1133 W Main Street, Suite 203
Blue Springs, MO 64015
Phone: (816) 560-6903
Fax: (816) 466-5418
Mike Schweder, CHt

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus, concentration and inner absorption. When you're under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and you can concentrate intensely on a specific thought, memory, feeling or sensation while blocking out distractions.

Under hypnosis, you're more open than usual to suggestions, and this can be used to modify your perceptions, behavior, sensations and emotions. Therapeutic hypnosis is used to improve your health and well-being and is different from so-called stage hypnosis used by entertainers. Although you're more open to suggestion during therapeutic hypnosis, your free will remains intact and you don't lose control over your behavior.

Hypnosis is a very normal and natural state that most of us experience every day without even realizing it. For example, if you’ve ever passed your exit on the highway while driving home from work, daydreamed during a meeting, or lost yourself in a good book, you were in a light state of hypnosis. And a light state is all we need for most of the work that we do, including smoking cessation, weight loss, overcoming stress, anxiety, fears, phobias, and so forth. These are all examples of light hypnosis, which occur when the conscious part of our mind is distracted and the subconscious part of our mind takes over.

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How Does Hypnosis Work?

The human brain is composed of a conscious and a subconscious "mind." The conscious mind makes rational decisions and processes information; however, it is much weaker than the subconscious mind because human emotions, instincts, habits, fears and phobias are more persistent and powerful than purely rational decisions. The subconscious mind makes decisions based solely on avoidance of pain and the pleasure principle. It is not intelligent but rather reactive to pain or pleasure only. Hypnosis works directly with the subconscious mind and replaces negative or unhealthy behavior with positive reinforcement and behavior.

The subconscious mind is meant to serve as our survival instinct, and as such, is extremely powerful, but the subconscious mind is not very good at making decisions concerning something that may feel good to do right now but may harm or even kill you in the future. In other words, your subconscious mind picks the "right now" each and every time, even though they consciously know it may greatly reduce their quality of life and kill them in the end. This is because their subconscious is simply too strong for their rational mind to overcome without help from of a qualified hypnotherapist.

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Why Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is intended to help you gain more control over undesired behaviors or emotions or to help you cope better with a wide range of medical conditions. Hypnosis isn't considered a treatment or a type of psychotherapy. Rather, it's a procedure typically used along with certain treatments and therapies to help a wide variety of conditions.

Hypnosis may be used for:
  • Smoking cessation
  • Weight loss
  • Addictions
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fears/Phobias
  • Psychological Disorders
  • Stress Management
  • And much more…
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Will Hypnosis Work For Me?

Hypnosis is a team effort between you and your therapist, and has proven to be extremely effective for those who truly want to make a healthy change in their lives; however, you are ultimately in control of your own success. In other words, your therapist can help you achieve a deep state of hypnosis and give your subconscious mind positive suggestions to achieve your goals; however, you can always accept or reject these suggestions while under hypnosis. Therefore, if you are open to hypnosis and allow yourself to be hypnotized and accept the positive suggestions given to you by your therapist, you will be successful.

If you’ve never experienced hypnosis, or have attended a group hypnosis seminar that didn’t work, it is perfectly normal to be skeptical, which is OK and will not affect your hypnosis session. During your initial consultation, your therapist will work with you to help determine if you are ready to make a change. Their primary goal is to ensure your success, and if you and your therapist come to the decision that you’re not quite ready to make a change, they would prefer that you save your time and money and come back when you are ready.

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How does it feel to be hypnotized?

Everyone is different; however, most people agree that it's a wonderful feeling because they are more relaxed that they have ever been before. Some people say that their body feels heavy, while others say they feel as though they're floating away.

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When I am 'under' will I be asleep?

No, you will be aware of everything that is happening and being said the entire time, however you will be so deeply relaxed that you may find yourself drifting into different levels of awareness. Your subconscious mind is active throughout the entire session, and it is to your subconscious mind that your therapist is relaying all the positive reinforcement in order to achieve your goals.

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Will I remember everything afterwards?

Generally, most people remember everything the therapist says during their hypnosis session; however, it is not uncommon for your conscious mind to drift in and out of different levels of awareness depending on how deeply relaxed you are. Even if you are unable to remember everything that is said, your subconscious mind remembers everything, which is what really matters.

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Will I give away any secrets while I am hypnotized?

No, you won't say or do anything you don't want to. If you are given suggestions that you don't morally agree with you can reject the suggestions or come out of hypnosis.

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How do I know I will wake up from hypnosis?

No-one has ever remained in hypnosis indefinitely. Even if something were to happen to the hypnotherapist partway through the session, you would still 'come out' of the trance state once rapport had been broken.

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Are there any negative side effects from hypnosis?

No, the only side effects are the beneficial ones of feeling more relaxed afterwards and feeling more positive about whatever it was you sought hypnotherapy for. Hypnosis is a perfectly natural state that we enter several times a day - the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy is that the latter utilizes this state to bring about beneficial changes.

