Sunday, August 10, 2014

New Hypnotic Radio Hour show: What does hypnosis feel like?

One of the most common questions that we hear, and that clients are asking themselves even if they don't ask it out loud, is "what does hypnosis feel like?"

 Some people want to know just because they are curious about the state. New clients want to know because they often wonder "if they are doing it right." So join Jody & Cindy as we cover this topic. We have another past client calling in on this show to share her experience, so you'll get multiple perspectives.

Then, the next step is to try hypnosis for yourself and find it what it feels like for YOU!

Learn more at or

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Using the power of hypnosis to heal body and mind

The article below is a reprint of an article from the New York Times HealthScience section.

My husband, Richard, smoked cigarettes for 50 years, having failed several attempts to quit on his own. When a friend told him in August 1994 that hypnosis had enabled her to quit, he decided to give it a try. "It didn't work; I wasn't hypnotized," he declared after his one and only session. But it did work; since that day, he has not taken one puff of a cigarette.

Gloria Kanter of Boynton Beach, Florida, thought her attempt in 1985 to use hypnosis to overcome her fear of flying had failed. "When the therapist brought me out, I said it didn't work," she recalled in an interview. "I told her, 'I heard everything you said."' Nonetheless, the next time she and her husband headed for the airport, she was not drenched in sweat and paralyzed with fear. "I was just fine," she said, "and I've been fine ever since."

 Like many others whose knowledge of hypnotism comes from movies and stage shows, my husband and Kanter misunderstood what hypnosis is all about. While in a hypnotic trance, you are neither unconscious nor asleep, but rather in a deeply relaxed state that renders the mind highly focused and ready to accept suggestions to help you accomplish your goals.

 Hypnosis has been mired in controversy for two centuries, and its benefits are often overstated. It does not help everyone who wants to quit smoking, for example; then again, neither do other kinds of treatments.

 And the patient's attitude is critical. In the words of Brian Alman, a psychologist who practices hypnosis in San Diego, "The power of hypnosis actually resides in the patient and not in the doctor." Roberta Temes, a clinical hypnotist in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, insists that hypnosis cannot make people do anything they don't want to do. Hypnosis can succeed only in helping people make changes they desire, she said in an interview. In her book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hypnosis," Temes points out that success in achieving your goal is the best proof that you were really hypnotized.

In effect, hypnosis is the epitome of mind-body medicine. It can enable the mind to tell the body how to react, and modify the messages that the body sends to the mind. It has been used to counter the nausea of pregnancy and chemotherapy; dental and test-taking anxiety; pain associated with surgery, root canal treatment and childbirth; fear of flying and public speaking; compulsive hair-pulling; and intractable hiccups, among many other troublesome health issues.

 Writing in The Permanente Journal in 2001, Alman said that "useful potential" for benefiting from hypnosis "exists within each patient." "The goal of modern medical hypnosis," he said, "is to help patients use this unconscious potential." Alman described a 65-year-old concentration camp survivor who repeatedly choked when she tried to swallow, though examinations of her esophagus revealed no obstruction. After three hypnotherapy sessions, her problem was solved. "I was liberated from my esophagus," the patient said.

 You may not even have to be face to face with a hypnotist to benefit medically. Temes said hypnosis could be helpful even if done with a cassette tape or CD, or by telephone, which she offers as part of her practice.

 Ellen Fineman, a physical therapist in Portland, Oregon, had had five surgeries to repair a retina that kept detaching. Hoping that a sixth attempt would hold, she used a hypnosis tape prepared by Temes for patients undergoing surgery. The tape "was very calming and reassuring," Fineman said in an interview. "It told me that I would be in the hands of professionals who would take good care of me and that I'd have minimal swelling," she said. "This time the surgery went superbly - no inflammation, no swelling and no more detachment. The surgeon was amazed and asked what I had done differently this time."

 As with any other profession, some hypnotherapists are more talented than others. Temes suggests that word of mouth may be the best way to find someone practiced in hypnosis for the kind of problem you're trying to solve.

 While not everyone is easily hypnotized, nearly everyone can slip into a therapeutic trance, Temes maintains. Another of her patients, Dr. Susan Clarvit, a New York psychiatrist, thought she could not be hypnotized - she was too scientific, too rational a person, she said. "But I was desperate," Clarvit said in an interview. "I was pregnant with my second child and too nauseated to be alive. Dr. Temes asked me what I held most often, and I said a pen. She hypnotized me so that when I held a pen I had an overall feeling of wellness. I held a pen all the time, even while driving, and didn't feel nauseated." Under hypnosis, Clarvit was given a posthypnotic suggestion that linked holding a pen to feeling well.

Such suggestions enable people to practice a new, desired behavior after being brought out of the trance. Someone trying to overcome snacking on sweets might be told, "When you are hungry, you will eat vegetables." The suggestion to a smoker might be "you will drink water when you want a cigarette."

