The Truth About Hypnosis by Jim Katsoulis and Tellman Knudson. Transcription with Special Guest Tom Nicoli, Creator of Not Another Diet Program

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1 The Truth About Hypnosis by Jim Katsoulis and Tellman Knudson Transcription with Special Guest Tom Nicoli, Creator of Not Another Diet Program

2 All right, everyone. This is Jim Katsoulis with The Truth About Hypnosis where every week, we talk to a different leader in the field and get their perspective on what hypnosis is, how you can use it to improve different areas of your life, and the quickest and best ways to do that. And this week I m really excited. We ve got a real expert and a real leader in the field, Tom Nicoli; and Harvard Medical School said this about him. He is an expert in this field. He opened many of the student s minds to the possibility of the mind-body connection. Nicoli deals in a straightforward and honest manner. His presentation was thought-provoking, stimulating and made a large impression. And I can tell you from personal experience studying some of Tom s different materials, this is absolutely true. So, open your mind and allow Tom to really change the way that you perceive change, in general, and your idea of hypnosis. Tom has been involved in a study of hypnotism for over 19 years. He is the president of A Better You Hypnosis Incorporated and the founder and principal instructor of New England Institute of Hypnosis. And he s got a million other accomplishments and achievements, but one of the one s I think is really cool and we re gonna talk a lot about, hypnosis and weight loss today. He is the creator of Not Another Diet weight loss program, and he was featured on Dateline NBC where he competed with a lot of other diet approaches; and happy to say for the field of hypnosis they did very well. So, it s gonna be exciting to talk to him about that. So, Tom how are doing? Tom: I m doing great. Thank you, Jim. Good, good. Thank you for joining me tonight. I really appreciate this. Let s kinda jump right into it. Give us a little bit tell us a little bit about your background, and how you got started with hypnosis. What was your path? Tom: Well, it seems that most people in our profession come in indirectly and it was the same with me. As a musician and a performer my whole life, I always had the idea of doing stage Page 2

3 hypnotism. I thought it would be awfully cool. But what happened was, when I went to speak with an instructor about I don't know, I thought I would be there for about 20 minutes. About two and a half hours later, I left and I came home and I said to my wife, I m gonna be a hypnotherapist, and like most people she said A what? Tom: And at that time, I had a career in dental technology but, you know, it was limited. And this for some reason, it just talked me because I had studied hypnotism before I even got certified because I had used it and it was called a mental exercise, which as you and I both know most people don t use the H word; they just call it something else. Tom: And it was profound. So, I learned about it, I studied it, and then I decided to become certified, and I ended up going the route of working with people and clinical work, office work, I suppose, stage demonstrations. Sure, sure. What was the reason for that? How come that appealed to you more than the stage, any particular reason? Tom: It was my intuition. You know, we all know that we re directed in life and it s like standing in the ocean about waist high and you get these waves that kinda nudge you towards the shore Tom: And we can follow that and go with it and have an easier time of getting ahead in life or we can resist it and struggle. But it was very strong. Something just said to me that this is it. I just found what I need to do. And I guess, you know, I ve proven it over the time since then. I got certified in So, it s nine years now, in March and it s as if I just started it. It s still my passion. Sure, sure. Nice one, nice one. And so when you be first thing of working with people, what was your approach and how did you grow from there? What was it like when you first started working with people and where you re at now? What are some of the big changes that you ve kinda discovered? Page 3

4 Tom: Well, the first approach was what I think most people do when they re first certified or they first enter the profession, and it was the most general generic approach you can take of, what we call a progressive relaxation induction, just getting somebody relaxed over a length of time and delivering direct suggestions to them. Tom: However, my experience now has been with thousands and thousands of people but until recently, I've cut back my hours at the office because I travel and speak and teach around the world but I was doing around 2000 sessions a year. Wow! Tom: And through that experience, I ve learned that that was what I called finger cross hypnosis. You cross your fingers and you hope it works, you know, because the truth is, unless you re dealing with the emotions behind the issue, you know, the motivating emotions, the feelings, well, you may have a real futile session because the direct suggestions you're delivering, the subconscious is just against [inaudible] accepting or responding to. Tom: So, it was really a roll of dice, you know, but over time I did what everyone avoids, oh, I should say most people avoid and that was to take risks. Tom: Learn more, apply it, you know, my attitude is, Gee, we re in practice, aren t we? If we re in practice, then why don t we practice in getting better. Tom: So, over time many more techniques have been added, many more strategies and there s been one that s followed suit in my office and/or my audios, and it s pretty much including everything. Feelings and thoughts and direct suggestions and indirect suggestions and metaphors and using every approach you possibly can so you do find the door into that place that the client knows, the customer that s listening needs. Page 4