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Can I be hypnotized against my will?

No, anyone can resist hypnosis, and it won't work. Hypnosis is achieved through cooperation between you and your therapist. Your therapist’s role is to show you the way, and you can choose if you want to go there or not.

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How many sessions will I need?

There are no simple answers to this one, because each person and situation is different. Although many of our services, such as smoking cessation often require only one session, other services may require additional effort. We will assess your progress following each session to ensure you achieve your goals. Remember, you may have spent years thinking and behaving a certain way, so depending you your willingness to change, it may take some time to achieve your desired results.

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Why do you charge one set fee for your services rather than charging by the session?

At A Healthy Change Hypnotherapy, we have one set fee for all hypnotherapy services, for up to four sessions. This is because we feel you should know up front what your total investment will be to accomplish your goals.

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Will I gain weight when I quit smoking?

Not if you don't want to. We address weight gain and other issue during your smoking hypnosis session and tell your subconscious mind that as a non-smoker, you will not pick up on any other habits to compensate for your former smoker habit, such as overeating, chewing your fingernails, and so on. The reason most people associate weight gain with smoking is because your subconscious may search for new outlets to replace old habits. If you normally smoked for comfort during stress, your subconscious mind may try to find something to “fill the gap” until your triggers and withdrawal symptoms are gone. With Hypnosis, we train your conscious and subconscious mind to replace smoking with more positive actions, such as drinking more water, and so on.

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Do hypnosis CDs work?

Hypnosis CDs work for less than 10% of those who try them, because most people are unable to obtain a deep enough level of hypnosis for it to work. Hypnosis CDs also fail to work because the CD’s “patter script” (the positive suggestions given to your subconscious mind once you’re under hypnosis) is very generic and fails to address your specific habits and triggers. Another reason hypnosis CDs normally fail to work is because the patter script on the CD often begins before you are at a deep enough level of hypnosis. In other words, unless you are at an appropriate level of hypnosis when the patter script begins; it will not work because your conscious mind is not yet relaxed, and your subconscious mind will not be receptive to the positive suggestions on the CD. Therefore, you are always much better off visiting a qualified hypnotherapist who will help tailor a hypnosis session to address your specific needs.

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Do group hypnosis seminars work?

Group hypnosis has proven to works for less than 10% of those in attendance, and is often held at local hotels by hypnotists who make their money traveling from city to city promoting group sessions at a cut-rate and then afterwards, pressure you to buy their DVDs, CDs, and other products.

The primary reason group hypnosis fails to work is because the hypnotist uses a very generic “patter script” (the positive suggestions given to your subconscious mind once you’re under hypnosis), which fails to address each individual’s specific habits and triggers. It is also impossible for all attendees to achieve an appropriate level of relaxation for hypnosis to work in a group setting. Because of their extremely low success rate, group hypnotists actually do more harm than good regarding the professional field of clinical hypnotherapy because many people become discouraged if it doesn't work for them, and may think hypnotherapy simply doesn’t work.

Therefore, you are much better off saving your money and visiting a qualified local clinical hypnotherapist who will tailor a hypnosis session to address your specific needs and will be there to support you should you require additional follow-up sessions.

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Can I use nicotine replacement products such as gum, lozenges, patches, inhalers or prescription medication along with hypnotherapy?

Yes, although hypnosis is normally all you need to become a non-smoker. If you are currently using or plan to use smoking cessation products or medication, we will ensure that your hypnosis session supports their use. If you choose to use nicotine replacement products or medication, make sure to check with your physician first, because some of these products can have severe side effects.

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Do physicians and the medical community support the use of hypnotherapy?

In 1958, the American Medical Association approved the teaching of hypnosis in medical schools and post-graduate curriculum. Because of its proven results, hypnotherapy is accepted now, more than ever, by the medical community than at any other time in history. Although many physicians often refer their patients to a qualified hypnotherapist, some are more likely to prescribe some form as medication.

The medical community often views hypnotherapy as a “complimentary or alternative” treatment, similar to chiropractic medicine and acupuncture. Like everyone in the free world, physicians are in the business to make money, so many would prefer that you to spend your money at their office and with the big drug companies who support their practice rather than at a hypnotherapist’s office. Unfortunately, “conventional medicine” often seems to be in direct competition with “complimentary/alternative medicine,” which is why you seldom find information and links to hypnotherapy treatment on healthcare websites.

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Will my health insurance cover hypnotherapy treatment?

Many employers offer a flexible spending account, which allows you to set aside pretax dollars each pay period to help cover prescription medication and other health-related expenses that are often not covered by traditional health insurance. Therefore, most of our clients pay out-of-pocket for their hypnotherapy treatment and then submit their receipt for reimbursement from their flexible spending account. Some healthcare plans may require you to also submit a letter from your physician before you are reimbursed. We suggest that you check with your health care provider or employer if you plan to seek reimbursement from your flexible spending account.

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