Manage Stress and Anxiety with Hypnosis

Managing Stress and Anxiety with Hypnosis

Are you stressed? Do you worry about money or your job? In today’s economic climate, financial worries top our list of fears. A new study from Mental Health America (a top nonprofit, mental health organization) shows Americans are stressed by three main factors: finances, health, and employment. Almost half of participants reported finances as their number one stressor. For thirty-four percent, health was a major concern. Employment stress referred to job-related problems or lack of employment.

What problem do you spend all day worrying about? Did you know that persistent stress can negatively affect your health? Studies of doctor visits show that the majority of patient complaints stem from stress-related problems. It’s also been reported to be a contributing factor in heart attacks and strokes.

What can you do about it? You need to get a handle on the ways you cope. Try hypnosis, as a powerful and effective method of stress reduction.

Hypnosis is a way to reach our subconscious, where our habits, rituals, and thoughts reside. Our subconscious mind makes up 90 % of our brain power with the conscious brain making up only 10 %. Using various techniques, a hypnotherapist is able to help your mind and body relax. In trance, you’ll be in a super concentrated state of relaxation. A therapist will use direct suggestions to address your subconscious.

Neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP, is the language pattern of the mind. It’s the language we use to express our values, beliefs, and perspectives. Using NLP, your hypnotherapist can communicate with your subconscious and help you make permanent and positive changes in your life.

Hypnosis and NLP aren’t part of a carnival show act. Unfortunately, misconceptions in the media make people skeptical or shy away from pursuing these techniques. Studies show hypnosis is an effective method to relieving many issues, especially those rooted in emotions. Not only does the therapist have the tools to help you reduce stress, the hypnosis itself can be very relaxing.

You’ve already experienced hypnosis in some part of your every day life. You experience a similar type of trance right before falling asleep and again when you first wake up. It’s a natural state that you go through daily. A hypnotherapist is trained to guide you into that state, where you can make long-lasting changes.

Don’t let stress continue to rule your life. Regardless of your worries, you need to reduce stressors and prevent potential health problems. Finding a good hypnotherapist is your first step.


ChangeWorks Hypnosis awarded for excellence in hypnotherapy

We at ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center are honored to have been selected for this honor, and we strive to serve you, our clients, to the very best of our abilities!


ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center selected for 2017 Apple Valley Small Business Excellence Award

Apple Valley, – August 24, 2017 — ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center has been selected for the 2017 Apple Valley Small Business Excellence Award in the Hypnotherapy classification by the Apple Valley Small Business Excellence Award Program.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2017 Apple Valley Small Business Excellence Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Apple Valley Small Business Excellence Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About the Apple Valley Small Business Excellence Awards Program
The Apple Valley Small Business Excellence Awards recognizes outstanding small businesses that serve the Apple Valley area. Each year, our selection committee identifies businesses that we believe have achieved outstanding marketing success in their local community and business classification.

Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. These are small businesses that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Apple Valley area a vibrant and vital place to live.

The Apple Valley Small Business Excellence Awards was established to reward the best of small businesses in Apple Valley. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to award the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

Apple Valley Small Business Excellence Award Program
Apple Valley Small Business Excellence Award Program
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25 Ways to Be a Happier You

25 Ways to Be a Happier You

Some people assume that achieving greater success or accumulating material wealth automatically leads to happiness, but nothing can be further from the truth. The fact is, we place artificial demands on ourselves that undermine our happiness. These demands force us to work harder and harder to cross a finish line that keeps moving. Wanna be happier? Here are 25 Ways to Be a Happier You.

  1. Life is not a race to the finish line.
  2. Make your priorities a priority.
  3. Cheaper isn’t always less expensive.
  4. You can’t live an unhealthy lifestyle and expect a healthy outcome.
  5. People are way too quick to make commitments and too quick to abandon them.
  6. Learning is as much an attitude as it is an activity.
  7. If we don’t address poor behavior, we’re encouraging it through our inaction.
  8. Checking items off a to-do list doesn’t determine progress; focusing on your priorities is what counts.
  9. When people don’t learn from mistakes, their actions often turn into bad habits.
  10. Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had.
  11. Happiness is a result of balance rather than intensity.
  12. Mistakes don’t make you a failure, but beating yourself up makes you feel like one.
  13. You may not have the control to lengthen your life, but you can do much to deepen it.
  14. If you look into the mirror and don’t like what you see…don’t blame the mirror.
  15. When you compete against yourself, you both win.
  16. Keeping score, in friendships, is a losing game.
  17. People stop trying when there’s no benefit for being exceptional and no consequence for being mediocre.
  18. Knowing what’s right isn’t as important as doing what’s right.
  19. The real benefit of being honorable isn’t in how others view you, but rather, in how you view yourself.
  20. “I can’t” and “I don’t want to” trigger the same results.
  21. Having kids is not the same as being a parent.
  22. When you tolerate mediocrity, you get more of it.
  23. Your life is determined by the sum of the choices that YOU make.
  24. Never win at the expense of the relationship.
  25. Moments, rather than possessions, are the true treasures of life.

