by Philip Holder, Ph.D.
Copyright by Philip Holder, Ph.D. 2015


Those of us who have been involved in the martial arts, health and fitness, and/or ancient and modern healing arts, know how incredibly powerful the mind is. A person’s perception, mental attitude, faith, and confidence, often mean the difference between victory and defeat, health and sickness, and sometimes, life and death. The “I can” attitude may be the deciding factor in achieving success or succumbing to failure. You see this occurring every day. People with confidence and faith in themselves, that are willing to test their limits are the ones that accomplish great things. The most successful people are usually those who have a positive self image and who view mistakes, obstacles, and setbacks as learning experiences rather than as failures. Everything is a positive if you choose to perceive it in that way. Likewise, negative thoughts will become a self fulfilling prophecy. Look at it this way… If they can package and sell horse crap (as fertilizer) something of value can be made out of anything.

Hypnosis is a very powerful tool to unlock your mind’s great abilities. We use more of our mind’s potential in hypnosis than we do in a normal waking state. Generally, however, people often have a skewed perception of what hypnosis is (If not a skewed perception, at least a limited knowledge). Some people view hypnosis as hocus pocus, equating it with the movie image of Dracula commanding his victims to go out like zombies and drink blood. As well, they may equate all hypnosis with the antics of the stage hypnotist. Both perceptions are a far cry from the reality of the incredible benefits available through hypnosis.

When hypnosis is mentioned in a clinical context, many people associate it only with things like, hypnosis for smoke cessation and for weight loss, but these benefits only scratch the surface. Hypnosis can be used to modify perception and behavior in a multitude of areas. I have listed below some of the areas in which I regularly help people.

Smoke Cessation, Weight Loss/Management, Stress Management, Pain Management, Goal Achievement, Sexual Dysfunction, Anxiety, Tapping Into Creativity, Development of Intuitive Powers, Improve Relationships, Overcoming Fears and Phobias (Flying, Water, Heights, etc. etc.), Regression Therapy, Forensic Hypnosis, Memory Enhancement, Self Esteem and Appreciation, Guided Meditation, Breaking Unproductive Habits, Anger Management, Overcoming Guilt, Grief Management, Behavior Modification, Performance Enhancement (sexual, athletic, job, academic etc.), Nail Biting, Bed Wetting and much more.


Your mind essentially operates at two levels. They are the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Hypnosis is simply a method to get the conscious mind (in particular critical thinking) to step aside (temporarily) so that the therapist can speak directly to the subconscious mind.

Your conscious mind has the following functions.

It is the analytical part of your mind (In other words, a task oriented problem solver). It is responsible for critical thought, It is the rational part of your mind (It tries to attach a reason to why everything happens, (The only problem is that often it does not attach the right reason). Will Power is a product of your conscious mind. (Will power, however, only provides a short burst of determination. It will not provide a permanent solution. Will power to the mind is what adrenaline is to the body… a temporary burst of energy.) It also holds your temporary or short term memory.

The Subconscious Mind

Your Subconscious Mind has the following properties:

(1) Habits – There are basically 3 types of habits:

Good Habits – Those that are productive in your life.
Bad Habits – Those that are destructive (smoking, compulsive eating, etc.)
Utility Habits (closing the door behind you, covering your mouth when you sneeze, etc.)

(2) Emotions

(3) Permanent memory


By making POSITIVE, ACCEPTABLE suggestions directly to the subconscious mind at a time when the subject truly wants those changes to take place, change can be implemented rapidly. Therapeutic Hypnosis requires only two things to be effective. One is a competent practitioner. The other, is a subject who is ready and willing to make positive change in his or her life. It is a team effort between the two.

Dispelling Misconceptions

Hypnosis is probably one of the most misunderstood sciences in the world. The movie image and the reality are far different. When hypnotized, a person is not asleep in the conventional sense of the word. They often hear everything said by the practitioner. On the other hand, the subject may or may not consciously hear the practitioner and/or other things that are going on around them (dog barking, noise in another room etc.). The reality is so different than the perception of hypnosis that some people wonder if they were actually hypnotized after a first session… that is, until they experience the terrific results of the session.