5 Sure, sure. That s a nice one. Let me ask you, I mean, just starting from the beginning, I wanna get your perspective on this because, you know, sometimes you could talk to a hundred different hypnotists and you get a hundred different answers, but how would you describe hypnosis. I mean, what is hypnosis and how does it work? Tom: It s so peculiar how this works, isn t it, as far as everyone s different interpretation when there s only really one idea of what this is? Though it can be explained in many ways and different examples given, the process is the same no matter how it s explained. Tom: Now, we all know about conditioning. We all know that when we re young, we believe what we hear. Now, beliefs are not facts, but once you accept something as a belief, it s your reality. And that is hypnosis. It s information bypassing your conscious analytical filter and your subconscious accepting it. So, as we re younger, we have these issues and we have these beliefs because we haven t developed this filter. However, even when we re older, that filter may be kinda warped because of the beliefs we have. The information we're filtering may not be clear and honest. So hypnosis, as I explain it to people, is a natural state that happens in a busy department store whenever you re zoned out or spaced out or whatever you wanna call it, and you got startled. You went in a light level trance. In that trance state that you re in, now you re more open to the suggestions around you which may be advertising coming over the speakers or what you see visually. Why do we make spontaneous purchases, right? Tom: In the simple way I explain it to clients now, I used to use that whole, when you re driving you end up in hypnosis, you (overlay) consciously what you re doing and all of that, which is true. But people understand it when I explain to them that their subconscious mind which they re sort of not aware of, is what makes things happen. That s why we do things we don t wanna do, and we don t do things we wanna do Page 5

6 Tom: consciously, logically. It is the hard drive to your computer, you, being the computer. Your conscious mind is the keyboard and no matter how many times you command the computers to do something off the keyboard, but that s will power, you make it [inaudible] error. Tom: And in our life, we have many of those, don t we? Yeah, yeah, sure. Tom: So, here we are with our ego, with our conscious willpower mind, telling us what we re gonna do. telling ourselves, We're gonna do this, we're gonna do this, we're gonna do this. Tom: But it doesn t happen. So, we access the subconscious mind, and the way we bypass the conscious mind and access the subconscious mind is simply through a redirect of attention. Some people just say deep relaxation, but it doesn t have to be deep relaxation whatsoever. You could be in a very busy, busy, busy situation and have a hypnotic moment. Yeah. That s good. Sure, go ahead. Tom: So, basically, you know, that is what it s about. Now, you know, let me ask you. This is why I love doing these series because, you know, as a hypnotist I look at the world and I approach it so differently, and when you think about psychology and you look at how people in this culture struggle so much to change their behavior, and you say, What do they know about change? and it seems like most people approach change through, Well, I just have to make a decision and willpower my way through it. A lot of times, I refer to hypnosis as like practical psychology because it seems to make a lot more sense, right? Why do you think it s not more out there like the philosophy of hypnosis, the understanding of the conscious, subconscious mind? Tom: It isn t that simple enough. It s the myths and misconceptions that have clouded the truth in the benefits of hypnosis because of the H word that Hollywood and fiction and books and stories have led people to believe. However, they openly accept guided imagery, visualization Page 6

7 Tom: and all cultures throughout time have well, let s say they had what they called witch doctor, so the tribal leader or shamans, and they re using dance or chants or whatever it may be let s do it this way, people do appreciate and understand meditation. Tom: I call it hypnosis and self-hypnosis meditation with intent. Yeah. Okay. Tom: You know, it s specific intent, goal-based meditations. So, you get into the same state of mind, it s the same process even. But when you re there in meditation, you pretty much turn off that mind chattering. You listen and you learn. However, in self-hypnosis, once we get there, we have an intention, we have a direction, a goal that we re focusing on. Sure, sure, that makes sense. Do you think because you understand hypnosis and when you teach people maybe to understand hypnosis, do you think that understanding alone, of understanding how hypnosis works, what a trance feels like, what being a suggestion kinda following that suggestion and hypnosis actually feels like, do you think that it kinda protects them from the suggestions that were constantly fed through our culture in advertising and all the rest of it? Tom: I missed it. I got the second part of it, but I missed the first part connecting it. Do you think like I feel like a lot of people aren t even aware of that they re not even aware of what hypnosis is. You know, they kinda have this (overlay) Tom: (overlay) And so they don t really know the unconscious mind. They don t really understand how our behaviors are truly generated it and where they come from. Do you think that they re more susceptible to food advertisement, to the cultural kind of, you know, suggestions that we re constantly given as opposed to someone who understands it? Page 7

8 Tom: Yeah, yeah. I surely do because there are times when yourself or I m sure like I do, you hear something and see something and you re aware. And once you re aware then you can be interactive. You know, there are things I'll hear, or there s a phraseology, or some dialog that s some commercial or some informercial, and I ll even say to my wife or son if they were in the room I ll say, Hear what he just said? Tom: Here s what he s doing. Right, right. Tom: We know exactly what the deal is, don't we? It s a set up. (overlay) Tom: Yeah, I believe that that allows you to be less susceptible to the suggestions that are being delivered. Sure, sure. You know that s funny you mentioned that because, you know, it somewhat recently, I was watching the Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley infomercial and that was basically a half hour of suggestions. Tom: Oh, yeah. They re all given by Christie Brinkley and they re all very sexual in nature. Tom: Exactly. And if you listen to that, you know, but it s interesting. Being in this field for so long and really being in kind of the core of it, what do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about hypnosis? Tom: Oh, gosh. You know, it s the real common one well, they think they ll be out like a light, that they re not aware at all. How many people say they don t think they were hypnotized because they heard what you said during the session even though they couldn t peel themselves out of the chair? Page 8

