hypnosis ARTICLES by michael salerno

Maintaining healthy weight with mental conditioning / Poughkeepsie Journal/Living & Being, October 2

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Have you ever eaten something strictly out of boredom, stress, loneliness, or a feeling of nervousness? If you raised your hand, or answered, “yes” there’s no need to worry because you’re not alone. At one time or another, we’ve all eaten for reasons other than hunger. This month I’m going to share with how hypnosis can work in conjunction whatever you’re already doing or thinking about doing in the future to reach your weight loss goals.

Hypnosis "a magnified concentration" / Poughkeepsie Journal/Living & Being, November 2016

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A few weeks ago, I had a reader contact me through email about my monthly hypnosis articles. She wrote, “I’ve enjoyed reading your articles over the last few months and I found the one about smoking cessation of particular interest to me. Hypnosis sounds like a wonderful idea but I’m afraid it won’t work on me. I can be pretty stubborn and I hate to give up control.”

Conquer your New Year's resolutions with hypnosis / Poughkeepsie Journal/Living & Being, January 201

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With the New Year just around the corner, have you thought about making a New Year’s Resolution? If you are, then you’re not alone. A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that approximately half of the population will resolve to do something that will make their live better in some way. That same study, conducted at the University of Scranton, found that only 40 percent will stick to their resolution of up to six months. Why is it that those who embark on a New Year’s Resolution are likely to encounter failure?

Hypnosis can help you kick that smoking habit / Poughkeepsie Journal/Living & Being, February 2017

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We’re now one month into the New Year and you had set out to become a non-smoker in 2017. You had the best intentions in mind and maybe you even threw out your cigarettes. Perhaps a week or two went by and you were doing great, things were moving along and then life happened and in that moment it seemed as if the only thing to do was reach for cigarette.

MAINTAINING HEALTHY WEIGHT WITH MENTAL CONDITIONING

The Truth about Hypnosis | Poughkeepsie Journal/Living & Being, October 2016

Have you ever eaten something strictly out of boredom, stress, loneliness, or a feeling of nervousness? If you raised your hand, or answered, “yes” there’s no need to worry because you’re not alone. At one time or another, we’ve all eaten for reasons other than hunger. This month I’m going to share with how hypnosis can work in conjunction whatever you’re already doing or thinking about doing in the future to reach your weight loss goals.


My experience has been that people set out to reduce their weight with the best intentions in mind. They come up with a healthy eating plan, whether they do that on their own or they work with someone who is licensed or credentialed in some way. They may even make a vow to be more active and perhaps they go so far as to join a gym or employ a personal trainer. While those are tremendous action steps, quite often the missing piece, and arguably the most important, in this lifestyle change is the mental approach. I think most of us would be in agreement that our thoughts have an effect on our actions. If we’re going to embark on setting a goal for ourselves and completing it; without the proper mind set our efforts are bound to come up short.  For the person who is truly motivated and wants to change, hypnosis can be the missing piece because it reprograms the subconscious mind to change the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and emotions that trigger you to reach for the foods that are undermining your success.


Regardless of your current weight situation we have all been programmed in some fashion to equate food with safety, comfort and security. This stems from the time when we were first born. Whenever you cried, your mother, of course with the best intentions in mind, would pick you up and hold and cradle you. If a diaper change was not in order, chances are she assumed you were hungry and she fed you. This happened hundreds of times during that first year or so and the safety and security that came with being held, cradled and fed soon became imprinted in our subconscious mind that food equals safety, comfort and security.  


In a previous article, I mentioned that we all have a need to feel a sense of internal security. Without some minimum level of internal security we become frightened, nervous, or upset. The primary function of the subconscious mind is protect us from danger; either real or imagined. If we perceive a threat to our feelings of internal security the protective subconscious steps in to correct this. Through the years I’ve had clients whose weight gain has come in conjunction with very stressful periods in their lives. That has included struggles at school, a business failure, financial stress, a traumatic event, and a divorce or the ending of a relationship. When we’re overwhelmed by these situations we feel insecure and as our insecurity increases the subconscious mind looks to rectify this. The subconscious mind remembers the script that was imprinted from being picked up by our mother that equates food with comfort, safety, or security and years later when we’re presented with these uncomfortable feelings we take solace in food.  


