5th Jul 2020 Wellbeing


Despite being a recognised therapeutic tool that has been utilised in conventional medicine for hundreds of years, hypnotherapy is still treated with suspicion in some quarters. Here, Harley Street clinical hypnotherapist Gail Marra dispels the most common misconceptions surrounding hypnotism and reveals the many proven benefits that hypnotherapy can deliver.

By Gail Marra

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be hypnotised?

Well, wonder no more. Hypnosis is a natural state that we all experience many times a day, known as “spontaneous hypnosis”. Hypnotherapy is not at all like the performances you may have seen in stage shows, with people barking like dogs or clucking like chickens. There are no swinging pocket watches, velvet capes or fiendish cries of “Mwahahaha”.

If you have ever found yourself absorbed in a good book, gripped by a movie, engrossed in your work or hobby, travelling from one familiar place to another without having to focus on the exact steps, or have ever been lost in a daydream, staring off into space and forgotten all that’s going on around you, you have been in a hypnotic trance.

Far from being the stuff of entertainment or the mind control or brainwashing  trope of popular fiction, hypnosis used as a therapeutic tool—and practiced by an experienced clinical hypnotherapist—can and does produce some amazing results.


Harley Street clinical hypnotherapist Gail Marra

Now this has been established, let’s dispel a few common myths and misconceptions surrounding hypnotism which, if unchallenged, could prevent people from otherwise seeking an effective and scientifically-proven form of therapy:

•          You cannot get stuck in a hypnotic state. This is, in reality, quite impossible: you can pop out of a hypnotic state whenever you want

•          You do not become in any way unconscious or semi-conscious. Likewise, you do not go to sleep. In fact, you are aware of yourself and your surroundings at all times

•          You are not in anyone’s power, and nobody can take control of you. As such, you cannot be made to do or say anything against your will

•          Hypnosis cannot permanently remove memories or thoughts from your mind. Similarly, you cannot lose your mind through hypnosis

•          You will not suddenly blurt out your deepest darkest secrets (unless you want to offload)

•          Hypnosis cannot bestow psychic abilities or supernatural powers (more’s the pity)

•          Hypnosis cannot make you act against, or abandon, your moral code

•          You will not say or do ‘funny things’ (unless you choose to)

Hypnosis, then, is a natural state of mind and body. It is, therefore, a  perfectly safe, drug and chemical-free way of inducing an altered state of consciousness in order to bring about positive and beneficial change to the way you think, feel or behave, and to help guide you toward achieving your goals, whatever they might be.

Clinical hypnotherapy is widely acknowledged within the medical profession as an evidenced-based therapy that can help reduce many physical and psychological symptoms from anxiety and childbirth to addiction and depression. It sits nicely alongside conventional medical and psychological treatments and has many applications.

For example, it has been shown time and again to help with decreasing stress and anxiety, overcoming phobias and addictions, breaking bad habits, resolving insomnia and sleep disorders, dealing with eating disorders, and supporting weight management.

Hypnotherapy is particularly useful in the control and management of pain including acute pain as in tooth ache or labour, and chronic pain as in arthritis or fibromyalgia. It can help resolve medical issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or certain skin conditions as well as helping to minimise the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy. In fact, it is often used by dentists to calm fearful or phobic patients and to treat teeth grinding and other oral conditions.



We tend to spend our lives constantly distracted by our surroundings. Whether it’s the TV, the internet, our phones and texts, emails, work, our families or  finances—or being distracted by things that pop suddenly into our field of vision such as odours, sounds and memories— these are all conscious thoughts that go round and round continually, making it difficult to fully focus on our-SELF. Our conscious minds are cluttered, crowded, noisy places, constantly busy with what’s going on, what has gone on and what might go on.

Your dutiful subconscious mind is sitting quietly in the background, beavering away patiently alongside your conscious mind while at the same time getting on with absolutely everything else. Your subconscious mind is responsible for your essential life functions: making sure that you breathe and that your heart pumps, circulating blood around your brain and body. It heals and renews your cells, and sees to it that your nails, bones and hair grow (not always in the places you’d like). At the same time it has access to an enormous reservoir of information, memories and life lessons that help you solve problems, form sentences, feel, think, respond and behave, and ALL of this is done automatically. You don’t have to DO IT; it’s being DONE. Your subconscious mind is phenomenal; a superhighway to transformation and the most intricate of motherboards.

The great news is that hypnosis can help you access the subconscious mind, and reprogram it.

When you are in a state of deep relaxation, things start to change—quite literally. You begin to produce endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine. This wonderful quartet of happy chemicals flood the brain and body and provide the perfect condition for calm and clarity of thought. Adrenaline and cortisol begin to diminish, giving your adrenal glands a well-earned break from the unnatural default mode of fight and flight. In deep relaxation we tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as ‘rest and digest’. The parasympathetic nervous system is one of three divisions of the autonomic nervous system. It conserves energy, slows the heart rate, reduces blood pressure and allows the breath to become slower and deeper, thus allowing more oxygen into the bloodstream. In this wonderful relaxed state the subconscious mind is open to positive suggestions for change without the constant chatter of the conscious mind continually getting in the way and diverting you off-piste.

A well-trained hypnotherapist will help guide you quickly and effortlessly into this deep state of relaxation providing the perfect environment to facilitate positive, beneficial change.

What’s more, it isn’t always necessary to seek out a professional in order to reprogram your subconscious mind. Anyone can learn the art of self-hypnosis. All it takes is practice, patience and perseverance.

That’s why I decided to write ‘Health, Wealth and Hypnosis – The way to a beautiful life’, Between its pages you will find practical advice and guidance on how to re-programme your subconscious, connect with your inner-intelligence and, who knows, maybe even find ways to improve your-SELF, your relationships, your overall wellbeing and create a life of health, wealth and happiness.

And rest assured, there’s no cape or top hat required, unless you want to wear them, of course.


Health, Wealth & Hypnosis by Gail Marra is released on July 31st, 2020, published by That Guy’s House. It is available for pre-order now on Amazon priced £9.99 in paperback, £12.99 in hardcover and £7.99 as an eBook. For more information, visit www.gailmarrahypnotherapy.com 

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