9 Tom: Mind control, that you ll control their thoughts, that you ll direct to do whatever you want them to do. And if they just stop for a moment and thought about that, then they would realize that can t be because there are some unscrupulous people in the world and they would have learned hypnosis and have bank accounts by now. Sure, right. Tom: I mean it s so silly, isn t it? Yeah, yeah. Tom: You know some of the other misconceptions are it s instantaneous, meaning, as soon as that session is over they have a 180-degree change. Tom: They're right to where they wanna be, but as we know, there are so many variables and there are so many different factors involved that I tell people there are varied levels of change and different time frames. Tom: The worse thing that happens is somebody comes in and says, I want my friend [inaudible] Everyone s unique and different. And some of the other misconceptions is that this is something totally different that they ve never experienced. This is something that they ve never done and they re not sure about, and will it be safe? Will it devil into my soul? You know all these wild stuff, but actually this is the gift we were given at birth. This is what we ve had since the beginning of time and as children, we used it without knowing we were using it on purpose for escape Tom: recreation, for everything. You know, we pretend, we play; we do all those things creatively and imaginatively. So, it s something that we kinda got away from if you think about it. We did it as children naturally, and all the time. And then, as we got to be adults, as you were saying, you know, people using willpower, I call that, you know, changed through force and the mind does not respond to force. Page 9

10 Sure, sure. So when you say give me an example like when someone does create a change, what does it feel like when it works really well? Like when the suggestions take perfectly, give me an example of what that would feel like as opposed to the willpower. Tom: Okay, imagine when you have a negative habit, a bad habit. And let s just say it s associated to eating, and you know in your heart that blank is something you should not eat. Doctors even said you cannot eat this anymore because it s killing you. You know, it s gonna add to your illness. Tom: It s gonna make things worse in your life. But for some reason or reasons, though we know this, we know all the information about it, why we shouldn t and what it will do to us, we just seem and get this feeling that we just have to. Tom: Okay. When the switch is made, it s the same thing where for some reason or reasons we don t know how or why, or the client doesn t, we just seem. We just have this feeling that we don t want to do it. You know I remember having one client and I ve been fortunate to have people come literally from around the world to my office just north of Boston, and this client had driven from Rhode Island, I believe, and he said to me the next session, he was just one of those people who responded very well. He said I don t get it. He goes, It must have to do with this. Though some clients think, I am not sure if it has to do with this but, you know, they made this change that they weren t able to make for years. Tom: And he said, I was staring at the bread; we went out for dinner after we left here and I m staring at it and my wife says, So you got a habit. He goes, No. I want it, but I don t want it. Tom: Now, that s the beauty because you see, people are so used to struggling that they don t know it can be that comfortable. Right, right. Page 10

11 Tom: That you can actually want to do what you are conditioned and used to doing through habit, but yet, once that has changed subconsciously for some reason or reasons, you just don t want to. Tom: That is cool. Yeah, yeah. Do you think some people have the idea that the bad habits are really easy to create and the good habits are really hard to create? Do you think people are aware of that? Tom: Yeah, Jim, that s a good point. There was this conditioning in our I don t know in the way we think especially in our society that for some reason or reasons, the bad stuff is just accepted, you know, but the good stuff isn t supposed to happen as easily, and that you re supposed to have some cross to bear in life in order to deserve all the good stuff. And this is all real garbage, you know, it s just not true. And I explain to people or I ask them, I should say, Well, you didn t want to do this bad behavior, right? No. It just seems to happen over time or some time it just started, right? Yeah. Well, why do you think the reverse is going to be different? Whether it s good or bad, positive or negative, it s the same exact process so it s gonna be just as easy, just as automatic, just as comfortable to do its process. Sure, sure. That s brilliant. I mean, once people even open their minds to that you know, sometimes, I find a lot of people don t even believe that s possible, but once you Tom: They don t, they don t. They really have been confined emotionally and mentally to this belief that it s not correct. That s just not true. Sure, and actually that brings up another point, what role do you think this is a little bit off hypnosis, but important to change, in general, is the idea of limiting beliefs like what role do they play in a person s ability to create change in their lives? Tom: Well, when it comes to change, actually, the limiting beliefs prevent change, but change starts with awareness. You can t change something unless you re aware of it. Once people become aware of what you re doing, and they recognize it, then they can make the decision to make Page 11