Someone once said of the subconscious mind, “It’s a wonderful servant and a terrible master.” Wouldn’t be great to eliminate that feeling of the need to eat for emotional reasons? Wouldn’t it be fabulous to program your mind to drink more water throughout your day? How great would it be if you could envision yourself one year, three years, maybe even five years from now having reached your weight loss goals? What would you look like? What would you be wearing? How would your life be different? All of this is possible with hypnosis.


I encourage people to embark on a weight reduction program that incorporates a healthy eating plan, a sensible and active lifestyle, and mental conditioning. At the same time the nutritionist, dietician, personal trainer, coach, and hypnotist are all simply facilitators. Ultimately you are responsible for your success. There’s no reason why maintaining a healthy weight should be constant struggle. You can look great and feel great because you are already great. You can eat less and enjoy food more with a process that helps you take back control. If you would like to learn more about hypnosis I would happy to answer any questions that you have.

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Hypnosis "a magnified concentration"

The Truth about Hypnosis | Poughkeepsie Journal/Living & Being, November 2016

A few weeks ago, I had a reader contact me through email about my monthly hypnosis articles. She wrote, “I’ve enjoyed reading your articles over the last few months and I found the one about smoking cessation of particular interest to me. Hypnosis sounds like a wonderful idea but I’m afraid it won’t work on me. I can be pretty stubborn and I hate to give up control.”


If you’re thinking the same thing then you may be surprised to learn that we experience hypnosis on a daily basis. Have you ever found yourself completely immersed in an activity to the exclusion of everything else? That is a natural trance state. Some other common examples of this are becoming transfixed on the plot while watching a movie or working diligently and finding that the last few hours have gone by without your conscious awareness. Since the name of this monthly column is “The Truth about Hypnosis,” I thought that I would use this month’s forum to dispel many of the myths that are out there about hypnosis and well… tell the truth about hypnosis.


While the “modern era” of hypnosis dates back to the late 1700’s and the work of Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer, for whom the term mesmerism was coined, the ancient Chinese and Egyptian texts all mention procedures that are hypnosis by another name. Despite the fact that hypnosis has a long and storied history, it’s almost as if most of the information that the general public has about hypnosis is misinformation and it’s not what they believe it to be.


While there are a number of definitions of hypnosis that are out there, the one that I use is the bypassing of the critical factor the conscious mind, that analytical judgmental portion of us, and the establishment of acceptable and selective thinking (thoughts, ideas or concepts).


The very name hypnosis in itself is a misnomer. The word hypnosis comes from a Greek root word meaning sleep. Although it might look as though a hypnotized is asleep they are not, in fact they are from it. In hypnosis you are even more alert and aware of everything around you than you are in your “normal” day-to-day life. In hypnosis your concentration, attention and awareness are heightened while everything else around is simply off in the background or in the distance. Instead of sleep, hypnosis is simply magnified concentration.


There is a belief within the hypnosis community that all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis. We enter a form of hypnosis everyday on our own driving from one destination to another, reading books, watching moves, or simply daydreaming. A brilliant hypnotist named Dave Elman discussed this in his book Hypnotherapy, written in 1964. Elman, who spent close to three decades teaching hypnosis to medical professionals, said that there is really no such thing as a hypnotist. As a practitioner employing this tool, all you can ever do is show a client how to go over the hurdle from a normal, waking or sleeping state into a peculiar state of mind known as hypnosis. You won’t hypnotize him or her, he or she will hypnotize themselves. This means that those of using hypnosis wield no power over any client.


Elman went onto write that a more accurate term than hypnotist is a hypnotic operator. As the operator you teach the client how to achieve hypnosis then, if the client is willing, you stimulate his or her imagination, acting so to speak, as a “dream pilot.” It is pleasant to know that you can pilot anyone’s imagination, stimulating more enjoyable, more intense, and more productive thoughts and behaviors.

