Pediatric Hypnosis

bob for web1 150×150 Pediatric HypnosisPediatric Hypnosis
by Robert Pargament

I’m a certified Hypnotist and I love delivering speeches and presentations about Hypnosis. Hypnosis is my business and my passion and I deeply enjoy dispelling the myths that surround this amazing modality.

Whenever I speak about hypnosis before a large corporation or perhaps a smaller group of ten or twenty, I begin with the same “gotcha” question.

I start by asking the audience to raise their hands if they’ve experienced Hypnosis. Invariably a few go hands up. Some then go on to explain that they were hypnotised for smoking or weight loss. I then proceed to point out that in fact, every one in the audience has been hypnotized many times in their lives, maybe tens of thousands of times in actuality. We are all experienced with hypnosis.

Quizzical expressions result as the audience wants to understand what the heck I meant. And that is my perfect opportunity to start the dialogue about this most misunderstood of mental and physical health subjects.

Most people don’t realize that Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state, and all of us by necessity enter into a level of what I call organic trance at different times of the day. It is necessary for us because thinking tires our minds. It is a part of who we are.We need to take a break and conserve energy.

Every time one daydreams or when one immerses themselves in the story line of a good book or movie to the exclusion of everything around them they are in light Hypnosis. Or ,perhaps you’re driving and get to your regular exit but have no idea how you got there. There you were , flawlessly operating a heavy piece of machinery but unaware of your time in that vehicle. Familiar?

Hypnosis. The very word conjures up many misconceptions , because the average person may believe that Hypnosis lies somewhere between Vegas and Voodoo. Nothing could be further from the truth.

First recognized by the American Medical Association in the 1950’s, Hypnosis is the most underappreciated and misunderstood mental and physical health modality , yet it offers amazing hope for extremely powerful physical and emotional transformations for adults and kids alike. It’s not just for weight loss and smoking. It can help your kids concentrate, remove fears, be better athletes, and improve social skills- and much more.

The definition of Hypnosis I use most often is” a state of deep relaxation coupled with intense focus and concentration.” Sounds oxymoronic, right?. How can one be relaxed and focused at the same time? It seems as if one must be in a state of deep concentration to do certain things well. But think of the times you played tennis as perfectly as you ever had or were at that party and were in that wonderful charismatic state of “being on”. Everything came together . You were in the “zone”, a place of simultaneous relaxation and concentration- a light state of hypnosis.

Hypnosis results from a process that relaxes the conscious , analytical and rational part of our thinking, and that allows the subconscious or the “hard drive” of the bio-computer to absorb positive suggestions that can alter our behavior and attitudes- if those suggestions are in agreement with our belief system.The subconscious accepts all that it sees , hears feels and experiences without any critical filtering. In other words it simply records and never sorts through what it records to see if those recordings make sense for our happiness or health. Emotions often get intertwined with these “tapes” and Presto! Irrational behaviors that may be antithetical to our self interest show up.We then explain or “rationalize” them away with our rational thinking part. Hypnosis works wonderfully for kids. It’s great for them.

Because kids have less subconscious clutter on their “hard drives” by virtue of being younger, they can derive major benefits that can be long lasting. Kids are frequently in a hypnosis- like state of free association as they pretend play and have stream of consciousness fun. They all love the experience. Here are some examples of kid subjects I’ve worked with recently.

A couple who read of my work with kids came to me with their 6 year old son Ryan ( all names changed) who was having serious difficulties at school. Ryan was fighting and biting other kids in his kindergarten class. The teachers at his private school were so frustrated with his behavior that they were close to removing him from school.

Upon meeting Ryan, I saw a delightful child who needed some strong and positive self imagery to alter this pattern. Ted, Ryan’s Dad described the change. ” Simply put, Ryan’s behavior turned around almost immediately. A year of other therapy didn’t put a dent in his aggression. Hypnosis worked amazingly well.”

How did I do it? After finding out that his favorite super heroes were the Power Rangers, I easily placed Ryan in hypnosis, and within a few minutes I had him in the fantasy of a Power Rangers conference in which they were discussing the addition of a new team member. The Rangers I told him, wanted a new member who had to be well behaved and play nicely with all . This obviously lit Ryan up, and I had him hypnotically repeat that he would play nicely with everybody. The fantasy worked. Ryan’s teachers ( unaware of the hypnosis) immediately reported a dramatic change in his attitude, and he’s been great ever since. He’s cooperating as he knows the Rangers want him in the group.

Then there’s the case of another kid- Richard ,who though bright, was flunking out of his Senior year in High School ,. His mother said he was at the lowest emotional point that she had ever seen him. He had been diagnosed with ADD and was on Concerta. After a few empowering sessions that helped him see himself as a powerful individual, he immediately went on to finish his school work . On his own he asked to stop taking Concerta and now he feels focused, in charge and relaxed. According to his Mom, Maria”He’s not the same kid I saw before Hypnosis. Now he’s happier, more self-confident and much less argumentati ve. He’s working with himself not against himself.” This case and others give rise to the question of whether certain kids may experience improvements in focus and concentration by seeking alternative means..The great thing about hypn osis is that it can help a kid improve without a drop of medicine. I often wonder if a young Leonardo da Vinci was alive today, would he be labeled as ADD and put on Ritalin? Bright multi-level thinkers are often confused with those that cannot think”properly” and we may be doing a disservice to them and their physical health. I do not believe that all ADD diagnoses are wrong but many may be.

Take the case of eight year old Kali. Kali was biting her nails and also gaining weight from eating too much junk food. After hypnotizing her to see herself as a beautiful princess , stopped the nail biting and has lost all of the weight she needed to. She now eats healthy, and feels great about herself. And then there’s Ben- 16 and very bright . he’s Headed to an Ivy League school after skipping 2 grades. He suffers from post-chemo discomfort in his thigh. His mom, a registered nurse wanted to get him away from the pain killers . To make a long story short, he walks with ease these days . Hypnosis has helped him immensely.

Finally there is the story of Olivia a nine year old who was engaging in compulsive and repetitive behaviors. She would bang her head on the table, flick light switches on and off and this was driving her parents to distraction. I helped her associate herself with Supergirl her hero, and got her to hypnotically see that a Supergirl had complete and total control of her self, and now so does she.

It’s difficult for many of us to believe that the solution for so many issues may live right inside of us. Sometimes we really don’t have to go that far. The Power of Hypnosis lies within.
Bob Pargament, CH
The Westchester Hypnosis Center