12 the change or not though the process of the change could be a struggle as we talked about or more comfortable and efficient and effective and natural. But the limiting beliefs people have are the prevention to their growth because, like I said earlier, beliefs are not facts. I mean, come on, the earth didn t round out over time. Tom: However, people s lives were limited because of a belief, and I m sure just like any beliefs like how crazy is it in my mind when people will actually fight. You know, you would be in a bar or something; people fight each other over whose team is better? Tom: You know whose sports team is better. I mean are you kidding me? Tom: So these beliefs we have create our emotional responses. They create our reality, basically. All beliefs we have create our reality. We believe differently than somebody in the Middle East or somebody in Asia, and we will react in a situation differently than they would. However, the problem is, people need to become aware of what we re talking about right now that beliefs are not facts and to learn the facts around whatever it is that s a problem in their life, that s limiting their life. What do they believe? Now is that true or isn t it? And the truth is that all beliefs could be changed. Sure, sure. Well, in a sense, I mean, those are like negative suggestions, in a sense, limiting belief because they re like just something that you never even question, and they just operate this facts. I mean, do you think like even just the power of questioning good and bad beliefs is a useful habit to get into? Tom: Oh, absolutely. You know, I love that statement, question every thing. You know, I have no problem. I have a 17-year-old son and I ve never had any problem when he would ask me, Why? And I remember when I would ask my father, Why? the answer would be, Because I said so. Page 12

13 Yeah, we grew up with that kind of mentality. You know, if you re around my age but when lsomeone asks you something, well, there are some things I just say, Well, you don t need to know why. But if there s a good reason for the question or he should understand why, then I explain it him. Tom: Because he s just gonna take it on the basis that I said so. But that s the problem with most children, is that the adults around them were wonderful when they were children, but they got their programs corrupted, their thoughts, their feelings, their beliefs to the adults around them. Tom: Because as they were growing up, it happened to them, and it just keeps going on with this cycle. And that s why I love doing pediatric hypnosis. Oh, sure. Tom: To prevent that whole lifestyle. But yeah, that s what it s all about. It s the beliefs we accept, and if we don t question it or, at least, don t look into whatever we were told, then it will become a fact in our lives based on a belief. Definitely. Have you found that working with so many people, just the process of going into a state of hypnosis would kinda naturally elicit that questioning more than normal for that person? Tom: Yeah. You know, in a lot of people, what happens is we open up that door to whatever it is that we call enlightenment or awareness. It s a way for the person to, all of a sudden, take the blinders off because, isn t it, such where people get into what they call a routine? But I call it routine a rot. In life, it s very flexible and spontaneous and there are so, so, so much available to us. But people get caught up in a routine and, therefore, their lives become very, very limited and very restricted. Page 13

14 Tom: And what happens is then they start to put on the blinders. You know they just have one simple way of focusing, and thinking, and going about things. But when they do enter this process and you start working with them, all of a sudden, many, many other things change other than what they came in for. Right, right. That s great. I ve noticed that, too, and I think that s one of the big things about hypnosis. It s that people come in with one thing, but oftentimes, once they start utilizing hypnosis, then a lot of things change all at once. Is that one of those limiting beliefs, you know, kinda like I see a lot of people who would say, Well, I tell you I gonna change this thing first, and I m gonna change that thing, and then I m gonna get to that thing but sometimes, it seems like the people who get the best results are the ones who start changing everything all at once. Tom: Exactly, exactly. You know, and what happens, too, is that they were just natural things that happen once you start focusing more positively and clearing out the negativity. You just have a more general, more positive attitude. People like to be around you. Your relationships start to change and begin to improve, your sleep and, you know, even your physiology, everything. Right, right. That makes a lot of sense. What are some specific areas where hypnosis is really, really useful and really effective that you found out? Tom: That s a long list, it really is, Jim. But some of the most common would be athletic improvement. Improve your athletic skills and, mainly, because athletes are very, very open to the process because they ve been doing it. Tom: You know, Jack Nicklaus once said, Golf is a game of inches and the most important seven are between your ears. That s great. Tom: And anyone who s in a slump, athletically, it s not because they don t know how to play, they re thinking too much. The thoughts are getting in the way of their performance. Confidence building and self-esteem, public speaking confidence, the behaviors to change for weight loss, you know, that s one of the areas since I ve gotten national recognition in the weight loss arena that people, I think, misunderstand how hypnosis fits into that process more than any other Page 14

15 because in most other changes people seek, it s pretty black and white. They have a fear of flying. Well, that s pretty black and white, you know. Or let s say, their study habits are horrible; that s pretty simple, they become very aware when they start feeling like they re studying more, remembering more, and remembering easier. Tom: It s pretty much any personal goal a person has. And also some physical disorder or physical ailments or physical discomfort work we can do in order to create more physical comfort in the individual regardless of what they re going through, preop, postop healing and all of that. Anxiety, you know, panic attacks, whatever they're termed at the moment, because the terms and labels that are put on different things change depending on who s involved and what they re trying to sell you. Tom: My opinion, but it s true. I mean, just think of how many commercials you re gonna watch in the next year of some ailment you never heard of before that a prescription is now available for. Let me ask you, as a hypnotist do those pharmaceutical advertisements drive you up a wall? [inaudible] kill you or what? Tom: They make my skin crawl. Right, is that the most blatant hypnosis on TV? Tom: It s unbelievable when people go, Oh, I ve got that. Yeah. Tom: (overlay) restless legs syndrome before in my life. Tom: Yeah, yeah. I never heard about it before in my life. People go, I got that. Page 15