This post is excerpted from BOOKSMART: Hundreds of real-world lessons for success and happiness

What Will Make You Happier?

Please leave a comment and tell us what you think or share it with someone who can benefit from the information.

Reprinted with permission from


Client story: overcoming long term anxiety

employee stressDo you struggle with anxiety? The kind where you wake up in the morning and your first thoughts and feelings are of dread and fear?

That was my client Dan, and he’d been that way for about 9 years. He’d done regular talk therapy, his doctor had advised he sell a couple of his businesses (he did) but the anxiety remained.

Hypnotherapy worked for Dan.  It was a two-pronged approach (it usually is).  First, to clear his mind of the pattern that was creating the anxiety, then for him to create a regular, on-going self hypnosis/meditative practice to keep his mind centered and calm. I always tell my clients “you’ve got to dance with the one that brought you.” Meaning, hypnosis will make you feel better in a pretty short period of time, and then you have to keep moving your mind into those calming brainwaves of hypnosis.  This isn’t true for every issue, but for anxiety, especially the type Dan is describing, it is usually the case.  This is not necessarily true with issues like single-trigger fears and phobias (fear of snakes, bees, whatever), unless the person is also experiencing more generalized sorts of anxious feelings.

Dan learned to start his day with positive thoughts, to re-center his mind during the day using quick self-hypnosis techniques, and was able to take a vacation with his family without “ruining it” with his anxiety and then becoming depressed afterward because of his guilt.

Dan was delighted, and kind enough to do a 20 minute interview with me and in the audio below, he discusses his history with 9 years of what he called crippling anxiety, and how he finally succeeded (after “trying everything”) in overcoming his anxiety.

If this is familiar to you, I can help.  Contact me through the form below, I’m happy to email, DM or arrange a time to chat on the phone.

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Cindy speaking at Alchemy & You II event

Cindy Locher will be presenting at the upcoming Alchemy & You II series through the Metamorphosis Center.

In conjunction with the book launch for her new book, The Art of Spiritual Hypnosis, Cindy will be teaching a class entitled, “Hypnosis for Reaching Your Higher Self.”

Through the process of spiritual hypnosis, learn how to ask for and receive guidance from your Higher Self, (Higher Power, God or how you reference that Source). Cindy Locher, BCH, is one of the authors of the 2016 best seller, The Art of Spiritual Hypnosis, which tells the compelling stories of clients whom Cindy has led through this dramatic process to receive specific answers to questions about life path and choices, and Divine guidance to make powerful changes and heal challenges in their lives. Cindy is one of a handful of people in the world trained in this technique.

All hypnosis is actually self hypnosis, and this class teaches you a a Self-Hypnosis process to create your own hypnotic state. The process will be explained, you will be guided into hypnosis by Cindy, learn how to protect yourself so that only Divine energy can be accessed, and then taught to anchor your hypnotic state so that you can easily achieve the natural state of hypnosis on your own, and then you will be guided through the process of accessing the higher wisdom that is available to you.

Learn more and register for the Alchemy & You II events at

Using Hypnosis to Gain More Control Over Your Illness

KIRSTEN RITCHIE, 44, is no stranger to surgery — nearly 20 years ago, doctors removed four tumors from her brain. She remembers the operation and its aftermath as “horrific.”

So the news that she needed brain surgery again was hardly welcome. Determined to make her second operation a better — or at least less traumatic — experience, Ms. Ritchie, an insurance marketing representative in Cleveland, turned to an unusual treatment.

At the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine, she had four hypnosis sessions in the month before her procedure, during which she addressed her fear of the coming surgery. She also practiced self-hypnosis every day.

Eventually, she said, “I got to a place where I felt a sense of trust instead of fear.”

In February, doctors removed a plum-sized tumor from her brain. But there the similarity to her previous experience ended. Ms. Ritchie woke up from the procedure, she said, feeling “alert and awesome.” She ate a full dinner that night and went home in two days.