 Sometimes patients with well-established illnesses can benefit indirectly from hypnosis. Alman told of a woman with multiple sclerosis who was treated with hypnosis for depression that had failed to improve with antidepressants. Almost immediately, he reported, not only did the woman's depression ease, but her gait and speech improved markedly. He explained that for many patients the medical problem is so complex that specific directions and commands may be ineffective. The benefit from hypnosis may rely more on unleashing unconscious processes within the patient. He suggested that there exists "a wealth of material in the patient's unconscious that can be used in healing" but lamented the fact that although medical hypnosis can often produce rapid change even in difficult cases, it is "underutilized as a therapeutic tool." 


Learning how to artfully and elegantly help others use the healing power residing in their own minds is what we do at the Midwest Hypnotherapy Academy. I love this article because it describes hypnosis so well and so realistically and gives several examples of what is possible when hypnotherapy is correctly applied. Come learn hypnosis with us at the Midwest Hypnotherapy Academy in Apple Valley Minnesota!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Falsified research led to the "low-fat heart-healthy" guidelines

Dietary fat is NOT the enemy

As journalist Paul John Scott (not to be confused with John Paul Scott, the only Alcatraz inmate to conclusively reached San Francisco during an escape attempt) writes in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota bears the blame for the wrong-headed low-fat diet that has been promoted by the FDA: We embraced the erroneous low-fat paradigm because a University of Minnesota-based expert named Ancel Keys had a gut feeling that saturated fat caused heart disease; collected carefully chosen data from dietary practices in Greece and Italy to back up his hunch, then brushed off all contrary evidence. Keys quickly developed alliances at the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health, on Capitol Hill and at the USDA — with the help of an eager and unquestioning health press much like that of today.

 Okay, so Minnesota isn't really to blame, but rather Keys and his ilk. Scott goes on to further describe how Keys's well-meaning — but misguided — efforts to get people to eat less animal and especially saturated fat hurt rather than helped us.

Many of these points come from the book "The Big Fat Surprise," by investigative reporter Nina Teicholz. She argues that the data to support a low-fat diet doesn't exist, as CNN reported: Take the 30-year follow-up to the landmark Framingham Heart Study, for example. It is one of the largest epidemiological studies evaluating the roots of heart disease in our country. In the follow-up, scientists found that half the people who had heart attacks had below-average cholesterol levels. In fact, scientists concluded that "for each 1 percent mg/dL drop of cholesterol, there was an 11 percent increase in coronary and total mortality."

 Not everybody agrees, however. Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, told CNN that replacing saturated fats with healthy fats improves blood lipids, and in turn reduces heart disease. But both sides would probably agree that a shift from a diet high in animal fats to a diet high in simple carbohydrates like sugar — a pattern seen in the United States — isn't healthy.

 To make up your own mind, check out the book yourself here, and read reviews of Teicholz's tome at the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Sun-Times, and on

  This article originally appeared on Popular Science

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ribbon Cutting Event at ChangeWorks/Midwest Hypnotherapy Academy

ChangeWorks/MHA "One of the best things to happen in Apple Valley," says Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland.

Yesterday, Monday, May 19th, we held our ribbon cutting event with our clients, the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce and representatives from the City of Apple Valley and Minnesota Representative Anna Wills. The ceremony marked the expansion of ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center into it's new, larger space in Apple Valley, and the official launch of the Midwest Hypnotherapy Academy, a state of Minnesota licensed school.  Apple Valley Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland and Ed Kearney of the Apple Valley Chamber were delighted to have another education institution in the City of Apple Valley, and many were present to welcome us into our new home.

Learn more about the Midwest Hypnotherapy Academy at

Wish you could have been here to celebrate with us!  Enjoy the pictures of the day below!

Cindy Locher (right) and a full house!
Cindy Locher (right) and a full house!
Ed Kearney, Cindy Locher, Jody Kimmell, Mary Hamann-Roland
Apple Valley Chamber President Ed Kearney, Cindy Locher, Jody Kimmell, Apple Valley Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland
Cutting the ribbon!
Cutting the ribbon!

Allan Kohls, our door prize winner of the Schwinn bike!
Allan Kohls, our door prize winner of the Schwinn bike!
Jody Kimmell with Ed Kearney
Jody Kimmell with Ed Kearney
Cindy Locher with Mayor Mary
Cindy Locher with Mayor Mary

A full house!
A full house!
Cindy with State Rep. Anna Wills
Cindy with State Rep. Anna Wills
Dan Locher and Jody Kimmell
Dan Locher and Jody Kimmell

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Photo on 3-11-14 at 9.48 AMIt's OFFICIAL!   We are now a Minnesota State Licensed Private School and so after several months of hard work and more hard work, our application with the Minnesota State Department of Higher Education has been approved and our license is here--suitable for framing, even! Now begins more hard work, but the fun stuff really.  Now we can legally let you know what our curriculum will be, advertise and market and accept students! We'll be teaching our first modules in the fall of this year, 2014.  Learn more about the curriculum we'll be teaching at our hypnosis center website here:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Neurofeedback, addictions program, & the Midwest Hypnotherapy Academy

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 2.55.25 PMHappy New Year!