16 Yeah. Tom: Pretty soon, it s gonna be, Are you tired when it s nighttime? Right, right. Tom: Are you energetic in the mornings? They start off with something so general and then they get more specific and then they get more general. Do you ever wake up tired? Do you ever wanna (overlay) today? Tom: There is hypnosis involved there. Absolutely, yes. Those are certainly suggestions. It drives me nuts. That s what makes me you know, I feel like sometimes, I think, hypnosis should be taught in schools so that people can recognize it from the unscrupulous sources. It almost seems to me if someone tells you they re hypnotists and they re telling you they re gonna hypnotize you, those are the most honest people. It s the ones that don t tell you what they re doing, right? (overlay) Tom: And the ones that don t tell you you know, January 4th is the 5th Annual World Hypnotism Day, something I started. And there was a gentleman who asked us on a call one night, When I approach the media, what I should call this? What should I say that I m doing? And I said, Well, let s see, it s called World Hypnotism Day, isn t it? What are you gonna do, say we re gonna do some guided imagery on World Hypnotism Day? But that means there s a lack of confidence in the hypnotist, believing in what he or she is doing. Tom: If you believe in what you re doing, then you ll tell everybody exactly what it is. I love my good friend, Ron Eslinger, in Tennessee who has been using hypnotism for a long time and he s a certified registered nurse anesthetist and he did a lot, and still does a lot of pain management with hypnosis, and even did it when he was a captain in the Navy, and used it in the medical facilities. When you ask Ron what is hypnosis? His response is, It s a word, because isn t that the truth, it wasn t even Page 16

17 Tom: It wasn t part of this process until 1843, I believe, when Dr. James Braid wrote Neurypnology: The Rationale of Nervous Sleep. And it looked like people well, people in a daydreamer or in the lighter levels of hypnosis. Tom: And in a daydream, you look like you re asleep. So, it looked like people are sleeping, and Hypnos being the Greek god of sleep. He termed hypnotist, hypnotism, hypnosis but before 1843, that word wasn t even around, and it s just the word that people grabbed on to. Now, like I said earlier, they don t mind it when you say it s guided imagery or visualization, and if you really wanna screw it someday in your office, and they say, Well, I m really not sure if I wanna do hypnosis; I m still not sure yet. I say, Guess what, we re not gonna do it today. Just take a breath and close your eyes. And it has already began, right? Sure, sure. Tom: And then after you say, Could you imagine that was hypnosis? Now, get out of here. Right, right. Well, that being said let me get to this one. This one is, I think, a common misconception but what s your opinion on, can anyone be hypnotized? What s your thought on that? Tom: Well, in all my trainings I explain it this way, that there are three types of people who cannot be hypnotized. Somebody with an IQ that s below 70 just can t comprehend. Tom: Someone who s too drunk, or someone who absolutely just doesn t want to. Now, you can induce the hypnotic state with somebody who s resistant with some indirection, but you know, coming in the back door. But once they re in the state, if they really have an apprehension about this, they ll just, you know, shake their head and they won t be in the process anymore because they have that ability. As a matter of fact, I remember being at the Tuscany Hotel in Vegas doing a talk, and a buddy of mine who used to play for Miles Davis was playing guitar there that night, and a woman from New York said Well, Randy why don t you sit down and just see what this is like? Now, this was in a busy lounge while they were on a break, right? So, that goes to show you don t this hypnotic environment. Page 17

18 Right, right. Tom: And, all of the sudden, you know, his head starts to go down and he snaps out of it, and he says, Look, I m not saying that was working, I just stopped it because I could feel what was happening and I gotta go play. So even though hypnotic state was being induced, he was able to be the person to either go with it or not. Sure, sure. Okay, that s interesting. Now, that being said, when you so the basic idea is if someone goes into a hypnotic state, you re bypassing their conscious mind, you re going straight to the unconscious mind, and you re doing that basically by giving suggestions. Talk a little bit about it. I mean, what are suggestions? How do you use them and how long do suggestions last? Tom: Oh, good question. Well, suggestions are basically you delivering information to the individual based on their desires, what it is they re looking to achieve. There are many, many, many parts to this and, unfortunately, many hypnotists only know one way; and they ve missed so much. For instance, there is one simple thing about and anyone listening to this, what they need to do, what you all need to do is speak positively. If I say right now to everybody, Don t, don t, don t think of a white horse. Exactly. Tom: What do we do in life? We tell people not what to do. And we tell ourselves, I won t do this, I won t, won t, won t what will you do and what do you want those people to do? If you say, Don t stay up late, you really mean be in bed by whatever. Tom: So, we need to speak in a positive reframe and that s part of delivering suggestions. And the suggestions that we deliver sometimes are indirect or they re covert, through metaphors, through stories where the story relates to the present issue or we even talk about someone else. As you see someone else smoking or eating or doing whatever, you will notice and then [inaudible] the negatives that apply to it, so instead of it feeling like an attack on them, you let them see how horrible this is by seeing it as somebody else is doing it, by watching else do it. Page 18