“My neurosurgeon was stunned at how little medication I required before and after surgery, and how quickly I bounced back,” she said.

Ms. Ritchie attributes her speedy recovery and calm state to her hypnosis sessions. Used for more than two centuries to treat a host of medical problems, particularly pain management and anxiety, hypnosis is now available to patients at some of the most respected medical institutions in the country, including Stanford Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

Some critics find the research into mind-body therapies unconvincing, but their skepticism has not deterred patients like Ms. Ritchie. And there are researchers who say they believe that by helping patients feel in better control of their symptoms, hypnosis can reduce the need for medication and lower costs.

“It is an effective and inexpensive way to manage medical care,” said Dr. David Spiegel, director of the Center on Stress and Health at Stanford University School of Medicine and a leading authority on hypnosis.

A study by radiologists at Harvard Medical School, published in 2000, found that patients who received hypnosis during surgery required less medication, had fewer complications and shorter procedures than patients who did not have hypnosis. In a follow-up study in 2002, the radiologists concluded that if every patient undergoing catheterization were to receive hypnosis, the cost savings would amount to $338 per patient.

“When patients are groggy from anesthesia drugs, it costs more to recover them,” said Dr. Elvira Lang, an associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and a lead author of both studies. “Hypnosis calms patients.”

If you have a medical condition for which conventional medicine is not working, or you’d like to try a gentle mind-body alternative, hypnosis may be worth considering. Here are some things to keep in mind.

THE THERAPIST There is no uniformly accepted definition of hypnosis, but most experts generally agree that it is an altered mental state in which a patient becomes highly focused and more receptive to social cues.


Dr. David Spiegel, director of the Center on Stress and Health at Stanford University School of Medicine, said hypnosis can be an “effective and inexpensive way to manage medical care.” CreditPeter DaSilva for The New York Times 

During a session, the practitioner guides the subject into a relaxed state and then makes specific suggestions to help change a behavior, a perception or a physiological condition. Someone who is trying to quit smoking, for instance, might be told under hypnosis that cigarettes are poisons and that it’s important to care for and respect his body.

Some patients find that hypnosis is a helpful adjunct to traditional psychotherapy.

“Talk therapy engages the conscious mind, which is overwhelmingly facile at creating blocks to avoid hurtful problems,” said Dr. Tanya Edwards, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. “In hypnosis, the therapist is dealing with the subconscious mind and can get at core problems more quickly.”

Whatever the approach, it’s important to find a highly skilled practitioner.

“Hypnosis is like a surgeon’s knife,” said Edward Frischholz, a clinical psychologist in Chicago who has written more than 50 papers on clinical and experimental hypnosis. “In the right hands it can be life-saving, but in the wrong it could cause harm.”

There is no universal licensing process for practitioners who do hypnosis, so look for a licensed health professional — for instance, a psychologist, medical doctor or social worker — who has been trained in hypnosis. Ask your doctors and therapists for recommendations, or go to the Societies of Hypnosis Web site, which allows you to search by ZIP code and specialty.

THE SESSION At your first session, the practitioner will discuss your condition and may administer a short test to assess how hypnotizable you are.

Most people are susceptible to hypnosis. But if someone is clearly not, then the therapist or doctor may try another technique or suggest a different approach to the patient’s problem. Most sessions last about 50 minutes.

Specific conditions — like smoking, a fear of dogs or flying or temporary insomnia — may require just one session. In 2008, the personal health columnist Jane E. Brody recalled in this newspaper that her husband was able to stop smoking after just one session of hypnosis.

“For very circumscribed disorders, hypnosis works very quickly or not at all,” said Dr. Frischholz.

If your problem is more complex, like post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, it may require multiple sessions. “I might spend the first two sessions taking a history and learning about someone’s background,” said Carol Ginandes, an assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School who uses hypnosis in her private practice. “Then I would work with the patient in a very individualized way.”

A session costs between $75 and $250, depending on where you live and the credentials of the practitioner. If the therapist or doctor is in your insurance network, then you may pay only a standard co-payment. Insurers do not cover hypnosis itself, however; it will have to be billed as a part of your counseling, or as an office visit.

THE DO-IT-YOURSELF APPROACH If the thought of someone putting you in a trancelike state makes you uncomfortable, hypnosis with tape or CD at home may be a practical alternative.

Some practitioners may send you home with a custom-made CD or tape that you can use on your own.