Finally Elman stressed that this “piloting” ability should not be confused with power. He emphasized the words, if the client is willing, because consent is imperative with hypnosis. You cannot impart a suggestion unless the client is willing to take it. At all times and in all degrees of hypnosis, the client has complete power of selectivity. He or she therefore reacts only to suggestions that are reasonable and pleasing. You may have seen demonstrations of hypnosis at a comedy club or at a fair where people performed outlandish antics; but the fact remains that those individuals chose to perform those antics. Think about those times in your life when you’ve had a crazy dream. The odd behavior that you may have witnessed on behalf of someone who is hypnotized was just like dream that was induced by the hypnotic operator. And regardless of how odd or outlandish it was, it seemed reasonable and pleasing to the hypnotized person or they would have rejected the suggestions.


I hope this month’s article clears up any questions you may have had regarding hypnosis. If I can answer any questions that you may have please feel free to contact me.

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Conquer your New Year's resolutions with hypnosis

The Truth about Hypnosis | Poughkeepsie Journal/Living & Being, January 2017

With the New Year just around the corner, have you thought about making a New Year’s Resolution? If you are, then you’re not alone. A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that approximately half of the population will resolve to do something that will make their live better in some way. That same study, conducted at the University of Scranton, found that only 40 percent will stick to their resolution of up to six months. Why is it that those who embark on a New Year’s Resolution are likely to encounter failure?


First, many people take the approach that willpower, and willpower alone, will propel them to make the changes that they desire. Sure, you may know someone who smoked for 30 years and one day they decided that they’d simply had enough and quit right then and there. Yes, there are people that can do that. For most people however, willpower alone is not enough to create everlasting change. To make an analogy, willpower is to the human mind what adrenaline is to the physical body. Willpower will provide a short burst of either mental or physical energy that will carry you through a finite period of time. Unfortunately willpower is fleeting and, in most cases, its potency is short-lived.


Along with the tenuous nature of willpower, for many people their New Year’s Resolutions have been associated with negative feelings, disappointments, and past failures. For most people it’s not enough to make a conscious decision to stop smoking, lose weight, or embark on any change because the acceptance of any new habit pattern requires both repetition and subconscious reprogramming. Without any change at a subconscious level, your conscious decision to make the desired change will be defeated by your own subconscious belief that you need a cigarette when you’re stressed or that you need to eat something because you’re bored or lonely. If your conscious and subconscious minds are pitted against one another then it’s no contest, your subconscious mind will prevail every time. So how can you program subconscious mind to achieve your New Year’s resolution? The answer is hypnosis.


Simply stated hypnosis is the bypassing the critical factor of the conscious mind where new thoughts, ideas, and concepts are allowed enter the subconscious mind. Think of the subconscious mind as a computer. The subconscious mind houses all of your life’s experiences going all the way back to your birth. And just like any computer the subconscious mind can be programmed, reprogrammed, or even updated with new and improved “software” through hypnotic suggestions. With hypnosis, what was once every reason to reach for a cigarette or over eat, or become fearful of something; can now become every reason to take control over that behavior.


While hypnosis has been around for hundreds of years, and this science has become more accepted over the last two decades, unfortunately there remains a lot of misperceptions about it. One of those is that there is a loss of control when you’re hypnotized. To the contrary, in hypnosis you actually have more control than you do in your normal day-to-day function. In reality, hypnosis is simply a process that allows you to take back control. As I mentioned earlier, hypnosis is the bypassing the critical factor of the conscious mind. The critical factor resides between the conscious and the subconscious minds and its job is to communicate with the subconscious to decide whether or not it’s willing to allow the suggestion to enter. As long as the suggestions that are given to you while you’re hypnotized are in accord with what you want to have operate in your life then the subconscious mind will accept them and changes can begin to occur.  If the suggestions are not in agreement with what you want, or it there’s something uncomfortable about them, then they’re rejected and sent to the conscious mind, specifically to willpower, which as I mentioned earlier, is not conducive to long-term change.


