Thursday, October 14, 2010
Healing through hypnosis
It is not surprising Patricia Labeda believes in hypnotherapy. After all, it saved her life.
“Years ago, when I was only 29, I did everything wrong,” she said. “I drank, I smoked, I ate the wrong foods.” She also had cancer. Her oncologist started her on hypnotherapy. It changed her profoundly. “I went from smoking two to three packs of cigarettes a day to not smoking. That was over 40 years ago, and I’ve never had another drink.”
After a career in law enforcement, Labeda now works at sharing her knowledge with others seeking life changes. She is certified in Advanced Hypnosis; Investigative/Forensics, Pediatric/Emergency. She is now in private practice, and teaches several classes for Club Ed in Self-Healing Hypnosis.
The modern practice of hypnosis has nothing to do with stage magic or making people cluck like chickens. It is a recognized adjunct to health therapy, used in medicine, dentistry, childbirth, and trauma. In fact, Labeda first became interested in hypnosis as treatment while working in an Emergency Room. She recalls watching how people reacted in the aftermath of major trauma, such as being involved in an automobile accident. She noticed a common denominator.
“I watched on monitors as people panicked,” she said. “I noticed they were not breathing properly, so I asked them to breathe.” Conscious breathing had dramatic effect. It lowered heart rates and increased relaxation. “Breathing is key.”
When you strip away the mystery, hypnosis is best understood as a way to bring your mind into a heightened state of awareness.
“It is like your mind running on autopilot,” Labeda said. “You become more cognizant.”
She elicits this state with techniques such as breathing, soft music, imagery, and relaxation. Once the subject reaches REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage, Labeda plants suggestions, or cues, patients can use. For example, for those trying to lose weight, the cue may be pinching the fold of skin between thumb and finger to fight the urge to overindulge.
She never plants cues that might make the subject uncomfortable. Before they even begin the process, Labeda clarifies specific goals they seek. Rather than wanting “to lose weight,” for example, she embeds the concept of “my perfect weight is...”
Following the session, it is up to the patient to continue the process. They self program every night, using the positive suggestions as they fall through the stages of sleep.
Does it work?
“I feel I get a 100% success rate,” she said.
While most patients only need one session with Labeda, healing is not a one-time practice. Success requires an ongoing commitment from the client.
“It’s a ‘rest of their life’ thing,” Labeda said. “Whether you say, ‘I can’ or ‘I can’t,’ you are always right.”
Pat Labeda teaches Self Healing Hypnosis for Smoking/Drinking on Oct 17, and for Anxiety/Phobias on Nov 14. For information or to sign up, click www.clubed.net, or call 830-895-4386.