Your therapist or doctor may also teach you self-hypnosis, as Ms. Ritchie’s therapist did. You learn how to put yourself in a deeply relaxed, receptive state in which you repeat statements such as “My body is strong and can handle this surgery,” or “I feel calm and relaxed.”

“People think hypnosis is about giving up control,” said Dr. Spiegel. “But it’s actually giving control back to the patients.”


Series on Anxiety: Part 3

Where Anxiety Comes from and Where It All Goes Wrong

What Anxiety Does to Your Brain and What You Can Do About It

The effects of stress are well understood, but where does anxiety come from? How do we know that it’s time to be “anxious”, and where is the line between “feeling anxious” and “suffering from anxiety”? We sat down with clinical psychologist Jeffrey DeGroat, PhD, and Roger S. Gil, MAMFT, to find that line.

Dr DeGroat explained that there are a number of psychological theories as to why anxiety exists. There’s the neurological (which we mentioned above), and the psychoanalytical, which describes anxiety as battle between the id, ego and superego. In this battle, he explains that “anxiety serves as a danger signal to an individual’s ego and/or superego that an individual is at an elevated risk to act upon an unacceptable id impulse. In the face of this anxiety, an individual’s ego and/or superego respond by attempting to manage an individual’s id impulses through elevated means.” Essentially, anxiety is a warning sign that you’re about to do something you may not want to. There’s also the cognitive theory, which suggests that anxiety arises when a person’s cognitive distortions, or irrational thought patterns, make them see everything as a physical threat, whether it’s an actual physical danger, an annoying coworker or a police officer on the side of the road. In behavioural theory, anxiety is a learned response due to exposure to frightening or stressful situations.

Regardless of which theory you subscribe to, it’s unhealthy when those instincts are turned on constantly. Your body’s stress response is something designed to be engaged when needed and disengaged; and constant anxiety keeps us alert and on edge all the time. Persistent anxiety, however, is a problem.

Gil explained that whether it’s caused by genetics or being brought up in an environment conducive to anxiety (as in, loud environments or parents and teachers who yell all the time), the problem emerges when your body and brain become “wired” to be on the lookout for potential threats that could come from any direction at any time, real or imagined. Anything that could cause an undesirable emotion, he explained, whether it’s fear, frustration, or doubt, could be a trigger for anxiety — and once you develop thinking patterns that reinforce every event in your life as a threat, it becomes a never-ending cycle.

[box] Learn how to use your breath properly to reduce anxiety at our sister site, [/box]

Both gentlemen agreed that it’s an issue when you recognise that your anxiety doesn’t seem to go away, and you’re living with it on a daily basis. This is easier for some people than others though — if you’ve been suffering from anxiety for so long that it’s just part of your personal norm, you may not even recognise that it’s an issue, as Gil explains:

Many people have lived in an anxious state for so long that they don’t know any other feeling so they are unaware that they are suffering from persistent anxiety. Recognising anxiety isn’t easy in these types of situations however identifying its red flags is a good way to start. Are you pessimistic about the most innocuous situations to the point where it keeps you from taking risks? Do you find your mind racing to what possible negative outcomes there could be? Do you immediately attribute some external circumstance to a positive outcome that could be seen as the result of your efforts? If your answer is ‘yes’ to these questions, then you may suffer from persistent anxiety.

For some people, anxiety is situational. It’s normal to feel nervous at the prospect of having to speak in public. It’s not normal to feel anxiety about having a mundane conversation with your barista. Situational anxiety is one of those things that we can only overcome by confronting it. Generalised anxiety is something that can only be coped with by trying to rewrite the pattern of thinking that elicits it.

Regardless of whether you’re living with anxiety or suffering from an anxiety related condition, there are ways to deal with and lessen anxiety’s impact. It starts with recognising the effects of anxiety, and then learning the right ways to cope.

Dr Jeffrey DeGroat, PhD, is a clinical psychologist.

Photos by oliveromg (Shutterstock), sanguineseasFod TzellosQuinn DombrowskiM. DollyKarenAfrica Studio (Shutterstock), Supermac1961.

Next: Learn how hypnosis helps people with their anxiety

Series on Anxiety: Part 2

What’s Actually Happening In Your Brain When You Feel Anxious

What Anxiety Does to Your Brain and What You Can Do About It

You know the feeling: That tense sensation in your stomach, the heightened sense of awareness you have about everything going on around you, the slight fear or sense of dread — that’s anxiety. Before your body feels the effects however, your brain is already at work. The National Institute of Mental Health guide to anxiety disorders also offers this description of the neurological processes at work:

Several parts of the brain are key actors in the production of fear and anxiety. Using brain imaging technology and neurochemical techniques, scientists have discovered that the amygdala and the hippocampus play significant roles in most anxiety disorders.

