The mind is the powerhouse of the entire body. Our brains have the ability to automatically create blockages without intentionally thinking about it. This means our brain can sometimes work against us and our intentions simply because it’s trying to protect us. But being able to unlock the power of the brain and access parts of the brain and memories in order to heal is a powerful and effective tool.
Karen Perfett is a hypnotherapist who helps the people she works with to overcome physical and mental ailments that might be holding them back. You can learn more about Karen and her work here:
I began my holistic training back in 2011 when I trained in Holistic Massage, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, and Indian Head & Face Massage. I also gained my Hypnotherapy certification.
I worked in a local hotel for a while using all of my treatments. The massage was the most popular treatment. I went on to work at a natural health center in Exeter where I was introduced to Reiki and went on to become a Reiki Master/Teacher in 2017. Once again, massage was the most popular treatment, I would often be massaging for more than 7 hours a day. This led to burnout and I found I really wasn’t enjoying this side of my holistic treatments so in 2019 I became a Mindfulness Teacher and ran retreats in Mindfulness and Reiki until Covid-19 struck.
This period of time during lockdown brought about a complete re-think of how I could continue to work and I decided to refresh my training in hypnotherapy. During the restrictions of Covid-19, I moved my business online carrying out hypnotherapy sessions via Zoom. My concerns on how this could work were soon forgotten as the sessions appeared to be even more successful than in-person sessions. I think this is due to people being naturally more relaxed in their home environment without the stress of having to travel and arriving at a new unfamiliar place. The online part of my work has massively grown my business as I have been able to help so many more people and I am now able to help people all over the world. I have treated people in India and South America and continue to run my own hypnotherapy practice in Torquay, Devon. I’m currently in the process of producing self-hypnosis packages online to make hypnotherapy available to as many people as possible, who may be unable to afford in-person sessions.
What made her get into this field:
Hypnotherapy became my main focus of interest after a friend who has been suffering from multiple sclerosis was told by her neurologist that he could not allow her to have hope in a hopeless situation and that she must accept that her condition would never improve in order to protect herself from disappointment.
Outraged at this comment my friend refused to be told to give up hope and after studying Bruce Lipton’s book ‘The Biology of Belief’ which talks about the power of the subconscious mind. She then sought the help of a hypnotherapist. Following regular sessions with her hypnotherapist, my friend started to see major improvements in her pain and mobility levels as well as huge improvements in her mindset and positivity. This inspired me to study everything I could on the subconscious mind and led to me refreshing my hypnotherapy training and making it the main focus of my work, it was soon very obvious that the power of hypnotherapy could heal just about any ailment as well as vastly improving mindset and limiting, negative beliefs that hold so many people back in living a full life.
Her thoughts on this work:
Often when a client turns to holistic treatments it is a last resort. They have gone as far as they can with medications from their doctor but are still suffering chronic pain or illness. My favorite aspect of this work is seeing how clients begin taking responsibility for their own healing by taking active action and not relying on pills to heal them. Once they realize the power of their own mind and body and how they must be treated together, that’s where the magic happens and I love watching the transformation in my clients and their joy and relief to have finally found a solution.
When clients discover the power of their mind through hypnosis and that they can literally rewire the neural pathways in the brain to form permanent, positive changes, they often come back for other things they would like help with as they discover that hypnotherapy can help just about every single human ailment. In particular, it is very rewarding to see clients who have been heavy smokers often since their teenage years and have tried many times to give up, then discover hypnotherapy. Often people think it just can’t be that easy but when you are dealing with the subconscious mind it really IS that easy.
Hypnotherapy is a deeply relaxing experience. Clients enter a hypnotic state through deep relaxation. A common misconception is that you are asleep or unaware of what is going on around you but actually it is the complete opposite. Hypnosis is a state of heightened awareness. Once the client has entered that state we have access to the subconscious mind without the interference of the conscious thinking mind. It is here that we can add positive suggestions for whatever it is that the client needs help with. The subconscious mind believes everything it hears and does not analyze or question it. Through hypnosis, we are literally rewiring the neural pathways in the brain to form new positive habits/beliefs, etc.
