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What is Somatic Hypnotherapy?

                Hypnosis is the process of inducing a state of deep relaxation of the body and a high concentration of the mind, commonly known as a "hypnotic trance".

Hypno-therapy is the therapeutic use of hypnosis to facilitate changes in perceptions and patterns of emotional and behavioral responses.

Somatic Hypnotherapy is a special form of hypnotherapy; it is an art of healing with an innovative, personalized, interactive, and pragmatic approach that focuses on emotional feelings. While most hypnotherapy approaches aim to facilitate desired change by learning new patterns under a hypnotic trance, Somatic Hypnotherapy triggers desired change by unlearning unwanted emotional response patterns.

Although there are several types of hypnotic induction used by some health professionals as integrated tools in different approaches, there are no similarities between Somatic Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy and Psychiatry in the philosophy of their approaches, nor in their therapeutic protocols - except for the sharing of some concepts. As described by Dr. James Braid since 1843,  hypnotherapy is a legitimate therapy in itself,  with a holistic approach based on a distinct ancestral philosophy and a multi-millennial tradition.

The lack of indisputable scientific evidence about how the human brain works has fueled much controversy about the nature of emotions and the causal relationship between intellect, cognition, perception, feelings, decision-making, and behavior. As the concept of emotional coherence gains popularity, the age-old idea that the mind is not confined to the brain is gaining ground in the scientific community. Since the dawn of time, however, there has been a consensus that the state of mind strongly influences thoughts, behavior, and the symptoms of all diseases.

According to contemporary scientific models, emotions are complex experiences leading to coordinated changes across physical (somatic), mental, physiological (neuroendocrine), and behavioral response systems. Thus, an emotional response pattern always has a physical feeling, called the somatic component, a cognitive component (the meaning the brain makes of emotional feelings), and a chemical component (neuroendocrine changes). Because these manifestations are coherent, you can control your emotions by controlling either the physiology (chemistry) of your brain, the associated thoughts (the mental experience of emotions) or by controlling the associated emotional feelings (the physical experience of emotions). 

As the above definition implies, for an experience to truly be an "emotion," the experience must have a physical (somatic) feeling component that must be felt, the brain must associate an emotional meaning with that sensory feeling, and the neuroendocrine system must respond and adapt accordingly. And all of the above must happen simultaneously! Otherwise, anything that passes through your brain, intentionally or unintentionally, without being associated with an emotional feeling is nothing more than a thought - not an emotion. Emotions are cognitive experiences reflecting (mirroring) emotional feelings.

When it comes to a broken bone, the standard approach is to align and connect the broken parts of the bone and let it heal-because this ancestral approach works for everyone, every time! However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with stress, anxiety, trauma, and other unwanted emotions. That is why psychiatry, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic-programming, E.F.T. (emotional freedom tapping), pet therapy, art therapy, mindfulness, yoga, craniosacral therapy, gravity blanket, mini-horse therapy, and many other approaches based on very contradictory and yet scientific concepts, are all available to solve emotional problems.

  • The approach in psychiatry is based on the concept that negative emotions can be controlled by controlling the physiological (neuroendocrine) balance of the brain. Therefore, psychiatrists prescribe psychoactive drugs that, by chemically rebalancing the neuroendocrine system, can calm the area of the brain where negative narratives are born and thus change people's thoughts, feelings, and actions. The psychiatric approach controls unwanted emotions by controlling their associated physiological manifestations, thus breaking emotional coherence.

  • The psychological approach is based on the core concept that negative emotions can be controlled by controlling the associated negative thoughts. Thus, psychologists use various psychological approaches and approved (homologated) psychological therapies to correct the harmful thoughts associated with unwanted negative emotions and thus change the way people feel and act. This approach controls unwanted emotions by controlling the associated mental (cognitive) manifestation, thus  breaking the emotional coherence.

  • Hypnotherapy, like many other naturopathic approaches, is based on the concept that regardless of how emotions are determined, the easiest and quickest way to control unwanted emotions is to control the associated unpleasant emotional feelings - and thus change one's state of mind, thoughts and behavior. Once you don't feel anxious anymore, your once anxious thoughts and behaviors will immediately change to follow your new emotional reality. The Somatic Hypnotherapy approach aims to control unwanted emotions by controlling the associated unpleasant emotional feelings (the somatic manifestations), thus breaking the emotional coherence.

The wide variety of contemporary behavioral theories helps us understand that, despite the many fundamentally different therapeutic protocols used to modulate unwanted emotions, there is no scientific contradiction between psychiatric, psychological, and naturopathic approaches. Each of the above approaches focuses on only one of the three manifestations of emotions, not because one particular manifestation has been scientifically proven to be the source of the other two, but because all emotional manifestations are coherent! For an emotion to manifest, the three inter-conditioned experiences must manifest simultaneously!

This is why, although all therapeutic approaches to emotions aim to control unwanted emotions by disrupting the coherence of the emotional experience, psychological approaches focus on the cognitive component, psychiatric approaches focus on the physiological component, and naturopathic approaches focus on the somatic experience. A somatic hypnotherapist should focus more on what you feel than what you think about your problem. Somatic Hypnotherapy helps you change the patterns of your intrusive thoughts and unwanted behaviors by helping you change your feelings and your mindset.