The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain that is believed to be a communications hub between the parts of the brain that process incoming sensory signals and the parts that interpret these signals. It can alert the rest of the brain that a threat is present and trigger a fear or anxiety response. The emotional memories stored in the central part of the amygdala may play a role in anxiety disorders involving very distinct fears, such as fears of dogs, spiders or flying.

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that encodes threatening events into memories. Studies have shown that the hippocampus appears to be smaller in some people who were victims of child abuse or who served in military combat. Research will determine what causes this reduction in size and what role it plays in the flashbacks, deficits in explicit memory and fragmented memories of the traumatic event that are common in PTSD.

The feeling of anxiety is part of your body’s stress response. Your fight or flight response is triggered, and your system is flooded with norepinephrine and cortisol. Both are designed to give you a boost to perception, reflexes and speed in dangerous situations. They increase your heart rate, get more blood to your muscles, get more air into your lungs and get you ready to deal with whatever threat is present. Your body turns its full attention to survival. Ideally, it all shuts down when the threat passes and your body goes back to normal.

Next: Where anxiety comes from and where it all goes wrong

Series on Anxiety: Part 1

How does anxiety work?


We all deal with anxiety in some form day to day. But anxiety can be a much stronger, more fearsome force for many people — one that never goes away. What is anxiety exactly, and what’s going on in your mind (and your body) when anxiety strikes?

Anxiety itself is a natural human response that serves a purpose. Our goal shouldn’t be to dismiss it entirely but to make it a healthy, manageable part of our lives. Even if you don’t suffer from an anxiety-related disorder, anxiety is part of our world, the same way stress, sadness and happiness are.

What Anxiety Is, and How It Differs from Stress

ANXIETYAnxiety is a sense of fear and apprehension that puts you on alert. Biologically, it’s designed to put us in a heightened sense of awareness so we’re prepared for potential threats. Unfortunately, when we start to feel excessive anxiety, or we live in a constant state of anxiety, we’re in trouble. In chronic anxiety, our bodies never turn off our fight or flight response, and we live with the physical and emotional effects of anxiety on a day-to-day basis, even when there’s no reason or cause for them.

On its face, anxiety can look like stress; but the reality isn’t so simple. Anxiety can arise as a result of stress, but stress can manifest in other ways. Stressors can make a person sad, angry, worried or anxious, while anxiety is specifically that feeling of fear, dread and apprehension we mentioned. You may never even know what’s causing your anxiety, or, in some cases, it can manifest on its own, without any real “trigger” or cause. Stress is often caused by external influences, while anxiety is an internal response. That’s part of what makes anxiety intrinsically different than stress, and also what makes it so difficult to manage.

Next: What’s actually happening in your brain when you feel anxiety?

Our new book-an Amazon Bestseller!

Spiritual Hypnosis book coverThe Art of Spiritual Hypnosis 

Edited by Roy Hunter (Cindy Locher & Jody Kimmell contributing authors)

Jody and I are honored to have been part of this project. This book, while out in only Kindle version, went to #1 in its category in it’s first week! This really speaks to how this topic resonates with people.

This book is unique! 

Read the amazing stories of scores of clients from five different continents who found their own answers as a result of client centered hypnosis sessions…

A client gets up out of her wheelchair and walks out of her therapist’s office. A woman suffering from infertility gets pregnant and has a healthy baby boy. A pastoral hypnotherapist receives instructions from Holy Spirit to help build his practice. A blind man remembers seeing in a former life and learns why his soul chose to blind in this life. A couple resolves marriage problems after a past life regression. Numerous clients release pain, grief, negativity, fears and anxieties. Other clients discover their life purpose after communicating with God, Christ, Buddha, an angel, or their Higher Power. Some experience physical healing after their sessions as a result of emotional healing during their sessions.

This book was organized and edited by Roy Hunter, a world renown hypnosis trainer and author. The contributing authors to this book include respected and experienced hypnosis professionals from different countries around the world. Over half who contributed were already published authors. Other contributing authors include: hypnosis trainers, respected leaders, presidents (past or present) of hypnosis associations, speakers, licensed psychologists, and a publisher.

You can find the book on Kindle right now; the print edition will be out in a few more weeks.  Check back here for updates!