Another misconception about hypnosis is that someone can be made to do things that you would not willingly do while in hypnosis. This is pure fiction. Under hypnosis, a person cannot be made to do anything that violates his or her moral, religious or personal convictions. A person cannot be made to do anything that they do not, in fact, want to do. If a suggestion is made to his or her subconscious mind that is unacceptable or violates his or her value system, their subconscious mind will simply disallow the suggestion. It will refuse to accept it. So rest assured that when under hypnosis, no one can be made to run down the road flapping their arms like a chicken.


People sometime ask me how stage hypnotists get people to do silly things. The answer is quite simple… The volunteers want to ! These people want to be part of the entertainment.

Picture a crowd in a nightclub or theatre watching a stage hypnotist. Often people have had a few drinks, and even if this is not so, all are in a festive mood. The stage hypnotist does not select subjects, he or she will ask for volunteers. Those people that raise their hands and volunteer are agreeing to be part of the entertainment… Even if it makes them look silly. The people who most often volunteer are usually the same people who would wear a lampshade on their heads at a party even if they were not in hypnosis. They enjoy being part of the entertainment. The hypnotist will then test the volunteers for suggestibility and compliance (under the pretext of being part of the show). The most compliant subjects will be kept on stage. The others will eventually be dismissed. The result is that the people remaining on stage want to cooperate with the stage hypnotist and be part of the show. If, however, a person who acted silly, while in hypnosis on stage the night before came to a hypnotherapist for behavior modification the next day, the therapist would in all probability, have no success in getting that client/patient to do something silly during that session. It simply would not fit with what the person was there to accomplish.


In western culture, we have been taught to label our mind, body, and spirit, as if they were three separate creatures. The fact is that when we are centered, they are one, working in harmony. This is easy to see. When you are dressed up and looking good, you generally feel better and have a better attitude and self image. The condition of your body is directly reflected in your state of mind. People who are generally depresses or otherwise negative in their outlook on life, usually have a greater incident of illness. The body responds directly to our state of mind. When you have a strong and healthy, and centered spirit, you also feel great pride (your mind), and you may actually carry yourself more upright and proud (your body). These three elements are not separate. They are in fact one. When we understand the interrelationship between these elements it becomes easy to see the benefit of hypnosis. Hypnotherapy can help in opening those channels of communication between these elements. Your powerful subconscious mind has the ability to improve learning and retention, improve focus and enhance coordination. It can increase your confidence level. It can reduce pain from injuries and help to expedite the healing of injuries.


Anyone with a true desire to make positive change in their life can benefit from hypnosis/hypnotherapy. The added advantage is that changes made at the subconscious level are more durable and long lasting than those made on a conscious level. Hypnosis is wonderful for helping martial artists and athletes overcome barriers and maximize their potential. Hypnosis can be used to weed out distracting thoughts and to eliminate fears. It can help you to focus.

Since learning takes place in the mind, not the body, what you can clearly conceptualize and/or visualize, you have a greater chance of achieving. Hypnosis can help you to more clearly imagine what you want to accomplish. Physical activity trains reflexes and adds muscle tone. It is the mind that will enable a person to achieve perfection of form. It is the mind that will determine when, where, and how to use what you have trained for.


Often we create our own walls and barriers. Those barriers, anxieties and fears can be brought down. When one is unsure that he or she can… they often can’t. By taking down these self imposed hurdles, a person can put all of their energy and focus into accomplishing their goal. By doing this, the opportunity for success is dramatically increased.

What someone’s mind perceives as real, is real to that person. Hypnotherapy can be a tremendous tool in helping people to tear down mental barriers to success, increase confidence and self esteem and maximize potential. Your mind has incredible power. You need only tap into that power to realize dramatic growth and positive change.

More Great Articles Click Here