Hypnotise your way to happiness
Ever heard of hypnosis? And I don't mean the kind that makes you do whacky things like on telly. I recently had a few sessions to help reduce my stress levels, working-mum anxiety (the struggle is real) and more. Check out if it worked...
Wanna learn more? Ask Heidi Walker, she knows all about it.
A fully qualified hypnotherapist, and IEMT practitioner (more on that later). Heidi has trained with Central Academy of Clinical Hypnosis and NLP, which trains to a gold standard accredited course. She picked the best one out there and this one is recognised and approved by The British Psychological Society (there’s only two courses in England that are) so when I ventured into uncharted territory, I knew I was in safe hands.
Hypnotherapy is guided hypnosis, a mild trance, a relaxed state of focus and concentration achieved with the help of a clinical hypnotherapist – it is said that when we’re in this relaxed ‘hypnotic’ state, we’re more open to suggestions.
Heidi’s transformed half of her large kitchen in her home in Croft into a sound proof room to see her clients – it’s been done so well that it looks like the room’s just always been there. Inside the room, there’s a table where Heidi sits and a comfy arm chair for her clients, her certificates hang on the walls and the shelves are lined with lots of hypnotherapy books.
Easy to chat with from the get-go, Heidi and I spoke about her work and what I wanted her to focus on. I had had a good think about what part of ‘me’ she could work on and decided that the one thing that really affects me is the anxiety that comes with being a working mother and the stress-pot I become when things get a little out of control – with two kids under 5, this happens quite often and Mr Muddy often gets the brunt of it!
She started with something called IMET (integral eye movement therapy). Crikey! It sounds scary but it’s not – in fact it’s very simple, completely pain free and has great results. It’s basically a very quick technique (you follow the therapists finger as it moves in different directions) to change unhelpful emotions related to negative experiences. Heidi has treated people who’ve had to deal with family loss, PTSD and more and they’ve been shocked at the immediate and amazing results.
The hypnotherapy came into play after. As I sat back and relaxed, Heidi asked me to close my eyes and take a few deep breaths, she then simply carried on talking and asking me to sink and drift deeper into a warm and comfortable state of relaxation where nothing bothered or disturbed me, she continually asked me to concentrate on her voice and ‘let go’ of everything and with each breath, I drifted into a safe and relaxed state.
From what I remember, I was drifting in and out of what felt like a lovely mid-morning nap, but I could hear Heidi very clearly as she sat opposite me, so I always felt safe and I was far too relaxed to be bothered about opening my eyes.
Throughout the session, Heidi was asking me to nod my head which I did, so she knew I was listening and following her.
In my subconscious state, Heidi guided me into a garden where I came across some stones each one labelled with anxiety, fear, losing control and she asked me to throw each one into the rock pool and watch them sink deeper and disappear deep into the water – she later told me that my fingers were twitching at this point and I had subconsciously been doing what she’d asked.
The session lasted just over 25 minutes and immediately after, I felt relaxed, lighter, calm and I could also have happily curled up and fallen asleep right there and then. A few days later, I was looking back at my behaviour, anxiety and stress levels (especially over the weekend) and noticed that I was a lot calmer. There were times when I’d stop and think about my reaction to something the kids had done or something Mr Muddy hadn’t done, and rather than get frustrated or snap, I didn’t react or just did it myself. A few weeks later we went on our first week-long family holiday as a foursome and I stayed calm throughout the entire trip – only working myself up when I realised I had forgot my coat and bag at security – arghhh – luckily, I got it back.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Adults and kids! Heidi treats kids who need help with everything from exam nerves to fear of the dentist as well as more serious problems. Her main focus is on PTSD, grief, anxiety and phobias. It’s not just about kicking a bad habit, it’s about overcoming a bad experience, coming to terms with a loss or a painful memory.
Not for: Anyone really negative about hypnotherapy – hypnosis is a willing state. Not for anyone diagnosed as schizophrenic or with psychosis.
Cost: £70 and initial session can take 90-120 mins. All voice recordings included.
Soul Solutions Hypnotherapy, 50 Arbor Rd, Croft, Leicester LE9 3GD. Tel: 07590 065961.