Everyday life can be fraught with stress and stresses.
Do find yourself reaching for a cigarette when family or work pressure get to you?
Do you grab a bag of chips or a candy bar when boredom sets in?
Are your nails nibbled down to nubs when you’re nervous?
Many people shrug off negative and unhealthy responses to stress as “hard habits to break” – something they just have to live with, but Nichole Nitschke says not so.
Nitschke, a certified hypnotherapist and professional clinical therapist, says everyone has the power to break those bad habits.
“The mind is a tremendous source of power,” she said. “All you must do is learn how to use it.”
Though hypnosis has been used for centuries to treat diverse illnesses, today, people typically relate it to stage shows in which volunteers cluck like a chicken when a bell rings, or to groups of people gathered at hospitals or hotels wanting to get hypnotized to stop smoking or to lose weight, Nitschke said.
Nitschke received her master’s degree in counseling at Bowling Green State University and studied mind/body psychology at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Ariz. She also worked for three years at Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services providing drug and alcohol counseling and mental health therapy to children, adolescents and adults.
“I’ve seen it all and learned lots of different approaches and I know what works for me as a therapist,” she said. “I’ve always enjoyed employing alternative therapies.”
Nitschke provides hypnotherapy at the Natural Health Center, located at 421 W. Main St. in Woodville.
“About half of my clientele come in for smoking cessation and the weight-loss programs,” she said. “I have also had clients come in to kick dysfunctional habits, to manage stress-related and other illnesses including migraines and to conquer fears, phobias.
“One woman was going to nursing school and she had a fear of needles and blood,” she said.
All it takes to be hypnotized is an open mind and a willingness for change, Nitschke noted.
“Hypnosis is a very natural, normal state of consciousness,” she said. “We bypass the critical mind – that conscious, ‘always thinking mind.’
“We kind of put it to sleep, so to speak. It’s still there. We just turn the volume down on it,” she said.
“The subconscious mind steps forward – that’s where all change takes place, all memory is stored,” Nitschke said. “That opens up the mind for suggestion.”
While the client is in this deep, mental and physical state of relaxation – not quite awake but not quite asleep – the hypnotherapist puts in the suggestions to make change, Nitschke said.
For example for a smoker, the suggestions might be to visualize him or herself as a non-smoker and that cigarettes taste nasty.
For those looking to lose weight, the suggestion might be to crave healthy foods or water. “I might suggest that certain trigger foods are no longer appealing, or to visualize oneself being thin in the future, six months or five years from now,” Nitschke said.
The smoking cession technique includes one 90-minute session and listening to a 30-minute CD for two weeks at home,” Nitschke said. The cost is $100.
“Weight loss therapy requires a little more reprogramming, along with education and motivation, so we typically meet for five sessions,” she said, adding that the cost is $50 per session.
The results have been good, Nitschke said. “I have seen an 80 percent success rate with my smoking-cessation patients, and 100 percent of weight-loss clients have lost weight.
“It’s not magic,” Nitschke said. “The body and mind are designed to heal themselves, if we listen.”
For more information about hypnotherapy or the Natural Health Center, call 419-849-2414 or visit www.naturalhealthohio.com.