‘Messing with your mind’

‘I don’t want anyone messing with my mind!’ said the smoker! OK, let’s unpick this commonly heard, yet indefensible statement.

‘Messing with your mind’ kind of infers that professionally qualified hypnotherapists haven’t a clue when it comes to the functions of the human mind. Those of us who took recognised study courses, spent hundreds of hours in classrooms and many more hours practising, putting together portfolios of work for professional scrutiny, not forgetting the requisite number of hours of ongoing training (CPD), of peer/mentor support during our early years in practice and reading journals and books on many aspects of health, not just relating to hypnotherapy but in a far wider context – we’re still only ‘messing about’ when it comes to your mental, physical and emotional health?

If anything, we are the ones who DE-hypnotise people after they’ve been exposed to years, if not decades, of negative and destructive mental conditioning. Such conditioning comes unannounced thanks to events and circumstances, family and friends, and the advertising industry. Oh yes, the advertising industry; that cousin of the big bad wolf known as the media.

Whether it’s tobacco, alcohol, junk food, eternal youth, promises of get rich (or die trying), and many more inducements – exposure to this industrial scale of mental conditioning has contributed negatively to global health for decades. We even have a new strain, which promises a life of glamour for the overweight. ‘And so it should be,’ (said the clinically obese person, sick of having their mind ‘messed with’ regarding body image.) It’s wrong to say that celebrating being overweight is a dangerous road to follow. You’re not fat, just ‘curvy’.

Well, let’s examine the claim: being overweight is glamorous. Really? In which case, so too must be having a heart attack, a stroke, type 2 diabetes, joint problems, back pain, high blood pressure, limited mobility, increased risk of some cancers, gallstones, breathing problems, sleep apnoea, thrombosis and reduced life expectancy – to mention but a few!

So, if you delight in watching a person on TV cram over a week’s worth of calories into one ‘meal’ for entertainment, then maybe you’d get just as much pleasure watching the same person have a heart attack or stroke? If you think, ‘That outfit would make my size 24 body look good,’ then maybe you should recall the person on the TV, surrounded by gruesome onlookers awaiting the final episode – the death throes?

We hypnotherapists are often expected to undo many years of such negative and destructive mental conditioning in a session or two – and many of us do so, depending upon our clients’ motivation for change. We save lives. I’m not sure certain aspects of the media could claim the same, unless reverse psychology, not financial gain, was their only intention.

Like many hypnotherapists, I feel like Fox Mulder. The truth IS out there, but beyond the fully qualified and competent practitioners, there are ‘hypnotherapy experts’ everywhere. These are often the same people who are slowly killing themselves for fear of anyone messing with their minds.

Now, who’s messing with YOUR mind?

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