19 Tom: But, again, that s only part of it, you know. The truth is, in my experience, I have found that unless you get to one or both of the feelings that were associated to the problem because that s what it s all about. Feelings motivate everything. Tom: And then what we call the ISC, the Initial Sensitizing Event, when this was established and then reframe it because it s always from a child s perception. Right, right. Tom: The child (overlay). Even though we re older, we [inaudible] back and see it that way. How long do these suggestions last? That, again, varies between all people, among all people. So, it may be instant. It may be as soon as that session is over. It may be along the way, it just starts to develop. It may be through the consistency of them using hypnosis at home. I send people home with my hypnosis audio CDs as reinforcement and also teach them selfhypnosis. So, it could come about at any time, or it can begin and not be, you know, complete but they have some sense of change, and then they just build upon it and reinforce what was established. Right, right. That s great. And people experience suggestions, anyway, so if anyone s listening to this, a kind of common suggestion that people accept is like when they were a child, maybe their parents said, you know, You re no good at Math or Tom: Oh, yeah. you know, something like that, and then they believe that. They accept it and they almost make it real for themselves. Is that kinda like an example of kinda natural, in a sense, suggestion become a negative one but Tom: And that s exactly it. That s exactly the process of hypnosis, isn t it? We have a suggestion. We accept it. We believe it because of the source we got it from, and that one statement may limit your whole life. You may be so not what that statement was. Page 19

20 Right, right. Tom: And never know it because you just never got past it. Sure, sure. Let me Tom: You know, I ll tell you this. I love when I share this because I was brought up with what they call old school, very traditional, very black and white. My father was well-known. On the street, he was just a very strong, hardworking, tough guy, right? But I heard my whole life though we had pretty much nothing, you know, real minimal and I can remember him saying, I am not bringing up followers, I m bringing up leaders. Tom: And I was the oldest of the four so, guess what? Tom: And here s the proof into putting in all those suggestions. Almost every job I ever had, I became the manager of the place. I was the best at it, and anything I ve ever attempted to do I, pretty much, have done very well. Sure, sure. So some suggestions are good and some are limiting, right? And it s kind of that process of going back and figuring out. Let me ask you this. This is something I thought about. Do you think when people say because a lot of the stuff that kinda messes with people later in life are from when they were younger. Do you think when people reflect on those they kinda do it in an unconscious way, do you think they regress so if they were told something as a child, they re-experience that memory in their mind from the perspective of a child as well and not as the adults that they are now? Tom: Absolutely or we would not continue the problem. Tom: Because the adult knows better. The adult knows it s not good. It s like this, Whenever there s a situation, an event, an experience, there s an association that goes on internally. Whenever we go through that association again when a similar event or the same kind of event comes up, we respond the way we did then. Page 20

21 Tom: For instance, can you imagine a 60-year-old woman sitting in your chair at the office, and she s in control. You know, she has children and grandchildren, has had a company and, you know, runs things at home and she s confident and then she tells her, her mother s coming for the weekend, and you can see her curl up, put her head in her hands Yup. Tom: And you think, wait a minute, you just talked about that as if you were a child and your mom is coming. Right, right. Tom: Now, here s how I empower them. It s silly but it really works. I say, Now, I m going to assume your mother s somewhere near 80, you know, whatever that woman s age is. And you are having this difficulty of her being in your home because things are gonna be like you used to know it. Well, right now in your mind, I want you to just imagine saying to her, I will push you down, old lady. Tom: And some cringe, some laugh, I say, Now, look, I don t want you to push your mother down but I want you to see that she has no control of you. Right, right. Tom: That you're thinking of her as your mom when you did as a child and she was the woman in control, but she s a woman you know coming to visit your home and you have set rules and standards, and that she has to adapt and in your home. Tom: [inaudible] I can't do that. I say, Why not? Because it s my mom. You know, it s some woman who was treating you like you would not allow anyone else to treat you. Right, right. Page 21

22 Tom: So, don't we go back to be responding like we did at that time? Yeah. Isn t that the most common hypnosis that you see? People living that way? I always say like people are their own greatest hypnotist because I think one of the ways that people experience that is they will oftentimes hear a mother s voice, a father s voice or some authority figure s voice in their head, and it will make them feel a certain way. Tom: Yup. They kinda live that way and they, literally sometimes, I think we don t live on reality, we kinda live through our ideas what reality is and create it. Technically, you said I mean, it could be an 80-year old woman that a person could feel like a little kid with and scared. Tom: I believe there is one reality, however, nobody lives in it. I don t think there s anyone who truly lives in complete reality because we all have thoughts and feelings and beliefs. Sure, sure. That s an interesting point. Give me one more. Let me get into weight loss hypnosis in a moment, but let me ask you one more quick one. What are some of the characteristics of so we know like a powerful hypnotist in the hypnosis sense but in a cultural sense, what are some factors for giving an effective suggestions? I guess, what I m getting at is, if someone has a perceived authority, then that may allow the suggestion to go deeper. So what I m saying is for people listening on the phone right now, I want you to explain to them something they should be aware of as far as cultural things that they should be aware of when that person speaking to them, that they could be implanting suggestions. Tom: What you said is so true. It s the authority figure. People who are looking for something will respond more than those who aren t. For instance, in Germany, when Hitler was in power, the people followed because they were in dire need of change. You know, and that s what happens in many situations politically where people will vote for someone because there s just such a dire need for change. Their desire is so strong to just get change of any kind that they ll vote a certain way. Now, when the person is in power, what happens, too, in cultures and societies, there s this feeling of needing to fit it. I believe and I don t know, you know, if this is true or not, but I believe that we are still primarily hooked up. You know, it s been millions of years but that s nothing in time to the universe and the earth. Page 22

