Why You Should Consider Hypnosis to Break a Bad Habit

Hypnosis may be the key to lasting change.

It’s only April, and your New Year’s resolutions are so far in the rearview mirror, you don’t even recognize them. But don’t give up: The key to lasting change may lie in your subconscious mind.

According to Harrison-based hypnotist Bob Pargament, hypnosis is an effective way to help break bad habits or establish good new ones. Beyond smoking cessation and weight loss, it can help people overcome fears, open creative blocks, and reduce pain.

Hypnosis “allows us to reprogram the sub-conscious mind, where habits, patterns, and self-limiting beliefs are stored,” and this, says Pargament, can help people achieve lasting results.

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Take Briarcliff resident Rosemary Hermann. “In November 2006, I stepped into Bob’s office. My mission was to stop smoking after 53 years of addiction. Fast-forward to today, 10 years later: I’m still smoke-free,” she says.

When it comes to weight loss, numerous studies have shown that subjects who used hypnotherapy lost more weight than those who did not.

How is hypnosis performed? According to psychiatrist David Aftergood, MD, of White Plains, a hypnotic trance “is induced through placing attention on a single object, such as the breath.” As the clinician deepens this state by giving specific suggestions, “the mind becomes more flexible and open to change.” 

Certified consulting hypnotist Kristin Prevallet says she “likes to think about hypnosis as a reset button, a jump-start.” According to Prevallet, a good candidate for hypnosis is someone who is self-reflective, motivated, and has tried other things unsuccessfully. Hypnosis, she says, can help people tap into their inner resources, “such as confidence, resilience, strength, clarity, and hope.”

Afraid of “losing control” under hypnosis? This notion is a misconception, says Prevallet. “No one does anything they don’t want to do.”

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