Jody & I hope that your holiday season was full of love and laughter, and wish you abundance and fulfillment in the New Year! We have a lot to be grateful for here at ChangeWorks.  I know I haven't sent out any emails or updates lately, so I wanted to share what we've been up to and what you can expect in 2014!

New Midwest Hypnotherapy Academy opens in 2014!

First, we are well on our way to becoming a Minnesota State licensed school of hypnotherapy!  The legal name of the school is the Midwest Hypnotherapy Academy.  We'll be opening our classes in 2014.  No dates yet, but we're excitedly planning and preparing a comprehensive, in-depth certification training.

The complete offering will allow students to take up to 200 hours of training, which will enable our students to become members of the most prestigious hypnotists' professional associations and provide the solid base of knowledge and experience needed to be successful in the field.  Learn more about the Midwest Hypnotherapy Academy here.  If you know of anyone who is interested in learning hypnosis, becoming a hypnotherapist, or adding hypnotherapy to an existing practice (social workers, therapists, and nurses), pass this information on!

ChangeWorks Center chosen to participate in model addictions program.

We're excited to have been selected from a field of hypnotherapy providers to be part of the integrative model addictions program at the Justin Kukowski center in Burnsville.  The Mitakuye Oyasin Chemical Dependency Support Program is a 12-week,  integrated chemical dependency post-treatment after care program committed to helping you achieve a lifetime transformation through the use of complementary alternative medicine. We're honored to be a part of this advanced program serving the community!

Neurofeedback coming to ChangeWorks in 2014!

After several years of researching, we have pulled the trigger and are adding neurofeedback/biofeedback to our services in 2014. 

What is it? Neurofeedback/Biofeedback is non-invasive and uniquely effective with few contraindications. It can quickly teach your brain how to attain a pleasant state of relaxation, or how to improve your attention and focus. It can retrain the brain to ignore or eliminate signals that create chronic pain, and to "rewrite" signals that cause cravings, even addictions. By allowing you to attain freedom from your body's habitual physiological reactions, biofeedback can help alleviate anxiety, improve sleep and manage chronic pain, reduce or improve symptoms of a range of situations such as ADD/ADHD, Asperger's, chronic pain, fears/phobias/anxiety and more.

 We're busy integrating this exciting new service into what we do now.  Look for more information in the coming weeks!

Lastly, Cindy's new book has been published, Creating Resilience: Ego Strengthening Hypnosis Scripts

Creating ResilienceCindy's been working for quite a long time on a book of hypnosis scripts for other professionals in the field of hypnosis.  It's finally done!

Here's a picture of it, and it will be available on as a print book in about 6-8 weeks and it's currently available as a Kindle download.

 These scripts have been specially written to create and deepen your clients' ego strength and the characteristic of personal resilience, which is recognized by the American Psychological Association to be a fundamental personality trait in healthy and successful individuals. Here you will find scripts to create readiness for change, to transform your client's past, to install a belief in the "failures" of the past as being valuable feedback, to create stronger decision making abilities, to build confidence, and more. Also included are scripts on weight release and libido enhancement that incorporate the principles of ego strengthening. The book is 100 pages long in the print version.

The Kindle version is available here; the print version will take a few more weeks to get through the publisher's processes.

  We hope your 2014 is off to a wonderful start, and wish you all health, happiness and prosperity in the year to come and beyond!

  Cindy Locher & Jody Kimmell,
  ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center & Midwest Hypnotherapy Academy

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Harnessing neuro-plasticity with hypnosis

Science now knows that our brain can re-wire itself, sometimes quite extensively, throughout our lives. This gets great press involved in such wonders as people who have brain injuries who relearn skills such as language, writing, and walking. But did you know that it's the same process involved in learning or unlearning any behavior? If you create a new habit in your life, you form new neural pathways. If you extinguish a habit, your brain rewires the old pathways, and creates new ones to support the new behavior.
Join Cindy in a hypnotic exploration of three distinct ways to engage process to accelerate the changes in behavior that you desire. Come to this session with an idea in mind of a new behavior that you want to create in your life. (Not a habit you want to get rid of, but a new behavior that you want to do, or do more of.)
Note: the second half of this program is hypnotic in nature and should not be listened to while driving or operating machinery, or while performing any task which requires your full consciousness.