services from a certified hypnotherapist with over a decade of experience.   Schedule a free consult to see how hypnosis can make the change you’re looking for.

Brain Changes

I found this article interesting in the context of hypnosis:

Psychology Today

The brain-body connection (#6) is intriguing to me, and not at all surprising.  All hypnotists know that there is a strong mind body connection, and it is usually under utilized, and under appreciated.  Many people choose hypnosis because they understand this and are frustrated that main-stream industrial medical practices ignore it completely.  Hypnosis has been around in some form for thousands or years, and Science is only beginning to understand it.

It is my opinion that hypnosis works to utilize the brain’s natural processes at changing and healing, but much more quickly than would naturally happen.  Particularly this quote, “Just as physical wounds and bruises heal, just as we can regain our muscle tone, we can recover function in under-connected areas of the brain. The brain and body are never static; they are always in the process of becoming and changing.”  Hypnosis is change work, plain and simple, and it uses the brain’s phenomenal ability to reshape itself toward productive outcomes and desired states.


The Future Begins In Your Mind

The future begins in your mind is a philosophy that forms the basis for the work done at Guiding Hand Hypnosis. But what exactly does this mean? In short it means that people are imaginative creatures. Storytelling has been around since we drew pictures on cave walls, and likely even longer. Humans use that imagination as a basis for interpreting our realities. What we believe, what we perceive, what we think, what we expect, what we desire. All of these things influence our decisions and our behavior. All of these things lead us toward exactly what we imagine we will get.

Hypnosis is a tool that helps you to shape your realities to what you want them to be. We all have self-limiting beliefs and thoughts that prevent us from doing the things that we think we want. The truth is, we always have an excuse or a reason for what we do. The truth is, our minds have set us up to be in precisely the situation that we think we are most comfortable in. If you want to move forward in your life, toward your ideal goals, making positive changes to shape your life into an amazing representation of your limitless potential, you need to first create that future in your mind. You need to first lay the foundations for success. If you can conceive of something, it is logically possible, and you can accomplish it by taking the right steps. The problem that most people have is that their mind is stuck in an endless loop of false reports that keep them stuck. Hypnosis can strategically correct that self-report, paving the way for profound insight and change.

Madison Weight Loss Program

Losing weight should be easy, right?  It is just a matter of taking in fewer calories than you use in a day.  Yet such a simple formula becomes so complex and most people struggle to control their weight.  Diets do not work because it deprives the body of what it needs, and exercise programs do not work because the amount of exercise needed to maintain your desired weight is not sustainable.  Also the body changes to any adjustment you make to your lifestyle making the journey even more difficult.

So why is hypnosis so successful?  Why is weight loss so easy with hypnosis?  For one, hypnosis does not simply address your diet and exercise regimens, and in fact these are the least important parts of the equation (though they are important).  What hypnosis does is allows you to choose to become the person that you want to be.  It does this through a program of self-awareness.  Self-awareness of your emotional reactions to the world, self-awareness of your cravings, and self-awareness of your eating behaviors.  By becoming aware, we gain control.  By gaining control we can accomplish our goals and become who we want to be.  To be thin, you have to take on the attitudes and perceptions of a thin person, and hypnosis helps you to do this.  Often what we interpret as hunger is simply our body’s way of dealing with stress, and hypnosis allows you to deal with this more productively.

As a result, you eat healthier, and you eat less.  Your cravings disappear and you become more active.  And as the weight melts off your body, you begin to feel better for yourself in an upward spiraling loop.  Its not magic, but it sure feels like it sometimes.