Can hypnotherapy heal a broken heart?

Sunday, 8 June 2014 - 6:47am IST | Agency: dna

We get experts to give their take on this alternative healing method that is slowly catching on here too

You have probably heard about individuals opting for hypnotherapy to lose weight or to get rid of an addiction. However, more and more of them are also looking at it as an alternative to complement counseling sessions to heal a broken heart.

Going into a trance to heal a broken heart
Twenty-seven-year-old, Krisha Vas was recently dumped by her boyfriend, who she was dating for the last 12 years. She says, "I was devastated as we were in a relationship for more than a decade. I could not imagine my life without him, and was totally heart-broken. I had heard about hypnotherapy sessions and decided to try it out as I wanted to get over him."
Santosh Joshi, a Mumbai-based healer who also uses hypnotherapy sessions as a tool to help people, says, "When Krisha approached me for help, she was going through a very difficult phase of her life. She had to deal with the hurt and rejection. So, we started the session with a pre-induction talk/ discussion. This was done so that she could to allow herself to become hypnotised and also to dispel the misconceptions about hypnosis. I asked Krisha to relax and take deep breaths after closing her eyes. I guided her to relax her body and her mind. I used the Elman technique of hypnosis to regress her, wherein I asked her to open and close her eyes a few times and each time she closed her eyes, I asked a to relaxing 10 times more than before. Soon she was in deep hypnotic trance. Then I asked her to relive the traumatic event, thereby releasing it from her system. Finally, in a trance, I gave her auto suggestions to help her move on in life and forgive and cut the strings of the past event. I also asked her to look at the event as a positive challenge and understand that it will not adversely affect her future. I told her that she should look forward to a much happier and brighter future. She was able to release all the negative emotions that were pulling her back. After a couple of sessions, she had a totally different outlook towards life."

How it works?
Santosh says, "The mind has two parts – the conscious mind which is about six per cent and the subconscious mind which makes up the rest – 94 per cent (approximately). The conscious mind is the waking state mind in which we choose things, take decisions, it is the active mind, through which we experience life. The subconscious mind, however, is in a dormant or sleeping state. It doesn't participate in day-to-day life but acts as a store house of emotions, experiences, memories, etc. Emotionally challenging or traumatic experiences like a heartbreak, bad relationships, passing away of a loved one, etc, go down in our subconscious mind as a memory with the emotions we feel while during that time. These emotions, became the root cause of our reactions to certain situations, behavioural pattern, personality traits and also to our emotional issues such as depression, anger, insomnia, emotional meltdown, etc. The key to healing is to release these set of emotions, memories, experiences stored in our subconscious mind. The process is generally referred to as "reliving" is "relieving". When we revisit a memory of our past through our subconscious mind and relive a traumatic memory as it is happening now, we are able to release the emotions, attached to that memory, which are forming the root cause of our emotional issues. There are various ways to revisiting past memories, hypnosis is one of the methods. The therapy also replaces the negative belief system with a positive belief system. This positive belief system alters the way the person looks at a negative/ traumatic memory and has the potential to change someone's life completely."

Why people opt for hypnosis?
Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, Varkha Chulani, says, "The reason people consider hypnosis is because many find it hard to face their thoughts when 'conscious'. The trance like state they are put in helps them be at ease with what they discover about themselves and their ideas. My reservation is about going into a hypnotic trance in the first place! It is NOT easily achieved at all. I am a skeptic about hypnotherapy in general. I would rather teach people to have the courage to face their unfortunate ideas about relating and make an effort to unlearn them. So broken hearts can mend very well with sensible straight talk and doesn't need to get into a hypnotic trance to do that!"

Not for everyone

What you should consider?
People with severe mental illness should avoid opting for hypnosis
Hypnosis may not be appropriate in people with severe mental illness. In some cases it can also cause anxiety, dizziness, headache, drowsiness and create false memories. It's controversial and has limited scientific evidence to support its use.


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