23 Tom: And that we still follow peer pressure, and we still do what the group does because we need shelter, food, and fire, and protection, and all of that. Tom: We will be outcast that s why most people follow to fit in. What do most people do when they re growing up and even as adults? Even adults that I know who are in control in many ways in their lives will do something that is really not them because they wanna fit in with the group. Absolutely. Tom: They wanna be one of the boys or something, you know. And what I tell them is that there s only one dog that sees the horizon and chooses where to go in the dogsled team. Tom: You know what the other dogs see? Fun. Tom: Yeah, so I don t wanna see the butt in front of me. I wanna see right where I wanna go so I have no problem being a leader and thinking independently. Right, right. That s a great point. Tom: But it s very easy to be open to suggestions delivered by somebody in power. You know, it really drives me crazy, I gotta be honest with you. You listen to people talk and they don t even know why they do what they do. You know, in Massachusetts, I grew up just four miles north of Boston. And it was so common that people would vote for the Kennedy s and if you ever them aske why, they had no idea. Right, right. Page 23

24 Tom: And then you tell them stories, they go, They did? Tom: They did what? They have no idea. You know, it s just crazy. You know if you ask people why they do what they do, they probably don t give you reasons. They use that word that my father used to hate, because. Right, right. Tom: Because why? They don t know because why? They don t know why. Yeah, yeah. They just say because, and then leave it at that. Very, very good point. So, I think (overlay) Tom: I think when you said question everything, I mean, question yourself, too. Yeah. Absolutely, sure. This is so practical and that s really one of the reasons that we wanna put this series together because it s not you know, the goofy part is just kinda like you re gonna go on stage and just act like a chicken or whatever. Tom: Yeah. And that s silly. But now, people are starting to have a better idea that you go into an office, and someone says something to you, and you change instantly, and that s kinda silly, too. But when you really understand some of the mechanics, some of the structure of it, how it works and can relate it to yourself, it seems like it gives you such an advantage in life. You know, and you still have issues Tom: Absolutely. and troubles but, gees, you have a whole set of tools to deal with it that I don t see any other system of change giving you like psychology. Tom: No doubt about it. Page 24

25 And psychiatry. I mean, that s what we look at. You know, the culture, I think, you know and, to me (overlay) Tom: Yeah, isn t it uncanny that we have I know, I have clients who are psychologists and psychiatrists. I have a lot of referrals from these people. Yeah. Tom: You see, this is the one thing missing in all these practices. Yeah. It s this ability to deal with changes themselves. Tom: It s the ability to allow the person you know, the way I explain it is this, my great advantage since I d learned this process is that I allow the part of me that controls everything to guide me. Right, right. Tom: So, I got my ego out of the way. And I [inaudible] old school, you know. You worked hard, man. I can remember 7-day weeks, 20-hour days, three jobs and that s what I was doing when I was starting my practice, you know; and I had gone from bankruptcy to great success because I started getting out of my own way. I stopped thinking, I ll figure it out. You know, we all learn that the greatest things that happen in our lives, you could not have planned. Tom: They couldn t have a sort of business strategy. You know, when we bring in something like, you know, three or four hundred thousand dollars after an interview or some publicity in sales, I could never, never with all the intelligence that may be crammed into my brain whatever level that is, come up with whatever brought me that windfall. Tom: So, I get out of the way, and I allow the universe to direct and orchestrate all the details and I just keep [inaudible] along because you know that saying, God helps those who help themselves. I just keep doing what I m supposed to do, and I stay diligent and open unaware and things happen. Page 25

26 Sure, sure. And, again, I mean, you have a completely different paradigm of yourself and how you behave. Tom: Oh, yeah. I mean that, you know, sometimes I ll say to people, and just my initial pitch would be, you know, the conscious and unconscious mind and most of your life is decided unconsciously, and they look and they say, I don t think so. Tom: They wouldn t be there if that wasn t true. Right, right. That s it. You know, if every [inaudible] what to do, it s hard to get yourself to do it maybe, right? Because it easy I mean, if all you need to do is know what foods to eat and not what to eat, no one would have a weight issue. Tom: That s right. But, yeah, it s something deeper. It goes (overlay) Tom: We all know what to do. Tom: We all know what to do. Tom: But we just can t do it. Sure, sure. Do you think, I mean and isn t it funny, in another sense, because we live our lives so we can just look at our behaviors. You know, you get up Monday through Friday and you pretty much follow the same routines, you re not thinking about each and everyone. When you brush your teeth, you re doing it the exact same way, you re not thinking about it. You shower the same way, you get dressed the same way. All these stuff s happening automatically so I mean, it s right there in front of us and yet, you know, we re blind to it all. We don t even see it. Page 26

