Anyone who's ever made a new year's resolution knows that it can be difficult to stay committed to the goals you've set. Board-certified hypnotist Tom Nicoli doesn't see this common phenomenon as a matter of laziness or faulty willpower—instead, he finds that our intentions are often undermined by unconscious habits and impulses. At A Better You Hypnosis, it's his job to replace those subterranean forces with more positive ones through hypnosis.
Viewers of Dateline NBC's Ultimate Diet Challenge got a good look at the results of Nicoli's practice in 2004 when he successfully helped a pastry chef shed 40 pounds despite a job that practically demands sipping cake batter. Weight loss is a common goal for his private clients, and he's turned his experience into a set of motivational CDs that got top rating from Shape magazine. But people also turn to him simply to reduce stress and boost confidence. Over the course of several sessions, Nicoli lays the groundwork for them to reinforce their positive new habits on their own throughout their lives.
A registered nurse for 10 years, Paul Gustafson went on to clock another decade championing and practicing hypnosis through books, television, and private sessions. During free 30-minute phone or in-office consultations, Paul explains his process and helps patients decide if hypnosis suits them. In sessions, he probes each client's subconscious to uncover and then alter his or her attitude toward habits such as emotional eating, substance abuse, or smoking. His hypnosis can also relieve conditions and phobias such as stress, insomnia, nail biting, and fear of public speaking, which afflicts up to 35% of Americans and 100% of silent-film stars. He gradually teaches clients to perform self-hypnosis and supplies them with recordings of each session to aid in home reinforcement.
Hypnotherapy runs in Rebekah DeMartino's family. She spent her childhood watching her grandfather guide clients to well-being through hypnotherapy—a task to which he devoted 35 years of his life. Today, the certified hypnotherapist honors her grandfather at her hypnotherapy practice, Able Success Hypnosis. Through self-improvement and recreational hypnotherapy, she decimates barriers that keep her clients from wellness. Self-improvement hypnosis can preempt the subconscious precursors to poor behaviors, such as smoking or overeating, or simply ease anxiety. Recreational hypnosis, on the other hand, exists solely for fun, allowing clients to relive memories, unearth the secrets of past lives, or reflect on a deeper level.
Certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists, Awake Hypnosis proprietor Linda Plamondon helps patients clear their minds of chatter and slip into a relaxed state, preparing them to face down their mental blocks and insecurities. Safe and cozy in a comfortable chair, patients brush away the worries of the day as the seasoned hypnotist helps them tackle everything from quitting smoking to losing weight to managing stress, or even improving their golf game.
Marisa Fanelli's first close-up encounter with Western medicine was at the age of 17, when her mother fell ill, and it was riddled with disappointments. Misdiagnoses, ineffective medications and surgeries, and most importantly, doctors' apathy toward her mother's personal well-being, discouraged Marisa. But her negative experience with modern medicine culminated in something positive: an exploration of acupuncture. At Healing Point Therapeutics, Marisa not only uses acupuncture to heal her clients mentally and physically, but she also offers other treatments in the same vein. These treatments include hypnotherapy—which she sometimes blends with acupuncture—cupping, and Gua Sha, a massage-like practice.
"I put people in Trance – to get them out of 'the trance' of their negative thinking, habits, and behavior- and move them in the direction of healthy thinking, habits and behavior."
It seems backwards, but Addie Kania's approach to wellness is deceptively intuitive: she can only unravel the complexities of the subconscious after drawing the subconscious to the forefront. With her clients coaxed into hypnotic states, Addie helps them navigate their inner selves to unearth the underlying causes of compulsive behavior, negative thinking, and positive thinking about negative things.
While triumph over common complaints such as weight gain or smoking addiction ultimately lies in the client's actions—since "change," Addie stresses, "also needs to be consciously cultivated"—Addie's upheaval of subconscious blockers may help clear the path to wellness.