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18 July 2016

hypnotherapy: first impressions

it's no secret i've been suffering with a lot stress lately - probably not unusual considering the flat nonsense i've endured this year, but still, i've been struggling with daily chest palpitations, irrational emotional spurts, extreme tiredness and lack of motivation for the last few months, and i'm sure all of it is caused by an underlying anxiety-management situation going on inside my head. mainly because my current management process is: suppress everything and hope for the best. well, that's not working anymore.

i've been to my gp, and i have the default anxiety medications they give you to make you feel like things will be ok, and i have phone calls lined up with counsellors to talk about my childhood and the root of all my problems, but in the meantime, i want to try something else. something different. something outside the normal. something like hypnotherapy.

don't think for one minute i made the decision to try this service lightly. i had - and still have, my doubts about the offering, probably thanks no doubt to professional con men like derren brown who make a living out of sensationally hypnotising people and getting them to do crazy shit in front of live audiences. when the decision was being made, there was a lotttttt of me thinking, "i don't want to leave there clucking like a chicken", which definitely put me off for the longest time. but, i thought long and hard about it - talking myself around eventually to the fact that if nothing else, trying something that scares me would already be taking steps towards fighting one of my stupid anxiety triggers: trying new things.

i headed along for my first session with aaron, and - well, it wasn't what i expected. i'd not read up or researched hypnotherapy in any way before going in, other than the literature on the website and in the press release i was sent, but i'd talked about it with a few different people, and it was obvious that there is a great divide between what people think will happen in a hypnotherapy session, and what actually happens.

like for example, there's no swinging a stop watch or counting down from one hundred to lure you into immediate sleep. instead, using specially designed headphones that block out background noise but instead amplify vocal noises, aaron talked directly into my ears in a soothing and calming voice that supposed to relax me into a sleep-like trance. that was the aim, anyway. i can hand over heart say i was in no-such state during that session, which i am assured by aaron is totally normal of a first session. especially from someone who was already skeptical to begin with.

for half an hour, aaron spoke directly into my subconscious to try and lay some positive reactions to triggers that cause the stress to be too much. a lot of the time i was unable to focus on what he was saying though, and found my mind wandering to things like what i'd have for dinner later (m&s meal for one), which tubes i would need to get to get home (many), and what i'd wear the next day (clothing, natch). at one point i was so conscious of my wandering mind that i really thought this was a total waste of time, and considered calling the session short, except i'm not that rude - no matter how bored i was. and i was, bored.

i'm not someone who relaxes easy, which i guess is the root of the problem, so i have always found "forced relaxation" a little frustrating. spa days and meditation and yoga - they're all a bit "meh" for me, because they seem to amplify my racing mind, rather that do the opposite as intended. so the whole time aaron was talking to me about being in a relaxed state, i was kind of thinking, but i'm not tho, am i hun? again though, totally normal according to him. so i guess my initial session was a totally weird experience. it's not what i was expecting - at all, and it was kind of a bit frustrating.

i have a second session booked in for this week, just to sort of give it another go and see whether or not it makes any kind of difference to me, and if it would be worth going back for regular sessions. so, if hypnotherapy is something you've considered yourself, then do check back and have a read of how i got on, because you know you'll get a honest run down here. and if you're a bit skeptical like i am, then i'll be sharing some myths and facts over the next few weeks too, just to sort of help "bust" some of those preconceived ideas about the alternate therapy.

*my first session was complimentary, but all thoughts are my own*

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