27 Tom: Well, yeah, and then we become resistant to the truth once that H word is introduced, don't we? Sure, sure, exactly. So, it s much bigger, and again, that s the idea here that it s much bigger than just having someone, you know, give you a set of words and you change. Tom: With that being said, I wanna transition into some of the weight loss, and that s really a big focus for you. I can talk about it all day long. I love talking about hypnosis and weight loss, and for anyone listening, if you want to find out more I mean, if what Tom is saying makes a lot of sense to you, go to forward/nodiet. We re gonna talk a little bit more about his program now because I think as far as when it comes to weight loss, that's where I spend a lot of my time as well, I ve never seen anything as effective for permanently changing your body as hypnosis. So, Tom, tell me a little bit, why is hypnosis so effective in creating weight loss permanently? Tom: Well, the reason why it s so effective is the reason why we are overweight well, people are overweight, and they don t eat healthy, and they can t stay to a healthy lifestyle is because of the emotions that drive them. You know my DEPTH model is denial, emotional, pain, truth and honesty, DEPTH. And it works like this. We have emotional pain, it s not pain. If I stick you in the eye with a toothpick, that s pain. But we have emotional discomfort and we have waited at all cost when the idea and the truth behind it from the beginning was to go through each and every emotion for growth into the next plateau, and when you go through something and you experience it and you finally get pass it, well, you re done because what see disappears, but what you resists, persists. So we repress it, and it bubbles, and it boils, and if those emotions or some belief but, usually, an emotion that s associated to eating or food, and it s to distract ourselves from the emotional pain or to fulfill an emotional void, and that food and eating may be associated to like love and attention and all of that. Okay. Tom: And then we start to rationalize and justify the behavior which is denial but the truth and honesty is what clears us and allows us to start breaking free. Like I said, awareness, you Page 27

28 know, it's truth and honesty to be aware, honestly and truthfully, about what s going on and say, Okay, you re right, yeah. This is how I am. So, now what? All right, now we have a good starting point. Sure, sure. Tom: The reason why hypnosis work so effectively with weight loss, in every single eating program or, I should say, almost every because some are just bad for you, but almost every healthy eating program and physical activity routine which in small print must be accompanied with anything you buy for weight loss is how you will lose weight or how your body will lose weight at the rate, it will based on what you do eat, and how much you do workout or exercise or be active. I say go play, never mind exercise, just go play. Right, right. Tom: It s based on your physiology but you re not gonna be able to do what you know you should do if you still have the internal limiting beliefs or negative association and feelings, and hypnosis is what allows the individual to get past that. Tom: Once you get past that, then you can start engaging in the behaviors that allow the body to do what it does based on what you eat and how much activity you have. So, one of the most difficult areas of hypnosis is weight loss. It s the most complex to work with, and people think you get hypnotized and you lose weight. You know, it makes me laugh, Jim. I have people say to me, Alright, so I ve been eating right. I m working out, everything is good, I m actually enjoying it, but I haven t lost any weight. I d say, I forgot my chainsaw. And I d look to them and say, Hypnosis has been successful for you; what you just described was what you needed hypnosis for. Tom: So, now, it s a matter of consistently doing what you re do. And isn t true where people will do years they ll spend years of doing something and then get hypnotized and they expect it all to change in a week? Page 28

29 Right, right. Tom: Especially physiology. You know, I tell them like, What did you think, you re gonna be hypnotized, you re gonna wake up and you go Oh, my God, wow. This is unbelievable, I don t believe that. And I said let me ask you this, did it work in the office [inaudible] when you went to be one night and you were, you know, hot and you [inaudible] Oh, my God what happened to my ass overnight? Right, right. Tom: So it didn t work like that. But we're so conditioned to instant gratification and immediacy now that people lost touch with the natural process of things, didn t they? Oh, absolutely, absolutely. Tom: But by changing the thoughts and feelings you have about food which will happen through working with a reputable and experienced hypnotist, the hypnotherapist, then you ll be able to engage in the lifestyle that will allow your body to release the fat which is weight loss. And let me ask you about that because the specifics, you know, you [inaudible] yourself and I wanna make a real clear point of it. The feelings and associations that you have towards foods and towards exercising, for example, once those changes, all of a sudden, weight loss becomes kinda natural and automatic because you ideally begin enjoying and craving salads, and you begin to find, you know, candy bars and stuff disgusting. Great, if that was the case it will be much easier to stay you know, eating well and exercising but in that example, just eating well. Tom: Well, exactly. Do you think that most people, they don t ever focus on that level and they keep their unconscious associations the same so they say, God I love chocolate cake. And then they just try and do it through willpower so, on an unconscious level, they're saying, I love chocolate cake, but I m not gonna have any. Tom: Exactly. Page 29

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