The holistic or mind-body concept of healing the human being as a whole, rather than treating individual diseases, is ancient. What is now called "hypnotherapy" has been known to exist in almost all ancient societies. Although the term "hypnosis" has only been used since the 1840s, many priests, shamans, healers, and medicine men began using this technique, or some form of it, centuries earlier. There are written records of hypnosis dating back 5,000 years in Mesopotamia and Egypt and 2,500 years in ancient China and Greece.

This healing practice has been kept alive by many traditional healers, priests, and shamans, as well as by famous practitioners such as the Persian physician Avicenna, the Swiss physician Paracelsus, the charismatic Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer, by the famous physicians and hypnosis enthusiasts Dr. John Elliotson, Dr. James Esdaile, and Dr. James Braid (who coined the term “hypnosis” in 1843 and described the traditional hypnotherapy as an empirical medical approach), and the famous Dr. Sigmund Freud, Dr. Gustav C. Jung and Dr. Milton Erickson, the founder of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy.

The practice of Somatic Hypnotherapy emerged from Traditional Hypnotherapy, from which it inherits an ancestral pragmatic approach to wellness and health, adding to it the rigor of the scientific methods of several visionary scientific models of human behavior that it integrates, in particular the Somatic Markers Theory developed by the American neuroscientists Prof. Dr. Antonio Damasio and Prof. Dr. Joseph LeDoux, the concept of coordinated changes across somatic,  physiological and behavioral response systems known as emotional coherence, the theory of ritual healing, and the theory of morpfic fields. I did not invent Somatic Hypnotherapy! I discovered it, updated it, and did my best to give it a coherent and easy-to-follow explanation to demystify it and make it accessible to everyone.

Unlike Ericksonian hypnotherapy and various other forms of hypnotherapy that facilitate desired change by learning new patterns of emotional response, Somatic Hypnotherapy triggers desired change by unlearning patterns of unwanted emotional response. While psychotherapeutic approaches use the relatively new concept of emotion, hypnotherapy uses the traditional concept of emotional "feeling". This therapeutic approach focuses on emotional feelings and is based on the physiological and neurological updated scientific models rather than the psychological model.

According to these models, the behavioral response is modulated by the perception rather than the observation of objective reality. For example, someone who is frightened by a tiny spider overreacts because of the perceived irrational fear of spiders, not because he thinks a tiny spider can harm him. However, as long as strong emotions are not involved, people are likely to act logically and rationally. According to this biological approach, decision-making in your daily life is much more about habits, emotion-driven desires, and rewards than about rational choices.

The hypnotic suggestion within a hypnotherapy framework is the hallmark of any type of hypnotherapy. Unlike conventional hypnotherapy approaches that focus on adding a new layer of positive feelings on top of your lingering fears and traumas, Somatic Hypnotherapy is all about releasing the past by rearranging the present reading of your past traumatic experiences. This therapy works with your world model and involves you in the therapy process so that changes are easily accepted and long-lasting.

Somatic Hypnotherapy is a special type of hypnotherapy that can help you improve your life through positive change. This intuitive and highly effective therapy can help you reduce or eliminate your negative emotions, winnow away painful feelings, end addictions and unwanted behaviors, and increase confidence and self-esteem. Although not well known on the North American continent, Somatic Hypnotherapy is very popular in Eastern Europe - where it is known by various local names.

Although Somatic Hypnotherapy uses verbal cues as a specific tool, it does not rely on your hypnotist's ability to speak, but on his ability to understand how the subconscious mind works. Somatic hypnosis has nothing to do with stage hypnosis, nor is it a magic trick. Those who practice it do not have the slightest supernatural power over you. Their only "magic" is that they know how to put their techniques, talent, and passion at your disposal to allow you to access and use the immense resources of your subconscious mind.

The basic idea of Somatic Hypnotherapy is to help you improve your life by fostering change, not to teach you how to deal with your problems. The hallmark of Somatic Hypnotherapy is a process of neuro-linguistic modulation which is a very special way of speaking to your subconscious mind using metaphorical language that appears to be a regular conversation, clearly understandable, and very precise in its healing intentions.

This approach is based on a solid understanding of how the human mind works, as well as on the experience and talent of the practitioner. However, the hypnotherapist cannot take credit for your healing because he is not the one who heals you. His work consists mainly of guiding you to activate your inner self-healing resources.

The therapist's talent and passion is the ingredient that can make the difference between endless sessions and brief professional therapy, with consistently good results. Negotiating the changes you want to experience with your subconscious is more of an art than an exact science.

Whatever your fear, pain, or other issues may be, don't allow it to cripple your life.  

The principles of the "No result - no pay" guarantee apply to all my therapies.

Contact me and book your appointment today! Let this be the most exciting experience of your life, and I will be happy to help you on your journey.

You can reach me by filling out the contact form below.

Disclaimer: The above article may contain statements that reflect the opinion of the author. It is intended for general informational purposes and does not constitute psychological or medical professional advice. I don't diagnose medical conditions, nor do I interfere with any treatments given by your medical professional.

If you already are under the care of a doctor or under medical treatment, follow the advice and treatment recommended by your doctor. For any medical emergency, call the Info-Santé service by dialing 8-1-1

*The results may vary from person to person.

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