A typical session would be first to have a consultation to discuss the client’s individual needs. A script and plan are then created to specifically work on those needs of the client. During their first session, they are guided into deep relaxation through induction and a deepener that relaxes the entire body. The client has full awareness during the session, although it is possible to not remember much of what was said as it is being heard by the subconscious part of the mind, not the conscious, thinking mind. Some clients do fall asleep but the session is just as successful as the subconscious mind is always listening and never sleeps. Other times clients worry it hasn’t worked because they heard everything and don’t think they ‘went under, but the results always speak for themselves very quickly. Once the positive suggestions or regression has taken place post-hypnotic suggestions are added to ensure that new habits are formed and carried into daily life and suggestions are made to prepare for even easier access to the hypnotic state should further sessions be required. The client is then brought out of hypnosis by counting from 1 to 5 and welcoming them back to full conscious awareness.
What it’s effective for:
Hypnotherapy can be effective in just about all health challenges whether physical, mental, or emotional. Hypnotherapy has been proven to help cancer, IBS, chronic pain, infertility, stress, depression, anxiety, alcohol dependency, eating disorders and food addiction, phobias and fears, low self-esteem, migraines, and childbirth to name just a few!
The reason hypnotherapy is so effective on so many ailments is that the mind controls every aspect of our body, every system, cell, and organ. So when we speak directly to the subconscious part of the mind we can literally tell it what we want to experience. Once we have accessed the subconscious mind through hypnosis, we can begin programming it with the positive suggestions we desire, whether that be for losing weight, breaking an addiction or building confidence, or relieving pain. Through repetition of these positive messages during hypnosis, we are literally forming new neural pathways and reprogramming the brain for our desired outcome.
Hypnotherapy is such a deeply relaxing experience that even if you have no specific ailment you wish to treat, the deep state of relaxation in itself brings huge benefits to health and wellbeing by bringing mind and body into balance and enabling the body’s natural healing ability to take place.
Hypnotherapy has been described as meditation but with a goal. Whilst in the hypnotic state blood pressure is lowered, the heart slows down, and feel good hormones and endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine are released. Hypnotherapy reduces anxiety and depression and brings clarity of mind enabling physical and emotional wellbeing. As a non-intrusive treatment, it has no side effects as painkillers or other medications do.
The technique that I have found most beneficial to clients has got to be the virtual gastric band hypnosis. The hypnosis takes the client through the procedure from consultation to the post-op. The body responds to the messages it has heard from the subconscious mind and acts accordingly, making clients feel physically full after just a small amount of food. One client even reported having woken up during the night following her hypnosis and could physically feel a scab on her abdomen. It was gone in the morning but showed just how powerful hypnosis can be and the results speak for themselves, many people have commented that it felt effortless to naturally want to eat less and showed significant weight loss as a result.
With regards to inducing hypnosis, I have found that getting a client to count backward from 100 and then proceeding to offer other instructions causes the client to go deeper into hypnosis as the conscious, thinking part of the brain is so busy listening to the instructions that we gain much deeper access to the subconscious part of the brain and hypnosis is more effective. This technique is often referred to as the confusion technique.
From the patient’s point of view:
Hypnotherapy is a very relaxing treatment and everybody’s experience and therefore perception of it will be different. It is also very dependent on what they have come for. Hypnotherapy often goes back to the root cause of the problem and sometimes this can be emotional for the client. Other times it is just a deeply relaxing and enjoyable experience.
Most clients don’t feel like they have been hypnotized as they are expecting a certain feeling such as drowsiness or an altered state. Hypnosis is actually a state of heightened awareness so you are actually falling awake!. That said, some people do get so deeply relaxed that they do fall asleep but the treatment still works as the subconscious mind never sleeps.