If you’re wondering if you can be hypnotized, the only thing that prevents an individual from entering hypnosis is a fear of being hypnotized. We all go into a form of hypnosis all the time, in fact, many times a day while drive our cars, reading books, watching movies, or simply being engrossed in something that commands our attention. It’s an ability that we all possess so why not use this ability that you already possess to create positive change in your life?


I hope 2017 proves to be the year that you ignite the magic within you to achieve all your goals and dreams. Happy New Year!

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Hypnosis can help you kick that smoking habit

The Truth about Hypnosis | Poughkeepsie Journal/Living & Being, February 2017

We’re now one month into the New Year and you had set out to become a non-smoker in 2017. You had the best intentions in mind and maybe you even threw out your cigarettes. Perhaps a week or two went by and you were doing great, things were moving along and then life happened and in that moment it seemed as if the only thing to do was reach for cigarette.  


Whether the above scenario resembles your situation or some you know who has found this to be struggle, what if there was process where every reason to reach for a cigarette can be become every reason to find something more productive to do or simply say, “No”? Hypnosis has been found to be one of the safest and most successful methods of helping people quit smoking. The steps below are just a few that will help propel you onto greater path toward health and happiness.


Have the right motivation. Why do you want to do this? Did your doctor tell you to stop? Would your significant other, kids, grandchildren stop giving you a hard time if you quit? Or do you just think it would be a good idea to quit smoking?  While these are all very admirable and sincere reasons for quitting, they are not going to be the reason that you will become a successful non-smoker. The mindset that is going to produce the best result is if you can honestly look at your cigarettes and say, “I don’t like you and I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired of being a smoker and having you run my life! I refuse to allow you to continue to control me!” That is the mindset that will allow your subconscious mind to be receptive to accepting new thoughts, ideas and concepts for change.


Despite what you may have seen in movies or on television, hypnosis is not mind-control. It’s a 100% consent state. It’s a process of relaxing the mind and body into a natural ability in which the mind is more receptive to positive suggestions, insight, and releasing negative feelings. Yes, those other reasons mentioned above are important, but simply put you’ve got to do it for yourself. This is your goal, and the more you own it, the more success and ease you will experience.


Label it a habit. What is a habit? A habit is when you automatically think about doing something. Consider the actions of most smokers: you get in the car and you have a cigarette. You get out of the car and you have a cigarette. You have a cup of coffee and you have a cigarette. You finish a meal and you have a cigarette. During each of these triggers there’s a cigarette in hand. It’s no longer a conscious choice; instead it’s an action of association.


Yet, how many times have you thought about doing something only to decide that there was something better or more productive for you to do? Maybe you thought about buying something, only to decide that your money would be put to better use elsewhere? That’s also true of cigarettes. The behavior is simply a thought, and it’s a thought that no longer has to have power over you. Through hypnosis, you will walk out of your session knowing and believing that there’s always something better to do than smoke.


Build a supportive environment for success. Through the years I have discovered there are two types of stop smoking clients. There are those who tell everybody that they’re quitting smoking and then there those who tell nobody that they’re quitting smoking. Not too long ago I had a client tell me that she had to pay for her sessions in cash because, “my husband I don’t want my husband to know that I’m getting hypnotized to stop smoking.”


I understand if announcing it to the world is not your style, but please let someone that you feel comfortable in confiding with know that you’re embarking on this journey to eliminate cigarettes from your life. To look at this a little further, the subconscious message that is being expressed here is, “If it doesn’t work, people won’t know.”


I’m happy to say that both groups of people have been successful and I am here to support you in the manner that you’re ready to change. Building a supportive environment sends that message to the inner mind that you’re stopping smoking for real once and for all and that’s the end of it.


Release self-limiting beliefs. What if you’re ready to quit smoking but your family, friends, and co-workers are still smoking? Quite often clients will say, “It’s going to be hard to do this because…” Hypnotists help people change their minds. What if the fact that everyone around you smokes can now become every reason you don’t have to do that to yourself anymore?


Are you ready to start breathing easier, smelling better, and save your life? If so, I’m here to help.

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