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What happened when Muddy went to see a hypnotist

It's a lot simpler and not as mysterious as you may think...

My knowledge of hypnotherapy pretty much starts and ends with Derren Brown so when I was invited for a hypnotherapy session, I was intrigued to find out more.

Shelly Dar is a fully trained clinical therapist and counsellor and mainly works from her own private own home practice.

Hypnotherapy isn’t just for those who want to lose weight, cure their fear of spiders or stop smoking…it can also be deeply relaxing as this Mudster was about to find out.

I sat down in her cosy ‘waiting room’ where she already had some calming herbal tea waiting for me. We chatted about her background and what I could expect from hypnosis. We spent over an hour chatting and her friendly and warm approach helped me feel totally comfortable in her hands before we started the treatment.

Here’s what I learnt from my session:

There’s a big difference between a qualified clinical hypnotherapist and a stage hypnosis

Let’s not get it twisted, these two are totally different and you won’t find Shelly asking you to cluck like a chicken or make you believe you’ve just won the Miss World crown. What you see on TV is purely for entertainment purposes and usually carried out by a magician or an entertainer but not a professionally-trained therapist.

Hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy that uses the power of positive suggestion to bring about subconscious change to our thoughts.  The process is aimed to alter our state of consciousness by relaxing the conscious part of the mind while stimulating the subconscious part. Got it? Good!

If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you…

Apparently celebs including Ellen DeGeneres and David Beckham have used hypnosis. Geri Halliwell used it to lose weight and get fit, Sophie Dahl used it for weight loss and for Kevin Costner it apparently cured him of his sea-sickness while filming Water World.

Hypnotherapy can be used to treat addiction

I didn’t have a specific reason why I agreed to hypnotherapy but Shelly told me that I could just come along and have a deep relaxing session something I didn’t know you could book in for. She explained that people come along for all sorts of things and quite often, to help them beat bad habits including being addicted to Coca-Cola, not eating enough fruit and vegetable, smoking and the classic case of wanting to lose weight.

Don’t expect to see a swinging pendulum 

An initial session with Shelly can last two hours and this includes the chat before hand in which she gets to know you. The hypnotherapy session itself can last between 30-45 minutes and is very different to what you may expect.

Shelly’s treatment room is small and cosy, you sit on the arm chair and can lie back depending on what you’re comfortable with. During treatment she sits at the other end of the room and may ask you what your idea of a relaxing holiday would be (my answer was an exotic, hot beach destination of course), if there’s anything you’re scared of (err yes, snakes) and what your favourite colour is (green and yellow).

She started off by playing some soft music and encouraging me to settle and relax by taking some deep breaths. She ensured me that my mind would be in complete control of my body and muscles. There’s no ‘look into my eyes’  malarkey instead she talks about a ‘golden’ energy moving through my body while her calm voice just slowly allowed me to comfortably relax.

There is no contact 

Shelly never made any contact with me, she just let her voice do the work and eventually my body started to feel very heavy and light. I remember wondering what I must have looked like with my mouth wide open and my eyeballs getting heavy behind my eyelids. I was aware of exactly what was going on and at one point I doubted if I would get drowsy and drift off like I had imagined and then Shelly talks about the ‘levels’ of trance that I’m experiencing. I recall hearing all about level A and B but by the time she gets to C, I’d drifted off but I was still aware of where I was and the sound of her voice gave me comfort and security.

It feels like being in Savasana

Hands up if anyone has ever drifted off while in the Savasana pose? Errr totally guilty! Well this is what it felt like to me, I felt heavy and relaxed but still in control.

When I woke, I felt different 

Shelly explains the session lasted around 25 minutes but it felt a lot longer and I  ‘woke up’ feeling relaxed and well-rested. I don’t care if my mind had played tricks on me because it felt good.

The best thing is Shelly provides a recording of every session so if you find yourself struggling to drift off, simply play it back and you’ll soon be in the land of nod before you know it.

Shelly works from her home practice in South Leicestershire and from a clinical practice in Enderby. Each session lasts 60-90 minutes and costs £85 but Muddy readers get £20 off their sessions. The stop smoking session is usually £195 but Shelly is offering one session to Muddy readers for £125.

Contact Shelly via her website Hypnosis For Health. 07731 531 561  or email

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