There are certain sensations you may feel during hypnosis such as your body feeling heavy as your body completely relaxes. But other people feel light and even weightless so the experience really is different for everyone.
For the skeptics:
It is not my job to convince anybody about the effectiveness of hypnotherapy. I have many people who contact me who want to know exactly how many people have given up smoking or lost weight with hypnotherapy and naturally, people want guarantees that it will work. The honest answer is that hypnotherapy works most of the time for most people but we can never guarantee any more than that as everybody is different. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are very difficult to describe to someone and the only way to understand them for yourself really is to experience them for yourself, just like anything else. You don’t have to believe in hypnosis for it to work. I’ve had plenty of clients being skeptical about its success but has been amazed by its results. But it does help to have an open mind about it.
My approach to skeptical clients is to give them all the information I can about how it works and what to expect, then answer any questions they have. I also tell them they don’t have to believe it will work for it to work and encourage an open mind. A hypnotherapist can no more give guarantees of an outcome than a GP or surgeon can.
Karen’s wellbeing tips:
The Universal health and well-being tips that I share with all my clients are the benefits of meditation, visualization, breathing techniques, affirmations, relaxation, and mindfulness. All of these techniques work towards supporting mental clarity, reducing anxiety, and increasing focus on positive thoughts and feelings that then lead to natural well-being. During meditation, you enter the same state as hypnosis. During hypnosis, we are planting positive suggestions but during meditation, we are just focusing on our breath which then reduces anxiety and brings many other health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and preventing depression.
For clients suffering from anxiety, I often show them breathing techniques that can be used in the moment of a stressful situation and is a very effective coping tool. For clients wanting to break habits or addictions, I suggest suitable affirmations they can use during meditation and during their day to reinforce a new positive way of thinking. Encouraging clients to introduce relaxation techniques into their daily lives and carrying out daily tasks mindfully also reduces stress as a whole.
As a spiritual person and from many years of experience, if I could only give one piece of advice it would be to go within and meditate. I understand that many people struggle with this idea but I’ve seen so many transformations from people who have tried meditation as a tool to ease stress and anxiety. Even just 3 minutes a day can make a difference. What is most important is consistency rather than how long you do it. Everyone can spare 3 minutes a day for themselves and you can increase the length of time gradually. The more you do it the easier and more natural it will become for you and as soon as you start feeling the benefits you will be eager to continue it. Meditation shouldn’t be a chore but something you enjoy. So my advice would just give it a go, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain.
Karen’s recommended resources:
‘My Voice Will Go with You’ is a book of short stories from Milton Erikson, a pioneer of hypnotherapy. It’s an easy-to-read, entertaining book that shows the sometimes extreme and weird techniques Erikson used with his clients.
‘Close Your Eyes Get Free’ is a self-hypnosis book and a great place to look for tips on self-hypnosis.
‘The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton gives amazing insight into the workings and power of the subconscious mind. A truly fascinating read that will broaden your mind and get you to see things and look at life in a whole new way.
Podcasts I like to listen to tend to be motivational and self-help ones such as The Mindset Mentor by Rob Dial and Dear Gabby by Gabby Bernstein.
Traditional medicine is a useful tool, but sometimes it falls short. Exploring different holistic modalities that go place in western medicine cannot be a beneficial tool for overcoming particular hurdles.
Karen Perfett is a practitioner whose goal is to explore these places beyond traditional medicine to unlock the power of the brain and the body’s ability to heal itself. Learn more about Karen and her work here:
To learn more about holistic healing, including expert perspectives and personal stories from those who have experienced such treatments, follow us on Instagram and Facebook to be a part of our community. We share personal stories and expert advice on all different modalities of holistic healing and overall health and well-being.
If you have a story you’d like to share or an area of expertise in holistic health, email us at email@example.com for a chance to be featured on our blog and social media!